Schools derived from the German New Medicine: the origins of Biological Decoding

At our conferences on Biological Decoding we are frequently asked –Which is the origin of Biological Decoding? -Is the Institute different from other schools? –Why does the training program change from one school to another?

In this article I’ll answer these and other questions about the origins, development and evolution of Biological Decoding. 

Origins of the theoretical concepts of Biological Decoding

Since the dawn of time, humanity has been wondering about what happens when there is an illness. This gave way to the development of an integrated vision according to which the processes of health and illness are not just limited to external or genetic factors that determine the development of a given symptom There are many explanations about what an illness is, we’ll talk about some of these later on because they are the basis of the Biological Decoding theory. One of the most important paradigms of Biological Decoding is the new way of understanding health developed by Dr Ryke Geerd Hamer through the German New Medicine.

German New Medicine

Dr Hamer specialised in internal medicine in 1972 (Germany). He spent some years working in oncology and developed various patents. In 1976 he took his family to live in Italy because he intended to open a doctor’s practice in Naples. However, two years later a family tragedy dramatically changed the course of his history. While they were on a family holiday on a cruise, his son Dirk was mortally wounded by two bullets. After 19 operations, his son died in hospital and two months later, Dr Hamer was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The development of the illness just two months after his son’s death made him consider the possibility of a relationship between the internal conflict originated by the death of his son and the development of cancer. These questions lead him in 1981 to study over 200 cases of patients with gynaecologic cancer, whom he questioned about the traumatic events that they had experienced in their past. He discovered a pattern: the patients had experimented a traumatic event, months before the illness appeared.

The 5 laws of the German New Medicine

That’s how two of the five laws of the German New Medicine (GNM) were created, “The iron rule of cancer” and “Illness has two phases”. If you want to know more about the “5 Biological Laws” read this article.

In the following years, Dr Hamer continued his studies on the impact of stress and trauma on the brain, completing his theory with the third, fourth and fifth Biological Laws. He discovered that psychological shock and trauma leave marks in the brain, a concept known as Hamer’s Foci. At the end of his professional career, Dr Hamer claimed that he had confirmed his theory in over 40,000 cases.

The Biological Laws, together with many other scientific and humanist theories (Neuroscience, Survival Strategies, Biology of Stress, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Trauma Theory, etc.), integrate the basis of Biological Decoding.

Influences and theories that contributed to the German New Medicine

The GNM theory arises from the influence of many other authors that dedicated years of work to understand how the body and mind become diseased and the how this is influenced by the person’s vital experiences. 

  • The theories about the body-mind relationship originate in the VIII century AD. In the Golden Age of Islam, Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi (d. 934) and Haly Abbas (d. 994) exposed their theories: illness is originated by the interactions between body and mind. 
  • In 1884, William James wondered, -What is an emotion? He wrote about the impact of emotions on physiological and corporal changes and their repercussion on people’s psychological and physical health. 
  • Claude Bernard, in 1865 published the “Theory of the Constancy of the Internal Environment”. He realised that, after the body has been under stress, it will recover its normal state. The body will return to its normal state naturally because the internal environment must be stable for the organism to function properly. 
  • Carl Lange, in 1922, in parallel to James, proposed a very similar theory in which he considered that emotions were a product of corporal changes, this is why the theory is known as the “James-Lange Theory”.
  • Greog Groddeck (1866-1934), was a pioneer of psychosomatic medicine, he tried to understand the influence of the psyche on the body. Sigmund Freud took an interest in Groddeck’s work and borrowed the term “other” and its meaning.
  • Walter Cannon (1871-1945) coined the term homeostasis in his book “The wisdom of the body”, published in 1932. In it, he explains his theory about the activation of the Vegetative Nervous System in the face of fear and how the body experiments stress in order to recover its balance. He highlights the fact that emotions have the function of preparing the organism to act in emergency situations. He also proposed a neurophysiological model based on Bard’s studies (1928) on the brain’s control of emotions, the ““Cannon-Bard Theory”.
  • Cannon’s work, and particularly that of Hans Selye, have been very important to determine the role of emotions for corporal adaptation and the recovery of balance or homeostasis. In the mid-40s, Selye proposed the concept “General Adaptation Syndrome” or “stress” to describe a group of psycho-physiological symptoms that arise in a situation of anxiety. He observed that some people showed physical symptoms that were not caused directly by their illness or their medical condition. Based on his research, he described three phases of stress: alarm, resistance and exhaustion.
  • Between the 50s and 80s, Henri Laborit (1914-1995) carried out studies on the instinctive unconscious behaviour of humans in stressful situations. His observations lead him to reach the conclusion that humans act through thought processes based on past experiences, so we are conditioned by the experiences that programmed our responses. 
  • Another strong influence is Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989), he was a contemporary of Laborit and he laid the foundations of ethology, the study of animal behaviour and learning. He is considered one of the fathers of ethology, his works were later used to develop the Attachment Theory.
  • In 1975, the doctors Robert Ader and Nicholas Cohen coined the term Psycho-neuroinmunology, when they discovered that if they used Pavlov’s experiments on animals the stress resulted in changes in the nervous system, hormonal balance and immune system.
  • Carl Simonton (1942-2009), was a pioneer in psycho-oncology. He spent over 30 years working with cancer patients and he integrated relaxation and visualisation techniques to give them emotional support.
  • Jaak Pankseep (1943-2017) worked on Affective Neuroscience, the study of the neural mechanisms involved with emotions, and their role as a motor to induce action. 
  • Also relevant are various studies on the Nervous System that validate theories such as Paul McLean’s theory on the Evolutionary Triune brain; James Papez’s Medial Limbic Circuit to explain the control of emotions; or Joseph Ledoux’s Survival Circuits.

