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Bach Flower Remedies

What's the matter? No energy?
No. Energy's the Matter.

by Michael Braunstein



  We use energy. We understand it that way. Energy does things. It seems that when we use energy, it makes our lives easier. We can tell when our life is easier. It is more enjoyable. Joy is a measure, then, of our competent use of energy. Struggle, frustration, stress, unhappiness; maybe they mean we could learn to use energy more effectively. Or at least learn to use the right level of energy.

Regarding the effective use of energy, let's consider this. Energy appears on very large scales; gross energies. And energy is apparent on very subtle levels as well. An analogy is the idea of moving a train from Omaha to Chicago. We can chop up a stand of oak trees into logs and load them on to the train. Burning chunks of those huge trees releases energy and a few of them can heat enough water into steam to propel the train 500 miles. But think about this. If instead of using the energy released by splitting trees into logs, we used the energy released by splitting a few of the atoms in a handful of uranium, we could send that train to the moon and back! Western science has found that the energy in the tiny atom far surpasses the energy released by tons of giant redwoods! The metaphor in place here is that subtle forms of energy have far more power than gross forms of energy. And the corollary concept is that we may not fully understand the why and wherefore. There are energies at work here that we simply have not yet learned how to measure. To dismiss them as ineffective would be like discounting the effectiveness of radio waves just because you can't see them!

It's not much of a stretch to observe from our point in time that simple interpolation shows that there are a number of energies the existence of which escaped our scientific measurements until just the last few decades. Extrapolation then would dictate that there are probably many energies to be yet measured. Denial of that possibility sounds like a skeptic in the 1800s denying such a thing as radio waves.

Become aware of subtle energies and the door is open to more effective use. Of course, just because you are aware of them won't necessarily improve your life. Perhaps using them might be an idea. Remember the aphorism: "To know and not to do is the same as not knowing." What are you waiting for? Why waste any more time?

Oh, just one more thought. That subtle energy that holds atoms together? Isn't that the same energy from atom to atom? I mean, that's the same kind of energy, regardless of whether it's holding the atom of a flower petal together or the atoms of my spleen together, isn't it? Gee, would that be what Einstein was seeking with the Unified Field Theory? Just wondering.


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Energy. It's the stuff we're made of. It's the stuff everything is made of. No matter where you go, there you are. Energy. It used to be that we thought the universe was made of two things: energy and matter. Well, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find any of the latter -- matter. Take the most solid object you can think of and break it down to smaller and smaller bits. You'll find it's made of particles of "matter" that aren't particles at all, but tiny universes of smaller particles suspended in a web of energy that keeps them apart while holding them together. The major component of all "matter" is the energy that fills up those spaces between particles. And the fun thing is that as we scientifically break those smaller particles into yet smaller ones, we find that they too are mostly energy. And no matter (sorry) how far you reach out into space, light-years away from earth and into the deepest vacuum, there is still energy flowing through it. There is apparently nowhere where energy isn't. It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. If that's the case, energy is what nature uses to fill it with.

Western science hasn't always understood energy as well as it does currently. Not so long ago, we had no way of measuring many forms of energy we now take for granted. Some of the greatest minds of the past -- Newton, Edison, even Einstein, -- had no way of measuring cosmic rays, x-rays or even the microwaves we use to heat our food or carry our cellular (phone) messages.

Just because we had no way to measure or prove the existence of those forms of energy, does that mean they did not exist? Hardly. It means only that we had found no way to measure them. Measuring, by the way, is not a prerequisite to understanding. Thousands of years ago in the Vedic texts, rishis (scientists of ancient India) described what we now call quantum physics. Nor is it necessary to prove something in order to use it to our advantage.

It's with this notion of subtle energy that we take a look at something called Bach Flower Remedies.

Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) was an English scientist and physician. He built up a successful practice in London and was a student of the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann. As chief bacteriologist and pathologist at the London Homeopathic Hospital, Bach found himself in a perfect position to observe large numbers of patients and draw conclusions about their health and the course of their diseases. What Bach postulated isn't really so surprising at all. Bach wrote that his patients' physical ailments were directly related to their state of mind. Emotions like hopelessness, anxiety, depression, etc., prevented his patients' innate healing ability and health. Bach concluded that disease was not due to physical cause but the underlying emotional stresses that had origin in the mind. (One of many modern studies of the impact of emotions on the body was done at Duke University in 1997. It showed plainly that negative emotions and thoughts restrict blood flow to the heart thus putting one at risk for heart attack. Positive thoughts were found to improve coronary blood flow. Reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.)

Bach set aside his practice in London and moved to the English countryside. Intuitively, he began to experiment with flowers and evaluated the effect they had on him when he covered the bloom with his hand. Bach had listed 38 specific emotional conditions from his studies. He developed Bach Flower Remedies to address each one. Bach's Remedies are based on a very subtle energy that he believed was inherent to the flowers and related to the state of the patients he worked with.

One misbelief about Bach Flower Remedies is that they are aromatherapy. They are not. The essential formulations have no aroma at all. Neither are they of the essential oils. A clear, water-like liquid, they are formulated from specific flowers to address specific emotional states that can be interfering with our complete health. The recommendation is to place drops under the tongue four times a day for a week, then evaluate. People who use Bach Flower Remedies refer to a condition known as "unpeeling." This means that as certain emotions are remedied, others surface that are dealt with in turn. Most practitioners suggest that no more than six remedies be used at once. In addition to the 38 specifics, Bach developed a general Remedy called Rescue Remedy for the relief of broad-based stress.

A full understanding of why and how people have found success with Bach Flower Remedies isn't clear. Many believe it is the subtle energies involved that relieve the emotional bind that Bach believed to cause illness. What is known, is that they have been used for nearly 70 years and continue to be common in Great Britain where they were initially used.
Perhaps, like acupuncture, herbal therapies, chiropractic and other forms of therapies finally gaining popularity in the West, Bach Flower Remedies will be judged not by understanding why they work, but simply observing that they do work.

Be well.

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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.

Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.

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