Anthroposophic Nursing Practice

Foundations and Indications for Everyday Caregiving

Anthroposophic Nursing Practice
Rolf Heine Edited by
Adam Blanning Introduction by
Michaela Glöckler Foreword by
Matthias Girke Foreword by
Carol Brousseau Translated by
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6.5 X 9.5 in
624 pg

MEDICAL / Nursing Home Care
MEDICAL / Alternative & Complementary Medicine
MEDICAL / Home Care


Anthroposophic nursing care goes beyond the communicative approach of soft skills. Nurses form a bridge between treatment of the body and treatment of the patient’s soul and spirit by actively valuing the human body, paying attention to touch, using warmth, cold, air, and light to promote healing processes, and much more. Although physical wellbeing, autonomy, and youthfulness are central to our modern materialistic culture, our bodies actually receive little respect and appreciation, especially when they become ill and eventually old. Nursing values need to be rediscovered that respect the debased human being, embrace illness as a part of existence, and allow time for healing. A key aspect of this book involves the idea and practice of “nursing gestures,” relating inner attitudes and practical nursing activities to one another in detail through numerous examples and overviews. 

Anthroposophic Nursing Practice shows not only the possibility, but also the practical experience of nursing care, which aims to be both holistic and optimistic. The knowledge and perspectives gathered in this book have matured through the work of several generations of anthroposophically oriented nurses, all striving to refine a truly integrative nursing practice. 

This unique book will no doubt become the classic text on the important practice of anthroposophic nursing.

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction to the English edition Adam Blanning, MD
Preface by Rolf Heine
Foreword to the fourth German edition by Matthias Girke, MD
Foreword to the third German edition by Michaela Glöckler, MD


1. How Do You Learn Anthroposophic Nursing? (by Rolf Heine)


2. Observation as a Method of Self-development and a Therapeutic Element in Care and Destiny (by Monika Layer)
3. The Anthropological Foundations of Nursing Extended by Anthroposophy (by Frances Bay)
4. Illness and Destiny (by Renate Hasselbert & Rolf Heine)
5. Nursing as a Path of Development (by Renate Hasselbert & Rolf Heine)
6. Meditation in Nursing (by Rolf Heine)
7. The Concept of Nursing Gestures as a Model for Nursing Care (by Rolf Heine)


8. Rhythm (by Annegret Camps)
9. The Human Warmth Organism and Its Care (by Ada van der Star)
10. Variations on Whole-body Washing (by Rolf Heine)
11. Preventing Bedsores, Pneumonia, and Thrombosis in Seriously Ill Patients (by Rolf Heine)
12. Rhythmical Einreibung According to Wegman/Hauschka (by Ursula von der Heide & Monika Layer)
13. Compresses in Anthroposophically Extended Nursing Care (by Gabriele Weber)
14. Active Principles in External Applications (by Rolf Heine)


15. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Puerperium as Stages of Human Becoming (by Anna Wilde & Regula Markwalder)
16. Neonatal Nursing Care. Care Is Education—Education Is Care (Inga Heine & Rolf Heine)
17. The Concept of Development as the Basis for Anthroposophically Extended Pediatric Nursing (by Carola Edelmann)
18. Psychiatric Nursing (by Klaus Adams)
19. From the Question of Meaning in Cancer to the Cultivation of the Senses (by Bernhard Deckers)
20. Anthroposophic Oncology Nursing (by Jana Schier)
21. Geriatric Care as Care for Human Beings (by Ada van der Star & Annegret Camps)
22. Aspects of Caring for Elderly People who are Mentally Ill or Confused (by Christel Kaul)
23. Caring for People with Dementia in Inpatient Facilities (by Heike Schaumann)
24. Palliative Care (by Christoph von Dach & Sasha Gloor)
25. The Care and Accompaniment of the Dying and the Deceased (by Gundren Buchol)

EPILOGUE by Rolf Heine

List of Products Mentioned, with US and European equivalents
About the Authors

This book is a translation from German of Anthroposophische Pflegepraxis—Grundlagen und Anregungen für alltägliches Handeln, 4th edition (Salumed Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 2017). Translated from the German by Carol Brousseau.


“This first English-language edition of Anthroposophic Nursing Practice shows not only the possibility, but the practical experience of nursing care which is both holistic and optimistic in its orientation. That is a cause for celebration!

