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Johann Heinrich Bernhard Martin Averbeck (August 13, 1844 – February 2, 1889) was a German physician who was a native of Bremen. He earned his medical doctorate at the University of Basel, where he was a student of Carl von Liebermeister (1833-1901). Between 1868 and 1879 he was a general practitioner and obstetrician in Bremen, and in 1879 opened an institute for physical therapy at Baden Baden. Beginning in 1882 he developed a health spa and physical therapy clinic at Bad Laubach bei Koblenz, which was described as a model institution of physical medicine.

Averbeck was a pioneer in the field of physiotherapy. He believed that the right combination of therapeutic exercises and massage were vital in the treatment of chronic illness and disease. Among his written works was a treatise on acute neurasthenia called Die akute Neurasthenie, die plötzliche Erschöpfung der nervösen Energie. Reportedly, Sigmund Freud found it an important reference work in his research involving the correlation of modern-day stress and neurasthenia.

Heinrich Averbeck was brother-in-law to psychologist Otto Binswanger (1852-1929).


  • This article is based on a translation of an article from the German Wikipedia.


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