September 18, 2013 | Posted in Blood / Lymph, Cancer, Concepts in Anthroposophic Medicine, Heart / Circulation, Immune System, Inflammations / Infections

Part of the wonder of anthroposophic medicine is meeting concepts that match experiences we have had, but never before had words for.

The warmth organism is one example.    It is very useful to holistic practitioners to work with the idea that warmth in the human body has an orderly function and can be assessed to determine the state of health, and then influenced to improve health.


The warmth organism is the interface between my physical make-up and my emotional-spiritual make-up, and a reflection of immune strength.

For example, it reflects in my physical body the things I care about. Blood flow to my face and hands shows my enthusiasm, or embarrassment, or anxiety and fear.

Even without visible shifts in blood flow, we sense an inner warming from knowing our purpose in life, or having warmth of feeling toward another person. We may experience an inner deep steady fire of courage when we must stand up for what we believe.

In addition, the strength and orderliness of the warmth organism is a measure of the strength of the immune system.

The human being is designed naked, no feathers, no fur. Humans have more subcutaneous fat.*

Clothing is essential to protect the warmth distribution, and without proper clothing, we experience cold stress, making it hard to function at our best intellectually and emotionally, and also lowering our immune capacity. See Warmth and health. See Cancer prevention.

Greek thinkers characterized the four major aspects of earth substance as four ‘elements’: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.

The ‘elements’ refer not only to mud, water in a pond, air we breathe, and a burning match.

But each element refers to substances that share the characteristics of earth (solids), of water (liquids), of air (gasses), and fire (warmth and heat).

The four elements have successively greater movement looking at each on successively.

  • Earth is still, cold, solid, motionless.
  • Water takes the form of the solid shape holding it, then reaches stillness for a time (water in a glass).
  • Air is in motion even taking up solids and fluids to whirl around (tornado); but it usually can be resisted by physical boundaries.
  • Warmth permeates physical boundaries, radiating through earth, water, air. Further, warmth carries human intention and feeling. It is a meeting place for the spiritual and the physical. With effort, we insulate against physical heat and may succeed. Human intention and feeling have the capacity to know no bounds. The love of a parent, and the courage of a hero can be unstoppable.

In the human being, the warmth organism of an individual is the expression of how that person has brought his/her individuality and purpose into expression in the physical body.  Each human being is his/her own center of warmth, reflected in the soul / spirit state, and the immune status.

* Healing the Skin, Jachens, Lueder, page 38.

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Healing the Skin, Jachens, Lueder, Temple Lodge Press, 2008.

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