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    • On average, the human body consists of 67% water. It is therefore not surprising that water also plays a decisive role in terms of health.

      The beneficial warmth of moor, fango and mud was discovered early on. Mud baths were documented as a natural remedy as early as the 14th century.

      The climate has long had a major influence on well-being. Those seeking relaxation are most likely to find it in an environment with a balanced temperature and constant humidity.

      Kneipp cures are probably among the best-known water treatments. However, Kneipp therapy also includes nutrition, herbs, exercise and inner balance in addition to the water pillar.

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A passion that is not for the faint-hearted

They couldn't be more different, but they all have the same passion: Sebastian Kneipp's health philosophy. Ingrid Schmidt, Herbert Schötz and Alexandra Limberger from Bad Dürrheim.

Ingrid Schmidt

When she appears, the lights go on, no matter where you are standing. And she is only 80 years young and is bursting with energy and vitality: Ingrid Schmidt.

The co-founder of the Kneipp Association in Bad Dürrheim says that she came into contact with Kneipp at a very early age: "From 1927 onwards, my grandfather took a cure every year in Pastor Kneipp's "Mecca" of Bad Wörishofen. I also visited the Godfather Hotel in Dillingen an der Donau with my brother during the school holidays. The place where Pastor Kneipp successfully cured his tuberculosis in a self-experiment. For us children, the Danube was a popular and interesting playground."

Ingrid Schmidt in the snow Photo: Klaus Lang
In addition to her involvement with the Kneipp Association, she lovingly looks after the "Kneipp'sche Bücherstüble", a small log cabin in the spa gardens. She also looks after the Kneipp herb garden and is involved in the Kneipp kindergarten. Then she tells me her insider tip: "For years I have started my day at 6 a.m. by treading dew, in winter by treading snow and a cold face shower or a snow rub on my face in my garden. I immediately notice the intensive blood circulation in my face and feet, which is noticeable throughout my entire body." After this refreshing daily ritual, Ingrid Schmidt lies down in bed for another hour and then starts the rest of the day fresh and alert.

Herbert Schötz

Herbert Schötz, who has two years more life experience than Ingrid Schmidt, is in no way inferior. The medical Kneipp bath attendant is the original Kneipp idea in Bad Dürrheim. The masseur managed the therapy and bathing department of Kur- und Bäder GmbH for 30 years. He played a key role in setting up the spa center in the 1980s and helped to build up the entire Kneipp department. He later completed training as a Kneipp health educator in Bad Wörishofen. A man of action, active in the Kneipp Association from the very beginning and still involved in campaigns and topics relating to Kneipp in Bad Dürrheim.
Herbert Schötz is in the winter of Schneebad Photo: Klaus Lang

When the 82-year-old is not busy with Kneipp's legacy, you can find him at the airport. Gliding and motor flying are his second passion. He recently passed the health tests to renew his pilot's license with ease. He whispers to me: "By the way, if you want to be as fit as a fiddle into old age, then I recommend my homemade herb and garlic magic potion. It keeps your blood vessels and your brain fit. But the recipe is a secret," jokes the Franconian native.

His daily Kneipp routine: alternating showers every day, treading dew or, in winter, snow walking or “snow bathing” with snow rubs, at least one sauna visit per week with all kinds of cold water applications and consistent endurance training on the bike and on foot in the woods.

Alexandra Limberger

She is following in the footsteps of Ingrid and Herbert with great commitment: Alexandra Limberger. The chairwoman of the Kneipp Association is a convinced biohacker and is impressed by the "Biohacking Bad Dürrheim" project. Biohacking is the latest baby of the health town. The people of Bad Dürrheim call it "Kneipp next level". It's not just about cold showers, but ice baths. It makes me shiver just listening to it. So it's not for the faint-hearted.
Alexandra Limberger taking a soothing arm bath Photo: Klaus Lang

Alexandra Limberger talks enthusiastically about her daily vitality shower: "I can't do anything without my morning cold full-body shower with the shower hose and a cold water shower afterwards. And going to the sauna once a week is also obligatory. Lots of exercise in nature with Nordic walking followed by an arm bath in the Kneipp fountain are also part of my daily routine. A healthy, raw food-based low-carb diet is also important to me. This includes healthy herbal teas and the right inner attitude to life, the Kneipp way of life." You can see that in the mother of three and nature-loving entrepreneur. She lives what she says and passes it on directly to her children. They all grew up in a forest kindergarten and learned from Mother Nature from the very beginning, in the spirit of Sebastian Kneipp.

Three people with one passion: to further develop the Kneipp health philosophy in the triple-rated spa town. You can literally feel it in the three Kneippians, the motto of the Kneipp spa town: "Where new strengths grow every day".

Text: Dr. Nicolaus Prinz

Spas and health resorts in Baden-Württemberg