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200 years of Sebastian Kneipp - a reason to celebrate and to remember his view of health


Kempten - “Spirituality, a key to health?” Representatives from medicine, psychology and theology spoke about this on World Mental Health Day.

Kempten - “Spirituality, a key to health?” Representatives from medicine, psychology and theology spoke about this on World Mental Health Day.

»Don't forget my soul!« The appeal of the famous hydrotherapist, naturopath and priest Sebastian Kneipp would probably be joined by all those involved in the discussion, which was initiated on October 10 by the Kneipp Association Kempten eV in cooperation with the Catholic Adult Education Kempten / Oberallgäu (KEB) became.

“Spirituality, a key to health?” Was the topic that - fittingly on “World Mental Health Day” - was discussed with representatives from the fields of medicine, psychology and theology.

Drs. Med.

Anette and Peter Bau invited, the qualified psychologist Katharina Babl represented the psychology division, the head of the Protestant dean's office, Jörg Dittmar, spoke for theology.

The event was moderated by Ida-Anna Braun, the 1st chairwoman of the Kneipp Association Kempten eV.

What is Spirituality - What is Health?

Spirituality and health - two big terms that had to be defined first.

All participants in the discussion could identify with the declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) of health as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being" and not just the "absence of illness or infirmity".

The definition of spirituality turned out to be more complex: worldview and inner reality, reference to a reality greater than one's own ideas and desires, the recognition that there is more than one reality of its own, and, according to Friedrich Schleiermacher, “sense and taste for the infinite “Were some suggestions.

The interviewees agreed that a spiritual or optimistic approach to life could be beneficial for health: Spiritual people are more likely to put things into perspective, to classify themselves in the encounter with fellow human beings, the fate of their own existence.

Spirituality promotes humility in a positive sense, which in turn helps to come to peace with oneself.

Order in the meaning of classification and the resulting feeling of connectedness promote well-being.

Change in the Church

According to the tenor, however, one should by no means draw the opposite conclusion and blame people or their spirituality for physical illnesses.

At this point the dean threw in that there was not enough champagne in all the cellars to celebrate the way the “church chiefs” dealt with Covid 19: For the first time in the history of the church, a major epidemic was not described as a punishment from God!

There is a consensus that this is the danger of spirituality: abuse is often carried out in its name or attempts are made to make people submissive.

A clear separation of science and spirituality was then unanimously advocated.

It is certainly not possible to comprehensively clarify the question of the connection between spirituality and health in two hours - whether a mindfulness exercise initiated by Braun or an explanation of the Kneipp philosophy was a must remains to be seen.

Kneipp as current as ever

The participants in the conversation could have argued about the statement by Dean Dittmar that religion is an indispensable “instrument” of spirituality.

On the other hand, there was agreement that Kneipp's findings have lost none of their topicality today, and that tapping into one's own sources of strength through stimulating activities is an important building block for physical and mental health.

With this in mind, Ida-Anna Braun suggested a “pack singing”.

And so at the end of the discussion, accompanied by the dean at the piano, the song: "The moon has risen."

Cordula Meffert

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-10-13

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