Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bringing Flower Essences Out on the Public Scene

More from my book...

In 1996 I had a spiritual crisis that led to an uncontrolled psychic opening that terrified me at first and permanently changed my worldview. Intuitive capacities I used to think were the realm of psychics and mystics became my everyday experience and I had to learn a new way of dealing with life and the part I wanted to play in it. I studied medical intuition and various forms of energy healing and practiced using those skills with clients on my evenings and weekends. During the day I worked in the healthcare system as a family consultant for people taking care of family members with Alzheimer’s Disease or other incurable brain-impairing illnesses.

Many people fearfully talk about an impending healthcare crisis tied to the aging baby boom population but anyone who works with eldercare issues today can tell you that the crisis is already here. People are living years longer with chronic health conditions they would have died from before but the cost of that care is astronomical. Meanwhile, the amount of time a doctor typically spends with a patient has decreased while the number of pharmaceutical drug-related illnesses has gone up more than 30% in the last year (2004) alone.

All day long for six years I heard stories about how people’s lives were being devastated by the financial and emotional burdens of 24 hour caregiving and time and again I heard the same stories of how these illnesses appeared to take hold. “Grandma was ok until Grandpa died.” “Auntie has lived alone for years and she has always been anxious. We didn’t even know she had dementia because she’s always acted this way. It’s just worse now.” “Dad was just fine until he was forced into retirement. He didn’t know what to do with his life after that and then everything started to fall apart.” I heard these stories so often that after awhile I deemed it a miracle when I came across a patient whose symptoms did not appear to result from an emotional trauma or a history of isolation, anxiety or depression.

Most of these people were so far into their illnesses that neither conventional nor alternative medicine had much to offer them. Yet doctors would prescribe medications at $100 and up per month that sometimes had serious side effects for many years at a time even though widely available drug trials had shown that, statistically, these drugs were only effective on the average of 6 months to a year. Some patients were taking 5-6 equally expensive medications at the same time for symptomatic relief of a wide variety of other health concerns.

Meanwhile at home I was experimenting with using flower essences to reverse long-standing emotional problems that I believed could lead to disease and was having interesting results. My remedy combinations never cost more than $10-20, I rarely had to take them for long, and except for the occasional short-lived intensification of symptoms just before healing (which can usually be avoided—I’ll show you how) they had no side effects whatsoever. Yet I couldn’t get people to try them. I wasn’t allowed to recommend flower essences within the confines of my day job, and even though my evening clients appeared to trust me they were too frightened to try a formula their doctor had not prescribed. Besides, who ever heard of using flowers in brandy and water for emotional relief? They didn’t understand it and from my own life experience I understood why and I knew I wanted to do something to change that.

The things that make herbal remedies a solid choice for people dealing with physical complaints could make them an equally appealing choice for people seeking help with emotional problems. However, the vast majority of Americans have little or no idea of how a physical plant substance could possibly be used to help in this way. My book will address these issues and take it further by delving into the world of psychoneuroimmunology to explain from a physiological point of view how health can be affected by emotion through its connection to immune response.

There are times when accidents or exposure to toxic chemicals or air- or insect-borne illnesses make us sick. But it has been shown repeatedly that our susceptibility to illness and our ability to recover has more to do with mental attitude and emotional well-being than any other factor. I believe that if we not only acknowledged the intimate connection between our emotional and physical well-being but gave people tools to work with their emotional distress we wouldn’t have as big a medical crisis today and most people’s medical bills wouldn’t be nearly as high. Dr. Edward Bach, the immunologist and medical doctor credited with originating Flower Essence Therapy, I’m sure would agree. He developed his flower remedies for that very purpose and intended that they be used as a system of self-care accessible to anyone without the need for extensive medical training.

Our society has changed in recent years to the extent that people use aromatherapy without fear because they see it on TV. It’s no longer a strange cult-like hippie trait to meditate in the morning before going to work. We learn yoga and Tai Chi at the local gym and drink herbal tea by the gallon. If all these practices could become mainstream why not Flower Essence Therapy?

Part of how I make my living is by selling flower essence formulas in an aromatherapy base. Mama Love Perfumes were designed specifically to make this modality accessible. No need to memorize what essence is used for what purpose. No need to take on an extensive course of study or consult a practitioner (I'm putting myself out of business in that respect :->). And the cute colorful packaging makes them fun, a gift item even. And yet Mama Love perfume is just an introduction.

For me, flower essences are not just a tool for increased emotional and physical well-being. Oh sure, I still use them for that. But because I have been studying every flower and have the ability to feel the energetic effect of every essence I use within seconds, they've been teaching me more about the intersection of spiritual and physical existence than I may ever be able to adequately explain. They've been an entryway into spiritual growth and discovery, showing me things viscerally I might not otherwise have believed. While I hope my book will help people become more comfortable with what has been (in this country) a pretty esoteric form of healing I also want to talk about these spiritual connections. Ultimately, I think that's what this form of healing may really be all about.

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