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Using Flower Essences for Emotional Well-being



By Susy Parker Goins

Let’s talk about a holistic way to deal with emotions: flower essence therapy. Flower essence therapy is similar to homeopathy in important ways. It works on a non-physical level to help resolve, not suppress, issues that affect your health. What are the issues specific to you that are affecting you the most right now?

The origins of flower essence therapy

Dr. Edward Bach, the originator of the 38 Bach flower essences, was a bacteriologist and homeopath in London during the early part of the 20th century. He believed that treating the whole individual and not the diagnosis was a better way of healing. We would call him a holistic physician today.

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Convinced that he could find a healing system based solely on plants, Dr. Bach left his successful practice in 1930 to pursue field research. For the remainder of his life, he used his experience and intuition as a healer to identify emotional states and the flowers that would resolve those states.

At the end of his life at age 50, his healing repertory was complete with 38 flower essences. The essences are divided into 5 categories: fear, uncertainty, disinterest, loneliness, over-sensitivity to ideas and influences, despondency and despair, finally, for being too involved in other people’s welfare.

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Like homeopathy, flower therapy addresses symptoms, not diagnoses. But the symptoms are at the emotional and spiritual level, not the physical. Correlations have been made between suppressed emotions and physical manifestations resulting from those emotions. I used to get knock-me-down sinus infections whenever I got royally angry about an issue that I didn’t resolve. Now that I have recognized that when I get so livid, I identify and resolve the issue — no sinus infections! Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life explores the connection between your health and emotional/spiritual well-being. (Click the link to purchase on Powells, or go to Amazon to purchase.)

Rescue me!

Probably the best known of the Bach flower essences is Rescue Remedy. It is a combination of five essences with a focus on dealing with shock, terror and fear. I have it on hand to dispense to my children when they have nightmares or miss a loved one to distraction, among other situations. It’s very handy to have in the case of sudden sad news. When my belly dancing friend lost someone very close to her, I recommended Rescue Remedy without hesitation.

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Let’s say you’ve been called at the last minute to provide dinner for the whole dysfunctional family. You are about to leap off a ledge because of panic at the short notice, a fear of failing in the eyes of your hyper-critical Aunt Phoebe. And what about dear Grandpa George who just sits in the corner reliving holidays of years past?

First, let’s help you. You have a fear of something you can identify: failure. You are also so upset by the whole family in one house situation, you’re on the verge of mental collapse. Your flower essences would be Mimulus (fear of known things) and Cherry Plum (fear of your mind giving way).

Aunt Phoebe may benefit from Beech, which addresses intolerance. Aunty has superhumanly high goals that she sacrifices for and expects everyone else to do the same. Saints preserve us if you miss her mark! Well, then she’s a Beech if ever there was one.

And Grandpa George — hmmm, it depends on just how wistful, melancholic or in the past he is. If he feels guilty about something that happened in the past, then it’s Pine. If he’s a daydreamer living in an imaginary world, then Clematis. If he lives in his true past, then Honeysuckle.

The beauty of flower essence therapy is that is a holistic healing system. It doesn’t take a diagnosis and treat it the same as every other identical diagnosis. Flower therapy looks at the individual as unique. How do you feel right now? What are the emotional issues that are affecting you and your health at this moment?

It does not involve destroying life in any way. Flower therapy’s goal is to help you attain or regain emotional balance in order to help you be the best person you can be.

© Susy Parker Goins

An informal student of natural health for years, Susy Goins received her certificate in homeopathy from the American College of Health Sciences. The self-proclaimed out-of-the-mainstream mama of three is a writer, belly dancer, actress, costumer and cook and will soon be celebrating 20 years of marriage to her husband.

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