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A Biodynamic Therapeutic Alliance

April 22, 2015

By Melissa Greer, D.O.

In medical school I learned very little about the role of nutrition in health. Much of what I did learn in conventional nutrition teachings I have found has little actual meaning in wellness. No one ever spoke in medical school about the role of the farmer in health or illness. As a medical student I was taught of the helping role of the physical therapist, the nurse, the masseuse, the diabetes educator… but no mention was made of the local farmer.

Yet the role of the farmer is an extraordinarily influential one on local community health. Farmers have the potential to be our frontline of wellbeing. As a physician my daily work focuses on the health of individuals. The farmer can, through biodynamics, act as a therapist for the collective human body of the community. We speak much in fact about the karma of the physician in his/her therapeutic work. What of the karma of the farmer? Certainly each local farmer reaches more people each year through his/her work on the earth, benefits or harms to the soil and water table, example of worldview in his/her relationship to the earth. This is the same for all farmers whether conventional, organic, or biodynamic. However, not all work therapeutically. What wonder it would be if they did.

“Bridging Biodynamic Agriculture and Anthroposophic Medicine” meetup at the 2014 Biodynamic Conference

This November a group of interested people met in Louisville at the North American Biodynamic Conference to look more closely at this relationship between healthcare and agriculture. Robert Karp, Matias Baker, Steven Johnson, D.O. and David Gershan, M.D. organized a “Bridging Biodynamic Agriculture and Anthroposophic Medicine” pre-conference workshop. The purpose of this meeting was to bring awareness to this health partnership as well as to consider how to move forward in local initiatives. A few closing themes discussed were:

  • Awareness of partnership: The need to recognize who our therapeutic partners are at home in our communities. The question was asked: If you work with your hands in the soil, who are your nearby partners in healthcare working in your community? If you are working in healthcare, who are the individuals working with the land in your community?
  • Study: Start conversations with these partners and establish regular studies on what this agrarian healthcare implies for our communities. It is recognized that sustaining initiatives in spiritual science need a foundation of study from which creative new impulses can spring.
  • Education: Consider the needs of each community and look for what initiatives can arise, such as education in the form of public talks/discussions, high school outreach, art exhibits, or new therapeutic approaches.
  • Economic considerations: Be open to discussions on our economic health. Consider also the long term earth benefits of land trusts and their future role in biodynamic agriculture.
  • Networking: Keep in touch with one another for encouragement, inspiration, and sharing initiative progress.

With conscious intent we are beginning to form a wellness alliance. Now this word “alliance” may conjure up images of formal agreements between nations in a time of war. And maybe that in some sense could apply to our work as well. But more than this, alliance means “union,” “a relationship in working together,” an active coming together in service to the world. We might do well just to go about our own work independently while touching the lives of those who come to us. However, we now recognize that we can locally co-create much more with a unified light.

I’d like to suggest that each reader of this article take close consideration of the above and listen to whether it lights your heart and will. With this light may we work together with the natural world to aid in building the spiritual body of man and earth.

1 Corithians 15: 46-49


“Bridging Biodynamic Agriculture and Anthroposophic Medicine” is one of three new online interest groups and learning communities hosted by the Biodynamic Association. Anyone who has experience in agriculture or medicine and is interested in exploring bridges between the two is invited to join this group and continue the conversation.

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