Father of Ancient Hydrotherapy Spa
His Early Years
Born on 17 May 1821 in Stephansried near Ottobeuren, Sebastian Kneipp was the 4th child of a weaver. His childhood, marked by poverty and deprivation, was spent working hard and helping his father at the loom.
In 1846, Kneipp contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. His health continued to deteriorate completely in the spring of 1849. During this difficult times, he drew courage and hope from a book published in 1743 on the “healing powers of water” written by Dr. Johann Siegmund Hahn.
Kneipp would immerse himself in freezing cold waters two or three times a week. In addition, he took half baths and rinses. Amazingly, his health and vital energy were completely restored. However, he continued his cold water treatment and even used it occasionally to treat people; resulting in his nickname “Dr. Hydrophilus”.
In his lifetime, Sebastian Kneipp wrote several books. His most popular, incidentally was also his first, entitled “My Water Cure” documented his remedies which includes herbal remedies and even a specific chapter on ‘energy giving foods’.
In 1890 Sebastian Kneipp met the Würzburg apothecary, Leonhard Oberhäußer. They became close partners and good friends through their shared conviction of doing good using naturopathic medicine and healing remedies. A year later Kneipp entrusted Oberhäußer with the legacy of his lifelong studies and granted him the exclusive rights to develop, produce and sell pharmaceutical, cosmetic as well as dietary products “under the name and with the image of Father Sebastian Kneipp.” Using natural plant essence and other pure ingredients as a base, they created the formulas that till this day constitute the basis for all of Kneipp’s products.
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