Anthroposophical Medicine

Restoring Your Relationship to Sleep

The decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our wellness, even the safety and education of our children. It’s a silent sleep loss epidemic. It’s fast becoming one of the greatest challenges we face in the 21st century,
— Matthew Walker, neuroscientist and expert in sleep at UC Berkeley.

According to Matthew Walker, your lack of sleep is killing you.

The world is beginning to wake up to the ideas that Rudolf Steiner talked about over one hundred years ago. Sleep is not simply a time to stop moving, but a vital activity in the spirit of the human being.

I traveled home last week to visit family, and could see the bounty of spring in the roadside wildflowers of Central Texas. Spring has come to Wyoming, but we have one last frost before Mother Nature springs fully to life again.

In this new season of active life, we need to remember that sleep is where we connect to rediscover our own divine seed. The gift we were born with that needs no decoration, only awareness and care. It was Steiner who showed us that to connect with your divine genius and share it in your earthly endeavors, you first need to have a healthy relationship to sleep.

In my travels, I find meditation before sleep to be essential to my well-being and rejuvenation. If I skip this step, I start the day with much less clarity.

It is our duty to protect and nurture our sleep life, for that is where we connect to the stream that fuels our work here on earth.

This week, we are sharing some of our favorite books on the fascinating topic of sleep.

What Does it Mean to Be Human?

On many winter Sundays you can find me at our local ski mountain, as a ski instructor. Our wonderful nonprofit is a winter playground to our communities’ children and families. I have had the pleasure of teaching many of our community children to ski over the last two seasons.

Last Sunday was different, as I was asked to teach a young man that doctors told his parents would likely not walk, or talk much less ski. G, as I will refer to him, was born 12 weeks premature and with a brain bleed that was shunted. I met G, now age 19 and his mom last Sunday, and spent over two hours helping my new friend make turns in the freshly fallen snow.

“...the people in ancient times were aware that everything in the human being is connected not only with the things that develop on Earth but also with everything that the eye can see when it turns towards the heavens.” - Rudolf Steiner, What is Necessary in These Urgent Times, (CW196)

I found myself with a broad smile as I guided my new friend down our ski trails. I look forward to meeting him tomorrow and learning more from a boy that many thought would never communicate. In him, you can see how much we do not understand and how much we have yet to learn.

“Our task is to discover the real difference between those processes in the human organism that we call disease processes—which are basically quite normal, natural processes, even though specific causes must precipitate them—and the everyday processes that we call healthy. We must discover this radical distinction, but we shall not be able to do so if we cannot take up a way of looking at human beings that really leads to their essential nature.” —Rudolf Steiner, Introducing Anthroposophical Medicine (CW 312)

Get Informed: Childhood Illnesses and Immunizations in Waldorf Education

This book, a highly researched yet accessible body of work, explains how current influences, primarily immunizations, infiltrate the child’s organism and make growing up more difficult. The book, however, then also offers many practical ways to overcome those hurdles. Supporting the health of the developing child with anthroposophic education and anthroposophic medicine will thus ‘soften’ the blow to the archetypical, desired development. The authors show dedication, integrity and clarity throughout the book.
— Mary Jo Oresti, MA, Founding member of the Educational Support Program at the Detroit Waldorf School and Director and founding member of the Teacher Educational Support Program, an international professional development program sponsored by the Association for a Healing Education

Like many parents with children young children, we were concerned about the safety of immunizations when our twin boys were born. We read articles, books, and had lengthy conversations with our pediatrician. My husband, a scientist, could read and understand the ingredients in the proposed vaccines and we had a world-class physician who heard our concerns and helped us formulate a plan for our family. All parents deserve to be informed. I had access to experts that helped me make an educated decision.

At SteinerBooks, we bring those experts to you. The book Childhood Illnesses and Immunizations: Anthroposophic Ideas to Ensure the Wellbeing of Our Children in This Digital Age by Ross Rentea, Mark Kamsler and Andrea Rentea is a resource that every Waldorf teacher and parent should have on their bookshelf. Based on the authors’ many years of medical experience in the “trenches,” this book offers new ways of looking at the complex topic of childhood illnesses and immunizations.

Essential information is presented from an anthroposophic point of view:

CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES — their fundamental characteristics and meaning IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION — benefits and dangers

REMEDIES (more than 100!) — related to immunizations and the general wellbeing of our children

ANTHROPOSOPHIC MEDICINE — essential concepts

SPIRITUALIZED EDUCATION — Why it is essential to immunizations?

RUDOLF STEINER’S TEXTS — a comprehensive selection on immunizations and childhood illnesses

BASIC IMMUNOLOGY — combining natural and spiritual scientific insights