A publication of the
World Wide Essence Society
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©2000 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
In 1981, after 15 years as a counselor and ten as an astrologer, I became painfully aware of the deficits of both disciplines. Both produce insight, and though many people need that type of clarity, I was not seeing the kind of deep-seated change or even symptomatic relief my clients deserved.
Since insight alone was clearly not the cure, I explored alternatives and quickly became fascinated with the flower remedies. In the nearly 20 years since then, I have seen them accelerate psychotherapy and other forms of healing in remarkable ways. Let me share five remedies I consider absolute essentials. Look into them if you are a psychotherapist who wants to start including this modality in your work--or a client who wants a shorter course of treatment. (If you are new to the essence world, see our FAQ for basic information on how to find them and use them.)
It is important to note that these are not "magic bullets" that can cure anything and everything. They cannot replace therapy or other healing modalities where they are needed, nor can they substitute for psychotropic medication. However, in my professional experience, they are strong catalysts that help people change their way of thinking about areas they have been stuck in for years. They also facilitate a clearing of emotional backlogs, so that these deeply-held triggers no longer rule the individual's life.
ESSENTIAL ESSENCE #1--PINE: The remedy that sold me on this type of healing early on was Pine, a remedy for guilt offered by Bach, Healing Herbs, and other companies. So many people feel unworthy because of a neurotic type of guilt, a guilt-on-the-hoof that lies waiting for some transgression, real or imagined, to make them feel badly about themselves. Many discuss their guilt in sessions for years, hoping to let go of it and to improve their sense of self-worth, but it stays with them on almost a cellular level.
Pine quickly changes how people handle situations where they feel guilty. If they do something that is less than admirable, they no longer eat themselves up with guilt. No more the sick feeling in the gut, the tossing and turning at night with it, the dread of facing people who know about it. Instead they take action. They make amends to the person they have harmed and process the situation so that they learn from their mistakes. They also gain a new perspective on issues and actions that they felt ashamed about in the past, forgiving themselves in the process.
After one or two dosage bottles, the person experiences a new level of self-esteem and great freedom from what may be a lifelong burden of guilt. As an unexpected benefit, where family or peers might once have played on the person's guilt as a way to manipulate and control, this tactic no longer works. Even if a client never works with a single other remedy, this one can bring immense relief from the burden of guilt.
ESSENTIAL ESSENCE #2--HOLLY: Dr. Bach considered this a fundamental key to healing, in that Holly helps those who won't or can't get better. They may be spiting themselves, or they may be holding onto deep-seated hatred that leads them to sabotage their own best interests. Self-sabotage may extend to undermining the psychotherapy that they consciously want to succeed.
Dr. Bach often said that if many efforts failed and nothing else was effective, the person should be given Holly to "clear the case." He meant that the underlying self-destructiveness could be shifted by one to several bottles of Holly, here best taken as a single remedy. (Look for an in-depth portrait of this important remedy in our December, 2000, issue.)
ESSENTIAL ESSENCE #3--SUNFLOWER: Continuing with the important therapeutic task of strengthening self-esteem, Sunflower is a priceless and effective remedy made by the Flower Essence Society, Alaskan Flower Essence Project, Pegasus, and others. Its end result is a balanced sense of self-worth, in which clients do not indulge in either self-abasement or its opposite--and often unconsciously coexisting--state, arrogance. They have a healthy respect for their own abilities and assets and, at the same time, acknowledge the worth and contributions of others.
ESSENTIAL ESSENCE #4--DESERT EPHEDRA (Desert Jointfir): Every therapist has clients who lack the capacity to protect themselves, even to the extent of remaining in abusive relationships or exploitative work situations long past the time they should leave. Numerous times, I have seen a sustaining course of Desert Ephedra essence from Desert Alchemy help people gain the resolve and strength to get out of damaging and even dangerous situations. Note: this is not the same plant which is used (and abused) as a systemic stimulant -- that is Chinese Ephedra.
ESSENTIAL ESSENCE #5--STAR OF BETHLEHEM: Many of the modalities discussed in this issue share a reliance on Star of Bethlehem by Bach and Healing Herbs, for it is a key remedy for allowing body and soul to release trauma. After a severe trauma or ongoing crisis, the individual's entire being contracts in shock. That contracture in the physical and energetic bodies does not release just because the immediate danger is past. The person continues on red alert until those other levels of being feel safe.
So many clients who have taken Star of Bethlehem have experienced a profound relaxation of that inner terror, although in serious trauma there is also a need for gentle bodywork. (Paul Wyman's article on using Star of Bethlehem in body work testifies to its deep-acting effects.)
It is nearly impossible to say which of these five remedies is most important. I go around and around, one day thinking it is Star of Bethlehem, another day voting for Pine. Fortunately, it is not necessary to choose only one! Psychotherapists, you could consider hundreds of remedies, according to the type of practice you have, but a great many of your clients could benefit from one or more of the fundamental remedies above.
If you are a client, no doubt you can see how several of these remedies could address long-standing issues and even speed up your own healing process. If you rely on the stringencies of insurance coverage to pay for therapy, this can be welcome news. Look into them!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Cunningham, MSW is the coeditor of Vibration and a long-time educator and writer in the field of flower remedies. Visit her Frequent Contributor Page for her bio and more of her articles in Vibration.
ART CREDITS: This background set was created by Roxy at Autumn Web. Roxy has an exquisite and varied collection of web page sets.