Flower Therapy: an approach to the "art of healing"
In recent years the interest in Flower Therapy has considerably increased in the world. However, there are a lot of people who still dont fully know or who have only a partial information about this therapeutic procedure that set us in contact with the real "art of healing".
This therapy was accepted by the World Health Organization in 1996 and in Cuba it was incorporated to the health system in 1999, spreading its use all around the country, along with the training of floral therapists duly qualified to use it adequately.
Whats Flower Therapy?
Flower Therapy is a therapeutic modality of an energetic sort which, as others more or less known, has proved in contemporary practice wide possibilities of treatment, as it seems to fit every vital sphere of man -physical, mental, emotional and spiritual- by re-establishing the energetic balance of the receiver, returning him to his optimal vibratory frequency. As a therapeutic procedure it consists in administering essences obtained, mainly, from wild flowers, but this therapy goes beyond administering a remedy with the goal of relieving current symptoms and to understand its real scope its necessary to investigate its origins and basis.
Flower Therapy was born in the solitude of the English fields, thanks to the perceptive capacity of an exceptional man, Dr. Edward Bach. Loving nature, worried with the pain and suffering of his fellow men, Dr. Bach created, in the course of several years, a "flower system" whose efficacy lays in the fact that it acts over the causes of sickness and whose basis are, nowadays, the foundation of an important movement within non conventional therapeutic treatments.
Edward Bach (1886-1936) was an English doctor, a bacteriologist, a surgeon and a pathologist with an ample experience in the investigative field and the clinical practice. He was also aware of homeopathy, and also studied anthroposophy, ayurvedic medicine and contemporary psychological thought. Thus, to a strict clinical, scientific and philosophic upbringing are united exceptional human and perceptive qualities and a zeal to search and investigate to create an organic system, constituted by 38 flower remedies, destined not only to mitigate the symptoms of the sick person but to reveal the causes which originated the illness and enlighten conscience.
Bachs conception about man and the universe makes him consider the illness as part of a process and a project. To him, life is an opportunity to evolve and illness is one of the tools that man has to increase his level of conscience. Illness is a lesson, life is "a day of school". "Theres no authentic healing without a change in lifes orientation, without the souls peace and an inner feeling of happiness".
To Bach physical symptoms are intimately related with the emotional and mental conditions of each person, and healing has an spiritual dimension. In this context, illness is not something negative but represents a benefit, as its symptoms -pain, suffering, uneasiness"are signalling the need to "learn a lesson". So, illness is alerting us about something we need to change in order to continue our evolving process, and therefore, forces us to integrate ourselves and grow.
Healing not only means to eliminate the symptoms, but means to be able to know and understand the meaning of these symptoms and thus, come to know the real cause of illness to reach inner peace and balance and complete health.
Bach conceives man in an integral way and in his relation with the universe, and while accepting the multidimensionality of the human being and his interrelation with the environment, he takes advantage of Natures potentiality to facilitate the attainment and maintenance of human health and well-being.
Flower Therapy acts on man as a whole, awakening his inner healing force, stimulating a change of conscience and, indirectly, a change in the energetic structure that acts over pathologic processes, modifying them.
Clinically, its based in the singularity of each person and of each life, contributing to give a privileged place to the individuality of the illness in its therapeutic work.
What are flower essences and how do they act?
These are vibrating flower concoctions that preserve their energetic qualities and act as "liquid messages" to activate the positive archetypes corresponding to each flower. They work through the different energetic human fields, "elevating our vibrations... to overflow our nature with the particular virtue we may need and erase the defects which are causing pain".
Flower essences dont have chemical or biological active principles but energetic. These are preserved due to their particular system of preparation, generally, from a solar infusion of wild or garden pristine flowers into a water bowl, a process which demands taking into consideration the purity of the environment, the vibration and potency of the flowers and the meteorological conditions, among others. Its also fundamental the "communication" between the manufacturer and the flower essence. Some essences are obtained through the boiling method and they are also prepared with the aid of geodes or quartzes.
Some hypothesis suggest the presence of an electromagnetic memory which the flower imprints over the molecules of the solvent, in such a way that even though the substance is so highly diluted that it would be impossible to demonstrate the presence of its molecules, it provokes modifications in the solvent such as: changes in its dielectric index, alterations in the electric conductivity of its dynamic process and in the molecular ordering of the solvent, detectable by procedures such as spectrophotometer and spectrometer of nuclear magnetic resonance.
Generally, the flowers are taken orally and its activity is fulfilled thanks to the rhythm or frequency of its ingestion, but they can also be applied topically in the way of lotions, compresses, creams or gels; as nasal, ear or ophthalmic drops; as enemas, baths or in vaporization ways, using sprays.
