Facial Diagnostics, Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow

Today, there is much greater awareness of facial diagnostics than there was some 50 or even 100 years ago. This might sound encouraging at first glance but quite a different picture emerges when we take a second – and closer – look.

Over the years, serious mistakes have crept in, rendering no service to either biochemistry or facial diagnostics. The health benefits offered by this form of therapy have no doubt been recognized by a large number of people but they have not all completely understood their full scope. I would like to warn against the idea of business exploitation by marketing strategists and theoreticians who seem to lack basic therapeutic experience in dealing with the sick and needy.

For all that, everything started off on a very hopeful note 130 years ago. Let us go back to the early days of facial diagnostics.

Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Schuessler, the founder of biochemical healing devoted a whole chapter to facial diagnostics in his book, “Eine Abgekürzte Therapie” (A Shortened Therapy). He intuitively already understood the basic structure of this method and gave precise and practical instructions for learning this kind of diagnosis by way of self-study. Moreover, he described the extraordinary effects that could be elicited with biochemistry when it was prescribed in accordance with facial diagnostics.

Kurt Hickethier took up Schuessler‘s basic thoughts and from 1910 on, untiringly and with great dedication, he undertook research on facial diagnostics. It took him a good decade before he went public with his findings. Hickethier implemented facial diagnostics with great success for the first time in 1921 during “large-scale trials” in Halle on Saale. He was a co-founder of the local biochemical association there. Facial diagnostics drew people like a magnet and captivated thousands in a short space of time. The number of members of the biochemical association rose to approximately 10,000 members within one year.

But then difficulties followed in rapid succession. Envy and intrigues made life difficult for him, so, finally turning his back on the association and its parent organization, he dedicated himself to working independently and in seclusion.

In the following years and decades, he studied facial diagnostics down to the last detail. In this way, valuable descriptions of the characteristics of the individual facial diagnostic signs came into being and have remained singular and groundbreaking right up to the present day. To this day, Hickethier‘s findings have continued to be taken up and disseminated in all publications on facial diagnostics by all manner of authors. Everything that has been published or said about facial diagnostics since 1925, stems directly or indirectly from Kurt Hickethier.

In the course of this, however, it is inevitable that in the one or other case there have been mistakes made in the heat of the battle and these mistakes were propagated – and still are being propagated -without their authors’ actually wishing to do harm to the cause.

To illustrate: The big mistake of thinking that facial diagnostics can be learned with the aid of a photograph came into being. But facial diagnostics can never be learned using pictures, no matter how beautiful they may look. Current photographic and printing technologies are light-years away from reproducing colours or sheen in a completely natural manner. Photography books are tend to create a false impression of facial diagnostics. Most notably, they restrict the scope of facial diagnostics to an enormous extent.

The individual facial diagnostic signs are expressed in altered skin colourations, different kinds of sheen and structural changes to the skin. These signs can best be studied on living human beings and when good daylight conditions prevail. Under these conditions, for example, it is quite easy to delineate the individual types of sheen that are of significance when a facial diagnosis is being made and to differentiate between them. But just try to see the difference between a gelatinous gloss and a fatty gloss or any other type of sheen with the help of a photograph and then to transfer these findings to a living human being. With today’s photographic technology that is virtually impossible!

The only things a photograph can reproduce fairly well are certain structural changes to the skin. However, they play a more subordinate role in facial diagnostics. From a holistic perspective, photographs of structural changes to facial skin cannot be applied in a way that is fruitful to any great degree. The more important facial diagnostic signs are colourations and sheen!

The use of photographs will inevitably put facial diagnostics on the wrong path! The damage resulting from an inaccurate facial diagnosis is immeasurable because logically, it will entail a false prescription of mineral salts. In turn, the impact of the prescription will be deficient!

If therapies fail to result in radical success, facial diagnostics and biochemistry will soon fall out of favour and at the end of the day there will be disappointment and rejection or, additional supporting measures will be resorted to, so as to more or less to reach the desired goal, if not indeed even conventional medicine has to be called in to have its triumph. That is why for every serious therapist, the reliable identification of the deficiencies that are written in the face should be the uppermost priority.

Kurt Hickethier himself already attached great importance to conscientious propagation of facial diagnostics but above all to the high quality of training. Only particularly qualified students who had completed the six-year training course at his school of facial diagnostics (Sonnerschule in Ellrich/Südharz) were authorised to call themselves “Sonner”. The term “Sonner” means ” bringer of the sun” and is closely related to the old German term “Gesonntheit”, or, in contemporary German, “Gesundheit” = “health”. Only a “Sonner” was authorised to give training courses in facial diagnostics. Up to this day, the Naturopathy Centre in Kemmenau near Koblenz applies and teaches this kind of facial diagnostics, in keeping with Hickethier’s high quality standards.

Faithful co-workers assisted Hickethier in his work and research with all their power. The Depke sisters were his closest assistants from the 1930s onwards. They were “Sonner” Hermine Depke, later named Pfotenhauer (1903 – 1949), “Sonner” Luise Depke (1905 – 2986) and “Sonner” Charlotte Depke (1907 – 1998). They were the only ones to remain faithful to Hickethier after he was banned for political reasons from practising his profession. Hickethier subsequently suffered dispossession under the Soviets and fled from the Soviet occupation sector. Together, Hickethier and his assistants worked hard to rebuild a sound foundation so that they would be able to implement facial diagnostics and biochemistry for the good of humanity. On 2 February 1958, shortly before completion of the new centre in Kemmenau, Kurt Hickethier passed away. Luise and Charlotte Depke continued his life’s work, remaining true to his principles.

In 1959, at the age of four, I myself came to Kemmenau to live with my two aunts Luise and Charlotte Depke (my father’s sisters). I had always been in poor health and had undergone every feasible therapy, but to no avail. So I was to grow up there and later be adopted by Charlotte Depke. It was quite natural that I grew up infused with Schuessler’s and Hickethier’s knowledge. At an early age, I made the decision to study biochemistry and facial diagnostics so that I would be able to help the sick and needy.

Traditional facial diagnostics according to Kurt Hickethier, in combination with Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Schuessler‘s biochemical remedies, is one of naturopathy’s best methods of diagnosis and treatment. I will do everything within my power to further their propagation and to ensure their quality so that this therapy will be available also to future generations.

I extend a cordial invitation to everyone who is keen to continue upholding the spirits of Hickethier and Schuessler in the fields of biochemistry and facial diagnostics.

We urgently need an independent naturopathic movement which is free of the non-transparent objectives pursued by certain companies or organisations and one which will bring forth further blooming of biochemistry and facial diagnostics in their traditional form.

Friedrich Depke

© by Friedrich Depke • Im Kirschengarten 8 • 56132 Kemmenau • Germany