External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Rhythmical Neck-Shoulder-Back Embrocation According to Wegman/Hauschka

Kind of substance

Aurum/Lavandula comp. cream

Guiding principle for the application

The practitioner starts by placing his warm hands on the area between the shoulder blades, perceiving the tissue, slowly compressing and loosening. The idea is to stimulate etheric forces in the upper chest area and promote blood circulation and warmth in this area. Then stroke three times from the neck area over the shoulders to the arms in an enveloping gesture. Rub the neck muscles in rhythmic circles along the muscle lines. The aim is to release the tension in the neck area. During the compressing process, pay full attention to the tissue and thus to the current situation of the patient (in this case, a mother with inadequate milk production). Create space through loosening, thus making lightness possible.

Rub the posterior chest area in a phase-shifted two-handed way, to create space for the physiological processes necessary for breastfeeding. The circling motion generates warmth and promotes upbuilding forces.
During the final stroke of her back, we direct uplifting thoughts of confirmation to the mother.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Lactation disorders
  • Inadequate milk production


Rhythmical embrocation according to Wegman/Hauschka can only be learned in seminars from instructors. For more information see  Rhythmical Embrocation

Proven with many patients
1–2 x daily
Onset of effect
After one to three applications
Length of therapy
As long as needed, until the milk flows well and sufficiently

Case example

Detailed description of several experiences
A total of five observational studies were documented, with several rhythmical embrocation treatments being carried out on four of them. Three observational studies were conducted with newborns and two with preterm infants. In all observations, the amount of milk was too little to completely feed the child with breast milk. All mothers expressed in some way that they were worried about their baby getting enough milk and nutrition. All mothers simultaneously applied the usual measures, such as regular pumping out, kangarooing and offering the breast. All mothers showed the following picture regarding warmth distribution: either the neck or kidney area or both areas were cool. Three mothers said that their neck felt tense, all spoke of feeling tense either when offering the breast or because of pressure to succeed when pumping out. The three newborns also showed signs of unease, such as increased crying, hypertonia, agitation, restless sleep.
All the mothers said after the application that it was good to experience the complete attention of the practitioner and that they enjoyed the physical touch. If the mothers slept after the application, they reported that they slept restfully, especially after several applications. The amount of milk increased steadily; now and then it happened that more milk came at the next pumping right after the application. The amount of milk increased in all three mothers who were observed for more than three days. All in all, it must be said that the usual measures to establish sufficient milk volume were also taken. The mothers said that the treatments had been positive mainly because they could relax and there was clear support for their desire to breastfeed.
Temperature distribution changed. Usually after the post-treatment rest in the warm cloth the whole neck area was warm. I could still often feel somewhat cooler skin over the kidneys, if they were cold before, so I did figure-eights over the kidneys during the further treatments. My own feeling was that this clearly increased the calming effect even more.
The newborns experienced quieter situations at the breast after the application. Almost always we observed that if the mother became calmer, the baby became calmer too (including vital signs, vigilance, sleep-wake rhythm).

After these documented observational studies, this became an established treatment on the ward for low milk volume in the first days of life caused by stress and tension in mothers.


Red., NH