Anthroposophic Medicine

Anthroposophic Medicine

Anthroposophic medicine includes a range of interventions, both internal medications, external applications such as compresses, treatments such as massage and hydrotherapy, as well as more ‘social therapy’. Below are some descriptions of related therapies with some useful links for further information. See our Directory of Practitioners to locate practitioners in Australia, or go to our Training link to see what trainings are available in Australia or New Zealand. Some therapies are seen as directly developed by Rudolf Steiner and his colleagues, others are newer developments, or are recognisable mainstream therapies with an influence of anthroposophic understanding.

Dramatherapy is the intentional use of drama/theatre processes to express creativity, balance our soul life and to bring about psychological growth and change. By using our will in a much more energising way than the oppressive action-at-all-costs that is part of our lifestyle, and warming up our body for activity, we are ready to take on a role or to make a useful improvisation for self-awareness. Drama develops the self-reflecting and self-observing capacities of the individual. Because a participant is in a contained space, with a contract of safety, he is conscious that this is drama.  At the same time a participant can be aware of any relevance the role or improvisation has in her life. The thinking powers are then engaged in reflection on the work achieved. The metaphorical work, sometimes using mask, puppetry and story, can give rise to the biographical understanding which in turn heals the soul. The catharsis experienced by Aristotle’s theatre-goers so long ago is available in a more conscious way in our time, individually or in group sessions.

Healing environments knowledge of the flow of energy in environments as well as in the human body enable the practitioner to create spaces that are non-toxic for the physical body, soothing and harmonious for the soul, inspiring and uplifting for the spirit. Education and assistance is given to create a healthy nurturing environment in the home and workplace.

Homeopathy and naturopathy
Natural Therapies are incorporated into Anthroposophic medicine and are achieving professional and public recognition. The disciplines of Phytotherapy, Homeopathy, and other natural therapies are enriched through the study of spiritual science to develop a refined perception in prescribing natural substances and other therapeutic options. A current prescribers training is being run by Irmhild Kleinhenz, see the training section.

Massage Therapy both rhythmical and etheric massage use light rhythmical movements with a characteristic suction quality that gently and persuasively helps to re-establish a dynamic integration of the whole human being. Through essential elements of warmth and movement they stimulate the will to bring about healing. The Anthroposophic approach to massage was developed by Dr Ita Wegman and Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s and joined later by Marguerite Hauschka. Etheric Massage has evolved out of this stream and was developed in Australia by Ulrike Faeste. Natural plant oils are used as a base with a wide range of herbal and metal substances.The massage includes forms for specific organs, such as the liver and kidneys which are deeply beneficial. See Directory of Practitioners for local contacts.

Medicine Medical knowledge and skilful diagnosis can be enriched through an understanding of the phenomena of illness and health. The goal is always to find the appropriate medical option that will integrate the patient’s personal needs in the context of their biography. All medical disciplines including surgery and dentistry are represented in Anthroposophic Medicine. The AAMA-hosted IPMT training is providing a programme for medical practitioners and allied health practitioners.

Nursing Throughout all phases of life, care is integral to healing. The anthroposophic nurse begins from the premise that the spirit is always health and that an illness is not accidental, but the chance to develop the patient’s biography further. Accompanying the patient during this phase with the right gestures of compassion, personal sacrifice and mediation the nurse can support the patient’s capacity to cope with discomfort and pain. By using traditional methods such as compresses, ointments and oils alongside medicinal substances the need for invasive intervention is often significantly reduced. Such nursing demands heightened perceptions and skills which are developed through the study and practice of Anthroposophy. Current PhD projects include a study of external ginger compresses. A group of Australian nurses are undertaking the current anthroposophic nurses training in New Zealand.

Painting, Drawing and Sculpture Anthroposophic art therapy helps the patient to repair and reclaim lost balance and harmony. Beginning with the primeval element of creation, and using tools of colour, form and modelling with clay in a meditatively concentrated way, the patient can again unite all the parts, which have become disconnected. Through this, balance and wholeness can be regained. Australia has a number of art therapists, with two training schools.

Working pharmaceutically within Anthroposophy, we undertake the preparation and transformation of elements of the natural kingdoms through a variety of pharmaceutical processes and an attitude of soul, to bring forth preparations of therapeutic value. Australia is lucky to have an active anthroposophic pharmacist ,John Reed, at the Pennant Hills Pharmacy, Sydney.

Psychophonetics counselling and psychotherapy – extends conversational counselling to embrace direct experiences through body awareness, movement, visualization and sound work. The individual’s free will is engaged in the process of encouraging self-awareness, empowerment, healing and transformation. This modality was developed by Yehuda Tagar who is currently based in South Africa, with training centres in Melbourne, Cape Town (South Africa) and Stroud (UK). In Australia, professional practitioners are members of the Australian branch of the International Association of Psychophonetics Practitioners (IAPP).

Speech therapy our humanity expresses itself through the gift of speech. Illness can render us speechless, or reduce our ability to express ourselves fully and thus weaken our experience of self in the world. Speech therapy uses sound, words, rhythm and gestures to strengthen the connection between body and soul and in so doing engages the will.

Therapeutic Eurythmy Through this innovative and highly developed movement therapy, specific exercises are prescribed and taught to stimulate the patient’s inner interest in a healthy awareness of movement. This is done through the use of particular elements of speech and music. The dynamics of healthy movement and stability of soul are awakened and consolidated in the patient. www.medsektion-goetheanum

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