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Anthroposophical Medicine

Anthroposophically extended Medicine is a holistic and human-centered approach to medicine. It recognizes and uses the vast information acquired by modern medicine in the fields of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and diagnosis. Then it goes one step further, adding a knowledge of the laws of the living organism, of the psyche and the spirit derived from a spiritual scientific methodology to that which is known by conventional scientific means. This requires - besides the ongoing professional, personal and moral development - the active inner participation in spiritual scientific studies outlined by Rudolf Steiner. The result is an integrated image of the whole human being in illness and in health. This makes it possible to have a holistic but also rational approach to physiology, pathology and therapy. There was a time in history when an instinctive knowledge of healing plants and other natural remedies was possessed by many individuals.

To a degree this is still true for indigenous people whose lives remain untouched by Western civilization, or certain rare gifted individuals. Since the advent of modern natural science, such knowledge has largely been lost in the West. This must be found again in a way which remains harmonious with scientific discoveries. Anthroposophical Medicine offers a path of schooling of how a substance in nature is to be identified and prepared for healing. Substances and processes in outer nature are also found within the human being during health or illness. By penetrating these manifold interrelationships, suitable remedies and methods of preparation can be found. While Anthroposophical Medicine values the older traditions of Homeopathy and Alchemy, based on the Law of Similars and the Doctrine of Signatures, it has developed its own methods of finding and preparing remedies. The human being is understood as a fourfold organism. The Physical Body is what is ordinarily recognized by modern science. We carry it through life and discard it at death. It can be measured, counted and weighed by the methods of anatomy, physiology and pathology. However, it would be a lifeless form were it not penetrated by a higher organizing principle to direct its growth and regeneration. This called the Etheric Body. Its workings can be observed in the growth of a child or the healing of a wound. This is akin to what takes place in the living plant. The third principle is the Astral Body, which gives us movement and the instincts and desires of our soul, qualities which animals also possess. The fourth, uniquely human principle, is called the Ego. Through it we have erect posture, speech, self-reflection and the ability to shape our own individual destiny. From these four principles, a framework for diagnosis and therapy develops. Within this, a threefold dynamic of organ systems also exists.

The first may be called the Nerve-Sense System. While its primary location is in the head, its effects as nervous and sensory function extend throughout the body. It bears consciousness for the human being and forms the basis for thinking.Tissues of the Nerve-Sense System are of low vitality and do not regenerate well when injured. By contradistinction, the Metabolic-Limb System is located primarily in the organs of digestion, reproduction and locomotion, with its nourishing function extending into other parts as well. For the most part, it functions unconsciously. Tissue vitality and regenerative capacity are high, opposite to what occurs in the Nerve-Sense System. Normally, these two systems are kept in balance by the organs of circulation and respiration which comprise the Rhythmical System. In the alternation of inbreath with outbreath, of systole with diastole, some of the tension between the other organ systems is resolved. As long as this dynamic equilibrium holds, health is maintained. If one system overwhelms the other, illness results. Applied to the detail of each case, such considerations bring holistic understanding to the complexities of physiology and pathology, and guide the choice of therapy for a given patient. Over time, anthroposophical medicine has developed its own forms of therapy through artistic movement (Eurythmy), music, painting and others. Numerous clinics, hospitals and curative homes for chronically handicapped individuals have been established throughout the world. Anthroposophical Medicine is a growing holistic health movement. Seven Principles of Anthroposophical Medicine Spirit manifests both within the human organism and outside of it in the substances of the kingdoms of nature. Knowledge of this has been cultivated for centuries within the Western esoteric stream: Monastics, Alchymists, Rosicrucians, Paracelsus, Hahnemann. Anthroposophical Spiritual Science is a modern continuation of these traditions. The wisdom that created nature is also at work within the human being. Every substance and process in the nature kingdoms relates correspondingly to a substance or process within the human being. Man is a summary of nature and nature represents the forces and substances within the human being. Anthroposophical Medicine is a leading holistic health movement throughout Europe and has been on the cutting edge of preserving therapeutic freedom in the public and legal realm. Man has a divinely guided individual destiny which includes individual freedom with the potential for error and illness.

Overriding principles, like the seven year cycle, govern the evolution of an individual over a lifetime. Illnesses are also opportunities for personal growth and overcoming of unfruitful conflicts in the patient's life. Art is an indispensible part of human life. Skillful artistic therapies subtly but strongly affect disease processes and help people grow through their illness. Out of Anthroposophical Medicine, specialized disciplines of Therapeutic Eurythmy, Rhythmical Massage, clay modelling, painting and music therapy have evolved. Remedies are derived from substances of the mineral, plant or animal kingdom. They can be prepared homeopathically, alchymically or as whole substance. They can be given orally, by injection or through external application. Every treatment aims to enhance the life force of the patient as a basis for improved health and deepened self-knowledge.

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Anthroposophy links

Anthroposophical Society in America
Homepage of the Goetheanum

Anthroposophic Medicine

Physicians' Association for Anthroposophic Medicine
AnthroMed Article Library
Антропософская Медицина
Anthroposophical Medicine in New Zeland - Nursing
Council for Anthroposophic Health and Social Care
Lukas Klinik
Ita Wegman Klinik
Park Attwood Clinic
Rudolf Steiner Health Center
Weleda USA
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care


True Botanica
Lilipoh Holistic Nursing
BirchTree Center for Healthcare Transformation
The American Holistic Nurses Association

Waldorf education

Waldorf Education
Waldorf answers
Eurythmy Spring Valley