They have no contraindications and neither have secondary or adverse effects and it is interesting that only those flower essences which find a vibrating receptivity in the receiver act, thats to say, only those which are necessary to the healing process.
Dr. Bachs Flower Essences
Each of the 38 essences that integrate Dr. Bachs system is related or linked with an emotional state. He described in a clear and simple way each of these emotions, and, besides, ordered the complex emotional framework of the human being in seven groups, in which the essences became distributed, and which he named:
1. Remedies for those who feel fear.
2. Remedies for those who suffer uncertainty.
3. Remedies for those who are not interested in their current circumstances.
4. Remedies for loneliness.
5. Remedies for those who are hypersensitive to influences and ideas.
6. Remedies for depression and desperation.
7. Remedies for those who worry too much about others well-being.
Each group represents a particular way to approach or confront life and within them are flowers for every range in which the particular emotion may manifest itself.
Lets say, for example, that in the first group Bach differentiates five main archetypical fears: fear to the unknown and inexplicable, fear to quotidian and known things, fear to decontrol and madness, fear to some damage to cherished beings, including the state of paralysing panic and terror. Each one of them is associated with a flower: Aspen, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, Red Chesnut and Rock Rose, respectively, which shows a profound work of analysis, synthesis and integration repeated in each group.
Is life a lesson?
Flower essences are not used to treat a particular illness. The sick person is the one to be treated not the illness. Thus, the same symptom may need different flowers in different persons. The illness has its own meaning for each person and the use of flower essences represents the attainment of the necessary "information" in that specific moment of his life. This process will differ in each person; afterwards, the emotional and mental changes stimulated by the flowers may favour physical modifications, and during this process, its understood the real meaning of the illness. Hence the invaluable therapeutic value of this modality which introduces us in the art of healing, as the therapist must become an instrument for the patient so that he reaches his self-knowledge and discovers the causes of his illness, not as a passive receiver of the illness or the medical treatment, but actively participating in his healing process.
To learn the lessons of life is one of the philosophical supports in Bachs work. They may be interpreted as "organizational universal schemes for the human spirit that every man must cross in his way to individualization".
The apprenticeship of these lessons must lead to a change in the behaviour of the individual, produced as a consequence of a change in the way he approaches life. Learning a lesson not only means its intellectual understanding, its also the addition of the corresponding emotion and a change in our vision of life.
When we dont learn the lesson, life gives us a new opportunity by confronting us to circumstances where the corresponding emotions are repeated, so that we may achieve our personal growth, evolve and "eliminate the real causes of the illness".
The three main lessons of Bachs flower system are represented by three flowers: Holly, Star of Bethlehem and Chestnut Bud, which represent, respectively, the lessons of unconditional love, of the unity in the difference, and of truth, as that which is missing to be known in knowledge, three lessons that some authors call "basic lessons".
These learning experiences are common to all humanity; to give, to synthesize and to acknowledge are necessary steps in the process of evolution, and the flowers help to experience and expand them. There also exist the so called "master lessons", which are particular lessons that man needs to learn within the course of his life. They define the living axis of a person and are expressed by way of his individual behaviour.
These lessons and their associated flowers are:
Acrimony: Lesson to be and to appear to be.
Centaury: Lesson to give without yielding.
Cerato: Lesson to trust in oneself owns judgement.
Chicory: Lesson to love without a possessive attitude.
Clematis: Lesson to affirm the present identity.
Heather: Lesson to be able to be alone and listen to others.
Impatient: Lesson to be patient.
Vine: Lesson for not being dominant nor authoritarian.
Water Violet: Lesson to learn to know our essence.
Gentian: Lesson to process sadness and confront the difficulties of life.
Rock Rose: Lesson to have courage and get out of shock.
Larch: Lesson to understand that life never propose a task we wont be able to face.
Mustard: Lesson to be able to learn in the dark.
Oak: Lesson to integrate to the flow of life.
Pine: Lesson to freely accept responsibilities.
Mimulus: Lesson of courage and audacity.
Rock Water: Lesson to allow oneself to be and to enjoy.
Scleranthus: Lesson to decide with clarity and integrate polarities.
Vervain: Lesson to renounce to every fanatism.
The rest of the flowers also offer lessons that some authors have named "accompanists", however, leaving aside such denominations or classifications, any flower of Bachs system may offer a master lesson, everything will depend on the particular learning need within the process of life.
This quick glance to the captivating world of Flower Therapy represents an invitation to deepen in the knowledge of a therapeutic modality which in addition to offer a soft, benign and painless medicine, is an inexhaustible source in the search of self-knowledge, personal growth and the preservation or restoration of general health.