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To date, there is no clearly valid definition for order therapy. It is a requirement for a healthy lifestyle and thus the basis of all naturopathic therapies. Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC), the famous Greek doctor of antiquity, already spoke of how important a healthy lifestyle is for people. Sebastian Kneipp (1821 - 1897) presented order therapy as one of the five pillars of his therapy system. This includes water, medicinal plants, exercise, nutrition and the order of life, also called order therapy. This form of therapy also plays a major role for Max Bircher-Benner (1867 - 1939). He described a healthy lifestyle essential for the success of all healing methods.
Abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098 - 1179) was already familiar with the concept of order therapy. She placed them on six pillars. Everyone should therefore pay attention to the following: natural needs, properties of the food, adequate sleep, balance between exercise and rest, natural mechanisms of elimination, balance of the mind.
The conscious lifestyle
For the therapies of the pastor Kneipp, but also for all other naturopathic therapies, a healthy lifestyle forms the basis for health and well-being. This includes conscious experience of nature with all its rhythms such as the seasons, the moon and the daily routine, regular sleep and wake rhythm, balance of work and leisure, regular food intake, responsible use of luxury foods, healthy, balanced, moderate nutrition, lots of exercise in the fresh air, active leisure activities and maintaining social contacts. All these components are part of a conscious lifestyle or fall under the generic term of order therapy.
It is also important to mention the relaxation methods such as yoga, meditation, autogenic training, breathing exercises and Qi Gong, which are also part of order therapy.
Different authors comment
Various authors commented on the subject of order therapy in the years 1980 to 2003. Here are a few examples:
Wolfgang Brüggeman quotes Kneipp, who described order therapy as a “new way of life”. Hans Dieter Henschel describes it as a relationship of order, in both physical and psychological areas. Victor Harth defines this form of therapy as returning man to his order and calls it the basis of all naturopathic treatments. For Robert M. Bachmann, order therapy is the umbrella term for relaxation techniques such as autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson and respiratory therapy. In the Pschyrembel, the medical lexicon, the term is defined as follows: The order therapy contains suggestions and help for an orderly lifestyle and this on the basis of naturopathic experiences. These include procedures for restoring mental order, such as logotherapy.
Bircher-Benner and order therapy
Maximilian Bircher-Benner acted from his own experience. He repeatedly suffered from sleep disorders during his medical studies. For this reason, he organized his daily routine in a very structured manner and made a precise plan, which included breathing exercises, for example, which he always carried out at a specific time. At the time, he was certain that this self-control, this rhythmic daily routine, would bring him back to sleep.
Bircher-Benner divided the order therapy into nine regulatory laws. He called the whole thing a "therapeutic order". These included the following laws: organization law of nutrition, equilibrium law of nutrition, economy law, mouth law (sufficient chewing), regulation law of the skin organ, regulation law of the lungs, regulation law of the relationship to gravity, regulation law of the rhythm of life and the regulation law of soul life. For Bircher Benner, illness arose from a kind of disorder, a disturbance of the periodicity in connection with body and soul. For him, the order of healing was extremely important. Bircher Benner opened a sanatorium in which the patients had to find their way through a variety of rules. The environment of the sick, the responsible staff - all of this was important to him in order to be able to cure patients. Order therapy was not a form of therapy, but a concept for a healthy lifestyle and at the same time the expression of holism, the interplay of body, soul and spirit.
However, today it is different. Ordinary therapy is still not a therapy in the sense of a healing method, but it is no longer to be seen as a superordinate one, but is the basis of all naturopathic therapies. If those affected oppose any healthy lifestyle, the naturopathic treatments carried out become little or no Bring success.
The natural rhythms
Especially in today's stressful and sometimes chaotic times, order therapy is more important than ever. The natural rhythms that most people have lost are becoming increasingly important. Humans are moving further and further away from their actual biological rhythm. The reasons for this are the increased work without daylight, the rapid change of different time zones - made possible by traveling on the plane - and the manipulation of the natural menstrual rhythm by taking hormones.
Excessive stress, permanent overstimulation and emotional conflicts focus more and more on the "outside", whereby the withdrawal, the relaxation, the "going inside" is increasingly suppressed. This leads not only to ailments, but also to illnesses. This is where order therapy intervenes, which tries to bring life back into balance.
Much cannot be changed immediately or not completely, but one or the other can be built into your own life and thus improve your health. In holistic medicine nowadays, order therapy is the basis for healing. However, the patient should be ready for this. Life may need to be reconsidered, diet changed and various new, fixed rhythms and rituals integrated into everyday life.
The Mind Body Medicine
Somewhat prettier, with an English name, Mind Body Medicine is based on the findings of the "old" order therapy. Translated freely, this can be called "mind-soul-body medicine". This means taking your own health seriously, taking good care of yourself and your body. To do this, you may first have to “clean up” your head. Old established behavior patterns are reconsidered, the diet is changed and those affected have to get involved in the changes such as regular gymnastics exercises in the morning or the daily evening stroll.
Integrative medicine unites conventional medicine and naturopathy. This is where Mind Body Medicine has its place: mindfulness, relaxation, awareness of your own body and lifestyle changes. The inner attitude of perceiving yourself and listening to your own belly is the beginning. Affected people are encouraged to avoid everything that makes them sick. This is linked to relaxation methods, moderate, individual exercise concepts and a healthy diet. This modern order therapy aims to integrate procedures into everyday life that reduce stress in order to develop a healthier lifestyle over time. In this way, the self-healing powers can work again, which is particularly important in naturopathy.
It has long been known that permanent stress harms the body and that a wide variety of diseases develop from it. Many people can no longer really relax - they have forgotten how to do this and are unable to relax in their free time or on vacation. These patients should definitely learn to plan and regularly enjoy time out.
Modern order therapy includes healthy eating, exercise, balance of tension and relaxation, coping with stress, cognitive reorientation, social support and help from naturopathy. In short - order therapy is important to bring the mind, soul and body back into balance, which in turn is a prerequisite for the success of holistic healing treatment.
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Gustav Dobos, Anna Paul: Mind Body Medicine - Integrative Concepts for Resource Strengthening and Lifestyle Change, Urban & Fischer Verlag / Elsevier GmbH, 1st edition, 2011
- Max Bircher-Benner: Laws of Order, Edition Bircher-Benner Verlag, 2014
- Anna Paul: Mind-Body Medicine - a modern order therapy, (accessed October 14, 2019), MGO