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Putting the Individual first: Multimedia Coverage of Anthroposophic Medicine

Whether it is mistletoe therapy, curative eurythmy or the comprehensive, holistic view on disease and recovery – with its integrative orientation, antroposophic medicine these days occupies an established place in medical care. In 2020 it celebrates its centenary: In 1920, together with the doctor Ms. Ita Wegman, Rudolf Steiner made proposals concerning how the antroposophic view of man can extend and enrich traditional medicine.

On the occasion of the anniversary, and with the support of Software AG Foundation (SAGST), the independent citizens’ and patients’ association that promotes seeking active health, “GESUNDHEIT AKTIV”, has, alongside the special edition of its printed magazine, produced extensive multimedia coverage. Under the auspices of the Hamburg journalist Annette Bopp, people are interviewed there, who give an insight into their personal experience: “It was important for us to take patients’ experience as a starting point”, says Annette Bopp. “After all, anthroposophic medicine revolves around the individual, and relies on the physician, therapist and patient having a respectful and trusting attitude towards one another.” The role of the medical specialists consisted in assisting patients in personally actively taking part in the treatment and thereby becoming capable of taking their own decisions. “That is, in my view, the key competence, and also the immense potential of antroposophic medicine for the future”, comments the journalist.

Patient case histories as the focal point
The media coverage impressively proves what a difference it makes if people are involved in this way, and can make an active personal contribution towards the process of recovery. The focus is on the experience of the former Waldorf teacher Dieter Wittmann, who, 17 years ago, was confronted with sudden dramatically restricted cardiac function. From the perspective of traditional medicine, a heart transplant appeared to be urgently indicated. Wittmann, however, was not able to consider that option. “For me, the heart is not a pump, and my body is not a machine, the parts of which can simply be exchanged.”

Dieter Wittmann contacted a hospital known as the Paracelsus-Krankenhaus in Unterlengenhardt in the Northern Black Forest. The doctors and therapists there developed a course of treatment for him, which, besides the traditional medication used, integrated anthroposophic medication and various external applications, as well as manual treatments: embrocations and compresses, rhythmic massages, and also a type of kinesitherapy known as curative eurythmy. After many weeks he was stabilized to the extent that he could attend a rehabilitation center, and subsequently gradually return to his everyday life with a noticeably improved cardiac function. In the years that followed, Dieter Wittmann still experienced one or two, sometimes hefty, setbacks, however he followed his inner impetus and, with the help of antroposophic medicine, found a way for his condition to become stabilized again in all cases.

“Anthroposophic medicine works on the basis of the natural sciences, however also considers the mental, intellectual and social aspects of a person”, explains SAGST Director Peter Augustin. “Fates such as that of Dieter Wittmann, as well as the other three patient case histories included in the media coverage, show what a healing effect such a holistic approach can have. It is therefore with great pleasure that, with the multimedia coverage in the centenary year, we are able to build a communicative bridge, which illustrates the great potential of this type of medicine that has been pursuing an integrative approach since its very beginnings.”

Further information and insights into anthroposophic medicine are likewise available on the website of the umbrella association for anthroposophic medicine in Germany (DAMiD) “100 Jahre Zukunft” (100 years of pioneering for the sake of mankind), as well as the centenary edition of the printed magazine of “GESUNDHEIT AKTIV”.