Bach Flower Remedies facilitating the mind-body link
Bach Flower Remedies facilitating the mind-body link – Aligning with the purpose of the soul
In the healing world we often hear of the term disease which is precisely dis-ease, meaning “not at ease”. During recent period, psycho-somatic linkages and energy effects are talked about and mind-body-soul centred holistic healings are getting offered. Progressively there has been a journey towards more of “energy healing” than mere physically administered chemical medicines. Bach Flower Remedy system (BFR) is one such energy healing system that provides us with desired vibrations. It uses non-toxic England based wild flowers (37 varieties) and one “rock water”. These are limited 38 remedies in its definite portfolio. These pure remedies and a combinational remedy of “rescue remedy” comprising of five of the flower essences complete the healing kit for the healers and users of BFR system.
Healing philosophy and mechanisms
BFR system got originated due to the work of Dr Edward Bach, an English homeopath and bacteriologist who spent last six years of his life from 1930 exploring the healing options in wild forests. His sensitivity revealed to him that flowers contain the energy vibrations which can be “felt” if we are in the vicinity. These energies can be tapped and transferred into a plain water, preserved in bottles for future use was his exact discovery. His exploration of various seasonal flowers resulted in two methods of preparing the concentrate (the water containing the flower’s vibes/energy). First was through “sun method” and the second method was “boiling”. First comprises of placing the chosen flower petals gently picked in wide water container in the open Sun for a few hours before preserving filtered petalled water. This is the remedy. The boiling method is used for winter flowers when Sun method can’t be leveraged. Here flower petals are put in a vessel of water and boiled. Then the extract is cooled, filtered and preserved.
Subtle energy in the flowers heals is the root assumption of BFR. When one receives desired and required vibration contained in certain flower, he/she gets the alignment of mind-body with the soul. The energy blocks creating the dis-ease get cleared. Key is in mapping the requirement with the right remedy from the set of thirty-eight as BFR has unique properties for identified 37 flowers and one rock water. Five essence combination for emergencies termed as rescue remedy is meant for challenging quick response required situations. Rescue remedy has the combination of Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, and Cherry Plum. The method of administration is simple, taking a few drops on the tongue or putting these drops into cup of water and sipping the same.
The very healing philosophy of BFR is “Simplicity, Humility, and Compassion.” Accordingly, number of essences in BFR are limited, thirty-eight. The only requirement is that the healer needs to know the mental state of the needy for it to be administered. The one who requires the remedy can also identify the right remedy, if one can. Alternatively, seeking experienced BFR practitioner’s help is a definite possibility. What the healer or the self-administering needs to know is the remedy picture, needy’s current mental state and the art of matching these two appropriately. Then the miraculous action happens, first improving the mental/emotional condition and then showing the improvement in terms of physical condition as well. In terms of identification and administration, as the human emotional spectrum is wide and complex, there may be more than one remedy picture displayed at a given time. In such cases, combination of remedies may be administered typically getting restricted to dominant few. In case of multiple remedies’ requirement is changing too fast, the healer and the seeker may take a particular BFR remedy, Wild Oat, and wait for the clarity to emerge.
Often BFR is clubbed with Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) but the beneficiary shall realize that once the mastery of BFR is achieved, this itself is self-sufficient. It is gentle, simple and non-intrusive method of healing. Here we explore the wonderful and helpful characteristics of BFRs and clarify on the nuances so that a genuine seeker may begin and benefit from BFR. One approach to approach BFR may be going by the emotions that people have, so that the cluster can be discussed and nuanced well. Another approach is to explore these remedies in a flow, in a free manner and get guided by the universal wisdom. Latter may be more apt, feels this seeker.
Are you afraid?
Fear is a strong emotion. Unknown fear drives some panicky. Ask the person to name what is that he/she is afraid of, probably they can’t identify and name. Their life is full of suffering and half-lived. Unknown source as the fear is the trigger for us to choose Aspen remedy. If the seeker is able to identify the source of fear clearly, say fear of animal/ darkness/ poverty/ boss/ accident / stage fright, then the remedy to be used is Mimulus. For definite source of fear being known, Mimulus gets used and when source is not clear then it is Aspen. Additionally, people may be in terror for some reason. Then it is Rock Rose.
Dealing with others
Some people as we observe are over-critical and they need no reason to find fault with any and every one. They appear to be perfectionists, can’t tolerate deviations or variance and are acerbic in their criticism. Unfortunately, they can’t find even a single good in a person but can list dozens of short-comings in the person. Beech taken for some time shall help them in terms of seeing some good in surroundings and people surrounding them. Compared to almost reason-less criticism of Beech, there is a remedy type of Holly who find fault with others due to jealousy, inferiority. They literally burn inside when some good happens to others in their circles (or even outside). Holly smoothens the heart chakra and brings in a change in the outlook of the person. Modern competitive world increased the number of Holly cases is the BFR master’s observation. Reverse of the people who criticize is one who meekly obeys. Centaury is one who willingly become doormat for others. They just can’t say NO to any. These are over-pleasing variety and probably only goodness may not be the reason. They get exploited in the selfishness driven world and need protection.
