Bach Flower Remedies
Emotions are a primary focus in my consulting. Before I switched to phone consulting, I always kept the Bach Flower Remedy called Rescue Remedy in my office to use if people got upset while telling me their story. In the summer of 1999, I had a renewed interest in studying the Bach Flower Remedies mainly because of their focus on the emotions. Since that time, I often suggest Bach Flower Remedies specific to the needs of the person for raising their level of emotional health.
Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) of England believed that "the ills of the heart and spirit" needed to be the focus of a healer's attention. He divided negative states of mind into seven groups under the following headings: fear; uncertainty; insufficient interest in present circumstances; loneliness; over-sensitivity to influences and ideas; despondency or despair; and over-care for the welfare of others. Each group had subgroups. For example, he recognized five different types of fear: terror; fear of a known cause; fear of an unknown cause; fear of the mind losing control; and fear of other people.
In studying the Bach Flower Remedies, I have been fascinated by their similarities to homeopathy. Both Bach Flower Remedies and homeopathy are used to treat the person not the disease. Both recognize that emotional problems are often the cause of physical problems, and both healing methods recognized a mind-body connection way before the current interest in it. Both recognize that the main focus of healing should be to prevent health problems before they arise by treating mental/emotional problems as they occur. As with many of the homeopathic remedies, the Bach Flower Remedies are made of plants, trees, and flowers with only one of the remedies being made from rock. Both homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedy practitioners compare healing to the peeling away of the layers of an onion revealing successive healthier layers. Both types of remedies are FDA approved, readily available, and reasonably inexpensive. Both are chosen without regard to the weight, size, or age of the patient so that a newborn baby would get the same dose as a full-grown man. Both types of remedies can be used for human and animal patients alike.
There are some notable differences between homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies. Unlike homeopathic remedies, Bach Flower Remedies are freely given together. They are in liquid form instead of pellets. Although a Bach Flower Remedy is an essence of a flower just like homeopathy is the essence of a natural substance; the preparations are made in a different manner. Homeopathy is diluted tremendously and then shaken, while the Bach Flower Remedies are prepared in alcohol and the essence is extracted with the power of the sun. Bach Flower Remedies are not specifically associated with certain physical symptoms as homeopathic remedies can be. Dr. Bach believed that an emotional unrest could lead to any number of physical symptoms and that by healing the emotional problem, the physical symptom would also be healed.
Many of you may be familiar with the Bach Flower Remedy called Rescue Remedy. Although there are 38 standard Bach Flower Remedies, Rescue Remedy is considered the 39th remedy. It is the only remedy that is a composite of other remedies. It can be used freely in any emergency situation (emotional or physical) regardless of the specifics of the problem. It is the first Bach Flower Remedy to think of for any problem. If you were interested in trying the Bach Flower Remedies, I would suggest that you get a bottle of Rescue Remedy and start trying it when problems arise. An injury, a shock, an emotional upset, or a tantruming child (or adult!), are all things that might respond to a few drops of Rescue Remedy.
The Bach Flower Remedies come in dropper bottles. Four drops twice a day is the usual dose when the Bach Flower Remedy is being used as a constitutional remedy. This corresponds to constitutional care in homeopathy where you are taking a 30C 2 x a day with monthly follow-ups with me. Acute situations call for more frequent use of the Bach Flower Remedies, so depending on the severity of a situation; you might be taking four drops anywhere from 3 x a day to every 15 minutes. This corresponds to our acute care with homeopathic remedies in which the remedy is given according to the severity of the problem you are treating. The Bach Flower Remedies are distilled in alcohol and the drops do contain alcohol. Some people, particularly children, do not like the slight alcohol taste when the drops are placed under the tongue or in the mouth. Putting the drops into warm water will dilute any alcohol and make the drops more palatable. For anyone who has had addiction problems with alcohol, I suggest taking the remedies only after the drops have been put into hot water so that the alcohol will be dissipated on the outside chance that the alcohol might trigger cravings.
I'm finding that the Bach Flower Remedies are a wonderful adjunct to homeopathy, and I'm suggesting them regularly now. When there are nuances of emotional unrest that just don't seem to respond well enough to the homeopathic remedies, Bach Flower Remedies are excellent. They are a worthwhile consideration for fast relief as well as long-term issues.
If you would like to learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies, there are some good books available, although they are usually found at health food stores. Feel free to ask me about Bach Flower Remedies if you feel that you have an emotional issue that the homeopathic remedies are not fully addressing.