These theories and influences, among others, served as the theoretical base for the German New Medicine and for Biological Decoding.

Dissemination and popularity of the German New Medicine

At the beginning of the 80s, Dr Hamer began collaborating with other doctors and psychologists in France and Belgium. That was the beginning of close collaboration with other health practitioners and teachers to disseminate the New Paradigm of Health and Disease, that was given the name of German New Medicine (GNM).

In the 90s the first GNM schools appeared in Belgium, France, Spain and Italy, they continued to disseminate and teach. Some of the schools started to integrate the application of the theory as a therapeutic tool. 

It is also during this period that Dr Hamer publishes various books, in two of these he develops his theory: “Legacy of a New Medicine” Volume I and Volume II.

Two currents: purists and therapeutics 

Two clearly different schools appeared: purist schools, that teach and disseminate the German New Medicine and the therapeutic schools, that integrated it into emotional support therapy.

The subsequent years (1990-2000) were years of expansion, the number of schools, currents, publications, collaborations and development of training programs multiplied. Health professionals and therapists chose different lines according to their needs and began incorporating the training into their professional practice. 

The boom of the 5 Biological Laws had not yet taken place, it was the era of discovery, of applying the techniques learned from other currents, of verifying the information about conflicts with the patients, in summary: it was the moment to be creative. 

German New Medicine continued to expand, reaching Canada and many other corners of the planet under different names. For instance, Claude Sabbah’s Total Biology, he taught many of the practitioners that follow the health-disease ideas. Many of these practitioners funded schools and their teachings received different names, as we will see later. 

The arrival of German New Medicine to Spanish-speaking countries

Itziar Orube was first apprentice and then disseminator and practitioner of GNM. In 1989, after being diagnosed with cancer, she looked to GNM to discover the origin of her illness. Later, in 1995, she started giving courses in GNM in Spain and Latin America.

Orube offered training in German New Medicine in Spain, and she was one of the first people (together with other professionals such as Moriano, Herrera, among others) to start disseminating this knowledge in Spanish. 

Dissemination of GNM in Spanish allowed many inquisitive minds to explore what happens to our body when we experience stress. 

The birth of Biological Decoding

At the end of the 90s various schools start to include other contributions to the theory of the 5 biological laws. They put in practice tools and concepts that help us to connect with the patient and make it easier to locate their biological conflicts. This is the origin of Biological Decoding; it integrates the 5 biological laws of the German New Medicine with other therapies. In other words, Biological Decoding is a non-purist current of GNM with a therapeutic vision.

The development of Biological Decoding and other lines derived from GNM as a supportive therapy is due to various practitioners. The French psycho-oncologist Marc Fréchet described the Bio-Memorized Cellular Cycles (and discussed the parental projects). John Bradswad explained what Project and Meaning are and the influence of family relationships in childhood. Concepts from various authors were integrated such as the concept of resilience to childhood trauma developed by Boris Cyrulnik; the concept of transgenerational memories through the study of psychogenealogy of Anne Ancelin Schutzemberger; the therapies developed by Annick de Souzenelle, based on the symbolism of the human body; or the concept of psychological problems related to social class described by Vincent de Gaulejac.

In addition to these authors, we mustn’t forget that many of these studies stemmed from Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis psychotherapy, with concepts such as repression; and Carl Jung’s psychotherapy, his theory of the collective unconscious and the use of symbolism. Many other psychotherapeutic schools have also contributed valuable tools to tackle some of the more painful and hidden aspects of the human psyche. 

Our thoughts and beliefs have such a strong impact on the apparition of biological conflicts that some authors such as Joe Dispensa, Bruce Lipton, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Gregg Braden or Lynne McTaggart are also an important contribution to the Biological Decoding therapy.

Biological Decoding has evolved and developed following many different currents and under different names, each one contributes a different focus and interpretation. 

Different names and schools

Stemming from Total Biology, the 5 laws have been expanded under different names and schools, each of them with its particular vision. The most popular are:

  • Clinical Psychosomatics School of re-feeling or Biodecoding.
  • Biodecoding Emotion.
  • Biological Decoding.
  • Biological Deprogramming 
  • Disease Decoding.
  • Emotional Decoding.
  • Natural Decoding.
  • Biological Decoding or Biodecoding.