Can’t make choices?
Knowing the choices and following the “right choice” may help us in reaching the best outcome for the energy/time spent. Often many are not sure of the “call of the life”. They simply don’t know what to pursue. This may be because they are not good in anything or they are equally good in many things. These need to be steered on the correct path. Wild Oat helps in this. Additionally, decision making is important in many a situation of personal and professional relevance. Cerato variety can’t choose for themselves. These are dependent on others for any decision of their required situation. These just lack the self-deciding abilities. Always look for advice from many and get over-swayed. Cerato helps them. Compared to this, Scleranthus is different. These people cannot decide between two alternatives. Scleranthus is also for “two state” condition viz binary logic. Both physical and emotional conditions get covered in binary. For example, if someone is “on” and “off” emotionally (bi-polar) or physically at different points, then it is Scleranthus. As the famous “Anand” movie scene depicts, “Shifting pains” condition is defined by this remedy.
Too bothered about self?
Engaging with people is an art. It can’t be less or it can’t be excessive. Often, we come across people who are in great suffering or are surrounded by complex issues that even threaten physical/financial existence, but they choose not to talk about the issues. These are Agrimony type of people. They may appear jovial and happy but internally there may be a great suffering. Agrimony helps people to open up, seek help and get the benefit. The dominant reason for not sharing may be a genuine feeling that “why bother others with our negative condition”. Often forgotten is when we share, the burden reduces. Reverse of this variety are Chicory who are possessive, attention seeking and would like to be surrounded. They often won’t realize but can even “fall sick” to get the desired attention. Heather is the variety of BFR who are reverse of Agrimony. Heather always “talks” about his/her issues and troubles, to the point of boring everybody around. For them, they are the world.
Not receiving the “present”
Present time is the universe’s present to us, it is said. However, we find among people around us who either live in past or live in future. They miss the moment and miss the golden opportunity of creating their destiny. If the person is talking of the past events and almost always, reminiscing, regretting, reliving, then the requirement of Honeysuckle is indicated strongly. Walnut can help especially in transition situations of life, moving out of the house, joining a new job, kids’ birth in the family and physical separation of any sort. Walnut can also help with stopping of the inheritance of behavioural and dis-ease patterns from ancestors. Walnut also provides protection from unwanted. Reverse of Honeysuckle who live in past is a remedy type of Clematis. These live in future, and perpetually in future. An example is, if one is dreaming of joining a new job, when they join the job they won’t be anchored there in the present. They would have recalibrated and now living in further future. It is like the horse moving towards the carrot tied before its eyes, but moves with it. Clematis loses the precious opportunity and underpays attention in the present. Another insufficient attention in the present time remedy is Chestnutbud. These are not in “now and here” and hence nowhere. These fail to learn, repeat mistakes time and again and end up as underachievers wrt their potential. These fail to learn the life lessons. Trust the same person and get cheated, follow the same pattern and end up with sub-optimal results and repeat the learning cycles.
Achievement journey ups & downs
People engage in this world for fulfilment of material duties which are essentially their upward spiral for evolving. Thus, their orientation toward the work or the duty or the responsibility decides not only the quality of life but also after. Hornbeam is one who gets tired at the very thought of work. These people get overwhelmed at the very thought of some responsibility or duty. Another remedy, Gentian helps those who need to “recover” from the earlier failure or setback. These are also often of pessimistic variety. If their proposal is rejected, they won’t revisit it for months. If they degenerate into Cherry Plum which is the state when the person is literally losing control and may end up with the worst self-damage, we need immediate intervention. Gorse is another setback remedy where depression, low-spirits build up due to long-time failures experienced. They are despair filled. Similar despair remedy but which is of fast building is Sweet Chestnut, where the person won’t see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”. The use of Sweet Chestnut dawns a new era into the life of the person and often can be the last resort. If such failed cases push the person into shock, then it is Star of Bethlehem condition. In a few cases person assumes Willow (remember famous weeping willow!) state and gets into self-pity mode. That person needs to be pulled out of that condition. Compared to these, Mustard is the type who get dark clouds descend on them for no reason. These dark clouds come and then go. Here, Mustard helps.
Elm is another work-related remedy where those in responsible positions who had already proven their worth, temporarily end up with doubt and feel “can they do this?” Elm helps in overcoming this emotion. Olive is for those who had given their very best and still are to get the fruits of their efforts. They are tired, frustrated and almost on the verge of giving up. Olive helps them in giving their best in that last strike that breaks the stone. Compared to these who are thinking of giving up, Oak is one who is willing to give perpetually and carry on the efforts, irrespective of the previous outcomes. One may observe that this person is about to collapse due to the tiring efforts. Another essential quality for us to deliver is basic confidence. Larch boosts this and helps one attempt atleast. There may be someone who doesn’t feel confident before a test or an interview. Larch helps. A person who refuses even to apply for a departmental promotion saying there is no use, needs Larch as the fear of failure is looming large.
