Healing with Water

Healing with Water

Kneipp-Hydroherapy at Home – 2002
ISBN 1-55312-011-6

Scan0013.tifWater in its different forms (cold, warm, hot, ice or as steam) is a wonderful medium to prevent, ease or even cure many health and wellness problems. For instance, an alternate (warm/cold) foot bath will raise your immune system and you may not get the cold that you knew was coming. Lots of pictures show many ways in which water can be used. The effect of the water on the skin as the medium to influence the circulation and immune systems is explained in words that everybody can understand and since everybody has water at home it is just a matter of knowing how to use it, – other than just for cooking, drinking or washing.

The book also explains the effect of many herbal extracts that can be added to a bath, be it for relaxation, to ease sore muscles or to help with your blood pressure. The last colorful pages are a wonderful addition with healthy recipes.

Available from:
Amazon – Chapters/Indigo – Barnes & Noble


In addition to English this book is also available in Indian, Italian and Polish.

Take Time for Your Health

Practical Body Care

“He who takes no time to care for his body a few minutes a day will have to have time to be unwell for days, weeks, months or even years to be sick.”
Sebastian Kneipp, the “Water Doctor”

In my early twenties, I had a circulation problem causing fainting spells. It came to the point where my doctor ordered a “Rehab cure” and sent me to a sanatorium in a health resort. The attending physician wanted to see the medication that I had been taking and declared that I would not need any of it anymore. He “confiscated” it and explained a method he had found very successful. It “jumpstarts” the circulation and increases the lymph flow.

P1030123This is how I learned of “Dry Brushing”.  I received a type of rough mitt and a back strap, knitted out of sisal hemp string. With these items I had to brush my dry body every morning for approximately ten to fifteen minutes until the whole body skin from the toes to the neckline was completely red. At the beginning I had to be careful; the skin was tender and the side effect was an exfoliation with lots of fibers from the sisal and white flakes from my skin falling all around me. I always stood on a large towel. The doctor had not only patients with circulation problems using this method but also patients with rheumatism, arthritis, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. My health improved and the velvety feel of my skin was a beautiful side effect that he most likely had not even considered. Dry brushing is also recommended for the elderly who are not moving around very much anymore, constituting very light exercise.

Dry Brushing – A Rejuvenation Method

Let me explain this method to you:

  1. Using the Dry Brush mitt, start on the right side of your body. The farthest spot from your heart is the right foot. Since you are “pulling” blood away from the heart start brushing the toes on your right foot first. Brush the foot sole, heel, ankle area with a circular motion and then move upwards on your leg, covering the knee and thighs up to and including the hip. A circular motion is the best. Pay particular attention to the “cellulite area”. After the right, do the left foot and leg in the same manner.
  2. ScanPlace your right hand covered with the Dry Brush mitt on the lower right abdomen (where the appendix is (or was). With a slow clockwise motion follow the ascending —transverse — descending line of the colon around your “belly button”. Keep on brushing in this fashion, slightly increasing pressure until the whole abdominal area is turning red. Once you are used to the brushing you can use more pressure to influence your colon. (Figure 1)
  3. Place the Dry Brush mitt on your left hand. Brush the right hand on both sides, brush every finger and move up the arm in a circular motion to your shoulder. Make sure the whole arm is red. Do not brush under the arm where the perspiration glands are located. Switch the mitt to your right hand and do the left hand and arm the same way.
  4. Place your right hand with the Dry Brush mitt under your right breast starting to brush in a figure 8 around your breasts. Keep movements soft. Do not brush the nipples. Brush lower and upper chest until the whole area is well circulated. You will also improve the tone or elasticity of the breast muscles and improve your shape or form. The final stroke should cross the upper chest area to the neck. A light motion is recommended since the skin here is very thin.
  5. Grasp the back strap at each end holding it under your “derriere” (seat). Bend your knees slightly and pull the back strap back and forth working your way up to your waist line. Stand up straight and lean back into the back strap massaging your waist line by pulling the strap strongly back and forth. Use the same movement over your back by crossing the back strap — alternating over the shoulders.(Figure 2)
  6. The last movement is pulling the strap back and forth across your shoulders and neckline by slightly bending back your head. Do not brush the front of your neck nor your face. The back brushing feels incredibly good, especially if your back troubles you. It replaces a light massage.

I have been brushing my body for over 50 years now and I would never want to miss a day. My body skin is probably in better shape than that of many younger people. As long as I brush I do not need medication to improve my circulation. My health has greatly improved. I have had hundreds of people tell me the same after I introduced them to this simple routine. One warning though: Never stop medication until your doctor confirms that you do not need it.

