created by Wieneke Groot, Secretary of the European Federation of Patients’ Associations for Anthroposophic Medicine.
A description of Anthroposophic Medicine from a patient’s perspective.
Anthroposophic healthcare is healthy care
Anthroposophic healthcare is a useful addition to regular health care, with which it maintains numerous connections. You do not have to share the methodological background of doctors and therapists to benefit from it; anthroposophic medicine works equally well with people who know nothing about it.
Anthroposophic medicine looks differently at illness and treatment. There is a lot of attention for preventing and understanding illness as an integral part of life, and its meaning for the human being as a whole, as well as special emphasis on supporting the self-healing capacity of the body. For many people this is a reason to consciously opt for anthroposophic healthcare and medicine.
Anthroposophic patients’ organisations in Europe
Within the anthroposophic patients’ movement the emphasis is not on diseases but on supporting people to stay healthy or become healthy again. These associations represent the interests of their members and aim to make or keep anthroposophic healthcare available for everybody seeking its products and services.
You are more than just your body
Of course, you are more than just bones, muscles and nerves with a piece of skin around it. Many people already make the distinction between body and soul. An anthroposophic care provider involves two additional aspects; namely resilience (your self-healing capacity) and spirituality or the process of attaching meaning to what is happening to you. Two things that you cannot see with the naked eye. But they do matter and are essential to your well-being. Just like you can’t see love, but you know it is there.
By the way, you are nature too
Look at that cold or wound you sometimes experience; they both often heal quickly thanks to your self-healing ability. And they heal in a natural way, often without any interference from the outside. But sometimes these processes are more complex. In those cases an anthroposophic doctor may help you to support the necessary processes, with medicines derived from nature or conventional ones, and also with anthroposophic therapies. Because, although you may sometimes forget this, you are just as much part of nature as the tree in your garden and the bird in the sky.
An ailment is usually a warning signal
In anthroposophic healthcare, ailments and symptoms are considered as a warning sign from your body. Your body “tells” you what is wrong. Think of it as a warning light in your car; if that blinks you are not going to repair the light, you will search for the cause! Your body’s ability to pinpoint causes is often greater than you think. Listen to it and do something with it.
Get better through development
An anthroposophic care provider is not only interested in your body, but also in your life story. Because whatever you visit your care provider for, you are always in a developmental process. Your ailment, syndrome or “predisposition” influences your development. And they also offer you a chance. What can you learn from them? How does it influence the coming decisions you’ll take in your daily life, how does it make you a different human being than before?
An anthroposophic doctor is a regular, university trained medical doctor who has done additional training
A broken leg just has to be put right. And some infections simply have to be treated with antibiotics. Anthroposophic care is not an alternative to regular healthcare, but offers a broader perspective. Every anthroposophic healthcare professional, whether it is a general practitioner, physical therapist, psychologist or nurse, has received further training in anthroposophic healthcare after a regular and completed study.
Working together you move forward
That anthroposophic healthcare looks at its patients as ‘a whole’, is also reflected in the way the providers work together. Bridges are being built, not only between immediate colleagues, but also, and especially on an interdisciplinary level. In this way health care providers jointly build knowledge of the whole person and they fully learn from each other. From professional art therapists to social workers, from dieticians to eurhythmy therapists, by closely working together they aim at the best results.
Simply healthy care
Anthroposophic health care stands for a sustainable view on care. And that is simply healthy care. So, healthy care does not only treat symptoms, but also looks at you as a whole. After all, you are unique. Who are you? Where are you? What are your talents and your abilities? Where do you want to go? What needs attention? And above all, how can you help yourself further?
Support healthy care
Anthroposophic Patients’ movements are very active in Europe to keep anthroposophic medicine available, accessible and affordable. They represent the interests of patients who want to use anthroposophic medicine in all its forms and promote and support a legal framework for anthroposophic medicine and health care.
They support and promote the individual’s right to self-determination in health matters and equal treatment by authorities and health care insurance schemes.