My relationship with Bach Flower remedies
These beautiful products were developed and discovered by Dr Edward Bach during the early 1900’s – he worked, lived and studied all around the UK – based initially in London while working as a GP and then escaping to the country to investigate the plants that would bring him international recognition, ending up at a cottage in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, in Oxfordshire at a beautiful cottage called Mount Vernon – currently the centre for the Bach Flower Practitioners.
Dr Bach was a GP back in 1890 and he believed the main reason for the failure of modern medical science is that it deals with the results and not the causes. He was a surgeon, a bacteriologist and homeopath who developed homeopathic vaccines that we successfully used to treat military troops on their return from the trenches in World War 1. He perceived that if there were 2 people with broken legs – the recovery would depend entirely on the mental attitude of the patients – the positive attitude brought about a speedier recovery. As a result of these observations, he left medicine in 1930 with his radiographer Nora Weeks and after many years travelling round the country he finally settled in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.
Dr Bach and his work
When Dr Bach first left London he went to Wales and developed the Sun method of extraction of the tinctures from the flowers, Dr Bach didn’t know which plants would provide the remedies, but he tested them on himself and his friends and members of the public, he noticed the dew on the flowers and realised that when the sun reacted with the dew the properties and energies of the flowers would be held in the dew. He took some flowers placed them in a bowl with Fresh stream water and left to soak in the sun – the tincture remaining was then tested, and it was found that the energies from this tincture had a subtle effect on emotions.
He slowly worked through the 12 outstanding emotions, fear, terror, mental torture or worry indecision, indifference or boredom, doubt or discouragement, over-concern, weakness, self-distrust, impatience, over-enthusiasm, and pride or aloofness.
The first flower remedy he found was Mimulus – the remedy used to treat Fear of the known. Gradually he worked his way through the emotions look to find a flower remedy for all the variations – we ended with 38 amazing remedies.
He developed all the remedies while he travelled round the UK – finding the flowers and working with members of the public to test their benefits and evaluate the results and gradually put together their properties and benefits for future reference.
During these years before his death in 1936 he constantly asked the General Medical Council to look at his work but sadly they rejected his theories out of hand. It is interesting though to note that they did not withdraw his Doctorship.
When he finally moved to Oxfordshire countryside – where he died, he had completed the collection but continued to fine tune the remedies and cared for members of the public who came to him. The cottage at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell has the most amazing garden full of the plants and herbs and shrubs that are used for the remedies. It is to this day the centre of the Bach world and is for the most part as it was when Bach first lived there, quite simple and basic. It is still used as a centre of training for students from across the world. I studied my level 2 Bach certificate here and it was an absolutely wonderful experience.
The tinctures are still produced in the same way today as they were back in the 1900’s some of the flowers are boiled in distilled water and others left to soak in the sun, nowadays the mother tincture is then preserved in alcohol and transferred to Wimbledon where Nelsons when prepare the stock bottles you see on the shelves in health food shops and also they make the Rescue Remedy products which are also very readily available on the high street.
The Crisis formula or Rescue Remedy is the part of the Bach Flower family that the majority of people are aware of. The distinctive yellow bottle and accompanying products that are found on the shelves of most health shops have been used by many people in their hour of need – however little is known of the 38 individual remedies that help to support the Rescue System.
These individual remedies can be used and purchased alone and administered or you can blend up to 7 of them to put together the remedies that you need. Self-prescribing is great if that is what you feel you can do – my one bit of advice is that to achieve the result you are looking for it does require a certain amount of self-analysis and a need to be honest with yourself. Also, quite useful to purchase one the Bach Flower remedy books to look at a more detailed guide to the individual attributes of each remedy
Guidance from myself
My work with the remedies has gone from face-to-face consultations which could last up to 1 ½ hours to Zoom calls, phone calls or consultations via text message depending on how my client feels about communication. The aim of these times is for me to discover exactly how the client is feeling and that we need to achieve. The key is to look at how they are feeling at this precise moment in time and prescribe the individual remedy that is needed. The remedies are always discussed with the client prior to administering, we are looking for the negative emotion to become a positive feeling and I try to ensure that the clients are aware of the benefits of each of the remedies and how they can be helped. If the client agrees, they are mixed into a 30ml mixer bottle and then topped up with Filtered water. This bottle is then carefully wrapped and posted or delivered to each client for them to take over the next 30 days. 4 drops should be taken 4 times a day – I usually suggest 8 drops am and 8 drops pm and that the bottles are kept where they are most visible and easy to remember. It is key to ensure that you get at least the minimum dose every day, there is no advantage to taking more either.
The results can vary from person to person – some people have an almost instant transformation and are totally bowled over by the effects, others feel little difference with the first treatment – very often the benefits are so subtle they are difficult to perceive – I endeavour to talk to each of my clients at least once during the month of the first treatment so we can look at each of the remedies that they are taking and on most occasions it is like a light bulb moment and they can actually see the changes that are taking place.
We all live our lives on such a rollercoaster of emotions that when you take the remedies you find that life is on a far more even keel – you are not immune to emotions but you will inwardly become calmer stronger and certainly less affected by the dramatization of life that often plays out in front of us. Gone will be the outbursts of anger, the emotional crisis of despair when work is too much, the deep sadness of bereavement and other hugely negative emotions, the feelings of total overwhelm that can sometimes drown people.
Life after remedies
As a rule, working with the remedies will last between 5 months on average, the remedies can change between prescription, each time there can be a consultation, or you can decide if you require the same again.
In general people tend to find that after 6 months they are feeling much better and their original negative emotions have vanished, and they are left feeling free of the years of negative draining. The subsequent feelings are often described as being some that just allow you feelings to live a normal life without the sensation of constant tension and heightened anxiety. For those who are coming to terms with grief – it is a feeling as if the clouds of depression are lifted and while the bereavement has not changed there is an acceptance of a new life but with different people and different path – but without a feeling of anger or guilt.
A new and much more pleasant set of feeling and emotions are the result of a course of remedies. Leaving the recipient feeling on a different course and ready to face the world feeling reinvigorated and revitalised.