Don’t get lazy – it only works if YOU DO IT regularly!

Its Flu and Cold Time

Preventive Water Therapy

P1030104It’s that time of year when doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals encourage you to have a “flu shot”. That is fine and dandy. But did you know that you can do something very simple to activate or increase your immune system to help you combat an oncoming cold or even the flu? The trick is not to wait until you have a cold or the flu. So here is what you do at the first sign of a cold:

Take two large pails (empty 5-gallon paint pails?) or plastic garbage cans that will accommodate both your feet almost up to the knee. Place the pails in the bathtub. Fill the one on the right with cold water, the other with hot water, approximately 39/40°C or 98/99°F. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, place both feet into the hot water. Set a timer for five minutes. When the alarm rings place first the right foot, then the left into the coldP1030106 water while exhaling deeply. Count to twenty, then place both legs back into the hot water for another five minutes. Again, place both legs into the cold for twenty seconds. Now dry between your toes and soles of your feet, just pat-dry the rest of the legs, put on long warm socks and go to bed. Tuck yourself in under the blankets. It will help if the bed is already warmed up, – either by your partner or a hot water bottle, whichever is preferred. Try not to use an electric blanket. Your feet and legs as well as your whole body should get quite warm. “Bugs” don’t like heat.  If, after about ten minutes, your feet and legs are not warm, get up and put your legs back into the saved hot water container for another five minutes, but not the cold this time, put your socks back on and off to bed you go again! If you do this treatment at the first sign of an oncoming cold you will avoid it!
To increase the effect you may choose to put a cup of vinegar into the hot water.

See also – Video of Kneipp healthy living practices.


Got the Flu Already?

Too late for prevention?

To shorten the duration I recommend the following:

You need:

  1. A large pail or garbage can large enough to reach up to the knees and comfortably wide enough for two feet next to each other.
  2. A pot capable of holding approximately four cups of hot water
  3. A thermometer
  4. Timer or clock – set to twenty minutes
  5. A pair of long warm socks, and also be dressed warmly ready to go to bed

Prepare just ONE pail of water at 39/40 °C (98/99 °F) Place into the bathtub as with the alternate footbath. (see picture below), insert both legs into the warm water up to the knees. Sit close to the hot water tap and have the pot handy. After five minutes fill this pot with hot water and add it carefully to the water in the pail. It may be overflowing but since it stands in the bathtub it does not matter. Slightly lift legs up and down in order to mix the water. Check the temperature. It should be 1 or 2 degrees warmer now. After another 5 minutes add another pot full of hot water, carefully staying away from your legs. Mix water and check the temperature. It should be approximately 42 or 43 °C or 108/109 °F. Wait five minutes and again add four cups of hot water and this time the temperature should be up to 44 °C or 111 °F. Keep your legs in this hot water for another five minutes. If one pot full of hot water is not enough to reach the desired temperature use two. Always move the legs slightly to mix the water.

All this takes twenty minutes and by now you’ll probably start feeling feverish and a bit sweaty. This is what we want. Dry your legs taking care to dry between your toes, put the long socks on and go to bed, no matter what time of day it is. Cuddle yourself under double covers up to the neck and don’t give in when you feel you like kicking back the blankets! Remember, “bugs don’t like heat…”. We have created an artificial fever and you want to sweat this out.

If you don’t fall asleep get up after one hour and have a very quick rub-down with a small towel dipped in COLD water, rung out. Get dressed in your pj’s again and go back to bed. This treatment should only be done ONCE a day. Bed rest is compulsory.


Children Love Cold Water

Cold water foot bath

A foot bath with Grandad

Children naturally love water. Playing in the bathtub and not wanting to get out, running around in a summer rain, jumping into puddles and squishing the mud between their toes, wading or sitting in play pools and, best of all, building sand castles running back and forth at the ocean and screaming when mom says “It’s time to get out of the wet bathing suit…” Yes, – mom is right. The nerve endings for detecting the “cold” when it’s too cold have not developed in the skin of children yet. They can take the cold water for a long time, even to the point of turning “blue”. It’s probably nature’s way to protect them but it is also detrimental for their health.
Look at this happy picture of grandfather and child. There is nothing better than cold water to cool down on a hot summer day. Running cold water from your toes up your legs (always start on the right foot, it being the farthest spot from the heart) is wonderfully refreshing. Using a garden hose to do this is even better. What happens in the body?
Warm or hot days make you feel lazy. Why? Because your blood pressure sinks and your energy level declines. The cold water on your legs helps to increase the circulation to the upper body by pushing more blood out of the legs, – to put it simply. It clears your head and you can even see better. Try it!

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