Nutrition and Digestion

Introduction

Food substance is deprived of its original form and vitality during the digestive process. This happens more and more as is broken down into its smallest components, until it is rebuilt beyond the intestinal wall into individualized endogenous substance and integrated into the life processes of the organism:

The different tastes of foods are consciously perceived in the oral cavity, which leads directly to increased salivary secretion. The first digestive steps initiated in this way—e.g., the splitting of carbohydrates by amylase—are still closely linked to the conscious experience of taste and smell.

Already in the stomach, further digestion happens largely unconsciously in human beings. But here also every step of digestion is connected with an inner process of perception. All digestive secretions are finely tuned to the quantity and composition of the meal that has been taken in.

The spiritual and soul aspects of the human being, which are fully and consciously directed to the outside world through the sensory organs concentrated in the head area, are oriented completely inwardly in the area of the digestive organs, where they orchestrate the manifold processes of perception, secretion and absorption associated with food processing. The better coordinated the activity of the digestive organs is, that is, the more active the “I”-organization and sentient organization (soul body) are in this unconscious sphere, the easier it is to absorb and transform food. The numerous cytokines in the digestive system, such as cholecystokinin and ghrelin, are an expression of this coordinated activity.

Research news

Art therapy & anxiety: In her doctoral thesis published 2020, Annemarie Abbing investigated the effectiveness of art therapy in the treatment of anxiety. Outcomes of a randomised controlled trial (n=59) showed preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of art therapy: Three months of anthroposophic art therapy led to a significant reduction in the severity of anxiety symptoms in the women compared to waiting list treatment. The therapy also improved quality of life and various aspects of self-regulation. The second part of this PhD research focused on case report methodology and the development of tools for research within this field. The doctoral thesis is available at 
https://scholarlypublications.universiteitleiden.nl/handle/1887/83276.


Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine