What are Bach Flower Remedies?
There are 38 Bach flower remedies, each of which relates to a state of mind and emotion, & which, used singly or in mixes, can be taken to provide an increased sense of balance & well-being in the individual. It is this increased harmony in & with the self that promotes healing & physical well-being.
Fundamental to Dr Bach’s healing system is that it is the individual – not the physical disease or symptom – that needs to be treated & attended to, to promote healing & health.
He believed that imbalances in our emotions, in our sense of self, make it harder for our bodies’ natural defences to work effectively, and thereby make us more susceptible than usual to disease. Hence he considered illness’s true cause to be emotional disequilibrium; a disrupted sense of ease; literally, dis-ease.
The remedies themselves are the essences of living plants: most are made from flowers, some from trees, & one from specially prepared spring water. The essences are captured by the heat of the sun or by boiling, preserved (traditionally, with brandy), then diluted to provide treatment bottles from which mixes are made.
How do the remedies work?
Bach remedies work by helping us feel more emotionally at ease, more true to ourselves. As a result of taking them, very many people experience an easing of the physical symptoms that so often lead them to seek out Bach remedies in the first place. But the remedies do not address physical symptoms directly – instead, they address the individual taking them, the emotions he or she is experiencing, their feelings about themselves & others, & their circumstances - including, often, feelings aroused by physical symptoms or illnesses from which they are suffering or have suffered.
In terms of how the remedies work on us, this is believed to happen at an energetic, vibrational level. While modern physics tells us this is a real possibility, & contemporary research supports the view that ‘nature’ can vastly improve our health as well as our mood, Dr Bach worked with his intuition & with his observations of a great many patients over his years first as a medical doctor & then as an independent practitioner.
However the remedies work, they’ve had startlingly positive affects for people all over the world, for almost a century.
There are 38 remedies & myriad possible mix combinations. Dr Bach grouped the 38 into 7 groups, each of which covers an area of emotions the remedies seek to bring back into balance. The 7 groups include remedies that address aspects of feelings of and related to: Fear; Uncertainty & indecision; Over-sensitivity to outside influences; Loneliness; Over-care for the welfare of others; Lack of interest in present circumstances; & Despondency and despair.
What can you expect at a consultation?
At a consultation, I invite you to tell me as much as you wish to about what has brought you to see me, & we might also touch on what you know – or don’t know – about the remedies. We will discuss how you’re feeling at the time you see me, & what your current circumstances & concerns are, & how this all relates to your present emotions. I’ll involve you in the choice of remedies, & make sure I understand your feelings & your situation as thoroughly as possible, to make helpful remedy recommendations.
At the end of a consultation you’ll receive a treatment bottle personalised to your needs at the time, & clear directions on how to take Bach remedies. (The same applies to follow-up consultations.) Sometimes one consultation is sufficient; often, people feel that 3 or 4 consultations are beneficial, especially as new feelings & emotions emerge & so different flower essences are indicated as time passes. (This is due to the process of ‘peeling the onion’.)
Dr Bach’s system is intended to be simple, & to be shared with as many people as possible. As a registered practitioner (BFRP), I’m committed to helping you as much as I can by sharing my knowledge & understanding of the remedies (I can do this informally as part of the consultation process, or, for anyone interested in further study, as a mentor for the Bach Centre’s Level 1 DL course).
You can take Bach remedies safely alongside any other treatment – medical or ‘alternative’: there are no contraindications (except, due to tiny quantities of brandy used as a preservative, with certain medications for alcoholism: alcohol-free remedies are available, although presently this is at additional cost).
Your information & anything you tell me will remain completely confidential. (As a BFRP, I adhere to the Bach Foundation Code of Conduct. I’m also guided by previous experience as an existential psychotherapist & the ethical guidelines established for counsellors.)
The flower remedies may prevent disease arising, & sometimes assist in overcoming physical symptoms & conditions; however, while especially ‘Rescue Remedy’ can help in emergency situations, Dr Bach was very clear that with serious physical injury such as a broken limb or hypothermia, immediate medical attention must be sought!
Who was Dr Bach?
Dr Bach was a medical doctor with a lucrative Harley Street practice in 1920s London, whose work over many years led him to believe firmly that physical health & well-being depend on emotional states & our ways of thinking; that it’s our feelings, emotions & sense of balance that need to be addressed when we fall ill, rather than physical symptoms.
The strength of his belief – & his experience as a practising doctor that informed his views – lead Dr Bach to leave medical practice at the age of 43, & devote himself to developing an entirely new system of medicine, based in ‘Nature’.
Where can you learn more about Dr Bach and the flower remedies?
There are a number of good books about Dr Bach & his flower remedies, as well as some useful websites. I particularly recommend books & other writing by Stefan Ball, Lynn Macwhinnie, & Judy Ramsell Howard, as well as Dr Bach’s own writings, & those of his close colleagues and contemporaries, Nora Weeks & Victor Bullen.
The Bach Centre website is highly informative, with information about each of the remedies, how to choose & take them, how they are made, a list of registered, active practitioners (BFRPs, like me), & information about the courses the Bach Centre runs. They also provide free downloads of books & other key writings by Dr Bach, honouring his wish to make the Bach system of healing as widely available as possible.
The primary source by Dr Bach is The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, which is beautifully written as well as practically useful . You might also wish to read his fascinating book on the philosophical-spiritual underpinnings of his thought, entitled Heal Thyself.