Almost every third adult in Germany suffers from high blood pressure. This leads to dangerous secondary diseases – from heart attacks to strokes. Physician Franziska Rubin explains how you can improve your blood pressure in the long term with water.

High blood pressure opens the door to numerous dangerous secondary diseases and must therefore not be left untreated. In addition to antihypertensive drugs, hydrotherapy can help improve blood pressure over the long term. Physician Franziska Rubin explains how the so-called “Kneipp therapy” works in her new book “Simply heal with nature”, which was published by Knaur-Menssana. We present an excerpt from the book:

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The causes of high blood pressure can be summarized briefly and concisely. In addition to possible familial inheritance, there are four main factors that lead to high blood pressure: too little exercise, unhealthy nutrition, obesity and stress. Stress is one of the most important drivers. It puts the sympathetic nervous system in a state of constant excitement. Figuratively speaking, we are constantly in attack or flight mode, which is always accompanied by an increase in blood pressure. The relaxation nerve, the parasympathetic nervous system, hardly gets a chance. With “water games” à la Kneipp you can actually change a lot.

How water works:

Why not take a test for fun and measure your blood pressure in a wide variety of situations: while exercising, cooking, chatting and so on. Do you know when mine is highest? When excited! When I get angry, he goes through the roof. More than with any jog, even if my tongue is hanging out of my throat from the effort. High blood pressure is something like “too much pressure on the boiler”.

This is very helpful in the short term when you want to get really excited, concentrate, exert yourself or win a race. However, if the pressure is permanently too high, our blood vessels suffer, and at some point our heart and brain in particular suffer. Therefore, we should all know our blood pressure. Especially after the menopause, it can sometimes skyrocket. Values ​​measured at rest up to a maximum of 139/89 are okay, but it actually makes sense to do something about your blood pressure from time to time. Naturopathy has a lot to offer, and water of all things was able to show what it’s capable of in a study.

Franziska Rubin is a holistic doctor, TV presenter and bestselling author. Born in Hanover in 1968, the doctor with a doctorate moderated the MDR health magazine “Hauptsache Gesund” once a week from 1998 to 2015. Her special concern is to offer as many people as possible competent advice and help and to inform them about the fascinating possibilities of naturopathy and complementary medicine. After a four-year break, she has been living in Australia on Lake Ammer since mid-2019. Further information at

For the study, 98 patients were selected who were staying at the Bad Wörishofen Clinic for inpatient rehabilitation. All had mild to moderate hypertension and heart disease. The patients went through the usual rehabilitation program for three to four weeks. The only difference: Fifty patients received five to twelve additional Kneipp applications per week and the other 48 none. The “Kneippers” were prescribed cold or cold-blooded arm, knee and thigh affusions as well as treading water in the evening. The estimated circulatory strain per application was comparable to that of normal to brisk walking.

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Conclusion: In both groups, blood pressure dropped during rehabilitation. However, the “water group” was superior in all values, both in terms of the 24-hour blood pressure measurement and what individual measurements revealed during the day and especially at night. Towards the end of rehabilitation, the group with water applications not only showed a lower increase in blood pressure than the control group in the stress test, but also performed better. Also: Patients in the Kneipp group could really go home with less medication – the others could not. The interesting thing about the study is another finding: all applications can be carried out at home without any problems!

In the case of essential hypertension (i.e. permanent high blood pressure without a recognizable cause), the sympathetic nervous system is highly active. This stimulates more special (α-adrenergic) receptors in the vessel walls, to which stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline dock. They constrict the blood vessels and thus increase blood pressure.

Even with cold stimuli, the vessels are initially narrowed. In this case, however, the body’s heat regulation system kicks in immediately and gives the signal: Increase blood circulation in the hypothermic area in order to get back to “operating temperature”! The heat supplied leads to vasodilatation and blood pressure drops. The activity of the stress receptors also decreases. Regular use downregulates these α-adrenergic receptors.

A PDF from FOCUS online – diseases of the cardiovascular system are among the most common in Germany. Even the simplest things can reduce the risk of a heart attack, for example. Our e-paper tells you how to keep your heart and circulation healthy.

Also supply your blood vessels with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. They are built into the vessel walls, among other things, and provide additional elasticity. In addition, they increase the fluidity of the blood. A great source of these fats is our domestic linseed oil or ground linseed. You are well supplied with 2 tablespoons of linseed oil or 30 grams of ground linseed daily.

Regularity is important. Two water applications per day are beneficial. This can be a cold shower on your knees or thighs in the morning and a cold foot bath, treading water or a warm full bath in the evening.

Temperature: 38 to 39 °C. Relaxing additives of lavender or lemon balm increase the effect. Bathing time 15 to 20 minutes maximum. The full bath has a particularly rapid effect on blood pressure and can lower the upper value (systole) by up to 30 mmHg and the lower value (diastole) by around 12 mmHg for several hours. The heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, and the blood has more freedom to flow freely. IMPORTANT: If you suffer from heart disease, you should only take half baths (i.e. water only up to your hips) so that the water pressure does not put a strain on your heart.

For this you need a so-called Kneipp pouring tube, which you connect to the hose. This ensures an evenly bound water jet. But you can also unscrew the shower head to create a similar effect. Run the stream of water from the right little toe on the outside of the leg to a hand’s width above the knee, hold for about 5 to 10 seconds and let the water run down the middle of the leg. Then guide the jet down the inside of the leg. Do the same with the left leg and finally rinse both soles of the feet – starting again on the right side. Don’t dry off, just wipe off the water and put it on or warm up by moving. The best thing to do is first thing in the morning after you get out of bed, or as a finish after your morning shower.

Important: they must be warm beforehand.

This cast is like the extension of the knee cast to the buttocks.

Fill two bowls with plenty of water: one at 18°C ​​and the other at 36°C. Put your legs in the warm water for 5 minutes and then in the cold water for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the procedure. Finally, wipe off the cold water and just dry the soles of your feet. Then put on socks and warm up your body by walking or scurrying straight to bed.

Let’s start on the right arm, the jet should be guided slowly from the right side of the little finger over the back of the hand upwards over the arm to the shoulder and from there flow like a coat over the arm for around 10 seconds. Then it goes back down to the thumb. Then the left arm comes into play as well. Finally, pour your left and right palm over it, done.

A new Japanese study followed 412 adults aged 48 to 87 who initially did not have high blood pressure for eleven years. The level of the stress hormones norepinephrine, adrenaline, dopamine and cortisol as well as signs of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases were recorded four times. Each doubling of stress hormones was associated with a 21 to 31 percent increased risk of high blood pressure. Cortisol seemed to play a special role in this. Because if the level was twice as high, this was even associated with a 90 percent higher risk of heart disease!