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Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 Jan;2(1):24-30. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.2.1.006.

Effects of eurythmy therapy in the treatment of essential arterial hypertension: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Research Institute Havelhoehe Berlin, Community Hospital Havelhoehe, Berlin, Germany.
2
Practice for Eurythmy Therapy at the Ambulatory Healthcare Centre, Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany.
3
Ambulatory Healthcare Centre, Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 Mar;2(2):8. Zerm, Ronald [corrected to Zerm, Roland].

Abstract

in English, Chinese, Spanish

INTRODUCTION:

Although eurythmy therapy (ET) has been used in the context of anthroposophic medicine (AM) for the treatment of, among other conditions, arterial hypertension (AH) for more than 80 years, there are as yet no studies on its effectiveness on disease entity. However, it has been shown that ET can increase heart rate variability comparably to ergometer training.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a 10-week course of ET has an impact on AH and if so, to determine the strength of the effect. The impact of ET on state-autonomic regulation, self-regulation, internal coherence, and quality of life is also explored.

METHODS:

Consecutive inclusion of 9 subjects (6 female, 3 male, mean age of 64 years, SD 8.26) with AH diagnosed by their general practitioners.

INCLUSION CRITERIA:

no or unchanged antihypertensive medication from 4 weeks prior to the start of the study until the end of the study. ET was carried out with weekly instruction along with a daily, home-based program for 10 weeks with specific exercises. Twenty-four-hour blood pressure (BP) measuring was carried out, and the questionnaires were administered before and after the intervention. In addition, after a further 6 months during which 8 of the 9 patients carried on with the exercises of their own accord, the aforementioned parameters were assessed for a third time.

RESULTS:

Parameters of the 24-hour BP measurements show a moderate, but not significant, improvement immediately after the intervention and 6 months after the intervention. After the 10-week intervention, we saw an improvement of the State-autonomic Regulation questionnaire, the subscale on "Rest/Activity regulation," of the Self-regulation questionnaire, and the subscale "Initiative and Interest" of the Herdecke Quality of Life Questionnaire (HLQ) (all P < .045). After the 6-month post-study observation period, the aforementioned parameters improved further still, and an additional, significant improvement was seen for the Trait-autonomic Regulation subscale "Rest/Activity regulation," the HLQ-sum score, and the HLQ subscales "social interaction," "mental balance," and "physical ability."

CONCLUSION:

A 10-week course of ET does not result in a significant improvement in BP. The average BP measurements improved post-intervention by an absolute 3.2/2.0 mmHg and after 6 months of independent continuation of ET by 6.3/4.4 mmHg (systolic/diastolic). Despite the small group size, the regulation and quality-of-life parameters improved significantly after the intervention and further still after the 6-month observation period. The results need to be validated with larger patient collectives and control groups.

KEYWORDS:

Anthroposophic medicine; blood pressure; eurythmy therapy; hypertension; mindfulness-based

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