By Jamie Levesque
Dr. Edward Bach was a man ahead of his time. Well before Louise Hay, he saw our mental and emotional states as the keys to happiness and health. He first studied medicine at the University College Hospital in London and obtained a Diploma of Public Health at Cambridge. After practicing Western medicine and seeing how his patients were treated according to symptoms rather than root cause, he began seeking out a new form of medicine. He then went on to work at the London Homeopathic Hospital, where his thinking was influenced by Samuel Hahnemann.
In 1930, at the age of 43, Bach began to search out new healing modalities. After spending his spring and summer hiking in the English countryside, he became inspired by flowers and began experimenting with their healing powers. He came to believe that early-morning sunlight passing through dewdrops on flower petals transferred the healing energies of the flower into the water. He then began collecting dew drops from the plants and preserving the dew with an equal amount of brandy to create a mother tincture. When he realized that this was insufficient, he began suspending the flower buds in spring water to better extract their healing powers. This was the genesis of the Bach Flower Remedies as we now know them. To this day they're still made from the Bach Centre gardens, his preserved homestead and learning center in Mount Vernon in the UK.
Bach observed in his patients that two people could be exposed to the same germ or pathogen, with one being unaffected while the other would become ill. He postulated that illness was not the result of germs or disease, but rather a conflict between one's higher soul calling and his or her personality. He saw that one's emotional imbalances and energetic blockages caused "dis-ease," later manifesting in actual physical disease. He stated, "In true healing there is no thought whatever of the disease; it is the mental state, the mental difficulty alone, to be considered: it is where we are going wrong in the Divine Plan that matters. This disharmony with our Spiritual Self may produce a hundred different failings in our bodies, but what matters that? If we put our mind right the body will soon be healed."
Bach, through experimentation, hand-selected 38 flowers and called them "plants of a higher order." The resulting 38 flower remedies are each linked to what he called a virtue. When people's divine traits cannot be realized, their energy first becomes blocked then starts showing up as "faults," or negative emotional behavioral patterns. By taking the appropriate remedies, one can remove negative blockages, thus being restored to his or her positive potential.
In Dr. Bach's books, The Twelve Healers and Heal Thyself, he wrote about "interferences," or the many things that can lead people astray from their higher calling in life. For example, for someone struggling with making a decision who doesn't feel confident in making a choice, the interference would be a lack of self-confidence. The appropriate flower remedy for removing that interference would be larch, which helps to restore self-confidence in the face of doubts. Each client has specific interferences — oftentimes a multitude of them — which need to be addressed. Depending on the nature of the imbalance, Bach Flower Remedies can either broaden our field of vision to allow us a larger perspective or help us focus on a specific need. There are many reasons people might find themselves amidst a spiritual crisis and decide to seek out a registered Bach Flower practitioner.
"The physician of the future," wrote Bach, "will have two great aims: The first will be to assist the patient to a knowledge of himself and to point out to him the fundamental mistakes he may be making. ... And second duty of the physician will be to administer such remedies as will help the physical body to gain strength and assist the mind to become calm, widen its outlook and strive towards perfection, thus bringing peace and harmony to the whole personality." My work as a Bach Flower Practitioner is just that, to assist clients in discovering what blockages or interferences are present in their lives and to recommend the remedies that would help restore them back to the calling of their higher self. Oftentimes, clients find this process of inquiry and self-reflection helpful to their healing process even before having taken the remedies.
We so need to come back to the knowledge that within ourselves lies all truth. To remember that we need seek no advice and no teaching but from within. Beyond my role as a Bach Flower practitioner, I also seek to educate my clients on proper remedy selection, so that they may independently become their own "therapist of the soul," as Bach described it. He believed that everybody should have the full 38 remedies at home and use them regularly as preventative medicine to ensure that no "dis-ease" arises.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves trapped in an unfulfilling living situation or in a state of development characterized by certain slight and seemingly insignificant behavior patterns. Sometimes deciding on just a single positive step in the right direction can be enough to shift the soul from crisis to healing. As the personality is the instrument the soul uses to manifest its life plan, it makes sense to nurture this divine part of ourselves. The Bach Flower Remedies are what I consider our plant allies, here to help lift our personalities out of their negative states and forge a link back to our divine nature, to the positive core of our own being.
The greatest gift we can make to our fellow human beings is to be balanced and happy in ourselves. We can judge our health by our happiness, and by our happiness we know that we're obeying the dictates of the soul. I invite you to experiment with the flower remedies and discover what positive potential may unfold for you!
Jamie Levesque is a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner and mother to three free-spirited children. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Photography and Digital Imaging from Ringling College of Art and Design, and can be found most days homeschooling her wee ones and soaking up the wilderness. She will be leading a class at GreenStar on Wednesday, Feb. 19. See page 10 for information on how to register. Jamie is available for private Bach Flower consultations; please visit www.wiseflowerhealing.com for more information.
Top Five Flower Remedies
• Walnut: Useful for times when making changes. This essence helps us to leave the old behind and move forward unencumbered. It's great when we need to act free from outside influences and shake off the voices of the past.
• Impatiens: Helps us to cultivate patience while dealing with slow people or stuck situations.
• White Chestnut: Restores mental calm when thoughts or worries go round and round in the mind.
• Mimulus: Useful for times when we feel resigned in the face of a challenge. This essence addresses fear of the known, manifesting as resignation.
• Star of Bethlehem: Provides a sense of comfort when we've experienced shock or deep trauma.