A holistic, therapeutic approach that focuses on human personality
The therapeutic process of anthroposophic medicine is based on the balance of four organisational principles: the physical plane; life forces plane or vitality; mental plane or psychological/emotional realm and individual plane or ego. The aim of therapy is to restore equilibrium where these four principles are out of balance.
Anthroposophic medicine is based on concepts of health, illness and healing, which are reflecting the individual balance or imbalance of the above mentioned fourfold principles.
However, interaction between these four planes results in three functional systems – the nerve-sense system, the rhythmic system and the so-called metabolic-limb system, which itself corresponds to a spiritual trinity in humans:
- Nerve-sense system: thinking
- Rhythmic System: feeling
- Metabolic-limb system: the will
This threefold system pervades the entire human organism and undergoes change at different life-phases. Each time this happens the rhythmic system (‘located‘ between the nerve-sense and the metabolic-limb system) creates new equilibrium, allowing harmonious interaction to continue. Any derailment of the ‘normal’ middle position leads to presentation of the diverse symptoms of an illness.
Anthroposophic medicine uses both conventional and anthroposophic medicinal products. The treatment approach and the choice of medicinal products and therapies are very specific to each individual, to bring about a process of development within the patient, reinforcing natural self-healing and restoring the balance of health. With the help of anthroposophic medicines, the body's self-healing process can be activated and the disturbed equilibrium can be brought back into the right balance. The healing process of the patient is strengthened.
Since it was first established nearly a century ago, anthroposophic medicine has been a science-based medical system. Descriptive record and clinical research are pillars of evidence for anthroposophic medical treatment.
As for all medicine, the methodological approach has changed over time, moving on from anecdotal case reports and simply-designed retrospective studies to the most sophisticated controlled study designs, including randomised controlled trials. Today’s anthroposophic medicine uses the full spectrum of study designs effectively and gathers well-controlled evidence to inform future practice.
The safety of anthroposophic medicine treatments, anthroposophic pharmacology and anthroposophic medicinal products is documented through the findings of research studies, which prove that they are generally well tolerated. All anthroposophic medicinal products are produced according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
The effectiveness of anthroposophic medicine is measured by whether it reduces or alleviates physical or psychological complaints. However, effectiveness of a treatment regime is shown in the sum of all the individual desired effects. The decisive measure of effectiveness is in the response of the organism – which is individual.
A number of studies show that anthroposophic treatment offers also cost reduction in relation to conventional treatment. This is particularly relevant in the case of chronic diseases, where the treatment period may be prolonged or even life-long. Medical insurance policies show minimal medication costs. As a consequence, in some countries medical insurance policies accept anthroposophic treatment for cover because of its relatively low costs.
Today’s diverse society lives in a world of leveling in the marketplace, with reduced variety and decreasingly personal individual service. Anthroposophic concepts offer the basis for an ever more required medicine: differentiated, holistic therapies that focus on the personality of people.