A young therapist from Australia experiences the anthroposophic oil bath for the first time - an descides to start a training herself. In September 2020 Louise Steward will travel from Australia to Düsseldorf for her final seminar to qualify with the International Association of Oil Dispersion Bath Therapists after Dr. Werner Junge. Over 20 months she will have made 4 trips to Germany for this training.
I have been a natural therapist for almost 30 years, first studying remedial massage at 21 years old. In my 33rd year I began studies in the foundations of anthroposophy. That led me to anthroposophical external applications of footbaths and compresses which I added to my practice. At our annual retreats in Byron Bay Australia, my colleagues and I support participants towards deep rest by providing oil dispersion baths (without brushing), therapeutic eurythmy, compresses, rhythmical einreibungen and footbaths. It was at the 2018 retreat that I received the inspiration to discover more about the Oil Dispersion Bath.
I contacted nurses and therapy centres in Australia and New Zealand to find out more about the training and practice of the Oil Dispersion Bath. I realised that there was a growing need for the efficacy of medicinal applications via the skin and nervous system to treat sensory development, mental health, metabolic disorders and simply as preventative medicine.
As I traced a path to the training, numerous questions and comments came up: The qualification is not accredited in Australia – would I be allowed to practice? Do you think people will take off their clothes and lie in the bath while you brush them? Would I be able to follow the training in German?
But despite all the possible obstacles I booked a flight to Germany. On New Years Day 2019 I landed into the capable hands of Maren Wendt in Hamburg, from whom I received my first ever Oil Dispersion Bath and started my training. Each training has consisted of 28 to 40 hours travel time and and a 5 - 10 night stay in Germany.
From my first bath, I remember the respect and reverent nature of the therapy and the rejuvenating sleep that overcame any possible jet lag. Both giving and receiving the baths has been a main contributor in maintaining my vitality; I am fulfilled by the peaceful and quiet place that can be reached while giving a bath, and also receiving a bath. The other aspect to maintaining my vitality while the sheaths are under pressure in the travel, has been in recognising how to keep my focus on the here and now rather than on stretching myself across time and space.
In Australia, the qualification is not accredited with a professional body, however I am lawfully able to practice oil dispersion baths and be a member of the International Association for Oil Dispersion Bath Therapy after Dr. Werner Junge. Over winter 2019 (June - September) I established a temporary “winter clinic” as a trainee oil dispersion bath therapist and news spread quickly. The most common feedback I have received after a patients first bath is that the bath was profound and like nothing else they have experienced, like birth and death all in one.
When I return from my final seminar in March this year, I will be setting up a bath therapy room on a beautiful hinterland property. An appointment schedule is already filling.