Does eurythmy have a therapeutic effect?
Yes it does. All the arts of movement promote health, although one may wonder at some of the excesses that are practised in professional ballet. Eurythmy is particularly effective, being used therapeutically by practitioners who have done a specialised training in eurythmy therapy (curative eurythmy). The movements are adapted for specific conditions and ailments as diagnosed and prescribed by an anthroposophical doctor. Although some the exercises derive from gestures seen on stage, they are totally different in character, intention and appearance. The power of the specific movements work through the life body, or etheric body, to strengthen and harmonise where there may be illness or imbalance.
No individual therapeutic advice is available through DISCOVER EURYTHMY; you will need to consult a qualified anthroposophically trained doctor if you are looking for help. It is always necessary to have a personal referral from an experienced doctor.
Anthroposophical doctors and eurythmy therapists in the UK are registered under the Council for Anthroposophical Health and Social Care (CAHSC). Eurythmy therapists undergo an intensive training after completing the four-year foundation training in eurythmy.
“We should know that in our etheric body we constantly have the tendency to do eurythmy; it is something the etheric body of itself tends to do. It is really the etheric body that makes these movements, and it is only prevented from doing so when we cause the physical body to carry them out. When we allow eurythmy movements to be made by the physical body, these movements are checked in the etheric body but react upon us, this time with a health-giving effect.”
-- Rudolf Steiner (Balance in Teaching: p28)
Hermes Health illustrated article on Eurythmy Therapy »
An article on Eurythmy Therapy by Seth Morrison »
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What benefits can I expect from practising eurythmy?
There are many personal benefits to be gained from the practice of eurythmy. Lay classes in eurythmy are offered as introductions or well-being sessions in areas where there is a Waldorf School or Anthroposophical Medical Practice. Rudolf Steiner House in London runs a number of groups. I wish these classes were available everywhere. Such opportunities are often just too far away for people who express their interest to DISCOVER EURYTHMY to travel. It may also need a bit of encouragement and enthusiasm to get a group together. Such classes bring harmony and relaxation to the body, and stimulate spatial awareness and mindfulness that brings an ease and enthusiasm to participants. Moving to beautiful poems and music often adds new spiritual insights to the whole experience.
The most specific intervention for the individual is through eurythmy therapy. This requires the diagnosis and referral of a doctor, trained in anthroposophical medicine, who may prescribe specific eurythmy therapy. A eurythmy therapist then works with the patient, teaching and guiding the movement exercises.
Research in neuro-physiology confirms that there are intimate links between our movement and the development and stimulation of the brain. Many people experience benefit and well-being from regular movement and exercise in many forms and disciplines. Eurythmy therapy can be directed towards specific areas of the body or the physiological constitution in highly effective treatments for individual patients.
Eurythmy activity in business organisations can encourage better communication and enhance team-working skills and individual initiative at all levels of management as well as the workforce. This work is called Eurythmy in the Workplace. It was originally developed in the Netherlands by Annemarie Ehrlich. it has been growing for over twenty years, and is now used worldwide.
I often work alongside courses in Higher Education and adult learning groups. Through the arts, it is possible to deepen the experience of almost any theme or subject. The trinal method (three-fold learning method) is used in curative education and social therapy trainings, combining theory, practice and art in a powerful synthesis. Eurythmy offers subtle and meaningful experiences that can enrich and transform learning.
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