Anthroposophic medicine and antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health problem - Studies show the significant potential from anthroposophic and other integrative medicine approaches to safely reduce antimicrobial use. Find  IVAAs statement  here.

Have as well a look at the presentation prepared for the CAM Interest Group, European Parliament, Bruxelles 1April 2014 

In November 2015, on occasion of the "Antibiotics Awareness Day", the IVAA together with EUROCAM published the position paper

 The role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in reducing the problem of antimicrobial resistance

IVAA in the European Union

As the international umbrella organization of National Anthroposophic Medical Associations, IVAA represents anthroposophic medical doctors in regard to legal and political affairs in 21 EU member-states, with member associations in 16 member-states (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,  Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Latvia, Austria, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden). In addition IVAA represents anthroposophic doctors in Bulgaria, Eire, Hungary, Lithuania and Portugal. 

The IVAA activities include:

  • Representation at the European level including the necessary interaction with representatives of the
    political institutions and administrative authorities at the EU level
  • Pro-active participation in the development of the medical- and health systems especially at the European level
  • Handling of medical, educational, training and research issues in regard to health and medicines
  • Cooperation with other doctors and health-organizations
  • Safeguarding the legal status of Anthroposophic Medicine and Anthroposophic Medicinal Products (AMP)
  • Coordination of the national doctors associations

Besides of general practitioners, Anthroposophic Medicine is integrated into Public Health care and practised in hospitals, clinics and other in-patients’ facilities in seveal European member states (Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK), including teaching hospitals as well as district general hospitals. Several clinics have recently been classified as “Baby-Friendly Hospital” and the Havelhöhe/Berlin Clinic in Germany has recently been classified by patients as one of the best clinics in Germany. Moreover, Anthroposophic Medicine is taught at universities in several member states (Austria, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain).

Anthroposophic Medicine is a scientific integrative medical system, which follows a holistic approach with regard to human beings and health. It is part of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). 
The presence and legal position of Anthroposophic Medicine in the EU member-states varies remarkably between Member states and is still insufficient at the European level. 

Dominant themes of Anthroposophic Medicine are self-determination, autonomy, “human dignity” and development of the patient, hereby concentrating on the task to help human beings to help themselves in their development. The stimulation of self-healing processes of the whole body is at the centre of Anthroposophic Medicine. The responsibility of each patient plays a crucial role in the processes of salutogenesis and hygiogenesis. 

This approach – hygiogenetic and/or salutogenetic instead of pathogenetic in orientation – has consequences for the therapeutic thinking in Anthroposophic Medicine, especially in chronic diseases. 
The background of Anthroposophic Medical Products must be seen on this basis. 

Another special feature of Anthroposphic Medical Products is the low rate of side-effects. 
Anthroposophic Medicine employs in addition to conventional diagnosis and therapeutic procedures special pharmaceutical and therapeutic approaches including:

  • eurythmy therapy,
  • rhythmic massages,
  • anthroposophic art therapies,
  • special anthroposophic nursing techniques.

In addition, Anthroposophic Medicine provides counselling on nutrition and lifestyle and takes into account biographic and social aspects of illness. 

During the eighty years of practice, Anthroposophic Medicine in Europe has been established in general practice and in clinical settings. Particular expertise in Anthroposophic medicine has been developed in the fields of:

  • allergic diseases 
  • chronic diseases
  • care for people with learning difficulties
  • treatment of the diseases of childhood
  • geriatric diseases
  • lifestyle counselling especial for young people in close cooperation with schools.

Future perspectives

It is the intention of IVAA to draw on these experiences and to use them to improve the health not only of individuals but for the betterment of health in our societies at the national as well as at the European levels. For several years IVAA has been engaged pro-actively in EU public health policy which has - so far - led to a number of activities at the European level like:

  • participation in EU Commissions’ consultations,
  • engagement in a continuous dialog with the DG SANCO – the Directorate General of the EU Commission
      responsible with Health and Consumers- together with other CAM stakeholders,
  • initiating and participating in a new “CAM Interest Group” of Members of the European Parliament,
    preparing, together with other CAM stakeholders and the EU Commission a political CAM Conference 
    “CAM – adding value to a healthy Europe” held in Brussels 2012,
  • strengthening the cooperation of the CAM doctors cooperation in “CAMDOC”,
  • and concentrating the efforts of the Anthroposophic Medicine stakeholders on the question of the
    availability of AMPs in a newly arranged “AMP-European Policy Working Group”. 

Last update 30.5.2017 ©IVAA 2017


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