The Waldorf Education Super-Site!

Home/Topics <- Start Here
Rudolf Steiner, Academics, Anthroposophy, Eurythmy, Media Restriction, Art, Health & Safety, Tree Climbing, Steiner for Kids, Special Needs, Criticism, more Topics!...
Research & Tools
Links, Reading Room, Steiner Says..., Checklist, Waldorf Parents Survival Guide, Academic Resources, School Tour, more Tools!...
Community
Forums, News, Email updates, For Educators, About, Open Letter, Thanks, Feedback, Mail Bag, more...
OpenWaldorf.com is updated frequently. Sign up for FREE email updates!

Health and Safety

The Waldorf approach to health and safety is based on Anthroposophical spiritual science.

Anthroposophical Medicine

"Anthroposophical medicine" is a form of alternative medicine based on the spiritual science of Anthroposophy. Your child may be treated with Anthroposophical medicine while at Waldorf school.

You can learn more about Anthropsophical medicine here:

Reading List: Works on Anthroposophical Medicine
by Rudolf Steiner

Title (A link below means you can read that title online for FREE!!)

Amazon
Notes

Fundamentals of Anthroposophical Medicine

Fundamentals of Therapy (Retitled Extending Practical Medicine)

Spiritual Science and Medicine (Retitled Introducing Anthroposophical Medicine)

Look inside

Polarities in Health, Illness and Therapy (Retitled The Healing Process)

Look inside

Other online resources on Anthropsophical Medicine

Here are some important things to keep in mind with regards to Anthropsophical medicine and your child:

If you don't want your child treated with Anthroposophical medicine, it is a good idea to have a letter on file with your Waldorf school office and a copy with your teacher stating your preference explicitly.

Anthroposophical Medicine

  1. Does the school administer Anthroposophical medicine?
  2. What types of diagnoses and treatments would this include?
  3. Who can administer Anthroposophical medicine at the school? What is their medical training.?
  4. May I opt out of Anthroposophical medicine? If so, how will my child be treated?
  5. May parents inspect the first aid kit at the school?

You can print out the Master Checklist for parents, and bring it with you to school.

Immunization

Waldorf's official position on immunization is that there is no official Waldorf position on immunization. Instead, Waldorf says that immunization should be informed by medical professionals, and ultimately parents should decide whether or not to immunize their own children.

Typically Waldorf schools do not encourage parents to immunize their children against the following diseases.

Strong Anti-Immunization Preference

While there may not be an official position on immunization at Waldorf, there does seem to be a strong cultural anti-immunization preference among thought-leaders in the Waldorf community. This preference can be traced back to Steiner himself, who believed that immunization interferes with karmic development and the cycles of reincarnation. Steiner says:

Read
Online!
We also understand why, among the best minds of our period, there exists a kind of aversion to vaccination... This would constitute the indispensable counterpart without which we are performing only half our task. We are merely accomplishing something to which the person in question will himself have to produce a counterpart in a later incarnation. If we destroy the susceptibility to smallpox, we are concentrating only on the external side of karmic activity.

Steiner, Rudolf. Manifestations of Karma, Lecture 8

Many respected Waldorf leaders share this view today. For example, in the article "Childhood Illness: Waldorf View," childhood disease is described as a "rite of passage" of childhood. The article suggests that when a child endures measles it is "as though he or she has had a form of ritual experience."

"At the higher emotional and mental levels, negative forces such as greed and selfishness have also been expelled. So a child who has measles is afterwards less self-centered and more openhearted, and often more able to express his or her individuality. The personality becomes rounder and fuller, and more joyful and contented, as a step towards maturity and adulthood."

"Childhood Illness: Waldorf View,"

So, if you are concerned about a self-centered or restless child, perhaps you might consider exposing them to measles. Complications may arise, but it suggests that:

Serious complications in childhood illness which produce permanent damage or even death are probably deeply founded in the destiny of the person concerned.

"Childhood Illness: Waldorf View,"

So, don't be alarmed if your child dies from a preventable disease because he/she is not immunized, it was probably their destiny. It clearly wasn't their destiny to be immunized.

