Eurythmy therapy is an applied form of eurythmy, and an integral therapeutic process concerned with psychological and physiological well-being of mind, soul and body, complementing conventional medicine. The exercises are like 'inner gymnastics' (working from the soul directly onto the etheric body)
- 'Eurythmy therapy' was previously (and is sometimes still) called 'curative eurythmy'
paraphrased: (lecture reference still to be added)
.. in the method of eurythmy therapy .. we can directly experience how the creative and therapeutic power of the word is at work
Lecture coverage and references
For a general overview of Rudolf Steiner's lectures on eurythmy, see: Eurythmy#Overview
The main cycle is:
- 1921-GA315: Eurythmy therapy (8 lectures)
2022 - Beatrix Hachtel
taken from an online posting on facebook (SWCC)
In the time since that the Bibliographie [see Further reading section below] was published [in 2007], research of Euryhmy Therapy has made huge progress.
In the English-speaking world much of the knowledge that has become known in the German-speaking world since 2007 through the publication of the 'Bibliographie Heileurythmie' has probably never been translated. At that time I had the task to go through all the existing anthroposophical medical literature from 1920 onwards, read all the texts relevant to eurythmy therapy, and summarize them in abstracts. The result was a book with over 600 pages which summarized more than 500 publications and had extensive registers, in which one could look up who had already written about the exercises and clinical pictures. The 2014 update concerned only the listing of the texts in bibliographic form without a summary.
The content from 2006 summarized the state of knowledge at that time. While today most of it must be considered outdated in many respects, this still gives an impression of the efforts of our professionals during the last century.
The publications on eurythmy therapy have multiplied over the last 25 years. When we last recorded them in 2014, we were able to record around 1500 relevant texts, including master’s theses, doctoral theses and a whole series of research projects. This is remarkable insofar as up to 1990 only about 100 relevant texts on eurythmy therapy could be recorded.
There are various reasons for this. On the one hand, the need was experienced to publish skillfull presented courses of illness and eurythmy therapy interventions. Then, in recent years, intensive efforts have been made to search for methodological approaches and to develop study designs that can document the effect of artistic therapies as an individual measure or as part of an overall concept. The research surveys occasionally published by the Medical Section after the turn of the millennium reflected this effort.
In addition, it also shows that eurythmy therapy has become a means of knowledge for many doctors over the decades, leading to a deeper understanding of the disease process and the effects of the remedy.
This academization process was supported by the master’s study course at the Alanus University at Alfter, Germany, which eurythmy therapists who had been working for many years could also complete. Their participation resulted in numerous, sometimes very impressive master thesis of treatment documentation and small studies.
A demarcation of 'artistic eurythmy' and 'hygienic eurythmy' from eurythmy therapy
Publications were included in the bibliography which document the therapeutic effect of eurythmy and eurythmy therapy. The elements of artistic eurythmy, such as those used in “eurythmy in the workplace” or in pedagogical eurythmy, have a hygienic, harmonizing and generally balancing effect, as impressively documented for example by the Baufit study (M. Moser, AUVA Graz) from the begin of the new millenium. Eurythmy therapy works partly with the same movements. The difference to artistic eurythmy, however, lies in the fact that through modifications a reversal of the effects from the movements is achieved: instead of giving intensity and expression of the movement to the surrounding space and the watching public, the intention of the movement is directed inwards and therefore strengthened. This direction of action is made mentally conscious and thus the therapeutic effectiveness is strengthened right down to the physical.
The artistic process in eurythmy therapy
Every artistic activity corresponds to a creative process that develops step by step. Whether painting a picture, creating a sculpture or moving in space - there is always an encounter between an idea of how it could be and the observation of how it turned out due to one's own skill level in dealing with brushes, clay or even movement control.
Experience has shown that certain illnesses correlate with certain inner structures, which appear in the picture, in the sculpture, in the musical improvisation or in the movement. The therapist must therefore be able through his training to recognize the structure changed by the illness and to develop skills in the creative process. Research in the artistic field can therefore aim beyond purely statistical surveys of the symptomatic treatment effects to record these disease-typical structures, to show their relevance to the severity of the disease symptoms and to describe their transformation and development possibilities. Several publications center around that subject and lead to several approaches to document illness related movements structures.
Consequences for research projects
Some publications already from the last millenium have taken this fact into account, with reference to the numerous works by Bräuner-Gülow, Ohlschwang and others (see Basic Research section). The scientific method of showing the evidence of effectiveness in the treatment of individual cases has been developed in recent years by H. Kiene, G.S. Kienle and others from the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology (Bad Krozingen, Germany - see more in the book chapter about see Research Methodology).
A whole series of – also older – impressive healing processes under eurythmy therapy would have to be expanded and modified according to these criteria. Dr. Gunver Kienle was able to bring the idea of individual treatment cases as part of scientific research (instead of the usual gold standart of randomized study groups) back into scientific debate and consideration, and eurythmy therapy benefited greatly from that effort, with numerous publications in scientific journals in the recent years.
References and further reading
- for an overview of publications in different languages, see the website by Batrix Hachtel here
- Margarete Kirchner-Bockholt: Fundamental Principles of Curative Eurythmy (1978, original in DE in 1962)
- Truus Geraets: 'The Healing Art of Eurythmy' (2003)
- Beatrix Hachtel, Angelika Gäch: 'Bibliographie Heileurythmie' (2005)
- Wilhelm Uhlenhoff: The Children of the Curative Education Course (2008)
- Hans-Broder and Elke von Laue: 'The Physiology of Eurythmy Therapy' (2010, also in DE)
- Rudolf Steiners Angaben zur Eurythmie - Krankengeschichten aus Arlesheim und Stuttgart (Norman Kingeter, Rob Schapink)
- Hans-Broder Von Laue: 'Zur Physiologie der Heileurythmie'
- Peter Selg: 'Der Kampf um die Heileurythmie im Spannungsfeld von therapeutischer Gemeinschaft'
- Wilburg Keller Roth: 'System und Methode der Heil-Eurythmie' (2021)
- Eurythmy Therapy in clinical studies: a systematic literature review (Arndt Büssing, Thomas Ostermann, Magdalena Majorek, Peter F Matthiesse) (2008)
- A systematic literature review on the effectiveness of eurythmy therapy (Désirée Lötzke, Peter Heusser Arndt Büssing) (2015)