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 Anthroposophical Medicine: Creating a Healing Environment Suggestions for Home Care 
 
Lilipoh ©
Illness brings up in everyone a feeling of vulnerability. We lose strength and may lose control of many of our bodily functions. Questions come up: "What will help me overcome this?", and if it lasts long enough or is serious enough, we begin to ask ,"Why me?", "Why now?", and "Why this particular illness?"

This article deals with some practical answers to the first few questions, and acknowledges that beyond the practical things a sense of mystery exists around illness. We can't answer the why questions easily. We know from experience the impact illness has on our lives. Often, after an illness, a child will take a developmental step forward. An executive with a heart attack may question his priorities and then change his life-style. As Bernie Siegel says, a cancer patient is given "a wake-up call" and there is a chance to look at the issues and the priorities in her/his life. So illness is a means for transformation. When creating a healing environment in the home, we want to make space for both the practical and the mysterious to work themselves out.

Looking at the Individual
The first step for the caregiver is to take a good look at the sick individual. A calm, receptive emotional tone will create the right environment for the sick person to express the needs they have. Sometimes sickness brings over-sensitivity and a demanding mood. The caregiver should try to recognize this as part of the illness and not take it personally. Quiet talk with a child suffering from chicken pox, recalling our own chicken pox miseries, lets the sick one hear someone else's struggle put into words. The child will feel relief at being understood. When the caregiver respects the sick person's dignity and has faith in the recovery, then the caregiver becomes like a medicine to the patient. For example, a sick child doesn't care about remedies, but just wants the presence of the loving parent.. As the process unfolds, the sick person's sense of self changes from vulnerability to a new independence.

A quiet environment contributes to healing, and so TV and technically produced sounds have little place in creating a healing environment. Sleep should be protected - even the administering of remedies should be avoided if the patient is in a sound sleep. All the recommendations here and which follow need to be individualized for the person who is sick. But remember, this discussion should be treated as a source of questions to be asked rather than pre-determined answers. The answer is in the patient.

Change: Order and Rhythm ...Fresh, Inside and Out
Order and rhythm go hand-in-hand. While we do not have the controlled professional technique of experienced nurses, we can take a deep breath, get still for a moment and think, "What do I need to carry this out?" The body follows precise and timely rhythms in secreting hormones and enzymes in synchronicity with the changing time of day or year around us. When our treatments are given with regularity (though not necessarily so frequently we can't humanly keep up with the schedule). The body gains support and security from the meal, or remedy, or treatment far more than if it were given irregularly.

For growing children, rhythm in life provides a strong foundation in their physiology, so that later as adults when schedules are erratic, the body function is secure from years of rhythmic living. For the sick person, use of rhythm is a return to that healthful time of childhood, and brings health more quickly to the sufferer.

(Excerpted from Lilipoh)
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