The Water Cure (also known as the Kneipp Cure or hydrotherapy) was created in 1816 by a Vincenz Priessnitz, a peasant farmer in Austria. The water cure was later developed and popularized in the 1880s by Father Sebastian Kneipp. It was accepted as part one of many cure-all treatments in the early days of naturopathy. It has since mostly fallen into disfavor.
Treatments include: covering with wet sheets, foot baths (cold or warm), half-baths (cold or warm), whole-baths (cold or warm), head baths, eye baths, vapor (steam) baths, shower-baths, ablutions, bandages, walking barefoot in the snow, and water drinking. Herbal medicine and diet (bran bread or Kneippbrød, soup and mead) are also used.
Diseases and complaints that were claimed to be cured were: abscesses, apoplexy (cerebral hemorrhage), asthma, bed-wetting, bladder diseases, blood decomposition, blood poisoning, vomiting blood, intestinal complaints, bowel inflammation, brain disease, brain inflammation, burns, catarrh, chlorosis (hypochromic anemia), cholera, colic, consumption (tuberculosis), costiveness (constipation), cramps, croup (respiratory viral infection), weakness, delirium tremens, diarrhea, diptheria, dropsy, dysentery, ear diseases, epilepsy, erysipelas (streptococcal dermititis), cataracts, fever, giddiness, gout, hemorrhoids, hoarseness, hypochondriasis, influenza, insanity, kidney problems, knee tumors, lumbago (low back pain), emphysema, melancholy, nervous disorders, perspiration, rheumatism, Saint Vitus's dance (Sydenham's chorea), scarlet fever, sciatica, insomnia, smallpox, stomach acidity, stomach tumors, tetters (various skin diseases), typhus, ulcers, difficulty urinating, vaccination side-effects, and worms.
In modern-day non-woo medicine, the term "hydrotherapy" more often refers to physical therapy done in water.
- ↑ Meine Wasser-Kur, durch mehr als 30 Jahre erprobt und geschrieben zur Heilung der Krankheiten und Erhaltung der Gesundheit by Sebastian Kneipp, Jos. Kösel, 1899.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 My Water-Cure: Tested For More Than 40 Years by Sebastian Kneipp. 3rd English edition translated from the 36th German edition. Jos. Kösel, 1894.
- ↑ Universal Naturopathic Encyclopedia, Directory and Buyers' Guide: Year Book of Drugless Therapy for 1918-19 by Benedict Lust (editor and publisher).