External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Anthroposophic nursing – an introduction

The aim of anthroposophic nursing is to assist people to find their individual way – on the level of body, soul and spirit – during phases of life when they are ill and dependant on care. Nurses in collaboration with doctors and therapists have been contributing to the realisation of a spiritual art of healing.

Foundations of External Applications

Baths, compresses and rhythmical oil applications have been part of the treasury of healing remedies of all cultures for thousands of years. Already in 1921 the founders of Anthroposophic Medicine integrated such procedures into the science-based art of healing that they were developing, countering the trends of the day.

An overview over the different kind of applications

Compresses and poultice

To understand external applications we require a more precise description of them. Different terms may be used to describe the same thing, depending on the context.
External applications are used to convey healing processes via the skin. Many of them are three-part compresses.

Rhythmical Einreibung according to Wegman/ Hauschka

Die Rhythmischen Einreibungen (RE) wurden von der Ärztin Ita Wegman in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts auf dem Boden der anthroposophischen Medizin im Zusammenhang mit der Rhythmischen Massage entwickelt. Nach dem 2. Weltkrieg wurden sie durch Dr. Margarethe Hauschka zu einem lehrbaren Konzept ausgearbeitet und seit etwa 1980 vor allem durch Pflegende für die professionelle Anwendung und den Alltag modifiziert und konkretisiert.

Guiding principles for the different parts of the Rhythmical Einreibungen

The Rhythmical Einreibung according to Wegman/ Hauschka can be used as an application to the whole body as well as to parts of the body only. In the two chapters below you will find an overview about the effects medical indications when applying it to specific areas of the body. In order to keep a better overview they are sorted by the "general" Einreibungen and the Einreibungen to the organs.