International Post Graduate Medical Training ( IPMT )

An Introduction to IPMT

Anthroposophic Medicine was inaugurated by Rudolf Steiner PhD (1861-1925), an Austrian philosopher, Goethe researcher, with the Dutch doctor Ita Wegman, MD (1876-1943), by establishing Clinics in Arlesheim, Switzerland and Stuttgart, Germany in 1921.

The IPMT for certification of Doctors came into being in 2002 and is available in India since 2004 and now in more than 15 Countries across the globe .

The IPMT entails an intensive 7 day residential program. The Training begins in the morning with Eurythmy followed by the Goetheanistic plant observation and later by Text Study. The afternoons are devoted to the specific groups along with the other therapeutic modalities like External treatments, Eurythmy, Art therapy, Psychotherapy that widens the perspective for holistic treatment options.

The IPMTis conducted and coordinated by the Medical Section, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland and in India by the Anthroposophic Medical Society, India Chapter.

The Concept and Working Modus of the IPMT

The schooling of sense perception, movement and thinking as a basis for diagnosing the members of the fourfold human being

1. Schooling of sense perception:

After an introduction to the phenomenological method of working according to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, we divide into small groups in order to engage in practical exercises in observation.

  • According to Goethe, the processes of certain aggregate states in nature – the solid state of matter (mechanics), the liquid state of matter (hydraulics), the aeriform state of matter (aerodynamics) and pure warmth, a non-material state of matter (thermodynamics), are directly connected to the fourfold nature of the human being:
  • Solid matter constitutes the human physical body, the liquid element is the prerequisite for life processes, the aeriform state and breathing are linked to the inner experiences of the soul, and warmth is the basis for the will activity of the "I".
  • Knowledge of the life processes, mental-emotional aspects and spirit inherent in the human being thus leads to an understanding of how they are connected to the elements of nature and the macrocosm, enabling us to find the healing forces that the realms of nature hold for us.
  • "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly", wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Goethe's ethical-religious attitude towards life points in the same direction: one only comes to know what one loves. Developing love as a force of cognition and thus creating a capacity for spiritual empathy is the highest goal of this work. As Goethe said “the kind of observation used depends on the kind of thing being observed”.

2. Movement:

Eurythmy is an art of movement that was developed before World War I by Rudolf Steiner in collaboration with movement artists. Over the course of five training modules we will practise the principles of speech and tone eurythmy.

  • Therefore, eurythmy movements correspond to inner formative movements and shaping gestures, just as these correspond to the formative language of the realms of nature and of human speech.
  • This is the archetypal alphabet of vowels and consonants which may be found in all languages.
  • When we perform and practice these movements (eurythmy as “visible speech”) we may develop a more subtle appreciation of formative and shaping processes in nature and in the human being, and hence for the processes of illness and healing.
  • The first training block covers the basic vowels and consonants . In subsequent training weeks, gestures corresponding to the tones and intervals in music will be added, as well as cosmic gestures linked to the planets and the signs of the zodiac, and the basic principles of eurythmy therapy.

3. Schooling of thinking:

The third step is the schooling of thinking. For this purpose we will use chapters from the book Fundamentals of Therapy written jointly by Steiner and Wegman. After a short introduction, the work takes place in the same small groups as for our Goetheanistic studies. The groups use the text to practise a four-stage thought-schooling process:

  • Reading the text, numbering the paragraphs, and working through what has been said, in writing. Connections that remain incomprehensible or give rise to questions are written down for later discussion.
  • The train of thought is followed from the first paragraph through to the last: How does one thought join to the next? Where does the train of thought apparently break off, in order to be taken up again at another place? Where do new thoughts start – perhaps standing next to the first and second thoughts with no apparent connection? What is the thread running through? Are we in a position to be able to reproduce the train of thought, developed by Steiner, ourselves? And what about the inner evidence of these thoughts?
  • While the first and second steps have more to do with the way in which the content is brought as thought forms, in the third step the emphasis lies in comprehending the composition of the chapter as a whole:How are the beginning and end related to each other? In the course of the paragraphs, do various important points reveal themselves or does the whole move towards a climax which is all-important? Does one thought develop out of another in a more sculptural style or is it a more inspirational style where one thought does not directly join to the next, but rather has a loose illuminating association, i.e., a complementing form? In this third step, which has to do with a deeper, artistic grasping of the way in which the inner and outer structure of the chapter is built up, the possibility arises of unlocking the text in a much more intimate way as a work of art, a composition. Through this it may then be possible, to come to a further, deeper understanding of what is expressed by the text.
  • The final stage of grasping in thought and understanding is the attempt to penetrate to its essential nature or inner reality.