A real breakthrough: the inclusion of Anthroposophic Medicine in Swiss statutory health insurance.
On 16 June 2017 the Swiss Government decided that, as from 1 August 2017 and for an unlimited period of time, complementary medicine will be part of the mandatory healthcare provision in Switzerland. Complementary medicine includes Anthroposophic Medicine, classic homeopathy, phytotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. On the day when Switzerland celebrates its national holiday, a protracted struggle for recognition was finally crowned with success.
Anthroposophic Medicine, founded in 1925 by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman as an “extension of scientific medicine”, has been a model of complementary medicine from the beginning. The recent breakthrough was preceded by the untiring efforts of many scientists, including Professor Peter Heusser, MD, then a lecturer at Bern University, Gunver S. Kienle, MD, from the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology in Freiburg, Germany, and the co-founders of the German Dialogue Forum for Pluralism in Medicine, Professor Peter Matthiessen, MD, and Helmut Kiene, MD. The political work was supported in particular by Herbert Holliger of Anthrosana and the former member of the Swiss National Council, Rudolf Hafner.
One of the particular tasks of complementary medicine is that of safeguarding its great treasure of medicines.
Dr Hansueli Albonico, MD
One of the most frequent questions patients ask when they have been diagnosed with cancer is ‘What can I do myself to get better?’ The answers are encouraging.
Apart from healthy eating, exercise and a conscious way of life there are concomitant therapies that can be very helpful. Integrative cancer care includes therapies in addition to mistletoe therapy that also support recuperation. Rhythmic massage, baths and compresses harmonize and warm the body while art therapies stimulate the soul life.
Drawing on the powers of self-healing
Patients appreciate taking an active part in their process of recovery. Painting and drawing are activities that instil calmness and positive thinking. Patients gain confidence in their own body and its powers of self-healing.
After the first shock of having been diagnosed with cancer, art therapy can open pathways for self-expression: images can help when words do not come easily. Patients may feel insecure at first when they embark on artistic activities. Qualified art therapists will guide them gently and help them overcome inner blockages.
Once patients have entered into the flow of the artistic activity, the therapists encourage them to play with colours and forms. Gradually, they gain the confidence to experiment with their own forms and explore motifs that are meaningful to them. The joy of seeing their pictures transform enables them to discover their own resources and gain self-confidence.
Over time patients notice how their soul life also begins to change. What they have learned through the artistic activity has become a new inner faculty. Art therapies are therefore much more than occupational therapy. They provide a space for the patients to test themselves and show ways that, out of the therapeutic situation, often open up new perspectives in life.
Bettina Böhringer, physician