In an earlier issue of Vibration, I talked about laying the groundwork for follow-up when you give clients their first essence mixture. Done properly, this increases the chances that they will continue to enhance their healing process through a series of mixtures. However, even the best-prepared clients may never be heard from again. I have run across any number of them casually later and discretely asked them what their experience with the mixture was like. I made sure to ask open-ended questions, not leading ones. For instance, I would ask, "When we met, you wanted a remedy to help you xxxxx. Is that different now, and how?" It turns out that there are any number of reasons -- both good ones and not so good -- why they never came back.
THEY EXPERIENCED A HEALING CRISIS: People who are taking a new flower essence sometimes run into a healing crisis -- a catharsis or activation of the pattern. (See Rose Mattax's article, in this section, as well as our Panel Discussion on the topic.) For instance, workaholics who complain of being tired all the time may be given Olive, Oak, or Hornbeam by Bach, only to crash into profound exhaustion for several days or as long as a week. Another remedy which often stirs up a catharsis of emotions is Bleeding Heart. Unless they are prepared for this-maybe even told to start the remedy on a long weekend-these over-producers may conclude that the remedies are anywhere from ineffective to dangerous and you may never see them again!
"NOTHING HAPPENED": When I ask people who've never taken remedies before how they're doing on them, they will often reply, "Well, it's subtle." Often, when I go over the list of remedies again with them, however, the results have often not been subtle at all -- in fact, they were downright dramatic. The experience of taking the remedies just doesn't match the medical model people are used to.
We are an addictive society, accustomed to taking a pill for everything. If you're depressed or in mourning, the doctor will give you a sedative. You appear to feel better, but you're numbed to your feelings, which really do not go away, they just get put on ice. If your body hurts, you take a pill, and you feel better.
The experience of taking a flower remedy is very different from that -- you are not sedated; in fact you may be even more conscious of the symptom picture. When people say nothing happened, they are often forgetting the healing process they went through. In fact, sometimes a mixture works so well that a few months later they have forgotten they even had a problem in the first place, until you remind them of the reasons you gave it to them. However, because people don't numb out when they take remedies as they are accustomed to doing with prescription drugs, they often discount the remedies as having no effect.
THE REMEDIES DIDN'T WORK FOR THEM: There are a variety of people who don't respond well to remedies. Poor risks include people on heavy medication, like tranquilizers; people with a strong psychosomatic component to their physical illnesses; and people who are asking for relief from symptoms caused by their addictions, but who are unwilling to give up the addiction. Some wounded peoples' auras are so damaged by abuse or addiction, or they have developed such heavy layers of protection that the remedies may not be able to reach them until the aura is mended or the defensiveness is decreased. (Hummingbird Remedies' Rhodochiton, Australian Bush Remedies' Fringed Violet, or Bach's Star of Bethlehem.)
Essence work also may not help those who are getting a strong secondary gain from their problems such as attention (Bach's Chicory), caretaking, and an excuse for not doing what is difficult. There are also people who won't get well for spite or out of self-hate, and they can often be helped by Bach's Holly. (Note: Get more information about people who don't respond well to essence work from Donna's article, Are There People Who Shouldn't Take Essences?)
THEY USED THEM INCORRECTLY: Give good instructions, perhaps on a written handout, so the client takes the mixture properly and thus has a better chance of getting a good result. One client asked for remedies to overcome her fear of flying. When I asked about it after her trip, she said she only took it when she was on the plane -- she took it like aspirin! One woman who asked for remedies to cure her baby's irritability said it didn't do much of anything. It turned out she was putting it in her baby's bath once every other day.
Over the years, I have discovered that one major cause of ineffectiveness is when people use stock rather than dosage level of the product. Stock just doesn't seem to produce the results that dosage strength does, even taken over longer periods of time. Putting the concentrate into a bottle of designer water that they sip all day is also not as effective as making a proper mixture. The exception is during a healing session, when taking a dose directly from the stock is powerful but often needs be followed up by a dosage bottle for the client to take home.
THE PRACTITIONER OVERSOLD THE PRODUCT: It is important, in your enthusiasm for essences and in your desire to convince the client to take them, that you not make claims a single mix can't live up to. Stress that healing is a process, and that a remedy may need repeating several times with a chronic or long-standing issue.
Tell them that results vary -- I find that people with the fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius in particular may need a longer time on a remedy. Most important, you shouldn't give the impression that the remedies alone can cure serious problems like abuse or depression. (See Donna's article, Healing Old Wounds with Flower Essences.)THEY COULDN'T AFFORD IT: We tend to underestimate the financial stresses clients are facing these days, especially people with families. Those of us who are alternative practitioners are seldom covered by insurance, so followup can be a hard sell. If finances are a consideration and more than one bottle seems needed due to heavy, long-term issues, you might offer a second bottle of the same combination, mixed at the same time, for a nominal price. (Tell them to keep it in the refrigerator.)
THE REMEDY WORKED: Finally, the most gratifying thing I discovered was that many of the people didn't return because they didn't have to. Many of them made extraordinary progress on the issues we discussed, despite the lack of follow-up on the remedies. This leads me to wonder how far people who are motivated toward self-healing can go on a single remedy mixture. Perhaps it initiates a change in consciousness that continues to lead them down a path of healing, even if they never take another remedy again.
For instance, one astrology client was given a mixture of FES's Buttercup and Bach's Gentian because of issues around self-worth and discouragement. When I talked to her some months later, she said that she had taken it for only for a few days and then stopped. Interestingly enough, though she hadn't mentioned it in our original session, ten years earlier, she had quit taking acting and singing lessons because she was discouraged. Though she took the remedy mixture for only a few days, she had gone back to acting and singing lessons. Sensitive people often get the remedy's effects very quickly, and only take it longer to convince themselves it works.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Cunningham, MSW, is one of the editors of Vibration and has many years of experience in both flower remedies and astrology. For links to more of her articles, visit her Frequent Contributor's Page.
ART CREDITS: The cyclamen drawing came from a clip art disk by Gardenartz. Additional clip art from Art Today and Expert Software.