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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Fundamentals of Therapy
GA 27

Preface to the 4th Edition

About sixty years ago Rudolf Steiner worked on this book together with the then leader of the Medical Section of the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. Great indeed was the enthusiasm of Dr Ita Wegman for that work! One could see her driving off after a very quick supper up to the place where she was expected by the great man. With the help of this book, the medical profession is given the opportunity to learn the new way of a medicine which considers man, not only as a physical being, but one consisting also of soul and spirit. This knowledge shows clearly the connection of man with the forces in nature and the universe.

After Rudolf Steiner's death it was Ita Wegman who helped to spread the work which led to a whole medical movement. Many doctors all over the world presently belong to it. Consequently, different clinics had to be enlarged and new ones to be founded. The original small house in Arlesheim for patients became the large Ita Wegman Clinic with many sick-beds. The Lucas Clinic in Arlesheim was built for research in the treatment of cancer, and which has gained the respect of official medical specialists in different countries. An impressive number of clinics now exist around the world whose work is on the lines indicated by Steiner and Wegman (a list of clinics and their addresses is given at the end of this book). Among those who have made enormous strides in furthering Anthroposophical medicine include in West Germany, the Fielder Clinic in Stuttgart, and two others in Herdecke and Pforzheim. In Sao Paolo, Brazil, has been established the Tobias Clinic. It is important to know that there exist places where doctors and medical students can get a thorough teaching accordingly. There is a regular medical seminar for several months a year in Arlesheim which has been attended by hundreds of doctors so far, and another place with similar courses is in Holland. Recently a university based on the work of the Herdecke Clinic was opened in West Germany, with a medical faculty for lectures and for practice in the new way of medicine.

Through the endeavour of Ita Wegman, many new homes for the treatment of mentally handicapped children were founded. Such homes exist in nearly all European countries, but also in the U.S.A., Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand.