In the beginning of the 1970s, shortly after the Community Hospital in Herdecke started in 1969, PD Dr. Gerhard Kienle founded the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology. He investigated basic methodological topics: the impact of scientific experiments on medical research and the controlled randomized trial. The results were published in leading medical journals (e.g. The Lancet, see the respective publications) and were also highly recognized by researchers as well as authorities. Furthermore, this work led to an embodiment of Anthroposophic Medicine (and others like e.g. Homoeopathy) in the German law. But this did not automatically include a scientific recognition of this type of medicine. After the death of Gerhard Kienle in 1983 his co-worker R. Burkhardt continued this work. The institute was converted into the Department of Clinical Research. Own research projects included studies on phytopharmaceutical remedies (Digitalis, Crataegus) and the disease Sarcoidosis.

In the mid-1980s the cooperation of Peter van Leeuwen and Hans Christoph Kümmell focussed on a different topic: cardiac time intervals. Initially, the work focussed on the modulation of cardiac time intervals by respiration, different work load and body position. In the 1990ies, Henrik Bettermann introduced the analysis of heart rate rhythmicity (e.g. heart rate variability, but also the analysis of nonlinear characteristics of the heart rate time series) and in the mid-1990ies Dirk Cysarz joined him.

In 2004 the 'Integrated Currciulum for Anthroposophic Medizin' started at the University of Witten/Herdecke. At the same time a close collaboration with Friedrich Edelhäuser began. The present work focusses on the development of different analyis techniques to gain deeper insight into the different aspects of heart rate variability / heart rate dyncamics and the interaction of heart beat and respiration (cardiorespiratory coordination / synchronization). These techniques are also used to analyze physiological effects of complementary therapies such as art therapy (e.g. Anthroposophic Therapeutic Speech or Eurythmie Therapy).


Publications before 1987


Prof. Dirk Cysarz, PhD
- Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine
- Intitute of Integrative Medicine
University of Witten/Herdecke
Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4
D-58313 Herdecke