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The earth needs care. Life needs care. Animals, plants, mineral resources, water, air and temperature of our planet – all this concerns US. We bear responsibility. Human beings need care. As a newborn and child as well as a sick or old person. We learn to take care of ourselves and the world around us. As professional nurses, we help to develop nursing care as a cultural mission in practical, scientific and political terms.

Anthroposophy means "wisdom of man". Anthroposophical nursing means dealing responsibly with the earth's resources and nurturing human relations with the earth. Human relationships, economic conditions, access to education and participation in society help to determine one's health. In them the individual biography unfolds.

Anthroposophical nursing is a worldwide movement. In more than 16 countries on all continents there are training and further training courses for this art of nursing. Here, nursing methods such as therapeutic washing, wraps and compresses, baths, and rhythmic Einreibung are are taught. Anthroposophical medicine is the basis for the therapeutic applications. The nursing attitude, which can have a healing or insulting effect, is of particular importance. It is expressed in the relationship between the carer and the person receiving care.

All over the world professional carers have joined together in national associations to spread and develop anthroposophic nursing. The International Council of Anthroposophic Nursing Associations (ICANA) is the umbrella organisation of these national associations. The International Forum for Anthroposophic Nursing (IFAN) is an annual meeting of nurses for professional exchange. The office for "Quality in Anthroposophic Nursing" is caring for the quality of nursing training.

About Anthroposophic Nursing (AN)

The recent corona pandemic shows clearly health is more than individual well being. Health also has economic, ecological, social, cultural demographic, biographical and spiritual aspects. These all work together in the individual. AN integrates these aspects in assessing those in need of care under the holistic perspective of body, soul and spirit.

Nature and the Human Being
Human beings are part of nature. We should live in harmony and respect with the realms of animals, plants and minerals. The climate crises expresses that we are responsible for this planet. We are grateful for the gifts of nature, for her beauty, warmth, nutrition, stability. We use these gift for our nursing skills in a sustainable way.

Disease and Healing

Up to the 20th century most illnesses were inflammatory, infectious diseases. Due to vaccination, antibiotic and immune suppressive therapies the emphasis of these mostly acute diseases turned into chronic non-communicable illnesses. Now heart failure and cancer are the most relevant causes of death. Chronic disease often means lifelong assistance by nurses and other health professionals. Nurses accompany those in need with knowledge, warmth and practical aid.

It is not only important what we do, but how we do it. The quality of touch and movement, even thoughts and feelings of the caregiver have a relevant impact on wellbeing and health on those in need of care. Twelve archetypal nursing gestures are a foundation for a caring attitude in nursing practice.

Primary Nursing Skills

Rhythmical Einreibungen (RE) is gentle, gliding touch along archetypal forms of the body. Fundamentally it strengthens life forces, enhances warmth and harmonizes rhythmic processes in the body.  RE supports the connection between the body and soul, particularly when this has been lost after physical or psychological trauma or approaching death. RE is applicable for nursing prophylaxis and support in illness. It is given as whole-body, partial-body or organ Einreibungen treatments. For its application RE utilizes massage oils and plant or metal ointments.

Compresses, baths and therapeutic washings work through healing and caring substances via the skin, through warmth and rhythm and via the healing atmosphere of the environment. They are an essential part of Anthroposophic Medicine.

International Forum for Anthroposophic Nursing (IFAN)

We stand for development and growth of Anthroposophic Nursing within the national health systems in our countries.

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International Council of Anthroposophic Nursing
Associations (ICANA)

ICANA promotes and sponsors the International Forum for Anthroposophic Nursing. ICANA is responsible for legal and financial issues.

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Quality in Anthroposophic Nursing (QAN)

QAN helps to ensure quality standards for education in Anthroposophic Nursing. QAN is responsible for accreditation of courses and certification of nurses.

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