Dr Edward Bach Dr Edward Bach was born n 1886 and qualified in medicine at the University College Hospital, London in 1912. Dr Bach began his practice using the allopathic system of medicine, but came to the conclusion the "the personality of the individual was of more importance than the body in the treatment of disease."
He was also a pathologist and bacteriologist and took up an appointment in these fields at the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1919. Dr Bach was amazed to find that Hahnemann, the modern-day founder of Homeopathy, had reached the same conclusion as himself, but nearly 100 years previously. This conclusion was the principle of true healing, namely to "treat the patient and not the disease."
Although Dr Bach was widely recognized in the field of vaccines, having by this time developed the well-known seven oral vaccines, or nosodes, and although he had a flourishing practice in Harley Street, Dr Bach gave all this up in 1930 in order to devote all of his time to discovering a completely new, gentle system of herbal medicine.
Over the next six years until his death at the early age of fifty years, Dr Bach scoured the countryside and private gardens of England in search of healing agents which would remove negative emotions and attitudes, thereby enabling the body to restore itself to health, happiness and well-being.
As a physician, Bach believed that doctors should play the part of advisor and counsellor to a patient, providing guidance and insight. The patient must come to realize that he has the responsibility for his own healing. He must be prepare to face the truth that his illness was caused by faults that lie within himself, and he must have the desire to rid himself of those faults.
In all, Dr Bach discovered 38 herbal remedies which cover every negative state of mind known to man. These remedies are available individually or in complete sets. There are simple, safe to use and have no side effects. They are not habit forming.
For many years, since he had come upon the works of Samuel Hahnemann, Dr Bach had concentrated on "treating the patient, not the disease." "His personal philosophy on health and disease was an important element in his discovery and development of the flower remedies.
One of the unique advantages of the Bach Flower remedies is that they can be applied before the first sign of physical illness, thereby preventing disease before it takes hold in the body. Bach notes that "before almost all [serious] complaints there is usually a time of being not quite fit, or a bit run down; that is the time to treat our conditions, get fit and stop things going further." Even a temporary state of conflict between the personality and the soul may render the body susceptible to infectious agents that are ready to attack when the body's normal defenses are weak.
Dr Bach himself was deeply religious, believing that all mankind was created in a state of perpetual Unity with God. Man's Soul - the real Self - is directly connected to the Creator and ever leads man to a higher good. Although the physical body is temporary, the soul is everlasting. Moreover, the soul infuses and guides the personality, comprising the mind and the body as a whole.
Dr Bach also believed that each person has a mission in life. He wrote:
"...this divine mission means no sacrifice, no retiring from the world, no rejecting of the joys and beauty of nature; on the contrary, it means a fuller and greater enjoyment of all things; it means doing the work we love to do with all out heart and soul whether is be housekeeping, farming, painting, acting or serving our fellow-man in shops or houses. This work, whatever it may be, if we love it above all else, is the definite command of our soul."
Taking this idea a step further, Bach defines health as perfect harmony between the soul, mind and body. Disease, then, results from a lack of harmony between these elements.
When we do not follow the dictates of our soul by following out intuition - our knowledge of "good" - disease develops in our body as a result of our resistance. This resistance occurs "when we allow others to interfere with our purpose in life, and implant in out minds doubt, or fear, or indifference'" Emotions such as fear or anger, as well as cruelty and rigidity of thought, surface when we are diverted from the soul's purpose, and, consequently, from the personality's true development.
But disease, according to Bach, is paradoxically a healing process because it warns us against carrying our wring actions too far. Once disease has manifested itself, we must modify our erring mental state and bring it back into line with the convictions of our soul, if we are to be healed. When this realignment begins, so does the physical healing; and both will continue until mind and soul are again in tune and the body is well.
Over and over again, Bach emphasized that if we want to return to health, we must expect change. Disease was not to be conquered by direct fighting, since "darkness is removed by light, not by greater darkness." To help us learn to make the necessary changes in out personalities, he urged that we learn to replace our weaknesses with strengths, such as substituting acceptance for intolerance.
Believing that physical disease manifested as a result of negative mental and emotional states, Bach opposed those aspects of modern medicine that directed efforts only toward the healing of the physical. He felt that drugs were often counter-productive because the temporary relief they produces in many instances suggested a complete return to health while negative mental and emotional patterns continued unchecked. True healing was postponed, and the inevitable result was more serious illness later on.
Thus, Bach argued that disease is not an evil, but a blessing in disguise whose purpose is solely and purely corrective." Indeed, the area where we have physical difficulties is a mirror of our mental difficulties. Bach wrote:
"If you suffer from stiffness of joint or limb, you can be equally certain that there is stiffness in your mind; that you are rigidly holding on to some idea...which you should not have. If you suffer from asthma, you are in some way stifling another personality; or from lack of courage to do right, smothering yourself...The body will reflect the true cause of ldisease such as fear, indecision, doubt - in the disarrangements of its systems and tissues."
Complete healing, Bach said, depended on four factors: The realization of the Divinity within us, and our consequent knowledge that we have the ability to overcome all harm The knowledge that disease is due to disharmony between our personality and our soul Our desire and ability to discover the fault that is causing the conflict The removal of that fault by developing the opposing virtue.
When Dr Bach developed his flower remedies, his aim was to effect a healing on a much deeper level than just the physical. Bach, referring to the remedies once wrote: "they are able..to raise our very natures, and bring us nearer to our Souls...They cure, not by attacking disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature in the presence of which disease melts as snow in the sunshine."
Dr Bach classified the seven emotional and psychological states of man:
Rock Rose*,Mimulus*. Cherry Plum, Aspen, Red Chestnut
Cerato8, Scleranthus*, Gentian*, Gorse, Hornbeam, Wild Oat
Insufficient interest in present circumstances
Clematis*, Honeysuckle, Wild Rose, Olive, White Chestnut, Mustard, Chestnut But
Water Violet*, Impatiens*, Heather
Over sensitive to influences and ideas
Afromony*, Cemtaury*, Walnut, Holly
Despondency or despair
Larch, Pine, Elm, Sweet Chestnut, Star of Bethlehem, Willow, Oak, Crab Apple
Overcare for the welfare of others
Chicory*, Vervain*, Vine, Beech, Rock Water
*The original 12 Bach Flowers
Rescue Remedy was named by Dr Bach for its calming and stabilising effect on the emotions during a crisis.
There are five components.
Impatiens – for the impatience, irritability and agitation often accompanying stress. This may result in muscle tension and pain.Clematis - For unconsciousness, spaciness, faintness, and out-of-body sensations, which often accompany trauma.
Rock Rose – for terror, panic, hysteria and great fear.
Cherry Plum – for fear of losing mental or physical control.
Star of Bethlehem – for trauma, bit mental and physical.
Star of Bethlehem, rock Rose, Impatiens, Cherry Plum and Clematis
Cherry Plum, Crab Apple, Olive, Walnut, Water Violet and Aspen
Clematis, Gentian, Elm, Larch and White Chestnut
Cherry Plum, Gentian, Gorse, Mustart, Sweet chestnut, Wild Rose, Olive (chronic) or Star of Bethlehem (recent)
Hornbean, Olive and Vine
Bach E The Bach Flower Remedies Keats. 1979
Wildwood. C Flower Essences: Natural Healing with Flower Essences Element, 1992
Scheffer M Bach Flower Therapy: Theory and Practice Thorsons, 1986