It is only because we have forsaken Nature’s way for man’s way that we have suffered, and we have only to return to be released from our trials. in the presence of the way of Nature disease has no power; all fear, all depresson, all hopelessness can be set aside. There is no disease of itself which is incurable.
– Edward Bach
Healing from acute illness may be physical, but often it is emotional as well. Optimal healing of any wound, trauma or acute illness involves emotional responses often overlooked. Emotional healing may not be so obvious in the contemporary world of information and medication, yet our feelings get hurt frequently, though we may not see the connection to our injuries and illnesses. When my heart ails me, I am susceptible to trauma, injury and illness with little awareness. At times like these, I often reach for the flowers—those of Edward Bach, a British physician who quit medicine and homeopathy to pursue his relationship with flowers for emotional healing. For Bach, healing is soul work and flowers serve as a salve for the soul. Often called Flower Essence Therapy, for me and anyone, emotional healing can be facilitated with these tiny vials of the essence of flowers.
Rescue Remedy is one of the most common remedies in my home and integrative medicine. Consisting of five flowers, Clematis, the climbing desire to avoid a malady, Star of Bethlehem, the miraculous spiritual conception, Rock Rose, the courage to face fear, Impatiens, the release of tension and Cherry Plum, surrendering to something greater, this one remedy brings about calmness and stability in acute crises. A brief story that comes to mind was when my wife, Wendy, called extremely upset because she had to carry our dog Abbie home from the park. Abbie seemed to have been poisoned, or had a stroke. Rescue Remedy (also called Five Flower Essence) cleared her emotional head, and a few drops indeed helped save our beloved Labrador Retriever (with the help of Arsenicum Album, a homeopathic Remedy).
I think of the remedy Scotch Broom, when I find one overcome with depression and despair. This might be due to life’s circumstances, or simply sensing so much pain and suffering in the world. Elm helps with the feelings of being overwhelmed by too many responsibilities. Self-heal, a California Flower Essence, helps with the motivation for healing. White Chestnut releases persistent anxious thoughts and Wild Rose releases the paralysis that accompanies strong physical or emotional states. Learning about Flower Essences Therapy and using them extends our emotional responses, quickening our awareness and building a body that holds feelings with more ease and grace. Emotional release becomes an opportunity to become resilient and compassionate, particularly for ourselves.
How little we tolerate our bodies not feeling well. And what happens when our feelings are ill guided? Perhaps we overeat, get drunk, work too much, or have a hard time saying no. Modern neurobiology is teaching us about feelings these days. Researchers and writers like Dan Siegel and Bruce Lipton offer evidence and clear explanations for how the wiring of our brain grows in response to how we think and feel. This is called neuroplasticity: how we handle our feelings shapes our thinking and feeling in the future. Learning to understand better and tolerate our feelings is essential for optimal healing.
One easy way to extend our range of emotional release and healing is through the use of these flower essences. Dr. Bach set out to create a system of medicine that is completely in your hands. He published his findings of how plants healed emotions so that anyone and everyone can use these remedies without the need for a physician. One simply uses their intuition to decide which flowers seem to fit the current feeling state. Then experiment by taking the flower essence. A typical dosage is five drops 3-4 times daily. Most natural food stores carry Flower Essences remedies, and the indications can be found online. For a small fee, anyone can join the Flower Essence Society, which offers the indications that I use for my family and my clients. When it comes to optimal healing and feelings, the essence of flowers is a simple essential method for finding the peace and release.