Extending one on others
When it comes to interpersonal relations, a few may not be comfortable in mingling with others due to hesitancy which is a Mimulus state. But this hesitancy can be due to their own poor self-image which is a Crab Apple state. These miss the forest for trees and may be fussy about a trivial thing when more serious issue is pending before them. In team interactions and in a larger framework of the society, if the person takes the blame on self for what the other person committed or even a generic issue, it is a Pine state. For instance, if a party is planned and heavy rain spoilt it, Pine person approaches the host with profuse apologies, as if the rain was caused by him. Often their sentences begin with “pardon” or “I am sorry”. It is not courtesy, it is compulsive guilt. In interactions and even in office matters, if a person is too pushy, then it is Vine state. They make you do what they think is correct. These just bully others into submission. On the other hand, if their interference is only on convincing others on “what they believe is right”, then it is Vervain. Vine is a task master father at home or boss at office and Vervain can be a harmless “perpetual persuader” who can be tolerated. Vine people can torture others, Vervain people are too sensitive to injustice, even if it is done to complete unknown persons. If the concern for others is extreme to the point of affecting this side person’s affairs, it is Red Chestnut. An example is a father worried about the safety of the sixteen-year-old son who is traveling alone in a train for the first time, when he is returning after dropping off his grand-parents in a city seven hundred kilometre away, is a typical Red Chestnut. These worry on specifics. White Chestnut state is full of unwanted thoughts and these are endless, not even allowing them to sleep. They can’t focus on anything due to interfering thoughts. Sitting for a meditation for half an hour is a big punishment for them.
Have issues with the world & its ways
There are a few other important states that may occur independently or even as an accompaniment to other states. One of it is a Rock Water state wherein the person gets into self-denial mode. Probably in our context, it may happen due to religious reasons. Abstaining from simple pleasures, hurting the body with strict practices belong to this category. One who fasts for forty days for a religious reason, one who doesn’t watch movies as “he is a good student”, an employee who skips lunch for work- all display Rock Water to some degree. These are puritans, and often tough. When it comes to dealing in teams, one has to learn to play in tandem with other’s pace. If one is really impatient with “slow” and would like to do the entire work by themselves (without any pragmatism), it is Impatiens state. These suffer with tension and strain of over work too! Time moves slow for them. Any delay of a few minutes is a crime for them. When it comes to team interactions, a few may display the unnecessary pride and “separateness”. This is the display of Water Violet quality. However, these are harmless. They mind their business and won’t insult others. They just don’t mix due to their own pride unlike Mimulus state of being afraid of groups. This also needs to be contrasted with Beech who throw their perceived superiority on others and criticise. Beyond aloof, if it is just resignation and complete apathy to all life situations, it is Wild Rose. For others, it appears these have “given up”. They won’t even try on improving their or others’ lot. A Vine father may “guide” the career of their “child” even when the son/daughter crossed forty. On the contrary, a Wild Rose father doesn’t bother when the kid is failing repeatedly in school. Wild Rose person is simply not embedded. If the home maker is in this state, that house is completely unattended. If the householder is in this state, most of the affairs are at sub-optimum.
Closer thanking note
There needs to be no judgement or fault finding regarding the “current” mental state which is being exhibited, based on which the right remedy needs to be chosen. “Value-free” healer will prove as a great help to the seeker. There is no right order of picking up the remedies in terms of “impact”. The dominant state needs to be addressed and this gives a clue on the underlying state, which when “cleared”, throws light on the further suppressed or repressed states. It is a great journey for the seeker and also for the healer. The remedies are harmless, hold a great potential and can be combined with other methods, as the practitioners indicate.
This seeker’s deep gratitude to the founder of the method, Dr Edward Bach, who is a “pratah- smaraneeya” for him. On waking up in the morning, we take the names of such great contributors to the mankind’s betterment. Dr Bach desired to make the BFR method easily available to all in the world. Never the thought of profiteering crossed his mind and left the system unpatented for universal low-cost access. He taught us the trinity of superior value system of “Simplicity, Humility and Compassion”. If the world follows these values, even if they choose not to follow BFR, the world undoubtedly shall be a great place. Simplicity, if universally implemented, shall avoid all that is unnecessary and lead to sustainability. It shall have lower footprints on various accounts. Humility brings in the desired quality of acknowledging and taking forward good ideas. Authenticity gets established. Compassion shall reduce the inequities that are threatening the social fabric. These shall make the world a better and a happier place, realizing the ideal of “sarve jana sukhino bhavantu”, meaning may all be well. Dr Edward Bach can be thanked and acknowledged as the visionary and architect of a better world, and this role is much larger than just a healer. We thanked him through this article.