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Kneipp Cure in Lombardy

A panacea present in many wellness centers

Many of you will be aware that the Kneipp Cure is a treatment offered in many wellness centres, but you may not know that the man who invented it – Sebastian Kneipp – was a German priest.

Let's start from the beginning. What is the Kneipp Cure? The treatment involves walking barefoot on river pebbles in order to activate blood flow in the sole of the foot, while alternating jets of cold and hot water reactivate circulation in the lower limbs. Hydrotherapy is effective when accompanied by walking or non-strenuous sports, a balanced diet, physiotherapy and meditation.

The principles of hydrotherapy were discovered by the priest Sebastian Kneipp in 1849, when – suffering from tuberculosis – he decided to try to cure himself by following a method he had read about in a book, which spoke of the benefits of fresh water for the body.

Once cured, Kneipp continued studying in Munich, experimenting with hydrotherapy treatments on ill people. Such was his success that when he became the confessional priest at the Wörishofen monastery, large numbers of people came to be cured for free and soon Wörishofen became a spa town and health hub.

By the end of the 1800s, Kneipp was known all over Europe. He was given an audience with Pope Leo XIII, who granted him the title of "monsignor". Kneipp died in 1897, but his work lives on: there are over 600 Kneipp societies working in Germany to this day.

So where can you try out the Kneipp Cure in Lombardy? Spa tourism is one of the jewels in the region's crown, and although there are no Kneipp societies situated in the area there are several spas and wellness centres offering hydrotherapy treatment inspired by Kneipp's principles. You can try out the Kneipp Cure at spas in Milan, Bormio and Sirmione, as well as Ortensie Medical Spa's Beauty Farm Villa in Sant'Omobono Terme.

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