The image is of the Arlesheim clinic, the first anthroposophic hospital, which opened in 1921. Since then, other clinics, primarily in Germany, have been founded, as well as dedicated wards in otherwise conventional hospitals.
Anthroposophic Medicine came about through the collaboration between the Dutch doctor Ita Wegman (1876 – 1943), Rudolf Steiner, and other medical colleagues in 1920, and was based on the lecture courses given to doctors by Rudolf Steiner between 1920 and 1924. From the beginning, the intention was not to develop an alternative approach, but to broaden the study and further development of natural science-based medicine by drawing on the knowledge of anthrposophical spiritual science.
Anthroposophic doctors have all successfully completed a mainstream medical training. The further training required to become an anthroposophic doctor is carried out through regionally arranged courses. The anthroposophic clinics are also linked to research institutes.
This new direction in integrative medicine exists in many countries today, and includes most of the specialist fields of clinical and general practice. It has access to a wide range of therapeutic possibilities: Anthroposophic Medicines and care products, therapeutic arts, eurythmy therapy, massage, biographical counselling.
The integrity and sovereignty of the patient lies at the heart of Anthroposophic Medicine. All interventions – from prevention through to palliative end-of-life care – are carried out in such a way that patients understand and recognise their own role in the healing process. This also includes advice about health-promoting life styles, an age-appropriate approach to education, a nutritional regime with lots of organically grown fruit and vegetables, as well as a spiritually focused inner life.