In each newsletter we are presenting a stakeholder - an organisation which in one way or the other is important to CAMbrella.

Kneipp-Bund - supporting voluntary activities related to health

Kneipp-Bund is a non-profit grassroots organisation promoting and supporting voluntary activities and exchange of information related to health - in particular natural therapies, which are a core part of the organisation's history.

- We are members of the CAMbrella Advisory Board because we find it important to exchange data, to network and to share our knowledge within the European CAM community. We want to co-operate with other stakeholders, who have an interest in implementing a holistic approach into medical care, says Kneipp-Bund President Marion Caspers-Merk (Germany).

The organisation is part of an international confederation, Kneipp Worldwide, including Kneipp confederations in Germany, Switzerland and other European countries, as well as associations, institutions and single members from 40 countries altogether. Kneipp-Bund counts 250,000 members in Europe, 160,000 of those in Germany.

- We want to strengthen CAM research, including the Kneipp therapies, in order to enhance the level of scientific proof. And addressing this task, I think CAMbrella can make a difference.

Research requires funding

- Scientific co-operation across the borders is important, and we should be careful not to accept any kind of division with respect to ideas or type of treatment. The challenge these days is also that we need more research on CAM – we want to know what is working and what is not.

- A lot of people say that there is no scientific proof for CAM therapies – but nobody is willing to invest in the research. Thus, in order to obtain this scientific evidence we need to establish a stronger financial structure for the research.

Marion Caspers-Merk is optimistic regarding the future position of CAM within the scientific community.

- We need more focus on the relationship between mind and body if mankind is going to have a healthier future, and this opinion is shared by a growing number of people. And these days it seems that quite a few younger scientists are realising that we can benefit and learn from CAM therapies and theories.

Kneipp-Bund was founded in 1897 by the German priest Sebastian Kneipp. He cured himself from tuberculosis by bathing in the River Danube, and from this experience he later developed a holistic health concept, including the invention of hydrotherapy and phytotherapy.

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Text: Jesper Odde Madsen