Healing Waters

From The Tablet (a UK-based newspaper) we have a story of the father of modern holistic medicine: Fr. Sebastian Kneipp, who founded the Sebastianeum in Bad Wörishofen, near Munich, in the later 19th century.

The Healing Voices featured the healing of hydrotherapy, which is one of the fundamental treatments at the Sebastianeum. The importance of the waters there are on full display at the front door to this four-star hotel, where guests are welcomed with water-fall artwork. Yes, the Sebastianeum is still functioning.

Fr. Kneipp used not only hot tubs and hydrotherapy. Water was only one of his five elements in wellness which also included movement, nutrition, medicinal herbs, and balance.

These elements somewhat align with different healing methods we know now as alternative medicine, or sometimes Eastern medicine, but the practical emphasis and ability to deliver care for all the elements is an approach for which even some modern “holistic” approaches fall short.

What these approaches do have in common is an ability to deliver results in certain cases, especially with certain diseases, which elude the scientific focus that became the hallmark of Western medicine while Fr. Kneipp’s Sebastianeum thrived nevertheless for over a century. (That was a run on sentence, and I apologize but I like it and am leaving it.) Often, in the West, primarily in the US, we mistake holistic healing methods with something new, “new age,” or Eastern — not Western and traditional, as Fr. Kneipp’s methods are.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an armchair traveler or planning a trip aboard. You can take a virtual tour if you’d like.

You can also find food for thought in ideas found on the Sebastianeum’s own home page (translated to English). It is a blend of unique and basic holistic care, but then again many consider Fr. Kneipp the father of holistic medicine. Check it out, if for no other reason than to notice he had a great-looking dog (therapy dog?) and smoked cigars.

Many who are working through the impact of life-long heightened cortisol levels (a common effect of abuse) and various other mind-body illnesses will find What matters is that, if you’re interested in the long tradition of holistic medicine and healing (as many who are working through the impact of abuse on physical well-being are), this is a great article.

(Kudos to @pepeamdg for the mention on Twitter that led us to this article.)

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