Alternative Spa Series: Flower Essence Therapy – A New Reason to Love ‘May Flowers’
A BN Exclusive Interview with Expert Gail Armorer
By Guest Writer Gail Armorer
Flowers. Those beautiful gossamer creations that afford us such pleasure in their appearance and scent and even taste! Who would suspect that within these tiny perfect packages lays the capability to heal our wounded psyches. While there are many ways to heal with flowers – tinctures, extracts or aromatherapy, Flower Essence Therapy takes a different approach. Read on to learn more about this amazing (and completely safe) alternative way to clear your mind, relax and find happiness – without a trip to the spa.
BN: What are Bach Flowers or Flower Essence Therapy (FET)?
GA: Flower Essence Therapy or Bach Flowers is a modality of Vibrational Healing that uses specific flowers to target emotional issues ranging from depression to phobias, traumas and shock, grief, excessive thinking, stress, aggression, obsessive thoughts, or fear to name a few.
Flower essences are prepared using spring water, the flower at its peak and usually sunshine. The vibrational signature of the flower is transferred to the water and this yields the mother tincture. This tincture is preserved with brandy. Advanced scientific techniques are beginning to be able to detect the presence of minute substance signatures at subatomic levels so one day maybe they will be able to measure what people treated with flower essences already know. They work! FET is an effective, non-toxic, non-allergenic therapy that produces lasting results on everyone from babies to adults and even pets.
BN: What are the primary uses of Flower Essence therapy?
GA: Emotional states are the primary target. I would not suggest FET to treat a broken leg although I would recommend Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy to deal with sudden trauma and shock.
BN: How long has it been around? What is its history?
GA: The first recorded practitioner of this system was Dr. Edmund Bach. A homeopath by training, he created a core repertoire of 38 Essences and the Rescue Remedy Formula. His remedies are focused on the flowers of his native England. The Flower Essence Society picked up where he left off and vastly expanded the number of flowers available basing most of their essences on flowers native to the United States. Others have taken up this work and have created amazing flower remedies from around the world. FET has been in use in the United States for decades. However, it seems like after 9/11, when so many of us were traumatized by the aftermath, Rescue Remedy was popularized and now can be found everywhere from GNC to local drugstores.
BN: Could you give us a few examples of specific clients undergoing flower therapy and the success of their treatments?
GA: One of my clients is a lovely and intelligent female who experienced repeated emotional abuse throughout her life and suddenly one day would not leave her home. She simply could not cross the door’s threshold. Physically she was fine and via phone and email presented herself as cheerful, hopeful and upbeat. I took her history and it was clear from the intake that she was agoraphobic and intensely fearful. She was self-sufficient all her life but suddenly it was one incident too many and what was normally a simple task became insurmountable.
The Mimulus flower and Water Violet flowers
I treated her with Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy, Mimulus (Fear and Timidity) and Water Violet (Aloofness & avoidance of people). Two days later she was out and about – she didn’t even notice that she had done it. What was insurmountable before was not even an issue worthy of discussion. She called me two weeks later to tell me that the remedies were not working! I enquired when was the last time she took them – she thought a while and indicated that it was about 10 ten days prior. I reminded her to start taking the remedies again twice a day diluted in water and just continue until she finished the bottle. She was merrily shopping when she called me to tell me that the remedies were working again. She has since discontinued taking them and has not relapsed since.
I treated a young man about 9 years old who was getting into trouble in school. He was fighting and arguing with his teachers. I opted for Flower Essences, in his case a combination of Saguaro (problems with authority) Madia (to be able to work well with others) and Chicory (Look at Me!) and got him back to behaving like a normal 9 year old – not angelic, but not in continuous trouble either.
I have treated cats that moved from one home to another (extremely disorienting for felines) with Rescue Remedy and Mimulus.
I treated a little girl who was terrified of dogs after her brother had let a giant Rottweiler into the room to tease her. She had an extreme panic attack, which was arrested with Rescue Remedy. She went from pink in color, crying and hyperventilating to calm within 5 minutes.
BN: Is FET usually used in conjunction with western medicine or by itself?
GA: FET can be used regardless of whatever other medication a person is using. The one prohibition is to put it into your mouth under your tongue by itself or in a glass of water. I know of many people using FET who also use conventional prescription medications. There is no conflict.
BN: Can FET be used effectively with people suffering from mild emotional issues (i.e. not clinically diagnosed)?
GA: FET works for emotional issues – period. Some are mild, some intense – the better you match the flower to the emotional state, the more effective the treatment will be. The difficulty is to recognize what is presenting itself – humans and other beings are very complex and sometimes do not articulate what is really wrong. A good intake will assist in a positive outcome.
BN: How long does it take for FET to work effectively? Is it something you can stop and start as needed?
GA: I have seen emergency cases resolved in minutes; sometimes the resolution can take days to occur. My first hint that the flower choices are correct is that the client reports being sleepy! Flower Essences can be discontinued and resumed when needed; usually a treatment period is a few weeks. Rescue Remedy or FES (Five Flower Essence) is used as an ‘as needed’ solution which I suggest whenever a client is stressed. I look at it as first aid for errors in living!
BN: What are the side effects? Is it ever harmful (i.e. during pregnancy, allergies, etc.)?
GA: There are no known side effects to Flower Essence Therapy. The dilution of the remedies means that there is no exposure to an allergenic dose of any substance except the carrier liquid. Many FEs are preserved in alcohol. If a client wishes, FEs can be prepared without alcohol but these solutions have a shorter shelf life.
BN: What is the actual therapy or treatment like? Do you ingest the flowers or smell them? Is it a liquid, etc.?
GA: The FET remedy is prepared in alcohol. You can either drop 5 – 10 drops directly under your tongue or into a glass of water, which you can drink or sip all day long. You cannot overdose but a stronger dose is a more diluted dose – not the converse! You can use up to five different flowers at a time.
BN: How is it compared to or different from other alternative medicines / treatments (i.e. reiki, aromatherapy, acupuncture, sound therapy, hypnosis, etc.)
GA: Flower essences have no scent or taste and should not be confused with aromatherapy. Both treatment modalities can be used for treating the same kinds of issues, but each function in very different ways. Aromatherapy utilizes the five senses for instance, while FET is more of an energetic treatment.
BN: How can someone find a licensed or trained Flower therapist in the area? What is the training involved in becoming a flower therapist?
GA: The Flower Essence Society provides all of that information.
BN: What is the future of FET? Do you expect it to be offered in a spa for instance?
GA: I think the future of FET is limitless. Everyone should have Rescue Remedy or Five Flower Essence on his or her person and medicine cabinet. FET, in general, provides a non invasive, non-addictive way to cope with all of the ailments we are so susceptible to – from living lifestyles that put us in conflict with our environment to extreme stress caused by faster and faster paced lifestyles. Extreme events in our lives such as 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, which we suffer either directly or indirectly, by watching on television for instance, have seemed to parallel an increase in the use of the remedies. Bach Flower remedies are available at most health food stores. Flower Essences from the Flower Essence Society are available on the Internet or by phone.
For a consultation with Gail Armorer, she can be reached at [email protected].