Anthroposophic medicine is an extension to conventional medicine which developed from the work of Rudolf Steiner and Dr Ita Wegman. It aims to heal holistically through an extended understanding of the human being. This is done by supporting an individual’s innate healing forces through unique remedies and treatments and thus bringing mind, body and spirit into balance.
Patients can be considered in four aspects:
a physical body, the only one considered by conventional medicine
an etheric body of formative life forces, responsible for growth, repair and maintenance
an astral body or soul, responsible for sensing, consciousness and desires
the individuality or ego, capable of reflection, self-reflection and restraint
There is also a simultaneous threefold aspect of the human being.
Nerve-sense system: this region is focused in the cold, still, quiet and hard head. Nerve tissue does not normally regenerate, grow or reproduce. These processes of life are halted and transformed to another level to serve our thinking consciousness. Our thoughts should grow logically from one to another, we are able to reproduce thoughts, and consciousness itself is a mysterious process of self maintenance. If this region overgrows the other regions we have hardening, sclerotic illnesses, and early aging.
Metabolism and limb system: this region opposes the above. Movement and metabolism (inward physical movement and transformation of substance through nutrition) as well as reproduction are key. Inflammatory illnesses, conditions more associated with childhood occur when this region is too strong.
Rhythmic system: this region is the mediator between the two above polar opposite regions. Breathing and circulation are the two processes with their foci in the lungs and heart.
Illness is not merely a random mechanical break-down. An imbalance of the harmony of the above aspects arises and it does so for a purpose- dis-ease arises in order that we may be conscious of the need to heal. Illness fits a person’s biography like a hand in a glove. Using a variety of therapies and specially made remedies, conventional drugs if necessary, the doctor attempts to restore the balance. For example: a common problem nowadays – a stomach ulcer. Remedies would be given as appropriate, natural or conventional. Massage could be employed to stimulate the life forces. Painting or other artistic therapies could be used to “open up” the feeling realm, very often ulcer patients are closed, inward personalities. Lastly counseling would engage the “ego”, very often an ulcer is telling a person to transform their pose toward life.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), scientist and philosopher and seer, developed “Anthroposophy”. For many years he wrote and lectured on what he saw as the true nature of man. Anthroposophic Medicine came into existence when in 1920 Steiner was asked to give his first lectures to doctors. Anthroposophic ideas have been applied practically in many areas including Steiner/Waldorf education, special education (most prominently through the Camphill Movement), biodynamic agriculture, ethical banking,organizational development, Eurythmy and the arts. The Anthroposophical Society has its international center at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.
Here is a link to our local Atlanta Branch of the Anthroposophical Society