April 21, 2015 | Posted in Concepts in Anthroposophic Medicine, News, Nursing Treatments, Symptoms and Treatments

The average career nurse’s daily work in the hospital or community health setting involves a strong mastery over the mechanization in the patient’s environment with emphasis on documentation and computer skills.


For those who enter the nursing profession as a call to assist those in need it can be frustrating to find so little time allowed for compassionate care of the whole human being, not just the body en fin.

Often nurses know of colleagues who have migrated toward some form of holistic nursing where soul and spirit imbalances are addressed along with the body. Hospices usually have a chaplain along with nurses and an MD on staff.

An excellent education that teaches a nurse or caregiver how to accompany a patient along the path of healing comes via Anthroposophy. Indications were given by Rudolf Steiner for doctors and nurses in how to observe the human being in all aspects of their humanity.  These observations are taught and applied through the courses offered by the North American Anthroposophic Nurses Association (NAANA), in conjunction with the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine and the International Postgraduate Medical Training (see “Resources”).

Here one finds the true “ART of Nursing.” The practitioner engages in inner personal development along with developing a knowledge base of plant substances and homeopathic treatments to assist the patients in finding their ways toward health.

Rudolf Steiner, in 1914, gave a series of lectures to workers and volunteers during the ravages of World War I. According to Rolf Heine, a nurse in Dornach, Switzerland, at the core of these lectures is the importance of self development to set the stage for the most powerful component of healing, LOVE. A compilation of part of these lectures is published by Mercury Press of Chestnut Ridge, NY titled The Samaritan Course which includes verses of meditation to assist a seeker on this path.

A part of one of these verses includes the statement, “weak remains the Spirit when it is only able to feel the suffering of its own body.” If we examine this statement we are confronted by many who are actually afraid to be around suffering. How many people do we know who avoid visiting hospitals? Others are drawn to help those suffering and in need.  Meditating on these verses and obtaining a good holistic education can carry a caregiver forward in the process of self development and compassion.

To quote Tessa Therkleson, PhD, a nurse in New Zealand, “When the head and hands of the nurse are imbued with the forces of the heart, they act wisely with loving warmth and there is the opportunity for a healing force to arise…”

One of the verses consists of the following offered by Rudolf Steiner in the Samaritan Course lectures in 1914:

So long as you feel the pain,
Which I am spared,
Christ is unrecognized
As he works in the world.
For weak remains the spirit
When it is only able to feel
The suffering of its own body.”

See also Working together for healing.

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From the anthroposophic nursing work come compresses to support health.    Here are links for videos and written instructions.

Videos: video.sophiamr.com

Instructions for Lemon calf wrap for fever: Lemon calf wrap

Instructions for Ginger compress for arthritis and warming: Ginger compress

Instructions for Horseradish compress for sinusitis: Horseradish compress

Instructions for Onion ear compress for earache: Onion compress


Always use caution working with hot water, knives, and graters.  An adult with full focus on the activity should do compresses.  This is not an activity for a child.

Please follow the cautions listed for each compress type.

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North American Anthroposophic Nurses Association,  NAANA.  This link provides you information on membership and training.  http://www.aamta.org/organizations/nurses/

Association for Anthroposophic Medicine and Therapies in America,  AAMTA, is the umbrella group for all national organizations of anthroposophic nurses, doctors, and therapists.  http://www.aamta.org/

International Postgraduate Medical Training, IPMT, occurs annually.  http://www.paam.net/training.html

Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine, PAAM, cooperates in sponsoring the nurses’ training at IPMT.  http://www.paam.net/home.html

Rato Health Natural Nursing Therapies http://www.ratohealth.com/#!anthr/c18zc

Compresses and other Therapeutic Applications from the Ita Wegman Clinic, Monika Fingado, Floris Books, 2012.

The Samaritan Course, compilation from Rudolf Steiner’s lectures,  not yet online at Mercury Press www.mercurypress.org, so please email mercurypress@fellowshipcommunity.org.

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