In the beginning of the 1970s, shortly after PD Dr. Gerhard Kienle founded and started the Community Hospital in Herdecke in 1969, PD Dr. Gerhard Kienle also 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


  • BURKHARDT R Randomisierter Therapieversuch und individuelle Therapiebeurteilung. Aktuelle Onkologie 1988 48:
  • KÜMMELL HC; HECKMANN C Der Herzinfarkt als Versagen der rhythmischen Mitte. Acta Med Empir 1986 35: 75-84
  • KONECZNY O; MARX C; VAN LEEUWEN P Die Korium-Interpositionsplastik des Ellenbogen- und Handgelenkes. Hand Mikrochir Plast Chir 1985 17: 18-22
  • KÜMMELL HC; KIENE H Behandlung der latenten und manifesten Herzinsuffizienz mit Gitoformat. In: Rietbrock N, Schlepper M, Busanny-Caspari E. eds. Gitoformat, ein nicht-nierenpflichtiges Digitalis-Glycosid. Braunschweig: Vieweg 1984 115-123
  • KONECZNY O; MARX C; VAN LEEUWEN P Die Korium-Interpositionsplastik an Ellenbogen-, Hand- und Fußgelenken. MMW 1983 125: 260-262
  • KONECZNY O; MARX C; VAN LEEUWEN P Die Korium-Interpositionsplastik des Fußgelenkes. Unfallheilkunde 1983 86: 400-406
  • KÜMMELL HC; BUCHNER C; MARX C Zur Frage der Therapiebeurteilung bei Sarkoidose. Rheumamedizin 1983 5: 120-124
  • KIENLE G; BURKHARDT R Der Wirksamkeitsnachweis für Arzneimittel - Analyse einer Illusion. Stuttgart 1983
  • BURKHARDT R, KIENLE G Basic problems in controlled trials. J Med Ethics 1983 9(2): 80-4
  • KÜMMELL HC; SCHREIBER K; KIENLE G Untersuchung zur Ermittlung einer individuellen Digitoxindosis. MMW 1982 124: 545-549
  • KONECZNY O; MARX C; VAN LEEUWEN P Korium-Interpositionsplastik des Kniegelenkes. MMW 1982 124: 260-262
  • KÜMMELL HC; SCHREIBER K; V KOENEN J Untersuchung zur Therapie mit Crataegus. Herzmedizin 1982 5: 157-165
  • KÜMMELL HC; SCHREIBER K; KIENLE G Untersuchung zur Ermittlung einer individuellen Digitoxindosis MMW 1982 142: 545-549
  • BURKHARDT R, KIENLE G Controlled trials - a social challenge. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1981 20: 311-317
  • KÜMMELL HC Welche Digitalis-Behandlung ist gegenwärtig noch vertretbar? MMW 1980 122: 787-791
  • BURKHARDT R, KIENLE G Controlled clinical trials and drug regulations: a report of recent developments in the Federal Republic of Germany. Controlled Clin Trials 1980 1 (2): 153-66
  • BURKHARDT R, KIENLE G Controlled clinical trials and medical ethics. Lancet 1978 2 (8104-5): 1356-9
  • KIENLE G Arzneimittelsicherheit und Gesellschaft. Stuttgart: Schattauer 1974
  • (further literature of PD Dr. Gerhard Kienle on request / weitere Literatur von PD Dr. Gerhard Kienle auf Anfrage)

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