Flower power can help you bloom inside and out

In Philippine Star Column on September 16, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Several years ago I was in the market for something that would give me regular sleep and just calm me during certain work-related anxieties. I was definitely not looking for prescription medicine and I certainly wasn’t about to go to a shrink for answers. Yoga at that time helped, of course, but it wasn’t as if I could just do a sun salutation series on the office floor or in between meetings, I needed something a little more convenient and safe. An aunt turned me on to her “hobby,” which was Bach Flower Essences or remedies.  She explained to me that this was a homeopathic solution that was beneficial for everyone  and then she pulled out about three boxes of small bottles. Each bottle was labeled with the name of a flower or plant, some of which I had never heard of, like Agrimony, which is supposed to help someone be more truthful about their worries and emotions.  These floral remedies were created by Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) who was born in the UK and practiced Western medicinefor over 20 years until his interest in immunology propelled him to find a more natural way to prevent disease. Bach believed that illness was the result of disharmony between body and mind — an external expression of one’s emotional negative state. He made up his mind to work on his own “cures,” leaving his lucrative London practice to work in Wales and the English countryside.  It was here that he could fully concentrate on finding a new system of healing using plants and flowers. During the spring and summer months he prepared new herbal remedies and in winter he treated patients for free.

Make your own liquid bouquet!

Unlike essential oils that are normally used for aromatherapy (massages, oil burners), Bach Flower remedies are turned into elixirs that you can actually drink. They are mixed with spring water or fresh water (there is a measurement) and you are recommended to take a couple of drops a day, depending on what your requirement is. Dr. Bach came up with 38 essences and later on divided a person’s ailments into seven types, namely fear, uncertainty, lack of interest in the present (perhaps a more formal way of saying ADD or spaced-out), loneliness, over-sensitive to influence and ideas (read: drama queen), despair or despondency, and over-care for the welfare of others (I think this is a nice way of saying mind your own business!). The process of getting your Bach Flower remedy is quite fun, especially since you’re not necessarily limited to one “essence”; you can actually mix and match and come up with your own liquid bouquet.  The first way, or more traditional way, is to choose according to your need from the seven that were indicated above. For example, if it’s loneliness then you can have a nice little mix of Water Violet, which will help you in your relationships with other people, plus a little Heather for those days when you are by yourself for long periods of time.  Bit of a control freak? Then stir up a concoction of  Beech (helps you to become less critical of others) and Vine (respect other people’s ideas and views). Of course, the elixir is more potent when just one is used, but if you are unsure of what it is exactly that ails you, a nice little mix is always helpful. A tip, if you’re not sure, then make an elixir for uncertainty out of Ceranto that claims to help you trust your own judgment in decision making.

The second way, which is what my aunt advised me to do as she laid all the bottles in front of me, was to choose intuitively, in other words, choose by “feeling” what was right for me. I selected two on the basis that they sounded like flowers I would like visually (or the smell of), like wild rose and honeysuckle. Ironically when I was made to read up on them (as my aunt prepared the mix) it did resonate with my experience at the time. Both flower essences were categorized under “insufficient interest in the present moment,” the wild rose was for taking responsibility of your own life, and the honey suckle for letting go of the past — in short, to keep me grounded in the present moment, in the now so to speak and to stop worrying. At that time I was at a crossroads in my career, and I was subconsciously looking for a way to deal with it rather as I was already functioning on a rather apathetic auto-pilot state. In the following weeks I obediently took the elixir every time I felt worried and anxious, especially when I returned home from work. The most immediate effect was that I slept better at night, and the long-term effect was I eventually made the decision to leave my job. Within a month, I was happily surprised by a job offer — one that was certainly nowhere near my expectations at the time. I’m not saying that Bach Flowers are a magic potion and cureall for everything, but in my case, the soothing of my state of mind certainly didn’t hurt, and my change in my overall state probably allowed more beneficial experiences to come in.

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For more information on how to have a Bach Flower Remedy Session in the Philippines contact Tina at 0928-5050202

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