Naturopathy has made a welcome return to the field of medicine in recent years. One woman who has carved a niche for herself in this field is Ursula Uhlemayr. Here we find out why this devotee of alternative medicine and author has so many fans of her products around today:
Known for her specially designed and manufactured wraps and pads, naturopath Ursula Uhlemayr aims to gently relieve discomfort and support painful or injured areas on an adult, child or elderly individual through careful wrapping. In doing so, she insist, the body is able to focus on the injured area in an unhindered manner and heal itself.
Made from natural materials such as linen, the wraps Uhlemayr’s company Wickel & Co produce are toxin-free and very easy to apply.
As company founder and current managing director, she said: “We choose all our fabrics very carefully. The style of winding is extremely important, but only if it is carried out with the correct fabric in the first place.”
Material more important than the method…
If colours or printed patterns are applied to any fabrics used by Wickel & Co then these are produced using natural dye to ensure there is no irritation to the skin. This is particularly important with so many allergic conditions around today.
“When the method doesn’t work it’s often because it’s been carried out using an ordinary household cloth and not a piece of fabric specifically produced with healing properties in mind,” added Uhlemayr, who has been practising and lecturing in naturopathic healing techniques for more than three decades now, including currently hosting a daily radio show called Healing with Nature.
“With regard to our own fabrics, for instance, we use organic materials whenever possible. As members of the iVN (International Association for Natural Textiles) that is very important to us as a company.
“You will find that the inner cloth of our wraps, for instance, is always 100 per cent linen. That’s because this is the part of the material that is applied directly to the skin. This is important because it’s a non-irritating material with cooling properties.
“Our 100 per cent cotton handkerchief meanwhile stops the cloth from becoming too damp and ensures the material dries evenly.
“Finally, our two-ply outer fabric contains cotton and natural thermal materials, while the Velcro fasteners ensure the wrap remains intact on whatever body part it is aimed at relieving.”
Encouraging the further take-up of naturopathic medicine
By using the healing wraps at home in their own time Uhlemayr hopes individuals will be encouraged to look into other methods of natural healing. She has already writing several books to encourage the practice. Her latest, Wickel und Auflagen, was written with pharmacist Dietmar Wolz and published by Deutsche Apotheker Verlag.
Her first book, Tried and Rediscovered was published in 1997 and was later translated into Spanish and Hungarian. Another two books followed – including her most recent work to date Wraps and Pads: Advice, Selection and Application which was written in 2015. She intends to add further to her library of titles, however.
Uhlemayr actually began her professional working life working in a pharmacy before incorporating traditional healing methods too, quickly spotting how the two could work perfectly in combination.
A qualification as a nutritionist, with a special interest in infants and young children, quickly followed. She is still interested in helping children and infants heal today but has now also added elderly individuals to her areas of focus.
Certainly, she went on to develop the first-ever beeswax wraps, as well as children’s abdominal and neck wraps. These proved so successful that she was encouraged to register the products with the Patents Office and begin manufacturing them. Today she has a team of 17 dedicated employees and sells to hospitals, as well as pharmacists, midwives and housewives.
A successful lecturer, she also has the ability to introduce her wraps into practitioners of conventional medicine.
The Wickel & Co philosophy
In sticking with her naturopathic philosophy, Uhlemayr believes in the important of relationships – and particularly family (she herself is a mother of two young adults) it’s why she encourages flexible working and allows staff to take a Friday off if they like.
Her full-time, permanent members of staff only work a 32 to 35 hour week, while taking holidays at seasonal times such as Easter and Christmas are positively encouraged. Uhlemayr herself takes an active part in many areas of the business, from product development and design to packaging and advertising. However, as a seasoned traveller she also relies on the staff herself to keep things ‘ticking over nicely’ while she can’t be there herself.
“I am in the office two days a week, giving me time to concentrate on my writing the rest of the time. I have a wonderful team supporting me in my work. I have to travel a lot on business and it means many important decisions are made by my manager,” she said.
“I think that one of my greatest strengths lies in my ability to inspire people and then encourage them to have the confidence to go forth and develop something completely new, that the world has never seen before.
“Certainly, I’ve always been an entrepreneur myself and continually looking to come up with ‘the next best thing’ in naturopathic circles. I’d say that as far as naturopathic wraps go, we’re definitely innovative here at Wickel & Co.”
It is this forever questing spirit that drives Uhlemayr to become not just a leader but a pioneer in her field. And it’s a drive that she passes on to the rest of her team. It is for this reason that here at Business Worldwide Magazine we really can’t think of anyone more special to give the award of CEO of the Year – Healthcare to.