After over twenty-five years I [Cynthia Alves] still see Bach Flower Remedies as a foundation for all Vibrational Essences, as well as offering profound pointers to fundamental aspects of health care and development. Even if you never use them, they offer profound guidance.
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Bach as Basic Dr. Bach's humble set of 38, among thousands of Vibrational Essences worldwide, are, I reckon, still the best teachers of basic 'inner' health care. That is, addressing the most core and common 'building blocks' of personality and attitude patterns. Ive called this piece Bach* to Basics because what Dr. Bach teaches through his Flower Remedies is the second consideration when any Flower Essences dont appear to work as wed hoped (the first being breath and water checks). We easily look to complicated answers and overlook the simple and basic. When using Flower Essences, its worthwhile first considering the most fundamental issues. For example, if fear is a central imbalance or weakness, addressing all sorts of relationship issues is less likely to resolve until the core fear pattern has been brought into the light of trust. Otherwise its like beating around the bush, or taking a scenic route where certain arrival is hit-and-miss.
A bit of Bachground, sorry, background to my view. From 1985 when I began teaching Bach Flower Remedies, until my mind and hearts explosion into world Essences at the Findhorn international conference in 1997, I was a solid 100% BACH woman. That meant in part that I believed people didnt really need any other Vibrational Essences, that the work (not just the set) was complete and all we needed. I had dabbled with a few other Essences, and they seemed helpful and practical, but not really needed. I saw the rise of lots of people making loads of different Essences as some sort of jumping on the bandwagon. Thanks to the Findhorn conference, Ive never been more happy to be corrected and educated in my life! However, in a very human way, my views over the couple years following the conference pendulum-ed to the other extreme: heck, Bach Remedies are passé. So I didnt use them much, well, except for my dear bottle of Five Flower. Thank heavens Ive returned to some balanced sense!
What DO the Bach Flower Remedies have to offer us as distinct from other Vibrational Essence sets? Or put another way, are Dr. Bach's 38 still of particular significance and help, or just another lot of helpful Essences among thousands? Yes yes yes, the Bach Flower Remedies still do and always will hold a very important and distinct service for us. Im not saying that only these plants (and the holy water) and no other essence nor treatment or means can help someone in the ways that the 38 address.
What I am saying is that what Edward Bach spelled out for us are the basics of human psyche, and fundamental no matter what other Essences or healing arts we use. They refer to and help the platform one building blocks of human psychological make up. If we try to develop in other than fundamental ways and qualities before we are sufficiently stable, rooted and matured in the basics, then were psychologically trying to run before we can walk. Or trying to walk without any feet.
Fundamental life care with Bach Flower Remedies Let's take a brief look at the first twelve Bach Flower Remedies. (links to Healing Herb's page for details of 1st Twelve. See also Notes below.) Even if we never take these particular Essences, the insights are pure and simple pointers, and extremely profound:
These aspects of human being and doing are to the psyche as breath and water are to the bodys physical survival: fundamental to continuing health and evolution. While we are not expected to be saints devoid of negative aspects, basic health care includes addressing those areas of ourselves, and understanding and living positive, life-giving qualities as appropriate in our own individual lives.
The other 26 Bach Flower Remedies remind us that there are other basics we need also to attend to, including shock, anger and guilt, worry, needing a sense of hope, rest and so on.
However we do so that is with or without the help of the Bach Flower Remedy plants specifically, until we recognise, address and develop the basics of our psychological life that the first twelve Bach Flower Remedies focus on, then we will be terribly hindered in our healing, and in developing in other areas of life beyond basic physical and psychological survival, including our individual and collective evolution.
In short, I suggest it as a most worthwhile exercise to contemplate the positive qualities that the Bach Flower Remedies are about, and to help ourselves and our students and clients to consider if attention is required in any of these areas before we can proceed in more complex areas of human health, happiness and evolutionary pursuit. Well, that wasnt in short yet I trust that by now you have got the idea. Look to the simple needs of health, and Back to Bach as basics.
First Twelve Bach Flower Remedies The best source I know to learn about them is Julian Barnard's writing, especially his in-depth work "Form and Function"*, yet even his excellent prescribing leaflet is simply and profoundly insightful. (*To Healing Herbs books page)
Getting your own Bach Flower Remedies (Later on I will be adding a page of further details about "Which Essences". For now, see my info "About the Rescue Formula" in Nature Essences for Children)
.... and books. There are now a lot of books available on Bach Flower Remedies, and many of them devoted only to Bach's rescue formula. My top recommendation are the publications of Julian Barnard, who over many years I have found to be the most clear and knowing author on Bach and his work. His Guide is the best beginner's book, and his "Form and Function" is an illuminating, great read to study in depth - both available from Healing Herbs, along with Bach Flower Remedies and other helpful products.
Dr. Edward Bach web site, lots of info, including a full copy of his "Heal Thyself" (from Research, go to Books, online).
Dr. Bach's name: "Back / batch / box..." When Dr. Edward got to London he found that people could not say his surname properly. Therefore he said that henceforth his name is to be pronounced not back nor box but Batch. So, apologies if I have confused you by my poetic mis-use of the 'back' pronunciation!