Stay fit and healthy with the power of water
We have devoted our attention to the element of water for more than 60 years, so we know a great deal about its beneficial and health-enhancing effect. With this knowledge, expanded by experts in Kneipp therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have developed products that make it possible to enjoy beneficial and revitalising water applications in the comfort of your own home.
Whether health is now a megatrend or arguably one of the most important principles of personal happiness makes no difference: it was already common knowledge in ancient times that water can help to maintain or recover good health. The “ancient Romans” were really crazy about fresh water and constructed the most sophisticated architectural systems to get it to flow into their cities, sometimes from a long way away. One of the reasons for this was to supply their thermal baths – inventing the “spa” concept almost by accident. It was perhaps their most successful invention, because hydrotherapy and water applications are still helping many people throughout the world sustain good health and well-being.
Water: an important contribution to well-being and vital energy
“Water applications – even if simply used at home – can enhance a health-conscious lifestyle in a variety of ways – not just with regard to physical fitness, but also as far as mental performance and vital energy are concerned.”, says Andreas Dornbracht. Applications such as affusions, contrast showers, relaxing baths or water massages augment an individual’s personal health strategy and in the long term, make an important contribution to improving well-being and boosting vital energy. Below we present some water applications from Kneipp therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the health-enhancing effects of which have been known about for a really long time.
Kneipp and Traditional Chinese Medicine: the health pioneers of their age
Kneipp therapy is a recognised holistic approach that acts on body, mind and soul in a healing or preventive way – and one of its mainstays is water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy. Not only does it strengthen the body’s natural defences and the cardiovascular system, it gives the blood vessels a good workout and boosts the metabolism, leading to a balanced autonomic nervous system. Sebastian Kneipp was a catholic priest living in southern Germany in the nineteenth century who devised a holistic concept from what were to some extent familiar applications.
Affusions: the key element of Kneipp hydrotherapy
The leg affusion firms the skin and has the effect of lowering blood pressure, relaxing and encouraging sleep. It is best applied after a demanding day, one or two hours before going to bed. Start from the outside of the right foot at the toes and direct the stream of cold water up the outside of the right leg to the groin; after remaining there for a while, move back down again on the inside of the leg. Treat the left leg in the same way. Used regularly, the cold leg affusion can help to strengthen the body’s natural defences and immune system, as well as boosting the metabolism and preventing vein problems.
Arm affusions also have an invigorating effect, especially in cases of low blood pressure. They can be carried out at any time of day and should take about 30 seconds. Start on the outside of the right hand pouring cold water slowly up the arm as far as the shoulder. After remaining there for a while, move back down again slowly along the inside of the arm. After this is repeated on the left arm, the cold arm affusion activates the circulation, having the effect of aiding concentration and if used regularly, helping to boost the immune system.
A refreshing facial affusion can be carried out at any time and have a truly miraculous effect. It only takes about 30 seconds, firms the skin and encourages blood flow. Start on the right once more, pouring cold water downwards and back upwards again in straight lines over the cheek, three times in all. After repeating this on the left side, direct the stream of water over the forehead three times and then three times around the face. The cold facial affusion can help with tiredness, tension headaches or incipient migraines, also having a calming effect in cases of nervousness or rapid heartbeat.
The shower as a component of Kneipp hydrotherapy
Hot, cold, hot, cold: contrast showers revitalise, boost the immune system and get the day off to a flying start. To round off the daily shower ritual, after the hot water has been running for about one minute, follow this by about 10 seconds of cool or cold water and repeat the sequence, ending the shower with cold water. The contrast shower has many positive effects. It stabilises the circulation, has a balancing effect on both raised and low blood pressure and also has a calming effect on nervousness and stress. Used regularly, it strengthens the body’s natural defences and helps ward off infection. Ultimately it gives the blood vessels in the skin a good workout – a bonus for firm skin.
A cold shower is helpful for regeneration after sport and quickly refreshes the body and the mind – particularly in summer, it is the ideal way to round off the daily shower ritual. A few seconds at a cool or cold temperature are enough to achieve a positive and refreshing effect. Getting used to a cold shower takes time and should be a slow and gradual process. A cold shower has a stimulating effect on blood flow, circulation and metabolism. In the long term, it strengthens the body’s natural defences and general physical constitution.
