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A COURSE IN THE BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
 
by Candy Hillenbrand
 

 
LESSON 6

In the next few lessons, we're going to be looking at the remedies in greater depth.

* We'll be looking at more specific applications, with a special focus on pregnancy, childbirth, children, and so on.

* We'll also be looking at the therapeutic action of the flower remedies - how they work and some ways that they can affect us.

* We'll look at prescribing and some different diagnostic techniques.

* And we'll also look at using positive affirmations with the remedies, to enhance their effects.

SCIENTIFIC STUDY - THE PLACEBO EFFECT

Now, people often ask me about the placebo effect. They wonder if the flower essences only work because people believe in them and whether it's just a question of mind over matter. Edward Bach said that the remedies were endowed with a definite healing power quite apart from faith and that their action did not depend upon the one who administered them. But for many years, it was difficult to prove this to the sceptical.

So, it's very interesting to know that the effectiveness of the flower remedies has actually been demonstrated by a very careful and scientific study undertaken by a Dr Michael Weisglas for his PHd thesis in America in 1980. The source of this particular information is: Astrology and Vibrational Healing by Donna Cunningham.

Dr Weisglas set out to test whether the Bach Flower Remedies were working only through the strength of belief, ie. in a placebo effect. He first gave a series of psychological tests to 3 groups of people, and then he gave preparations to the 3 groups.

# The FIRST GROUP was given an amber bottle with just spring water and brandy - a placebo bottle.

# The SECOND GROUP was given an identical bottle with spring water, brandy and 4 of the Bach concentrates.

# The THIRD GROUP was given the same setup with 7 of the concentrates.

Bach actually prescribed anywhere from 1 to 9 remedies at a time, depending upon the individual, although there are those who swear that a particular number is better than any other.

MAKING THE MEDICINE OR DOSAGE STRENGTH REMEDY

This is how you make up the combination remedy. This is also called the medicine or the treatment bottle or the dosage bottle, and it's in a ready-to-take form, unlike the Stock concentrates which need dilution.

# Take a 25 ml amber dropper bottle.

# Sterilise it by pouring boiling water into it.

# Put a dropper-full of brandy in the bottom. This is to act as a preservative, and then top up the bottle with spring water.

# Now take 2 drops from each of the Stock concentrates. Shake the bottle to energise the essences, and label it.

DOSAGE

The dosage is 4 drops on the tongue, 4 times a day, especially after waking and before going to sleep. You can take it more often if the situation is acute. The drops can also be put into a drink.

METHODS OF PRESCRIBING AND SELECTING THE REMEDIES

Now we'll look at some different diagnostic techniques.

There are two types of diagnosis:

1. self-diagnosis, which requires that you are in touch with and can understand your own feelings, and

2. diagnosing for others, which requires that you observe and understand other people. Most people begin by focussing on healing themselves, so this is where we will start.

You've already been introduced to the method of using a set of cards to select your own remedies. I have another set of cards here which I'll pass around. There are also questionnaires available which are useful.

INTELLECTUAL APPROACHES

The above two techniques are very useful ways to help you pinpoint your ongoing or current emotional issues. You can also read through the list of remedies in Lesson 4 and notice which ones jump out at you. The process involved with these methods is a fairly intellectual left-brained approach, and I find that this doesn't suit everyone.

A PATH TO GREATER SELF-AWARENESS

You will find that if you are using the Bach Flowers as a form of healing therapy for yourself, it becomes a path towards greater self awareness and personal growth.

CONTACTING YOUR FEELINGS

And this happens because, when you are selecting the remedies that you need at any one time, what you are really doing is contacting your feelings.

DIFFICULTIES OF SELF-DIAGNOSIS

Now, self-diagnosis can actually be quite difficult. Not everyone is able to easily get in touch with their feelings. This can be a very hard task, especially for some men and also for intellectual or 'head' people. Most of us were not taught about 'feelings' at school. We were taught how to think. Thankfully, things are beginning to change now.

Today, children are being taught problem-solving and conflict resolution techniques at school, and this primarily requires that the children recognise and are able to articulate their feelings, without blaming others. In other words, if Johnny calls Sam a hurtful name, Johnny does not say: "You did this to ME", instead he says "I FEEL hurt when you say that".

This might sound like only a slight change in emphasis, but it does go a long way towards helping that child to own his or her feelings. And this is what most of us are probably not very good at.

The other thing about self-diagnosis is that it can be very hard to acknowledge and accept our own weaknesses and less desirable traits. For example, sometimes I am aware that I am feeling very negative, and am in a resentful (Willow) or critical (Beech) state, and I can feel a sort of reluctance to admit it to myself. It takes a lot of honesty and courage to face your darker side, and this is part of what Bach Flower therapy is all about.

MIRROR EXERCISE

So, there are a number of ways to help you to contact your feelings. One exercise that I particularly recommend is: Look at yourself in the mirror for 10 minutes and see what feelings first come up. Is it fear or self-disgust or the desire to escape or sadness or even happiness?

OTHER WAYS TO PRESCRIBE FOR YOURSELF

Sometimes it helps to ask ourselves some questions to focus on our current emotional or mental state. Then, we can match the emotions with the remedies.

WORKSHEET

What I have done is put some of these questions onto the worksheet which follows. What I would like you to do is to fill this in, and to run through it quite quickly, so that you don't think too much about each question. The more you think, the more likely you are to block your true feelings.

WORKSHEET TO IDENTIFY FEELINGS

1. How I react to stress:

a. When I am tired I usually feel.....................................................................................................

b. When I am ill, I usually feel........................................................................................................

c. When an important decision has to be made, I usually.................................................................

d. In a serious emergency, I tend to react.......................................................................................

e. If someone criticises me, I usually...............................................................................................

2. How do I go about reaching a decision?.....................................................................................

3. a. What is my major concern right now?.....................................................................................

b. How do I feel about it?..............................................................................................................

4. What is my next step in life?.......................................................................................................

5. The quality I most admire in others is..........................................................................................

6. The quality I most dislike in others is...........................................................................................


Now, I'd like to give you some examples of how to match the responses with the appropriate remedy. If we can take a look at the first question:

1. How do I react to stress? First of all, the reason for asking this question is that, during times of stress, our defences are down, and our true feelings tend to come to the surface. I'll use myself as an example here. When I'm tired or stressed out, I often get irritable, which means I need Impatiens. When I'm sick I often feel sorry for myself and emotionally needy, indicating I need Chicory. The Chicory state is only a very occasional state for me, whereas the Impatiens state is a life-theme or a personality trait, so Impatiens is one of my 'type' remedies.

If we can look at the second question:

2. How do I go about reaching a decision? In our reaction to this question, lies an answer to our type of character. So, for example, are you hesitant and indecisive? This is Scleranthus. Or, do you make snap judgements? This is Impatiens. Do you fear that your decision may be the wrong one? This is Mimulus. Or do you constantly seek the advice of others? This is Cerato.

What you need to do with the responses on your worksheet is to refer to the list of Bach Flowers in Lesson 4 and see if you can match your responses with a remedy.

Next lesson we will look at prescribing for others.

 
Copyright 1994-2001 by Candy Hillenbrand

All Rights Reserved

    TO LESSON 7 



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