Georg Groddeck

Biography of Georg Groddeck

Georg Groddeck (13 October 1866 Bad Kösen – 10 June 1934 Knonau, near Zurich) was a physician and writer regarded as a pioneer of psychosomatic medicine.

"He who draws the conclusion that I mentally medicate a human who has broken his leg is very true – but I adjust the fracture and dress the wound. And then – I give him a massage, make exercises with him, give a daily bath to the leg with water at 45°C for half an hour and I take care that he does neither gorge nor booze, and every now and then I ask him: Why did you break your leg, you yourself ?"

With such and other methods the German physician Georg Groddeck, who practised in Baden-Baden and was the pathfinder of psychosomatic medicine, astonished his numerous listeners and readers. His therapy connects naturopathic treatment with psychoanalytic, suggestive and hypnotic elements. His foot and arm bath, massages and dietary cuisine are still practised today, although the bold doctrine of salvation, where he mauled his patients, is necessarily quite authoritarian, and a more reserved approach would be judged appropriate today. He said “To provide obedience [is the] foundation of medical art”.

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