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Transformative Travel: Ideal Places to Soak, Shower, and Float

I was wading through icy-cold water — willingly — and it felt great. I wasn’t at a spa with soft candles, pleasing scents, and fluffy robes; I was in an old, windowless tiled room in a hospital-like setting that was worn around the edges in the tiny, tranquil town of Bad Worishofen. I had come to Germany, to the Kneipp Institut in particular, to research hydrotherapy — and I was cold and happy as a clam, for this, in modern times, is where it all began.Father Sebastian Kneipp came to Bad Worishofen, idyllically situated at the foothills of the Alps, as the father confessor to the Dominican convent. As a young man studying theology, he contracted tuberculosis — and managed to cure himself of it. He did this with the help of cold-water baths, barefoot walks in the snow, and a healthy diet, and he went on to document this in his book My Water Cure, published in 1886.A man with a mission, Kneipp was a healer who had a stupendous influence on the hydrotherapy movement (which morphed into naturopathy). Back then, a complete water cure lasted 24 weeks and consisted of many different hydrotherapies. My brief st …

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Mary Bemis is the editor in chief of Journey to Renewal and the founder of

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