“A monumental contribution to the field of nursing and health care in general. It will no doubt soon become the classic text in this important area. Anthroposophic Nursing Practice spans the full gamut of practices that should be a part of contemporary holistic therapeutic care and extends them in significant ways: biography, inner development (meditations), nursing gestures, rhythm, warmth, washing, wound care, pneumonia, rhythmical massage, compresses, and specializations, for example in childbirth, childhood education, psychiatric nursing, cancer, and geriatrics, including palliative care. Every nurse who approaches the care of their patients with a modern spiritual perspective will want this book on their shelf and moreover in their heart.”Arthur Zajonc, author of Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry

“This fundamental and comprehensive book of anthroposophic nursing practice is the result of generations of practical experience in truly holistic nursing care. Here are nursing techniques that have matured over many years through anthroposophic nurses who have been striving to define a truly integrative nursing practice. They are simple, safe, effective, and humane. They open a whole realm of clinical practices that guide the body through illness by actively calling on the body’s own intrinsic healing processes. 

“There are chapters that will be of very special interest, and also useful for laypeople who are caring for others, most notably the ones about caring for newborns at the beginning of life and for the elderly at the end of life.”Adam Blanning, MD, President, Anthroposophic Health Association (AHA)

Author Bio

Rolf Heine (b. 1960) is a certified nurse and anthroposophic nursing specialist (IFAN). He completed his training at the Filderklinik Independent Nursing School in Filderstadt, near Stuttgart, Germany. From 1986 to 2016, Heine worked as a nurse at Filderklinik hospital, initially on the ward for internal medicine, followed by a teaching position at the Filderklinik Independent Nursing School and head of a nursing research project on the external applications of mustard and ginger. As a member of the nursing management at Filderklinik hospital, Mr. Heine was responsible for the gynecology–obstetrics, internal medicine, and oncology wards. He has many years of experience in the areas of quality assurance and nursing development. In 2012, he founded the Academy for Nursing Professions at the Filderklinik hospital and served as its director. Today he maintains the Network for Anthroposophic Nursing Care in Germany. He was a member of the board of the Association for Anthroposophic Nursing for 18 years, a member of the German Nursing Council (DPR), and a member of the board of the umbrella organization for Anthroposophic Medicine in Germany (DAMiD). He is also active as the coordinator of the International Forum for Anthroposophic Nursing (IFAN) in the Medical Section of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum and is a member of the International Coordination of Anthroposophic Medicine (IKAM). He is president of the International Council of Anthroposophic Nursing Associations (ICANA). He has published numerous contributions on the topic of anthroposophic nursing in books and professional journals. He lectures and teaches seminars in Germany and abroad.

Adam Blanning, MD, a native of Denver, attended the University of Colorado for both his undergraduate English literature and medical degrees. In 2003 he founded the Denver Center for Anthroposophic Therapies. Dr. Blanning also works as an educational and developmental consultant for area Waldorf schools (Denver and Boulder) and has lectured on anthroposophic medicine and child development throughout the U.S. and Canada. He currently serves as president of the Association for Anthroposophic Medicine and Therapies in America (AAMTA), sits on the board of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM), and teaches in its training courses. Dr. Blanning is a founding member and core faculty for the Nurturing the Roots course in Waldorf early childhood therapeutic education and teaches and directs the two-year PAAM curriculum in school doctoring. He likes to grow things in his backyard and spend time with his family when he is not doctoring.

Dr. Michaela Glöckler has been Leader of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum, the School of Spiritual Science in Dornach, Switzerland since 1988. She attended the Waldorf School in Stuttgart, then studied German language, literature, and history in Freiburg and Heidelberg. She studied medicine in Tübingen and Marburg and trained as a pediatrician at the community hospital in Herdecke and at the Bochum University Pediatric Clinic. Until 1988 she was a colleague in the children’s outpatient clinic at the Community Hospital in Herdecke and served as school doctor for the Rudolf Steiner School in Witten, Germany. Michaela has many publications in German, many of which have been published in English.

Dr. Matthias Girke, MD, is the co-leader of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum Switzerland and director of Internal Medicine at Havelhöhe Hospital in Berlin; he has a special interest in oncology and endocrinology.