The number of names, theories, schools and practitioners were increasing. The idea that answers can be found within ourselves starts to consolidate. Instead of focusing on the external problems, it is important to take responsibility for our own health and illness and understand that the return to balance (or Normotonia) depends on the resolution of the triad psyche-nervous system-body.


The theory of the 5 biological laws was developed by Dr Hamer and many professionals have subsequently integrated the theory into various therapeutic practices (some of the authors have been mentioned in the previous sections) for emotional support, that is, they incorporated various new methods. However, the problem arose because many of the professionals that integrated therapeutic techniques to the 5 laws considered themselves to be the authors of these new methods. As a result of this confusion, many people don’t know which is the origin of Biological Decoding and GNM.

Differences between Training Programs

There is no official training for personal development therapies, therefore it is up to the experts to develop high quality training programs that can teach the therapists how to use the tools and understand how the body acts as a whole. 

In view of this, if you are interested in a training program, you should into account the quality and prestige of the school where it is taught. Another important concept to take into account is whether or not the school applies symbolism. 

Symbolism or symbolic therapy

Symbolism or symbolic therapy (not to be confused with the Brief Symbolic Therapy of M. Ennis, 1958), is the use of imagery in therapy. Thus, this therapy does not focus on biology, on the state of the organism or on the behaviour. Instead, the therapy uses the symbolism between an organ and the psychological metaphor. 

Examples of symbolism: “Skin problems are father-related”, “Problems with the feet are mother-related”.

Biological Schools vs. Non-biological Schools

The 5 laws focus on how the body reacts in stressful situations, on the phases of disease and their relationship with biological conflicts. It is about listening to the body, to understand why it has developed a disease. In contrast, symbolic and energetic techniques work with the mind instead of the body. 

Ángeles Wolder’s Biological Decoding

Motivation and academic experience

Ángeles Wolder pursued a degree in biology, motivated by her passion to understand how living beings act.

Later, her interest in understanding how the human machinery works led her to take a degree in Kinesiology (Physiotherapy), and she has taught Anatomy at the University for 30 years. In the 90s, as well as working, she continued learning and studied occupational medicine and ergonomics as well as psychosociology, Sophrology and techniques for relaxation and visualisation, hypnosis, NLP, communication, motivation and other areas of personal development. 

In 2001 she approached the area of systemics through Family Constellations and in 2004, a dramatic event (bioshock) at work, sparked a period of inner reflection that brought her closer to the study of the human mind. 

Her wish to understand why we behave as we do, led her to experiment with different therapeutic techniques. As she became increasingly interested in helping others, she obtained a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology in 2008. In addition, she trained as a therapist in Biological Decoding, German New Medicine, and Neuroscience, among others (here you can read Ángeles Wolder’s complete biography). Her comprehensive training has established her as an expert in the field of knowledge about the body and illness.

Her experience as a teacher and entrepreneur have allowed her to embark in a new project: The Ángeles Wolder Institute (previously called Escuela de Descodificación Biológica Original, in English “Original Biological Decoding School”).

Foundation of an Institute that moves away from symbolism

In 2010 she began to coordinate training courses in Biological Decoding with various experts in Spain. From 2013, the project became established and focused on a purely Bio-logic line of therapy, moving away from symbolism and interpretations, and giving relevance to studies in Neuroscience and Trauma.

In 2016 she published her first book, The Art of Listening to the Body and in 2018 she published her second book, “El Reflejo de Nuestras Emociones”, which will soon be published in English as “The Reflection of Our Emotions”.

In 2016 all the training programs were revised in order to adapt them to the biological line of therapy. In the following year, the online courses were published (introductory, professional and advanced) so as to reach anyone interested in knowing what Biological Decoding is about. Last year, in March 2020, after 64 editions in 15 cities, the Certification Training was offered online for the first time.

Differences with other schools

At the Institute, we currently offer a purely biological line of therapy, based on the biological laws, neuroscience and trauma theory. We focus on how each individual experiments their conflict and the connection with what the body expresses. 

In contrast to other schools, we broaden our vision in order to understand each person in their own particular vital context, we avoid being dogmatic about their experiences and their symptoms. In order to do so, we continually try new tools and keep updated on the research in the fields of science and humanities.

In this extended article we have skimmed through the origin, the evolution and the present state of Biological Decoding (BD) but there is nothing like first-hand experience to get a good understanding of why we get ill.

You can do our introductory course to get acquainted with the most fundamental concepts of Biological Decoding. If you want to go a little further, you can learn about the theory of the 5 biological laws with the beginner course on Biological Decoding.

I hope that this article has answered your questions. You can leave your comments telling me what you thought about this article or other topics that you would like us to discuss. I read you!

© Ángeles Wolder Institute– All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: Biological Decoding is a complementary, supportive emotional therapy, it is not a substitute for any medical treatment. The client can freely choose this therapy to help with their emotional wellbeing. The Ángeles Wolder Institute does not give medical advice and does not recommend its clients to give up any medical treatments.

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