Dornbracht has been a longstanding figure within kitchen and bath design, and with the bathroom’s growing role as a wellness sanctuary in the home, the company has been growing out its set of products focused on hydrotherapy. Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with the team at Dornbracht to learn more about the company’s current direction and understand the role of hydrotherapy in the world of wellness a little bit more. Our discussion is as follows:
Nick Boever (NB): What prompted you to step into the wellness industry?
Dornbracht: As a manufacturer for high end kitchen and bathroom fixtures we started asking ourselves what is it that our consumer really needs? Most of our clients live a hectic lifestyle, always surrounded by people and under a lot of pressure and stress. Privacy is becoming this higher form of luxury. The bathroom is the only place where we have full privacy.
We asked ourselves – How can we further develop the bathroom to meet modern demands of the luxury consumer? Personal wellness is becoming more and more important especially due to the recent events which is why Dornbracht saw a need to turn the bathroom into a place of retreat to rediscover bodies, minds, souls.
NB: Can you give us a bit of a background on hydrotherapy?
Dornbracht: One of the first people to discover the real benefits of water therapy was Sebastian Kneipp. In 1846, while in secondary school, Kneipp fell ill. Then in 1849, and by chance, Kneipp discovered a book by Johann Siegmund Hahn on the healing power of cold water.
Fascinated by the book’s contents, Kneipp performed an experiment on himself in the cold waters of the Danube River. After wading for a few seconds, Kneipp felt fresh and invigorated. He repeated the process over several days’ time and began supplementing wading with half-baths and affusions.
As a result, his state of health continually improved. Then, he began treating other people suffering from TB and other respiratory illnesses. At the time of his death in 1897, Kneipp had published multiple books on holistic health concepts and was treating hundreds of people a day.
Tapping into traditional Chinese Medicine treatments such as acupressure, acupuncture, and tai chi are the most common approaches to creating a physical balance and preventing health problems. The Chinese healing art of acupressure uses applied pressure to specific target areas of the body to relieve common ailments or discomforts.
Based on this concept, manufacturers have created healthiness solutions that take a modern approach to acupressure and its benefits – Aqua-pressure.
NB: How does hydrotherapy work then?
Dornbracht: The skin is the body’s largest organ, and according to recent research done by Dr. Claudia Aguirre at UCLA, our skin is deeply connected to the brain. It is densely populated by nerves and can greatly contribute to hormone production, it even has cells sensitive to light and sound that can help tell help ascertain time, which we know as our circadian clock. This is how the body knows night from day and why skincare regimens react differently at various times of the day.
Pulling from the same principles used in acupressure therapy, aqua-pressure can help refresh and activate circulation and metabolism while aiding in greater mobility by targeting specific points on the body. Using pressure to relieve tension in your muscles enables the body to relax. The Aquapressure technique targets energy lines to aid in fatigue, headache relief, and muscle relaxation.
So, taking all that into account, let’s look at a cold-water leg affusion as an example: starting at the toes, the water is worked up the leg to the outer thigh. Then, moving slowly up the exterior of the thigh, it hits the pelvis before slowly moving down the inner thigh. Each leg should last approximately 40 seconds and be done an hour or two before going to bed.
With regular applications, the cold leg affusion treatment can help to boost the body’s natural defenses and immune system. It also speeds-up metabolism and helps to prevent vein problems.
NB: What goes into developing these types of systems?
Dornbracht: For our products, we work closely and continuously with experts and progressive thinkers who specialize in the areas of Kneipp therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and research into well-being.
Their knowledge and expertise are incorporated into our product solutions, all our treatments can be easily customized or added onto existing shower applications to fit client needs.
NB: With the topic of sustainability on everyone’s minds nowadays, what measures are your company taking to address these issues?
Dornbracht: There a variety of measures we take with regards to sustainability across our products. First, all our materials are 100% recyclable and use zero toxic chemicals in their composition. In addition, we are constantly researching and implementing new technologies to reduce water consumption across our fixtures. That has led to a 70% reduction in water usage compared to traditional faucets and showerheads. Finally, we work to offset 100% of our CO2 emissions as a climate neutral company.
NB: Before we finish up, is there anything new in store for your offerings?
Dornbracht: Yes, of course we are very excited for 2022 and beyond! We launched a new line of Touchless infrared and in early April, we’ll showcase new rain showers.