Good that you are here!
Are you looking for a place where you can experience new ways of thinking and life ideas in peace and quiet and reflect on them alone or in a group? Where you can gather knowledge and experience and exchange ideas with experts and like-minded people? Where you can build relationships and connections, pick up impulses and transform thoughts into actions?
Then join us this summer!
It is our heartfelt wish to create a space for you. A space that you can use alongside many other great people to get a little closer to the answers to the following questions: How do we want to live? How do you want to live?
What can I expect at the Summer Academy for Integrative Medicine?
The Summer Academy of Integrative Medicine is an annual week-long event where up to 300 people come together to explore current and fundamental issues in medicine, healthcare and the human condition. It is a place of community, exchange and education where learners and teachers meet and holistically relate different medical approaches, therapeutic methods and perspectives to themselves and their environment.
Different formats such as lectures, workshops, a rich supporting program but also spaces for artistic expression, community, movement and inner reflection support you and everyone at the academy in the individual processes. As in the sense of integrative medicine, all levels of you being human are to be nourished with body, mind and soul.
What does integrative medicine mean?
"Integrative medicine means the practice of medicine that emphasises the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, focuses on the whole person, is evidence-based, and uses all relevant therapeutic options, health professions and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing." - Consortium of Academic Health Centres for Integrative Medicine, 2009 (E.G. Hahn - food for thought on integrative medicine).
The term "integrative medicine" is the eponym of the Summer Academy because it emphasises the equal treatment of different therapeutic approaches and enables their weighting in the therapy concept according to the individual situation and the personality of patients.
In practice, "integrative medicine" means for us to include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual aspects of the patient to the same extent in the understanding and treatment of illnesses. The reflective study of different medical systems, concepts of human and therapeutic methods should contribute to approaching the connections between these aspects.
Integrative medicine is to be built on a scientific basis, whereby the further development of science is also included in the discourse.
In this context, we will also introduce holistic healing methods and approaches that are partially based on millennia-old empirical knowledge and whose effectiveness can be scientifically proven to a large extent. These include, for example, Ayurveda, Yoga and TCM.
We would be happy if you approach the therapeutic methods and medical healing systems with a curious mind and an open heart.
Where do we come from?
In 2010, the idea of a "Case Day for Integrative Medicine" was taken up at the University of Witten/Herdecke to deal with the questions and possibilities of integrative medicine within a seminar week. A central component of this discourse was the examination of a real patient from the perspectives of different medical systems in a so-called "patient plenary".
A space of encounter was created that enabled all participants to openly address the questions and exchange interests and visions. At the end of the first Summer Academy, it was clear that there should be a continuation.
Since then, the annual event has been part of the multifaceted University of Witten/Herdecke. In dealing with different questions and mottos, the Summer Academy has shown itself to be a growing and evolving organism in terms of content and form.
How do you spend your week at the Summer Academy?
During the week, you will live together with all academy participants on the campus of Witten/Herdecke University in your tent, car or bus, or in a communal tent if you wish. It can get colder at night, and a summer sleeping bag is usually not enough. However, many years of experience have shown that hot water bottles work wonders.
In the morning, before having breakfast together, you have the opportunity to start your day with yoga, exercise or meditation. Strengthened, you can take part in a wide range of lectures and workshops of varying intensity during the day, until we end the day with an ever-changing evening programme.
The meals are exclusively vegan (the price includes three meals + snacks during the breaks per day), and they are best eaten outside in the company of everyone. We provide sufficient sanitary facilities, and you even have the possibility to do your laundry on site.
During this week in August, we want to live what makes us and our environment healthy.
Who supports the Summer Academy?
Every year, a new team of former participants as well as new interested people come together to rethink, plan and realise the contents of the Summer Academy. Over the course of a year, the group tackles the complex tasks involved in planning and implementing the Summer Academy.
The team is supported and advised by Prof. Dr. med. Friedrich Edelhäuser and Barbara Pfrengle-Längler from the Integrated Accompanying Studies in Anthroposophic Medicine (Integrierten Begleitstudium Anthroposophischer Medizin - IBAM), Friedemann Uhl, the Initiative Medicine with Heart and Hand (Medizin mit Herz und Hand) and the members of the organising teams (Organisations-Teams) of previous years.
Essential for the Summer Academy is the free provision of the premises by the University of Witten/Herdecke (Universität Witten/Herdecke), as well as donations and support from foundations (Stiftungen), to whom we would like to express our heartfelt thanks. These donations make it possible to cover the majority of the actual participation costs. Only in this way can we make the programme financially accessible to as many people as possible.
In order to make the place we are preparing for you come true, your support is also needed for the success of the Summer Academy. We look forward to your contribution as part of the community.
Why are we a participatory academy?
Every year, the Summer Academy is organised and set up by a team of volunteers with a lot of heart and commitment. During the week, participants, the organising team and the lecturers are a community that lives, learns, eats, sleeps and spends time together on the university campus.
To ensure that the daily processes function well and order is kept on the campus and in the university rooms, the active support of everyone is needed, whether it's helping in the kitchen, washing up, serving meals, looking after the rooms or cleaning the sanitary facilities.
The academy thrives on joint help and participation and only in this way is it possible for it to take place every year.
In order to give everyone the opportunity to fulfil their duties as part of the community, there is a system of helpers. Every day you can sign up for the upcoming tasks. Even before the academy, when registering, you can sign up for supporting activities.
Is the Summer Academy something for me?
If you are interested in integrative medicine, if you are curious about what is hidden behind different healing methods, which facets health and illness have and from which perspective they can be viewed, then you are in the right place at the Summer Academy! We welcome everyone who wants to participate in the academy, becomes part of the community and enjoys learning, exchanging and connecting. Participants from all medical training paths are welcome, as well as those who come from completely different backgrounds!
If you have any questions or are unsure whether you would like to participate, please feel free to contact us under the following email address: