For some 90 years the unique art form of eurythmy has been slowly establishing itself in our culture.
Eurythmy – “harmonious movement” – came into being in 1912 through the work of the Austrian scientist, philosopher and educator Dr Rudolf Steiner. Through the instrument of the human body, eurythmy expresses in movement the creative principles underlying speech and music.
Dr Steiner was the founder of a new science of the spirit which he termed anthroposophy: “the study of man”.
Dr Steiner sought to apply the same rigorous principles of scientific investigation to material and spiritual phenomena.
In the United Kingdom his work is mainly known through its practical application in the fields of agriculture, medicine, education and art.
For further information please click here.
What is eurythmy?
Our entire world is created through movement and this is reflected in the human organism. We move our limbs, our organs have subtle movements and our emotional life contracts and expands.
A body in movement is both healthy and alive. Eurythmy brings to expression those archetypal creative movements that underlie speech and music. Dr Steiner describes how when human speech or music sounds forth, the air is “sculpted” into gesture.
Through eurythmy this hidden gesture of our speech organs or of musical tone is made visible through the entire human body. The archetypal movements of creation are thus revealed “in miniature”.
Participating in this movement helps to bring about harmony in the totality of our being and our relations with the world.
The development of eurythmy
Eurythmy developed as a stage art and continues to be practised as such. Some years later its potential in education was recognised and became a core part of the Steiner Waldorf curriculum. Today eurythmy is taught to children and young people in Steiner Waldorf schools throughout the world. A more recent application has been the use of eurythmy in the workplace where much has been achieved in developing new ways of team working. For more information on eurythmy in these fields please click here.
Case History (Eurythmy Therapy): Simon
Simon is 77 and suffered a stroke 6 months ago. This has left him with a paralysed right arm and much reduced feeling in the right hand. Simon has led a full life and is deeply frustrated by not being able to use his dominant arm…
What is eurythmy therapy?
Therapy is a further branch of eurythmical work. When the human organism loses its equilibrium an imbalance results and illness may ensue. Eurythmy therapy aims to support change to restore the organism towards balance. This may avoid the development of illness or encourage a positive return to health.
Eurythmy has a rich vocabulary of movement and gesture for both speech and musical tone. As described earlier these are the visible manifestations of the “sculpted air” that arises when speech or music sounds forth.
These eurythmical gestures when used therapeutically are intensified and repeated. Dr Steiner’s research indicates how the consonants of speech echo the forces at work in nature whilst the vowels express our inner response to this environment. Used alone or in combination, consonants and vowels can be used to stimulate the organic functions in our body that reflect these external nature forces. These organic functions are then led into balance allowing the body to return to health. Musical elements such as intervals and tones can also have specific therapeutic effects bringing a rhythmic balance to opposing tendencies in both our physical and emotional lives. This exciting new area is the subject of ongoing research.
Other elements used in eurythmy therapy include the stepping of rhythms perhaps with copper rods or balls; the moving of forms to poetry or music and the so called “soul exercises” which combine a vowel with a particular gesture representing an inner attitude. Many of these other elements have a general “hygienic” effect of balancing body processes, allowing the specific speech and musical exercises to work more intensively.
Specific combinations of exercises will be determined for each individual patient in close collaboration with a doctor. A medical consultation with an anthroposophical doctor (who will have knowledge of eurythmy therapy) is recommended as a first step.
True healing is about more than the disappearance of symptoms. Eurythmy therapy is an active process allowing the patient to consciously participate in the process of achieving balance and good health. The process of finding health is known as salutogenesis.
Eurythmy therapy may prove beneficial for all ages in stimulating health in conditions of the various bodily systems listed below:
- Circulatory System
- Digestive System
- Nervous System
- Metabolic System
- Musculo-skeletal System
- Respiratory System
- Urogenital System
Also as a support for systemic disease, psychosomatic, and psychiatric challenges and learning and developmental disorders.
An accurate medical diagnosis from a qualified practitioner will assist in providing focussed eurythmy therapy exercises.
NB Eurythmy Therapy is not generally used in the acute phase of infection or inflammtion of any bodily tissue.
How does the therapy work?
The patient learns the exercises with the eurythmy therapist over a course of around seven weeks. Ideally sessions take place several times a week. For adults each session lasts about 30 – 40 minutes. The patient is encouraged to take a short rest afterwards. Long term results are achieved by ongoing daily practise at home for a similar period of weeks, though positive benefits may be quickly perceived. After this practise period, a break allows the effects to continue. A medical check up can then determine if further exercises are required.
Case History (Eurythmy Therapy): Adele
Adele 34, has recently spent time in hospital suffering from schizophrenia. Her situation has now stabilised and she has returned to her flat where relations keep a friendly eye out for her and offer support…
How do I request eurythmy therapy?
Please contact Hermes Health for an initial consultation. If you are not being referred from another eurythmy therapist, we also strongly recommend consulting a doctor familiar with anthroposophical medicine. For a list of current practitioners please click here.
If a medical consultation is not possible and you are not an osteopathic patient of Hermes Health, we will seek your written permission to write to your General Practitioner (GP) requesting details of your medical history. We may also request permission to discuss your condition with an anthroposophical doctor. Once this process is underway the therapy sessions can then be arranged.
All eurythmy therapists undergo two trainings. The first in the art of eurythmy followed at a later stage by the specialised training in eurythmy
therapy. Eurythmy Therapists are registered by the Council for Anthroposophical Health and Social Care (CAHSC). CAHSC is the self-governing register in the British Isles for all therapies allied to Anthroposophical Medicine.
All therapists registered with the CAHSC are also eligible for inclusion on AnthroMed®: the worldwide register for anthroposophical medical practitioners and therapists.