Light, air, water

As a passionate advocate of natural medical practice, Felke considered light, air, water and earth to be assisting elements in his treatment.

The most favorable seasons to enjoy a light-and-air bath are the spring and the autumn. In these seasons the human organism is particularly ready to free itself of old spiritual and physical toxins. To this day, many people hold a fast in the spring, not only for religious reasons. Also according to Felke, this season is significantly more effective for detoxification than in the summer.

In the morning, directly after rising, he recommended a cooling sitz bath. This practice stimulates the metabolism as well as the organs of elimination. The cooling wetness ensures good blood circulation and strengthens the immune system. Felke advised going outdoors for the morning sitz bath. He was a fervent advocate of nudity; in his opinion, every piece of clothing impaired the skin's breathing. Today one knows that even the thinnest clothing prevents not so much the "breathing of the skin" as the formation of vitamin D in the skin by sunlight. Vitamin D is important for bone stability and muscle development. Also the immune system, the nervous system and the circulatory system benefit from sufficient vitamin D metabolism in the body. With his prescribed light-and-air baths, Felke unconsciously anticipated today's current scientific state of knowledge.

"From birth to death – do gymnastics with every breath."

Emanuel Felke

After the sitz bath, he recommended rubbing the body dry by hand. This reinforced the effect of the oxygen intake. Being outdoors in turn stimulates the metabolism and facilitates the excretion of detrimental substances via the intestines, skin, and kidneys. Simultaneously, one should breathe particularly deeply, which also promotes the saturation of blood with oxygen. Felke considered taking a sitz bath and light-and-air bath, especially shortly after sunrise and before sunset, the best possibility of developing one's own heat, boosting the circulatory system, and strengthening the immune system. The baths were accompanied by exercises in deep inhaling and exhaling, as well as simple gymnastic exercises.

Today it certainly makes sense to adopt at least parts of the curative program developed by Felke. Many saunas have an outdoor area where one can expose one's whole naked body to air and light.

After awakening in the morning, try breathing deeply and consciously while standing near an opened window for five minutes and take note of the positive effect on your entire organism.

Felke also emphasized the power of one's thoughts. The more the exercises he advocated are performed with concentration and benevolence, the more effective they will be, Felke claimed. Felke believed that frequently thinking about one's own illness and fixation on one's fears and worries are just as detrimental to health as bad nutrition and unhealthy lifestyles. Another component of a healthy lifestyle was a natural sleeping and waking rhythm, according to Felke. Since we are a part of nature, it would do us good to make use of the quiet repose at night and the vitality of the day. Therefore we should try to go to sleep by 10 p.m. and rise around 6 a.m. in the summer and around 7 a.m. in the winter. Furthermore, Felke recommended ample daily exercise in the fresh air.

When was the last time you took a nap on the ground outdoors after a picnic? Can you remember how wonderfully rested you felt afterwards? In these times with the Internet, laptops, tablets and smart phones, contact with the earth has gained significance – perhaps for this reason earth forces and "Mother Earth" are enjoying something of a Renaissance in human consciousness today.

In summary, one can say: The daily time spent unclothed outdoors – no matter whether in sunshine, rain, or snow – a cold sitz bath in the morning, sufficient sleep and a healthy diet as well as positive thoughts were the principles supporting a long and healthy life, according to Felke.

The treatment methods and cures of Emanuel Felke described on this web page and the suggestions for promoting self-healing that are based on them constitute non-binding advice only.

Where complaints are persistent, unclear or newly occurring, a doctor should be consulted, because diseases requiring medical attention may be involved.

Further reference literature

  • Felke E, Rheinfeld M (1916) Handbuch der Felke-Heilweisen.
    Selbstverlag, Köln.
  • Müller A (1911) Pastor Felke und seine Heilmethoden.
    Worms & Lüthgen, Krefeld.
  • Kramer W (1986) Lehmpastor Emanuel Felke.
    Dr. Waldemar Kramer oHG, Frankfurt a. M.
  • Bier E (1925) Der kleine Felke. Selbstverlag, Sobernheim.
  • Bolland A. Pastor Felke.
  • Hevert (2012) Pastor Felke und die Komplexmittelhomöopathie
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