Anthroposophical Medicine

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Anthroposophical Medicine – Origin, Benefits, Efficacy, Methodology
Anthroposophical medicine is a combination of orthodox conventional medicine and a natural approach to medicine. The emphasis is on strengthening the patient’s organism and individuality. It is similar to homeopathy and herbal health care.

What Is Anthroposophical Medicine? Where Did It Originate?
Anthroposophical medicine was established in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner and Dr. Ita Wegman as an extension of conventional medicine. It is considered to be a holistic and salutogenetic approach to medicine that emphasizes a patient’s individuality and organism. It is based on the spiritual philosophy of anthroposophy.

The central theme therapies that are used to help the patient heal himself or herself are autonomy, as well as self-determination.

Dr. Wegman co-founded anthroposophical medicine in Berlin in Germany before 1900. In 1921, she opened the first anthroposophic medical clinic. It is now known as the Ita Wegman Clinic, located in Arlesheim, Switzerland.

In 1925, Wegman and Steiner wrote a book on anthroposophical medicine called Fundamentals of Therapy.

How Is Anthroposophical Medicine Beneficial?
Anthroposophical medicine is beneficial in treating the following ailments.

  • Chronic back pain
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Other chronic conditions

Studies/Research On The Efficacy Of Anthroposophical Medicine

  • In 2006, 195 studies of anthroposophical medicine were published.
    • Out of this, 186 studies reported a positive outcome.
    • They found that the results obtained with anthroposophical medicine were comparable or better than those obtained with conventional medicine.
  • A study conducted on the effectiveness of anthroposophical medicine found that it helps in the improvement of the symptoms of illness and quality of life of patients with respiratory, musculoskeletal, mental, and other chronic diseases.
  • Another study on the anthroposophic treatment of chronic ailments showed that anthroposophic treatments lead to a reduction in the symptoms of chronic diseases over the long term.
    • It also enhances the patient’s health-related quality of life.
    • It increases health cost reduction.
  • A study that tested the effect of anthroposophic medicines on chronic lower back pain found that the result was comparable to that of conventional medicine.
    • Pronounced improvement was observed on 3 scales – vitality, general health, mental health.

Proof of efficacy has not been made via strictly controlled medical testing, as it is difficult in case of alternative medicine modalities.

How Is Anthroposophical Medicine Performed?
According to anthroposophical medicine, disease is caused by an imbalance in the biological organism. Thus, treatment includes methods that attempt to restore the balance.

Anthroposophical approaches include:

  • Anthroposophical medicine based on homeopathic medicine
  • Physical therapy, for example, massage therapy
  • Artistic therapy

A patient’s physical constitution is viewed by anthroposophical medicine in the following order:

  • Life or etheric body – organizing principle that directs growth and regenration
  • Astral body – the bearer of affect and consciousness
  • Ego – bears the capacity for self-reflection and free will

Anthroposophical practitioners restrict the use of antipyretics and antibiotics. They have a differentiated individual approach to vaccinations. They may vaccinate children only against tetanus and polio, and later than recommended by health authorities.

How Can People Get Started With Anthroposophical Medicine?
Anthroposophical physicians are required to have a conventional medical education. They should have a degree from an established and certified medical school. They should also have done extensive postgraduate studies.

Currently, 80 countries all over the world have people practicing anthroposophical medicine.

Anthroposophical medicine consists of the following disciplines as well.

  • Anthroposophic Art Therapy
  • Anthroposophic nursing
  • Eurythymy (affects inner life functions that lead to a reintegration of body, spirit, and soul)
  • External applications
  • Rhythmic massage
  • Counseling

Any Precautions, Contraindications, Or Interactions
There is a certain amount of risk when anthroposophic medicine is used to substitute evidence-based medicine.

  • Low levels of vaccination, causing outbreaks of infectious diseases.

 

References
1. Ubani L.U. Preventive Therapy in Complimentary Medicine. Xlibris Corporation; 2011. 768p.

 

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