Using Bach Flower Remedies
© 2013 Yossarian Fay
Many people have heard of Rescue Remedy however some are unaware of the other remedies within this system. Bach designed these to be used by all however he did intend them to be used in a particular way. When used as Bach intended the flower remedies are an incredibly powerful and safe tool to aid healing and help in personal development.
Around the turn of the centaury Edward Bach was a physician working in a London hospital when he noticed that even though patients had the same diseases they were suffering very differently. On talking with them more he realised that at the heart of each person’s problem was an emotional issue. “Thus, behind all disease lie our fears, our anxieties, our greed, our likes and dislikes. Let us seek these out and heal them, and with the healing of them will go the disease from which we suffer.” E Bach (The 12 Healers and other remedies).
Although physical conditions can be linked to emotions, and this is exactly where Edward Bach first began his investigations, Bach Flower Remedies are purely for emotional states and should always be selected as such. Many of us have had a headache however there are few who suffer with it exactly the same, as Bach discovered, and for this reason the focus should be on how the person is experiencing the headache emotionally when using Bach Flower Remedies. “Take no notice of the disease, think only of the outlook on life of the one in distress.” E Bach (The 12 Healers and other remedies). Also in focusing on the individual and their emotions, changes can often be detected long before physical symptoms’, illness or disease occurs. How often have you noticed that you are reacting differently or not feeling quite right only to have some physical manifestation occur after? This is the difference that Bach Flower Remedies have – they look at the changing person, moods, reactions and emotions to maintain balance and with it good health.
It is hard not to focus on the physical as after all it is the most obvious. Likewise it can be hard not to link the emotional to the physical when there are many out there showing how affirmations and meditations can help heal us physically. Essentially they are using the power of the mind to heal which is a valid and important skill to use. Louise Hay has done some amazing work on Meta-physical conditions and she provides affirmations to help clear negative thoughts and limiting beliefs to help improve physical conditions. These affirmations can work very well along side Bach Flower Remedies, as any therapy does, and can be useful as a guide to direct questioning about the root issue i.e. If someone has a headache which Louise Hay says is invalidating the self, self criticism and fear; you may ask if there is anything the person is worried or anxious about. The primary focus with Bach Flower Remedies however should always be on how the person is feeling regardless of physical conditions. The healing energies of the remedies will then support all other work, therapy or treatment.
Bach designed his remedies to be able to be used by all – layperson and professional alike. “It is its simplicity, combined with its all-healing effects, that is so wonderful. No science, no knowledge is necessary, apart from the simple methods described.” E Bach (The 12 Healers and other remedies). This may make you wonder why anyone would train in this system of healing or why you would pay for it. The answer is objectivity of another listening, observing and sensing what we often shut down or ignore.
Bach began by testing on himself. He found an initial 12 healers that he deemed so important that he released a booklet about them before the other remedies had been found. These first 12 were Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cerato, Scleranthus, Gentian, Clematis, Water Violet, Impatiens, Agrimony, Centaury, Chicory and Vervain. The fact that these are the first may also give an indication on how Bach himself was feeling as he found himself on the brink of discovery and finding a new healing system.
Each remedy has its own qualities and healing energies and while there are many that seem similar, i.e. Mimulus and Aspen for fear, with a little investigation into the issues and feelings below the surface the correct remedy with become apparent. An example of this would be someone with a fear of dogs. The initial emotion is fear however the question which will always get to the bottom of thinks is “why?” Are they scared due to the size of the dogs or is it the noise they make? If so this would indicate Mimulus which is for fear of the known (what is there and apparent at the time). If the fear is because they fear that the dog may bite them, may chase them or may jump up; then Aspen would be more appropriate as this is for fear of the unknown (what may happen or what they imagine is going on). This is where a Bach Flower Remedy practitioner can be helpful just as a watchful and mindful observer may be.
Most people know and have used Rescue Remedy which is a combination of 5 (as in the liquid) or 6 remedies (as in the cream). This is the only pre-prepared treatment bottle Bach accepts and it is particularly useful in extremely stressful, highly demanding or very emotional situations. It is not however intended as a long term treatment or solution. Rescue Remedy helps in the immediate ‘crisis’; when there is not the time, or often the inclination due to the situation, to find the remedies needed for long term healing. Just as first aiders put a dressing over a wound till the hospital can assess it so should we use Rescue Remedy.
At times we could easily go through and select most if not all 38 remedies! This may seem like a good cover all approach, however with Bach Flower Remedies (and many other holistic healing systems) less is more. For this reason no more than 7 remedies should be selected at any one time.
To help with selection and understanding of remedies Bach put them into 7 different categories; Uncertainty, Oversensitivity, Fear, Over care for others welfare, Loneliness, Insufficient Interest in the Present Circumstances and Despondency and Despair. Each of the 38 remedies fit into one of these categories, see below with Rescue Remedy being separate.
|Uncertainty||Cerato, Scleranthus, Gentian, Gorse, Hornbeam, Wild Oat.|
|Over-sensitivity to influences and ideas.||Agrimony, Centaury, Walnut, Holly.|
|Fear.||Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, Aspen, Red Chestnut|
|Over-care for welfare of others.||Chicory, Vervain, Vine, Beech, Rock Water.|
|Loneliness.||Water Violet, Impatiens, Heather.|
|Insufficient interest in present circumstances.||Clematis, Honeysuckle, Wild Rose, Olive, White Chestnut, Mustard, Chestnut Bud.|
|Despondency or despair.||Larch, Pine, Elm, Sweet Chestnut, Star of Bethlehem, Willow, Oak, Crab Apple.|
Once the remedies have been selected 2 drops from each stock bottle is added to 30 mls of spring water to create a ‘treatment bottle’. From this treatment bottle at least 16 drops are taken each day, more if needed. These drops can be spaced out throughout the day or split so that half are taken upon rising in the morning and half when retiring for the evening. The great thing about these drops is that they can also be added to any food which often is the easiest way for those not able to carry a treatment bottle around with them all day.
Some have likened the process of healing with Bach Flower Remedies to peeling an onion where the releasing of surface emotions only uncovers another layer and yet another. It is through continuing to acknowledge and recognize these changing emotions that healing and clearing really occur. Bach Flower Remedies have no known side effects so there is only benefit from continuing with remedies until emotions issues have be dealt with and cleared. If a remedy is not the right one for you then it simply will no longer have an effect. The time has come to select a new treatment bottle.
Bach Flower Remedies have been around for decades now yet their potential in healing and well-being is still only just being discovered. Have you tried them and enjoyed their benefits? I’m happy that you have such a great tool. If not maybe now is the right time for you!