When Werner Junge found an indication by Rudolf Steiner where he recommended the use of finely dispersed Rosemary oil in a bath as a way to support the ego organization, he wished to avoid the use of an emulsifier which would break down and thereby weaken the oil, so he invented an apparatus that dispersed essential oil (mixed in a carrier oil) mechanically. He treated the woman with dispersed Rosemary oil. After the first bath she felt significant improvement and after three baths per week for five weeks she was healed. Junge later went on to develop this as a therapy.
Junge wished to avoid the use of an emulsifier which would break down and thereby weaken the oil, so he invented an apparatus that dispersed essential oil (mixed in a carrier oil) mechanically. He treated the woman with dispersed Rosemary oil. After the first bath she felt significant improvement and after three baths per week for five weeks she was healed. Junge later went on to develop this as a therapy.
The idea of the ego organization is a bit hard to grasp, but simply it has to do with those aspects on the soul, life, and physical levels of the human organization that enable the spirit (the “I” or ego) to lodge itself in the body and to make use of that vehicle. Organs and systems of the body which particularly belong to the ego organization are the blood and blood forming organs (the bones), the spine, the pancreas, the skin and the immune system. In the case of the women with the fungal infection, her immune system failed to recognize and respond to the fungal organism. Generally our immune system does this well and systemic fungal infections are quite rare. The Rosemary (which is not known for anti-fungal properties) helped the woman’s “I” to engage more effectively in her immune system. Unlike an anti-fungal, the treatment worked as a stimulus to her own healing capacity.
Because the oil dispersion bath is assisting the “I,” the individuality, to take hold in the body, the oil choice optimally is individual. Therefore, it is not as simple as giving Rosemary to every diabetic. Each person’s life condition is different. The oil choice is made by the physician or the therapist in consultation with the patient. The oil choice benefits from the involvement of the patient and from the realizations and understanding that can come from that process.
For example, in the consultation of a patient with chronic eczema of the hands, it was discovered that the condition related back to a childhood case of St. Vitus’ dance. Soul issues associated with that illness had not been resolved. Or perhaps a better way to say that is that the step in development she was trying to take with the illness had not been completed. The chosen oils and this person’s conscious work with what she had learned from the oils resolved the problem whereas years of remedies, food elimination and treatments had not.
Every person has an individual biography, an individual history. There may have been critical points where a developmental step was missed or not fully completed which creates hindrances later in life. Or it may be that an individual in his striving wants (consciously or unconsciously) to summon forces or self-knowledge to take a new step, to strengthen himself to offer his gifts in a new way. An illness can be a doorway through which one makes such transformations. With or without illness the oils can assist a person to take the new step.
There was an infant who was a patient in a medical practice where I worked. The child had had to be separated at a critical time from her mother when the mother required hospitalization. In spite of all the father’s efforts, there was a point when as he described, “the light went out of her eyes.” Her development was interrupted and at l ½ years of age she neither crawled nor walked. After the first bath, she crawled. During the third bath, she stood up in the tub and it was also clear from her relating and her actions that the maternal bond had been restored. Traumas or overwhelming situations can cause the “I,” the ego, to pull back from life in some way. The process of working with the oil dispersion baths can help a person to gradually “digest” the experiences from which he has retreated and to reclaim the piece of himself that he has left behind, in a way, frozen in time.
Because of the depth of these treatments, they can have a significant effect in serious conditions, i.e. cancer, autoimmune illness, Lyme disease (acute or chronic), diabetes, etc. All such illnesses require physician involvement. The baths are also useful for a wide spectrum of less serious illnesses, addictions, and soul issues.
An oil dispersion bath takes two to three hours depending on the amount of time spent in consultation and assessment. The bath lasts fifteen to twenty minutes. A client wears a bathing suit. Usually the therapist moves the water around the person. The rest period afterward lasts 45-60 minutes and is a part of the therapy. During that rest, the ego organization begins to respond to the “message” given by the oil. Physiologic response to the oil usually continues for about two days. For children the rest is usually shorter and is handled differently. A child under three years of age is bathed together with the mother. Baths usually are done in series, about once a week, although the intervals can vary. In certain acute situations more frequent treatments might be needed. The oil dispersion bath is one aspect of anthroposophical therapy and belongs to that whole.
From the perspective of anthroposophical medicine, illness is seen, not as a malfunctioning like the breakdown of a car, but as a meaningful event in a person’s biography. The illness is a gift, providing us with a challenge we need…to which we, through summoning and exercising the inner forces we require to surmount that obstacle and to heal our own limitations, brings us forward on the path to develop ourselves and to bring our gifts more freely and fully to the world.