This question was first posed to me by physician Dr. Ricardo Orozco, and it caught my attention.
Aren't flower essences holistic by nature?
While it's true that they do affect the body, emotions, mind and spirit, so does Zoloft. So does a cup of coffee. So does anything, really.
Allopathic medicine basically means treating symptoms as opposed to treating the person. And that is, in fact, the general approach toward flower essences that I see much more commonly than an holistic approach. After all, who doesn't want the easy way out? Who doesn't want to try to simply alleviate symptoms without having to work through major shifts in the foundations of their health?
We see endless flower essence preparations sold in stores and online for this or that symptom or condition. And ready-made formulas, formulas, formulas... formulas for love, for sleep, for kids, for focus, for sensuality... This is a great way to sell products. They are sold off the shelf with simplistic descriptions for self-prescription--an approach that rarely works even for alleviating symptoms. Sadly, flower essence product marketing itself keeps us in an allopathic mindset while the therapy remains misunderstood, marginalized and undervalued. Flower essences continue to be used in a society conditioned by allopathy.
Do we treat a "lack of focus"? From an allopathic standpoint, yes. From an holistic standpoint, we treat a person who is having trouble focusing. The difference is enormous, and the remedy or remedies will always vary from person to person, which is why ready-made formulas and self-diagnosis don't really work that well.
So what does this mean in clinical practice? Let me pose a real-life example. A client comes with complaints of insomnia and an angry, resentful relationship with a family member. Wakes up every night at 2 or 3 and can't fall back asleep. Clearly, this person needs Holly or Willow, right? Well, from an allopathic standpoint, perhaps. We might give the person one of those essences, and it might work, or might not, for a little while. But from an holistic standpoint, we need to dig deeper. We need to find the type remedy.
Type remedies will shake foundations and catalyze transformations that are life-changing and for the better. They make us do the long-awaited and relieving hard work of self-transformation while being supported with peripheral essences, and, ideally, an experienced counselor/therapist/practitioner. They catalyze a healing process that, contained within a therapeutic relationship, can be carried out to its full potential. The person in question did not, in fact, require either of the Flowers mentioned to completely alleviate the symptoms. They did, however, experience profound changes and healing that they did not even know were possible, and in every aspect of their life. Something shifted in their foundation and cannot be un-shifted.
This kind of "before and after" effect of Flower Essence Therapy is only possible when approached holistically, and in my experience, contained within a professional therapeutic relationship. The term itself, Flower Essence Therapy, implies a therapeutic process and not just taking flower essences here and there for symptoms.
Don't get me wrong, using flower essences allopathically in topical applications for localized symptoms is perfect for scientific studies--and obviously for localized symptoms--and this has been done successfully in Cuba where specialized practitioners have access to advanced clinical training. We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that flower essences really work in a measurable way. I liken it to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in psychology. It is quantitative and useful for research studies. But the healing potential is so much greater when we see the forest through the trees.
Dr. Bach's intention when creating this method of healing was based on personality. Even Dr. Orozco, who has developed the transpersonal patterns for topical application, emphasizes that flower essence therapy must be personalized and topical applications must be combined with personalized oral formulas in order to bring about real healing. Otherwise we are just chasing symptoms. My personal experience, both as a client and a practitioner, confirms that there is a radical difference in outcome between allopathic and holistic approaches to using flower essences.
A closing thought in this direction, which will open the door for an article in my next newsletter, is a quote from Brazilian professor Makota Valdina: "I am not a descendant of slaves. I descend from human beings who were enslaved."
So here's to medicine that helps us grow beyond our egos and our wounds! A good spring cleaning if I ever heard one.
Flower Essence Therapy - training course Enhance your Life and the Life of your Practice Sept 2017 - May 2018 Early earlybird registration through June 24th