Psychosomatic medicine

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Psychosomatic medicine or psychosomatics for short (from Greekψυχή "breath, soul" and σῶμα soma "body, life") is a branch of medicine that takes into account the effect of psychic (soul) phenomena on bodily processes. From an anthroposophical point of view, the body here is the connection between the etheric body and the physical body. Conversely, somatic (bodily) processes also influence the psychological state. In this case one speaks of somatopsychology.

From Rudolf Steiner's point of view, the deeper causes of all illnesses, physical as well as mental, lie in the incorrect interaction of the human being's so-called members.

Physical-functional illnesses are caused by the fact that the members which are connected with the consciousness activity of the human being, i.e. the astral body and the I, intervene too deeply in the physical body, because all consciousness is based on life-inhibiting degradation processes. If, however, these two higher members intervene too little in the organism, the vital forces begin to proliferate too much, and illness also results from this.

Mental illnesses, on the other hand, are based on the fact that the two lower members have too much influence on the higher ones. Rudolf Steiner described this "fundamental law" of anthroposophic medicine as follows:

„Physical illnesses are due to the physical organism or its parts becoming spiritual. Mental illnesses are due to the astral body or I-organization, or one of their parts, taking form in the physical or etheric sense. This universal truth is a very good guiding principle.“ (Lit.:GA 316, p. 210f)

The process of healing is intended to guide the interaction of the different members back into correct ways and thereby bring about the recovery of the organism, whereby the actual healing forces have their seat in the etheric body.

In 1989, Burghard F. Klapp (1945-2016) introduced integrated psychosomatics at the Charité in Berlin, which from 1990 onwards, together with Gerhard Danzer (* 1956), was further developed into person-centered medicine or personal medicine[1] until 2014. This is a holistic medical-psychosomatic concept that focuses equally on the person of the patient and the doctor and their mutual relationship. The theoretical background of the practical applications is formed by philosophical, anthropological and depth-psychological considerations and a healing science based on natural science. In addition, cultural analysis and criticism also play an essential role.


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: URL:
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.


  1. Not to be confused with [[w:personalized medicine|]], which is based primarily on pharmacotherapy tailored to the individual physiological constitution.