Anti-immunization Websites

Even if you aren't concerned about interfering with your child's karmic destiny, there are other medical reasons for not immunizing your child. You can read more against immunization from the anthroposophy-based Los Angeles Alliance for Childhood, founded by Wiep de Vries, an anthroposophist nurse and health educator.

Immunization Information Links
The National Vaccine Information Center

You can find a lot more on this at Google: vaccination Waldorf.

Pro-Immunization Resources

Of course, many medical and public health professionals advocate immunization. You can learn more about this point of view through the Center for Disease Control's National Immunization Program.

Questions for Parent's Night or School Tour

Immunization

    1. What is Waldorf's position on immunization? Does Waldorf enourage parents to immunize their children against disease? Does Waldorf discourage immunization?
    2. Is it OK if I immunize my Waldorf child?
    3. Does Waldorf track the immunizations of the school population?
    4. Is my child at greater risk of exposure to childhood diseases if some of the students are not immunization? Is this good or bad?
    5. If my child has already been immunized against disease, is there a way to medically "reverse" the immunization so that my child might contract the disease, and benefit from being ill?

    You can print out the Master Checklist for parents, and bring it with you to school.

Google: treatments "anthroposophic medicine"

Rescue Remedy

If your child is injured at Waldorf, she may be treated with Rescue Remedy, a type of homeopathic medicine. Rescue remedy contains the following flower essences:

Rescue Remedy may be given to your child without your approval.

If you do not want your child to receive rescue remedy or other Anthroposophical medicine, you should write a letter to the school stating your preference, and ask them to keep it on file.

Treating Cancer with Misteltoe

Rudolf Steiner pioneered misteltoe therapy for the treament of cancer. Even famous movie stars like Three's Company's Suzanne Somers is trying this alternative treatment.

If you or a loved one has cancer, you should ask your oncologist what they think of Rudolf Steiner's mistletoe treatment for cancer.

Waldorf and Playground Safety

It's important to keep in mind that because Waldorf schools are private, Waldorf playgrounds don't have to be inspected. So, Waldorf schools are responsible for self-inspecting their playgrounds.

It's possible that your Waldorf school could improve playground safety. This possibility isn't due to anything inherent in Waldorf. Rather it is inherent in all playgrounds that are not required to be inspected. There is always room for improvement I call it the car seat effect: we've all heard that most parents don't install car seats correctly, yet we all try to. It seems as though playground safety is equally elusive, even to concerned builders.

Addressing Playground Safety at You School

While playground safety is a serious matter, it can be easily addressed through inspection and action. If you're concerned about the safety of your child on the Waldorf playground, you owe it to him/her to check it out for yourself. "Better safe than sorry." Here's one approach:

Digging Deeper

Improving Playground Safety

  1. INSPECT: Print and complete this Playground Safety Report Card.
  2. IDENTIFY areas that require improvement.
  3. SHARE your findings with your Waldorf community, perhaps in class parents' meetings, or on your prospective parent's tour.
  4. INFORM your children, and ask them to modify their behavior if necessary.
  5. ACT: Work with your school to set hard deadlines on specific improvement goals. Ask "What will it take to fix this?" and "When will we get it done?" "What's the completion date?" "Who is responsible for the shedule?"

You can print out the Master Checklist for parents, and bring it with you to school.

You can find lots more information on child safety at ChildSafetyExperts.com.

Anthroposophic Medicine

OpenWaldorf.com is updated frequently. Sign up for FREE email updates!

Promote open dialog about Waldorf Education!
(20KB) - Download a PDF of the OpenWaldorf flier, and share it at your school Click here!

Share OpenWaldorf with other Waldorf communities like ! Click here!


This web site is based on one Waldorf parent's personal journey.
It has no official affiliation with Waldorf education.
If you haven't already, please read About OpenWaldorf.

Copyright (c) 2003 Information: The words of OpenWaldorf.com may be freely distributed on the condition that they are clearly marked with the following sentence: "Source: OpenWaldorf.com, the most open site on the Internet for new and prospective Waldorf parents." Third-party sources quoted on OpenWaldorf.com are subject to the copyrights of the respective owners. Participants own their own words, and have full copyright over what they say.