is a case study taken from Anthroposophical
Therapeutic Speech by Barbara Denjean-von Stryk
and Dietrich von Bonin
History C: Angina Pectoris. Female patient, aged
sessions of thirty minutes each with a few breaks in
firm character, authoritarian manner. She talks too much and too
Biographical and Medical Aspects
repeatedly suffers from attacks of angina pectoris with breathing
problems and chest pain which extends into her left arm. The
resulting heart trouble was beginning to be very
diagnosis read as follows: heart failure (borderline compensated),
diverticulitis, degenerative spine, as well as cataract.
Stance: Gestures as if beating time are
interfering with the flow of speech.
Breathing: Her speech sounds hurried
Voice: High pitched.
Articulation: Although she speaks very
fast, her articulation is clear.
Thinking: She has a tendency not to
finish her sentences.
A calm but fluent
way of speaking, interspersed with intervals, is to be encouraged,
so that the strong and committed nature of the patient can follow
and find expression for her rich world of ideas.
By acquiring a
darker tone her voice should find more calmness; the flow of speech
should not be interrupted by staccato gestures; keep up the flow of
breath so as to relieve the heart.
sentences consisting of monosyllabic words (Dart may these
boats…) a certain regularity in speaking was achieved. The next
aim was to harmonize the ratio of pulse and breath with the help of
exercises spoken with four syllables on one breath:
Followed by two
mile through the meadows…
-Warm are the
winds in the woodlands…)
In order to
strengthen the heart sound /a/ was practised, both
individually and in exercises and poems. The formative force of
this sound can give structure to the whole human being. Later we
worked with the iambic rhythm, which may be understood as a rhythm
of the heart, eg in the fairy tale of the good and bad by Rudolf
To refine her
breath we worked with the loosening sounds M and L, which have a
positive effect on the cataract as well. This led us into the fluid
element – falling in drops, rippling or flowing quietly – which the
patient could experience in many different way in exercises and
corresponding examples in poetry.
To strengthen her
uprightness we worked with speech exercises affecting the posture,
wuch as bending and stretching with R and K (‘Mit dem Rűcken kann
ich mich bűcken…’ (With my back I can roll over)). Secure and
directed stepping was practised with the help of the following
exercises: ‘Genesen werden stets edle Seelenwesen’ (The grey day
breaks, breaks the grey day…) and ‘Wirre Wűrfe werfen wir wűrdig
weg’ (Virile viewer vividly vociferates vowels). This had a
positive effect also on the constitution of her back.
Findings at the
End of the Therapy
liberating and relieving effect had been achieved, also widening
her chest. Whenever there was a sudden attack of angina pectoris
the patient was now able to help herself with familiar
She has gained
control over her voice, which is now pleasant to listen to and has
a soothing effect.
She can continue
to give courses in spiritual science, which is a considerable
achievement at her age.
After an interval
of six to twelve months it would be advisable for the patient to
return and take a look at the way she practises on her
© Copyright 2005 Katherine Rudolph, Exploring The Word In Colour