"To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take a real interest in the world." - Rudolph Steiner
Anthroposophic Medicine brings deeper insights to the care of the whole human being. It is practiced by conventionally-trained physicians and nurses who have undergone additional, specialized training, learning to apply a broad array of effective natural medicines. This whole-person approach also incorporates art, music, movement, and massage therapies as elements of collaborative, multidisciplinary health care. Founded in central Europe nearly a century ago, Anthroposophic Medicine is now integrated into acute-care hospitals, specialty treatment centers, and university teaching and research programs. Here in the United States, Anthroposophic Medicine has been successfully integrated into centers for chronic illness care and elder care, as well as a large variety of medical practices. Trainings in anthroposophic medicine are offered for health professionals in thirty-two countries on five continents. With deep roots and broad applications, Anthroposophic Medicine works to bring health and wholeness into modern life.
All good therapies/treatments require a period of rest after the treatment in order that the individual can take up the work or message of the treatment. Think about massage, compresses, therapeutic eurythmy, acupuncture, and yoga to name but a few. Illness is a treatment for the body. We must allow time so that we fully take up the great work of cleaning up the body has just performed. Sometimes one can lose up to 10% of their weight in an illness. It is during convalescence that this is regained. We must, therefore, be mindful of this period and treat it with the reverence and gentleness it deserves. Our culture does not often support convalescence so it is particularly challenging to carve this out for yourself and loved ones. The danger of inadequate convalescence is that the work of illness is wasted or, one once again becomes ill soon after the previous illness. In this case, we can be sure the illness will be more severe and longer.
When we are acutely ill our body inflames in an effort to rid itself of toxins and bring itself back to balance. This is a good thing. The body is strengthening itself through this process. When acute inflammation is inappropriately managed our body may not fully rid itself of these toxins. It is here that the beginnings of chronic inflammation occur. Once one is chronically inflamed you are correct, this is a sign of imbalance and poor health. We want to encourage the body to have a thorough acute illness so that we may avoid chronic inflammation.
The website of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophic Medicine has a list of doctors by region. For nurses, check out the North American Anthroposophic Nurses Association and connect with the organization for a nurse near you.
Illness is an essential component to a healthy life. Illness offer us a way to balance, grow and become stronger. This is especially true with children and provides a unique opportunity for growth and healing. Illness aids, not only the physical body, but promotes growth in all body integration including physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. The process of illness is a developmental, formative and integrative. Armed with this knowledge, we are best served to embrace this processes and illness and learn to manage it tenderly in order to reap the rewards.