Located in a tranquil village near the heart of Basel's thriving pharmaceutical industry, the Lukas Klinik is a small island of people-oriented cancer treatment in an ocean of conventional medical institutions.
Its physicians are trained medical doctors who are also steeped in what's known as 'anthroposophy'--literally, awareness of humanity. They provide what they call 'complementary' tumor therapy, complementing conventional treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy by taking into account the physical body, life forces, the soul and the spirit.
In an interview with Swiss News, Dr. med. Peter Heusser, a leading physician at the clinic and Professor of Medicine at the University of Bern, sheds light on what it means to be an anthroposophical medical doctor.
Swiss News: What does is mean to be an anthroposophical physician?
Dr. Heusser: It means that we have an extended knowledge of the human being. In conventional medicine, the focus tends to be on the physical aspect of the human being. In anthroposophy, non-physical aspects are much more evolved.
Anthroposophical doctors are not 'healers,' we have all gone through conventional university medical programmes and post docs, Anthroposophic medicine is not alternative medicine: it complements conventional treatment.
How does anthroposophy give doctors an extended view of the human being?
Anthroposophy discerns four levels in the human being: the laws and forces of the physical, the laws and forces of the living, the soul (the carrier of emotions) and the spirit. We know that these four levels are integrated and we use knowledge of all of them for diagnoses and treatment.
When we take a patient's case history, we ask more questions than usual. We want to "know how patients have gone through other diseases in a more detailed way than usual. We try to determine the patient's emotional and spiritual wellbeing and how this interacts with physical or life processes in the body.
How is this extended view used in therapy?
Anthroposophic therapies are used to engender the body's own life processes such as vitality, strength and harmonisation of organic processes, but also self-regulation and sell:healing at the levels of soul and spirit.
Anthroposophy is not only oriented toward the physical, it is also oriented towards the higher levels of human existence, hence the term 'anthroposophy': anthropos = the human being, sophia = wisdom or science.
What sort of therapies are offered and why?