When Erwin Thomas children got sick, he cured them with solid wood. Since then he has a mission: to convince the world of the healing power of the forest and more and more people believe him.
When his eldest son turned six, Erwin Thoma had to say goodbye to a dream. He lived at that time with his wife and three children in the farthest corner of the Karwendel mountains, in a valley that could only be reached via Germany. “As a forester, my dream job,” says Thoma. “The forest has always been a special world to me. I loved and internalized them, and that’s where I wanted to spend my life. “But then life stood against life: staying in the woods would mean sending the eldest son to a boarding school when he was at school.
So the family moved with heavy heart from their wooden house in the middle of the forest in the Pongau, in a modern family home. But not for long. Because shortly after both sons got sick. “They developed an allergy to the wood glue in the chipboard, a kind of asthma and had such severe suffocation that we did not know, if they wake up the next day.” Thoma responded promptly: mother and children went during the summer, in a wooden hut, father and grandfather, meanwhile, tore out every piece of chipboard in the valley they could find, disposed of it in special waste and replaced it with solid wood. “We planed, nailed and timbered. Everything simple. But the kids got well. ”
Nature stands out for progress. That was the turning point in Erwin Thomas life. “This experience has turned upside down my entire world view,” says Thoma, a trained engineer who had previously been sure that with technical advances, any problem can be solved. “But just the opposite was the case: it was the reflection on nature, which brought the best result. This realization became my life’s task. First for my children, then for everyone else. ”
The missionary activity turned out to be a stroke of luck for the timber entrepreneur, also economically. Erwin Thomas building, which he designed and built with 140 employees, are now active around the world: he built a university in Oslo and one in Moscow, he built the residence of the royal family in Norway, and he built many houses in Japan, which survived unscathed the catastrophe of Fukushima. Thoma was also building the “House of the Future” in Hamburg, which heats and cools itself automatically. “Studies at the Medical University of Graz have shown that people react immediately to non-contaminated solid wood: pulse and heartbeat are calmed, the autonomic nervous system is strengthened, the deep sleep phases are longer, the sleep more relaxed. That’s what modern medicine has proven, it’s not humbug or esoteric.”
Stimulus word esotericism. With which Thoma would have arrived at his stimulus word: the esoteric. When he first came out to the public with the theory of the moonwood years ago, he was immediately laughed into the non-scientific, dubious corner. His point was that, depending on the lunar phase in which it is struck, the wood is harder as well as more pest-resistant. That this thesis was finally proven by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in a year-long study, filled Thoma visibly with pride. “Trees are a metaphor in which nature’s selection process reveals itself over millions of years.” Anyone who is willing to understand can learn from them.
What exactly is there to learn from this, he describes it in his book “The secret language of the trees – and how science decodes them”, which made it for a short time to the bestseller lists. Not surprisingly, Thoma meets the nerve of a time that can not get enough of her own originality, of country life and home-made things. “We have an incredible amount of suffering. It is becoming increasingly clear that we can not get ahead this way. The sciences are losing more and more acceptance, “says Thoma.
Nursery in the forest. His own story vouches for him – and not only since he disassembled a single-family home for the sake of his children. At the middle of five boys Thoma grew up in Bruck on the Glocknerstraße, his nursery was the forest: “With a freedom, a wildness, that does not exist today, not even at the countryside.” Wood was omnipresent, also as a material, knowledge was passed on by the grandfather and the father to the boys: “At that time this world was still real, shortly thereafter it was only in the museum.”
Thoma wants to get out of this. Trees are not just a building material full of surprises for him – solid wood is from a thickness of 20 centimeters close to high frequency and thus tap-proof, he says – and a medical treasure trove (fir tree tops sirup, linden tree flower tea). For him, trees are like family members with idiosyncrasies just waiting to be used. “Sycamore maple for rest and relaxation, birch for creativity, stone pine or spruce for places where people come together.” Those who want to know can check Erwin Thomas thesis at the kitchen table that trees have something to tell people. Everyone else can simply look forward to a nice table.
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