Anthroposophic medicine

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Anthroposophic Medicine is a holistic and human-centered approach to medicine[1] which was founded by Rudolf Steiner. 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. This knowledge of the spirit is derived from a spiritual scientific methodology which expands on the conventional scientific theory. This requires - besides an 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.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was born in Austria. [2] He found his life's work in the realms of consciousness and cognition. His techniques for the development of awareness to nature's cycles, daily meditation and concentration practices, and clear critical thinking can lead individuals to reach spiritual levels of consciousness safely. He believed working along with the spiritual worlds enriches the life of the individual and the world.

A university student of mathematics, science and philosophy in Vienna, he later earned a doctorate from the University of Rostock. He edited the scientific writings of Goethe, whose approach, based on intensified, selfless observation of nature, became a source of inspiration for his own work. Steiner's doctoral dissertation dealing with Fichte's theory of knowledge was later expanded and published as Truth and Science. In 1894, he published The Philosophy of Freedom, which he felt to be his most important philosophical work.

Steiner brought forth out of his spiritual experiences an abundance of scientific, medicinal, agricultural, social, educational, architectural, and artistic renewal. Steiner called this science of spirit, Anthroposophy, meaning "wisdom of the human being." Anthroposophy is non-religious, and enhances many Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and other traditional practitioners endeavors.

Author of almost thirty books, Steiner also gave approximately 6,000 lectures on a wide range of subjects. He initiated Waldorf education, biodynamic farming and gardening, an approach to the care and education of the handicapped, anthroposophical medical work, and an art of movement called eurythmy.

According to Peter Hinderberger, M.D., "Rudolf Steiner made the remarkable discovery that a plant is a healing plant when it has a distortion or an abnormality in its physiology and/or morphology. Medical plants are "diseased" in that they are one-sided developments that are held in balance only by self-healing. This represents a modern, scientific reformulation of what, in former times, existed in the "doctrine of signatures". [3]


Seven Principles of Anthroposophic Medicine

  1. 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, Alchemists, Rosicrucians, Paracelsus, Hahnemann, Anthroposophic, Spiritual Science is a modern continuation of these traditions.
  2. 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.
  3. Anthroposophic 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.
  4. 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 the overcoming of unfruitful conflicts in the patient's life.
  5. Art is an indispensible part of human life. Artistic therapies subtly but powerfully affect disease processes and and a patient's growth through their illness. The specialized disciplines of Therapeutic Eurythmy, Rhythmical Massage, clay modelling, painting and music therapy have evolved out of Anthroposophic theory.
  6. Remedies are derived from substances of the mineral, plant and animal kingdom. They are prepared in various ways, such as: homeopathically, alchemically or as whole substance. They can be given orally, by injection or through external application.
  7. Every treatment aims to enhance the life force of the patient as a basis for improved health and deepened self-knowledge.[4]

References

  1. Introduction to Anthroposophic Medicine
  2. Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy
  3. Anthroposophic medicine
  4. Introduction to Anthroposophic Medicine
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