To be exact, anthroposophical medicine is an extension of modern, scientifically oriented medicine ("orthodox medicine") which takes into account not only the physical but also the spiritual aspects of the human being and nature. We can also speak of a spiritualization of modern medicine by anthroposophy. Modern medicine, with its scientific orientation, views the human body only from its material, organic aspect, where it can be weighed and measured, i.e. can be described in exact and reproducible terms using scientific methods. The aim is to accept as scientifically accessible to medicine only those parts of human existence that are objectifiable. However, it is a fact of life that human beings have a highly subjective side that must, furthermore, be described as entirely individual.
Anthroposophy sees the human being as a complex unity of body, soul and spirit. The physical portion which is of primary importance for medicine is permeated by the soul and spirit (the I or ego).
The objective level of the body, its material part, is seen most clearly in the form and the composition of the organs and organ systems. The latter include, for example, the musculature, the central nervous system and the blood. The microscopic anatomy (histology), the components of the blood or secretions that can be measured in the laboratory, the structures that can be visualized by imaging procedures such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography or by X-ray - all these comprise the body of findings available to us today, which can undoubtedly be termed objective. However, in the final analysis they only record a single instant and do not reflect processes that take place over time. And yet these findings are not only the expression of static events but of processes which are of a largely dynamic nature. The blood sugar level, for example, is constantly changing over the course of the day, depending on external and internal factors, and can only be usefully evaluated by establishing a profile of many individual blood sugar measurements over the day. The blood concentrations of cholesterol and iron are also by no means findings that remain stable over extended periods, but are subject to constant change.
However, the human metabolism is influenced by forces that cannot be perceived with the physical senses or precisely measured. They manifest themselves in the organ functions. The level of physical findings is complemented by the functional level, which is also to some degree measurable, but can for the most part only be observed via its processes, and already reveals some highly subjective features. Anthroposophy has shown that the basis of the physical body is life, which is not accessible to scrutiny by the methods of exact natural science. It is manifested in the body by how we feel. Here we see the first new aspect not found in conventional medicine; in addition to the objective level of physical findings there is the subjective level of how the patient feels, which has long been shamefully neglected in medicine. However, in the last few years it has become increasingly clear that a medical science with an understanding of disease and an approach to treatment that fail to take into account how the patient feels cannot do justice to human existence. Thus, the question of whether a particular therapy or drug has a positive or negative effect on quality of life is arising more and more often.
If we perform our observations correctly, employing an anthroposophical method, we can discern two more levels of the body:
The region of the body in which the soul (feelings) and the body permeate each other to such an extent that they form an ethereal unit can be termed the soul body, just as the first two levels are referred to as the material body and the life body.
We find this soul body particularly in the shaping of the endocrine organs and in the immune system. It is significant that, at this level, extremely small quantities of material can produce very large effects. The hormone insulin, for example, is measured in nanograms, that is, thousand millionths of a gram, a minute amount that we cannot picture with the senses, but that is still objectively detectable with ultra-modern methods of measurement - and insulin is of vital significance to the human organism! The same applies to other hormones, which act on the body at concentrations of millionths to million millionths of a gram (which is equivalent to D6-D12 in a potentized medicine). In the immune system we find similar ethereal effects, e.g. of immunomodulators such as the cytokines. We must also picture the individual immune cells themselves (lymphocytes, plasma cells) as microscopically small elements.
All the body's regulatory systems have their origin at this level of the body. It is above the functional level. We experience it in our moods or mental state. The terms used for this concept In the German language are the same as those used in the field of music: tuning, being in tune. This is no coincidence, since the soul element of the human body follows laws that are similar to those of music. That our mental state, being the expression of diverse moods, is of great significance to us, cannot be doubted. This becomes evident when our mood is disturbed or dysphoric.
The fourth and highest level of the body is the level of the ego or I, which is also referred to as the ego body or ego organization. It escapes practically all forms of perception by the senses, but can be experienced and felt in the warmth of our bodies. This is why we also talk of having our own warmth organism. One expression of this is our body temperature, which is measurable. However, it is important to realize that the effects of the ego level extend into the material, giving this level, too, a highly individual and "unique" structure. Proof of this has been provided by transplantation medicine. Every organism recognizes from the protein structure of an organ whether it is its own or foreign. Foreign tissue is immediately attacked by the intact immune (defense) system and if possible rejected.
The level of the ego body is manifested in our spiritual presence, which we can also refer to as presence of mind. Ideally, this would mean that we are always wakeful and spiritually present at every moment of our lives. All the mechanisms that control and/or permeate the entire organism have their origin at the ego level. It is supra-ordinate to all other levels and in the final analysis it is the source of all healthy processes in the organism. The frequently postulated self-regulation or self-organization of organs is aptly termed, since it is our self (I/ego) that regulates all organs and organizations of the human organism. However, it would be a misjudgment of this organism if we were to perceive self-organizing systems as automatic processes that function as in a machine.