The sauna shower gives the blood vessels a good workout, it stimulates the circulation and metabolism and has a stabilising effect on the autonomic nervous system – perfect for cooling down after every sauna session. Ideally, this starts outdoors, by breathing in and out deliberately and deeply. Then a selective cold stimulus is delivered with the cascade spray set cool to cold and not too powerful. Start at the feet, directing the flow of water slowly upwards towards the heart, followed by the arms, moving from the hands towards the shoulders. After the rest of the body has been given a cold shower, the body should be warmed up again, to prevent a cold.
Foot bath: Kneipp therapy with that special wellness factor
The foot bathis where Kneipp and wellness become particularly close – not only is it good for the feet, the entire body benefits. Hot only, cold only, or alternating hot and cold: selective temperature stimuli have a positive impact on the circulation, metabolism and nervous system. The foot bath strengthens the immune system and is helpful for relieving chronically cold feet, in cases of insomnia and for relieving headaches. It raises blood pressure, stabilises the circulation and encourages blood flow. To make bathing the feet a holistic experience, we have developed FOOTBATHATT, with special water jets, different flow modes, comfort functions and pre-programmed Signature Treatments.
From acupresssure to aquapressure: TCM 2.0
Water massage uses massage jets for the selective stimulation of pressure points and meridians. We have called this application “aquapressure”, as it takes its inspiration from acupressure, the tried and tested method used in Traditional Chinese Medicine – the “gentle” form of acupuncture, it is a key element of the art of healing developed in China more than 2,000 years ago. “Aquapressure harmonises muscle tone and has a positive effect on the perception of pain”, says Christoph Stumpe, experienced TCM therapist and founder and head of the famous Shen Men Institute. He worked closely together with us to develop the new massage jets and explains their effects. “The flow of blood through the muscles intensifies, stimulating the flow of energy and aiding mobility. Tension and stress melt away and the body’s natural defences are activated.”
Aquapressure for effective and healing water massages
The harmonising neck massage massages and loosens the neck muscles, harmonises the senses and conveys a feeling of security – it is best enjoyed after sport or to restore balance at the end of a long day. Keeping the chin on the chest, the neck and shoulders can enjoy 5 to 6 minutes in lukewarm to warm water at a light to moderate intensity by moving the body into the massage flow and raising the head to move it back out, rocking the body gently to and fro. Harmonising fragrances such as cedarwood, rose or sage assist the balancing effect of this massage shower.
A relaxing back massage brings about a thorough loosening of the back muscles, can ease deep-seated tension and quieten the stream of thought – in the evening, for example, to wind down and switch off after a stressful day. A hot and intense massage flow only takes 1 to 2 minutes to relieve tenseness in the back, with swaying from side to side bringing the best results. Putting both hands behind the head and leaning back slightly can be beneficial in bringing relief.
A revitalising back massage loosens and activates the back and neck muscles, drives away tiredness and dispenses new energy – ideally in the morning, to start the day feeling positive and invigorated. At a moderate to light intensity and warm to hot temperature, the stream of water massages and revitalises the neck and shoulders for 4 to 5 minutes. A relaxed, still posture will help to consciously summon up new energy for body and mind. Activating fragrances such as lemon grass, ginger or mint boost the invigorating effect of this massage shower. To round things off, vigorously rub the body with a towel and run through two or three gentle exercises – such as Qigong, Yoga, Pilates or keep fit.
Our individual preventive healthcare concept: LifeSpa
Holistically planning and furnishing a bathroom to encourage a healthy and preventive lifestyle – at home in the bathroom or home spa or in an exclusive hotel and wellness environment. To realise this vision, we integrate health-enhancing water applications in a flexible and modular architecture that is adapted to individual needs. We call it LifeSpa.
We assist developers, architectures and planners
Whether mini-spa or spacious wellness area: What is the best way to realise a LifeSpa in your own home? Here we assist developers, architects and planners with expertise and planning tools – taking the individual floor plan into account, we offer advice on choosing the right products, with regard to zoning, applications and materials and even the ideal mood lighting.