In this very special issue of Vibration Magazine, we'll be looking at ways flower remedies can enhance your choice of treatments -- everything from past life releasing and bodywork to Reiki and astrology. It has been a joy to create, for in seeking out high quality practitioners of the various modalities, we've found like-minded individuals in many fields and learned a great deal about fields like life coaching and animal communication.
The greatest reward for our efforts in exploring this healing partnership is that we've made new connections and discovered new writers -- very special and gifted individuals we hope will grace the pages of our magazine for years to come. We've also revisited old friends who've contributed many articles in the past -- essence experts like Connie Barrett and Lila Devi. Our researches confirmed what we've known all along -- that combining essences with other modalities enhances and speeds the healing process, cutting through layers of resistance and clearing out emotional wear and tear from old wounds.
Essences can even help make standard medical treatment more holistic. While the former deals with the mechanistic, physical aspects of illness, essences can address the underlying emotional and spiritual disharmonies. Not to mention stress, trauma and the frustration that comes along with being a patient! No use waiting for mainstream medicine to become truly holistic... who has that long to wait? We are going to have to provide this for ourselves if we want it to happen. Essences are a perfect adjunct in this process.
And now, here's an excerpt from editor Donna Cunningham's much-expanded 2007 Edition of Flower Remedies -- How Plants' Energies Can Heal Us, due to be published in March. (Click here for more info).
Remedies that Support any Healing Process
Let's begin with remedies that assist in healing work, regardless of the modality or modalities you may choose.
SELF-HEAL: Self-Heal is made from the herb of the same name and traditionally used on wounds. True to its name, the flower remedy enhances people's abilities to heal themselves and to trust in the process. Taking it brings out inner resources that promote health and increase self-acceptance. It's paradoxical that when we accept ourselves as we are, rather than condemning ourselves, we're more ready to give up self-limiting patterns. Made by FES, Self-Heal also comes in the form of a cream and a massage oil which can be used to speed physical recovery.
ALOE VERA: FES's catalogue says that Aloe Vera "restores life energy when feeling 'burned out' or exhausted, especially from straining in creative work." Desert Alchemy's description of Aloe Vera is that it relieves impatience with the healing process and resistance to allowing buried emotions to come up, so that there's trust in the process. It also helps people to get in touch with the underlying joy of the healing crisis--the joy of finally glimpsing a new freedom.
HOLLY: Said by many to be an important essence in "clearing the case," Holly is often given first or when the person seems to be at an impasse. Holly stimulates the release of deep-seated and unexpressed feelings, such as hatred toward others and the self and the desire for revenge. So long as emotional habits like hatred, envy or spite are present, the person is likely to avoid getting well out of spite. Some people find it difficult to change self-destructive patterns if they see the change as a │win▓ for past or present authority figures. The need for Holly is not always obvious, since most of us have been taught to hide unacceptable feelings and be "nice." So, test for Holly in the beginning, when you're dealing with persistent problems. Also, go back and test for it later if progress stops.
Clearing Barriers to the Healing Process
While there are many kinds of treatment, similarities exist in the attitudes that clients and practitioners bring to the process. Some mind sets help in the healing -- like self-acceptance and faith in the growth process. Others hinder -- like negativity, spitefulness, and fear of change. The following are some remedies that catalyze a shift in attitudes that undermine the healing process. (If you're a practitioner and can relate some of what follows to your feelings about a particular client or to people's capacity for healing in general, your client work is likely to be more successful if you yourself take some of these remedies.)
RELEASING DISCOURAGEMENT: People with a chronic problem often seek assistance in many places. They may have followed a variety of regimens, submitted to a series of stressful and expensive treatments, and seen little improvement. Several Bach remedies are useful in such situations. Gorse will encourage the individual to release that despair of ever getting better and help him or her to start again with renewed courage. Crab Apple is a godsend for those who feel shame or self-disgust because of their illness or problem. Impatiens will help those who lack patience in the healing process, getting frustrated when it doesn't move as quickly as they want. Oak eases the sense of a long, hard struggle. Where there has been a setback in healing, test for Gentian. Kapok Bush, by the Australian Bush Flower Essences, is supportive for people who give up easily because of discouragement. Borage, by FES, gives the person a quality of cheerful courage in facing up to challenges.
RELEASING NEGATIVITY: While sometimes born of discouragement, negativity is more often a learned pattern, perhaps soaked up in childhood. Muscle reflex tests dramatically demonstrate that pessimism weakens us. Put your arm out, solid and strong, and think positive thoughts while a partner pushes down on your forearm. The arm should lock solidly against the pressure. Then, think the most negative thoughts that you can. Generally, the arm will collapse. Most essence companies feature remedies against negativity. Pennyroyal, made by Pegasus, is especially strong and also protects against negative thoughts of others. Perelandra offers Okra, which they describe as especially useful for the gloom and doom type who sees everything in the worst possible light. Among the preparations offered by the Australian Bush Flower essences, Bauhinia is useful for those who are rigid and resist change.
RELEASING HIDDEN AGENDAS: Many people unconsciously cling to a difficulty because it gets them attention and nurturing they wouldn't get otherwise. (Caroline Myss's best-selling book Why People Don't Heal -- And How They Can addresses this tendency in a powerful way.) Bach's Chicory can help them release the need to gain attention in this way, so they can move wholeheartedly toward health. Some use emotional problems or physical illness to control family and friends, who wind up walking on eggs around them. Vine would help them overcome their control issues.
Regaining a Sense of Self
Near the end of the therapeutic process, there's a need to review what you've accomplished and to get acquainted with "the new you." As Dr. Deborah Bier, my partner in creating Vibration, often stresses, there's as much of an adjustment to wellness as there is to illness -- and essences can provide a great support in that adjustment. Cobweb essence, discussed in another article in this issue, helps you reclaim lost parts of yourself after a traumatic event or long healing process. You might also try Golden Corydalis (Alaskan Flower Essence Project), which reintegrates the identity after a period of deep transformation, and also provides a positive focus for growth of the personality. FES's Sagebrush is also useful in gaining a new sense of self after a deep change. In this, as with other stages of the healing process, it is useful to remember that while none of the essences we've been discussing are sufficient unto themselves, they can be an invaluable support to the various types of healing work your recovery might entail.
DESIGN CREDITS: Art from Clipart.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Cunningham is one of Vibration's editors and has edited flower essence journals since 1992. She takes special joy in finding gifted practitioners of metaphysical healing modalities and coaching them into writing about their work. Also an acclaimed author with 19 books to her credit, Donna is now teaching writing seminars, which you can read about at Moon Maven Publications and also see her collection of ebooks.