Our spirit recognizes itself in its body, which serves as a mirror through which knowledge of self becomes possible. Thus, human health requires the correct relationship between spirit and body. This is constantly created by the soul, which mediates between body and spirit. It is never stable, always dynamic. This duality is manifested in our respiration, for example. When we breathe in, both soul and spirit are directed towards the body. When we breathe out, they are released again by the body. In fact, on the real level, the entire human organism is definitely a highly complex structure.
The four elements of being described above were defined by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the founder of anthroposophy, who called them the physical body, the etheric body, the astral body and the ego. These make up the whole person, whom we must then see as located in time and in the context of the associated evolution, for example, human existence as a child, adolescent, adult or old person, the time span from birth to death (biography), and the questions of existence before birth and after death.
|Life Body||Function||Subjective state of health|
|Soul Body||Regulation||Mental state|
What, then, is the relationship between the human being and nature? What is special about medicinal products that are derived from nature and manufactured for humans?
If we take a look far back into the past, we find common developmental paths of both nature and humanity. While humans have risen higher and higher in their evolution, the natural kingdoms have lagged behind in their development. Humans owe their development to this slower development of nature. We owe nature our gratitude and must help it to continue developing in the future. One way to do this is by using pharmaceutical processes to produce a medicinal product from a natural substance. In this form this substance enters into an inner relationship with the human organism and helps it to heal an illness present within it. The mineral kingdom bears a direct relationship to the ego body, the plant kingdom to the soul body and animal substances to the life body. By using compound remedies it is possible to obtain effects on different levels of the organism simultaneously, to re-establish a healthy relationship between them at the respective site in the organism. Medicinal products of this type work together with the body's own functions, regulations and control processes, enhancing or stimulating them, or subduing them if they have become too active. It is thus possible to understand why, with this kind of remedy, adverse effects (so-called side effects) are much rarer and above all less severe than with synthetic chemical drugs, most of which are directed against the body's own processes (e.g. antihypertensives, antiarrhythmics). This does not, however, mean that natural remedies cannot have any adverse effects at all. Even Paracelsus was aware of the fact that the therapeutic efficacy of a medication is dependent upon the correct dosage. The hallmarks of a medicine of the future will be the thorough understanding of a disease in an individual person and the derivation of a remedy from this understanding. Medicine will then, once again, become the art of healing. Anthroposophically extended medicine also has typical remedies for typical illnesses - basic therapeutic agents, so to speak - but in principle every illness is treated individually, because it is individualized by the person harboring it.
In illness, healthy processes are often shifted to parts of the organism where they do not belong. For example, sclerotic processes which should only take place in the skeleton occur in the blood vessels. Or processes take place at the proper site but have become too strong or too weak, or occur at a time that is inappropriate. Thus, certain tendencies towards hardening, which are physiological in old age, can occur pathologically in childhood. Illness is usually caused by internal factors, rarely by external factors alone. This is why it was said in the past that it was only the milieu of an organism that allowed a disease to become established ("The pathogen is nothing, the milieu everything"). It is no use destroying the pathogen if we do not restore a healthy milieu. Viewed in this manner, illness is always a question which is put to us, and healing means finding the right answer, for example, the appropriate therapeutic remedy.
Anthroposophically extended medicine, i.e. a medicine which strives to regain wholeness, will lead to an increasingly comprehensive understanding of sickness and health and help us to find the right treatment for the organism. It will also make us realize that we can only speak of genuine healing if an illness has not been merely driven out or shifted to another level of the body, but has been overcome and transformed into a new capability. will lead to a more and more comprehensive understanding of hat. However, this is only possible with the active participation of the person afflicted with the illness.
As a result of our attitude towards humans beings and nature based on anthroposophy we welcome all efforts to prevent the pointless suffering of animals. The fact that Dr.Hauschka Skin Care products are nevertheless not on the Positive Lists of various animal protection organizations has a number of reasons:
We maintain good relations with our suppliers and endeavor to familiarize ourselves fully with their way of working. Although this includes asking whether they work without animal testing, we are nevertheless unable to make any legally binding declarations regarding the behavior of third parties. The bureaucracy that would be involved in obtaining annual confirmation from each and every producer, however small, that none of the products supplied to us have been tested on animals, is too great for our unproblematic raw materials. It is not only animals that need protection - the environment must also be protected from the use of excessive quantities of paper.
If a single ingredient of a single product in the entire cosmetic program fails to comply with the guidelines of the respective animal protection organization, no contract can be signed and the company does not appear on the Positive List.
In our view, the protection of animals is only one aspect of the problem. We deliberately talk not of Umwelt (environment) but of Mitwelt (the community in which we live, the entire ecosystem), since we believe that it is important to respect the living relationships between all parts of the entire organism Earth. Through our support of biodynamic agriculture and our choice of substances and manufacturing processes, we endeavor to contribute to the conservation and care of nature as a whole and of the relationships between its different parts.