I have to admit that I came across the ‘ARCIM’ (Academic Research in Complementary and Integrative Medicine) Institute only yesterday when writing the post about Buteyko. Naturally, the institution interested me, and I tried to find out more about it. As pointed out previously, the aim of the ARCIM research institute, founded in 2010, is to research complementary and integrative medicine, in particular anthroposophic medicine, on a scientific basis according to rigorous scientific standards established by the Equator Network criteria (

On the ARCIM’s website we furthermore learn that:

  • ARCIM exists since 2010.
  • Consists of a team of 8 co-workers.
  • Its director is the physician Jan Vagedes.
  • Who have published a sizable amount of papers.
  • Is funded by the following sponsors: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Mahle-Foundation (Mahle Stiftung), Software AG (Software AG), DAMUS-DONATA e.V.
  • Is located in the buildings of the ‘Filderclinic’.

This begs, I think, several questions:

Why is the Federal Ministry of Education and Research sponsoring the ARCIM?

As anthroposophical medicine is based on concepts that fly in the face of science, this seems a legitimate question. Sadly, I have no answer to it.

What is the ‘Filderclinic’?

The Filderklinik in Filderstadt-Bonlanden is one of six anthroposophically orientated hospitals in Germany. It is operated by the non-profit organisation Filderklinik gGmbH. The main founders of the Filderklinik, which has existed since 1975, were Hermann and Ernst Mahle, the founders of the Mahle Group. The Mahle-Stiftung GmbH is the main shareholder and also the largest sponsor of Filderklinik gGmbH. The hospital employs around 915 staff and has 300 beds.

Who is Jan Vagedes?

Jan Vagedes is a specialist for paediatrics and adolescent medicine, neonatology and a doctor for anthroposophic medicine. He studied in and graduated from the LMU in Munich (my alma mater) in 1997. He is the Founder and Scientific Director of the ARCIM Institute, a research associate at the University Children’s Hospital Tübingen, and Head of paediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Filderclinic.

He has no ‘habilitation’ (PhD and in Germany precondition for a professorship). Medline currently lists 42 articles in his name most of which are in 3rd class journals. His first Medline-listed article is dated 2012. As the ARCIM was established in 2010, this means that, when he was appointed as its ‘scientific director’, he had exactly zero published science to his name.

Why did he get the job?

I have absolutely no idea?

(If you know more than I do, I’d be grateful to hear about it.)



6 Responses to The ARCIM Institute: a few uncomfortable questions

  • Whatever do you mean, “anthroposophical medicine flies in the face of science”? How can you say this of the people who brought us such insights as “the heart is not a pump”?

    It’s true, this is one of Steiner’s great insights. It turns out the heart does not pump blood around the body – blood flows of its own free will! It’s expressing its own life force and the heart merely beats out an accompanying rhythm. Or if you like the blood is the conga line and the heart is the bongo player.

    When will science catch up?

  • Socrates, I was looking for some kind of smiley accompanying your comment, because you must be joking and trolling us. But I see no emoticon. Are you really serious?

    • The following quotes are from The Rudolf Steiner Archive. I seem to have missed his accompanying smiley emoticons, but he must’ve been joking and trolling us.

      GA 198. Man and Nature — Intellect in Man and Nature Bereft of the Gods
      What does science really know about the functioning of the human brain, of the human heart? I have often told you, and I have also said in public, that one of the views held by modern science is that the human heart is a kind of pump which drives the blood through the body. This dictum of academic science is universally accepted but it is simply a piece of nonsense — pure nonsense. We shall never understand the essential nature of the heart we imagine that it pumps the blood in every direction and then lets it flow back again… The heart is not the pumping machine by means of which the blood is driven through the body; the heart is inserted into and is the expression of this whole system of movement.

      GA 350. From Mammoths to Mediums — Blood circulation and movement of the heart
      I once said that the ideas people have about the heart in modern science are wrong. They imagine the heart to be a kind of pump, and that the heart pumps the blood through all parts of the body. They see it like this. The heart contracts. When the heart contracts it gets smaller, has less blood in it. It therefore pushes the blood out through the arteries, the blood gets pushed into the body, and being elastic — that is what people think — the heart then expands again. The heart is therefore said to act as a pump today, pumping blood through the body.

      You see, that is quite the wrong idea. It is altogether an idea which only comes from the age of materialism, reducing everything to mechanics, therefore, with people thinking the heart is a proper mechanical pumping station which pumps the blood through the whole body. No account is taken of the way in which the whole of life really goes in a living creature.

      It is the blood which moves in the first place, and the blood takes the heart along with it. And so it is not the heart which pumps the blood through the body, but the blood moves because of its hunger for air, hunger for food, and this moves the heart. We therefore have to say that it is the invisible human being in us which moves the heart.

      GA 99. Theosophy of the Rosicrucian — The Future of Man
      Now science believes that the heart is a kind of pump; that is a grotesquely fantastic idea. Occultism has never made such a fantastic statement, as has modern materialism.

      GA 301. The Renewal of Education — Some Remarks About Curriculum
      We want each teacher to be so permeated with understanding that even when standing before a large class, he can represent this type of education. Each teacher should be permeated by a living comprehension of the human being so that he understands that the heart does not simply pump the blood through the organism, but that the human being is living, and the movements of fluids and the heart result from that aliveness. When a teacher has absorbed this way of thinking, particular forces within him become active in regard to the development of children.

      Et cetera.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.