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The home of biological medicine

The home of biological medicine

The Paracelsus Clinic is the leading center for alternative medicine in Europe.  Founded over 50 years ago near St. Gallen, Switzerland, it attracts patients from all over the world, and teaches the methods of its “biological medicine” to physicians everywhere.  The Clinic has an international network of affiliated doctors who rely on us for their most difficult cases.

The Clinic is named after Paracelsus, the father of alternative medicine, a Swiss doctor and scientist who was a medical revolutionary 500 years ago.  Because of the legacy he created, Switzerland is the only country in the world that enshrines access to alternative medicine in its national constitution as a basic human right.

Led by Dr. Thomas Rau for the last 25 years, the Clinic offers patients an extraordinary set of resources. The medical staff includes eight doctors, three dentists and over 40 therapists and nurses whose wisdom and experience is unsurpassed. The medical staff’s training is both traditional and alternative, and they work together collegially to ensure personalized patient care.  The Clinic’s diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are highly innovative, including many available only at Paracelsus, with cutting-edge technology. The healing experience for patients is comprehensive, including treatment, diet, lifestyle and mind/body medicine.

Early history

The Paracelsus Clinic was founded 58 years ago by Dr. Walter Winkelmann, a renowned naturopath with a vision to make Switzerland the center of a revolution in medical care.

Dr. Winkelmann also formed the Swiss Naturopathic Society, and was eventually awarded an honorary M.D. in recognition of his contributions to the Swiss medical community.

After his death, Dr. Winkelmann’s daughters, both of whom were M.D.’s, took over management of the Clinic.  They expanded the medical and therapeutic staff and the Clinic continued to grow.

The Clinic faced a critical turning point when it was time for the Winkelmann daughters to retire.  Fortunately, Dr. Thomas Rau, already a young lion of the next generation, was willing to take over leadership of Paracelsus.

Growth under Dr. Rau

Arriving as Medical Director in 1992, Dr. Rau’s vision was to build the Clinic into an international center for a new system of medicine, which he called “biological medicine”.

In biological medicine, the focus is on understanding the underlying causes of illness, relieving them through natural methods, then helping the body build up its immune and regulatory forces.  Dr. Rau has continuously improved his methods, so that today biological medicine includes a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic methods.

One of Dr. Rau’s first innovations was that medicine and dentistry must be combined to restore health to the patient.  Early on, he recognized that virtually every patient had an oral health problem that contributed to his illness.  For this reason, Paracelsus has built a state of the art dental treatment facility, including its own laboratory.

Dr. Rau has also led the expansion of the Clinic in several directions.  First, he recruited and personally trained the medical staff.  Second, he drove the innovation of diagnostic and therapeutic methods.  Third, he has directed the expansion of the Clinic’s capacity and physical campus.  Finally, he has managed the Clinic’s outreach programs to expand the availability of biological medicine around the world.

Paracelsus Academy

Dr. Rau has always made his ideas and methods available to any practitioner who wants to learn biological medicine.  He founded the Paracelsus Academy to formalize this training.  Today the Academy offers certification in biological medicine through courses and seminars offered at the Clinic, at locations in America and Asia, and on-line.  Attendees become part of the international network of practitioners who advocate biological medicine and assist the Clinic’s patients with follow-on care once they return home.

The patient experiences

The Paracelsus campus includes five buildings, which accommodate over 8,000 outpatients a year.  Patients enjoy a comprehensive healing experience, one that includes an on-site restaurant and coordination of their diet with local hotels.  Despite the scale of its resources, the Clinic gives each patient individualized attention and care, including almost daily meetings with their lead doctor.  Patients come from all over the world – over 85 countries to date – to find hope and progress that they can’t find anywhere else.