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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bach Flowers for the Kapha Dosha

In Ayurveda healing the Kapha dosha is comprised of the elements of water and earth. If Kapha is your dominant dosha you are likely very down to earth and grounded. There is more information about this dosha on an earlier post

The typical body type for the kapha dosha is that of the endomorph- a strong sturdy body that tends to be thickset with wide hips and shoulders. This body type is the most likely to carry excess weight and if the kapha dosha is out of balance, obesity can result.

The Kapha personality is slow and steady. Not much bothers a kapha personality. Today's picture is of a sloth. I saw one of these guys "up close and personal" once and they have really stolen my heart. They are one of my favorite creatures. They are very much like those stuffed monkey toys that you can wrap around your neck and waist, stuck with Velcro. Sloths are very happy to just "hang out". You know what you've got with a kapha personality, or a sloth. You don't need to worry about any sudden movements, attack motions, or unexpected behaviors.

Sloths are so slow and relaxed that they can have problems with algae growing on them. I guess if you have slowed down that much, there are Bach Flowers you might want to think about!

Some of the Bach flowers that seem to be a match for the Kapha dosha are Wild Rose, Gentian, and Water Violet.

When the kapha dosha is out of balance, you may become pretty unmotivated or resigned to your situation even if it is an unpleasant one. Wild Rose is helpful for this general sense of apathy and may be particularly indicated for prominent Kapha personalities. The kapha personality doesn't complain much, but when out of balance this can become a lack of purpose, or resignation. Wild Rose can help if you lack a sense of ambition and energy. The person who needs Wild Rose likely won't complain about a lack of energy, but they won't move off the couch either. Wild Rose can help restore your interest in life so you can take the initiative to make some changes and balance that kapha dosha.

Kaphas have a slow, easy-going personality that can be a real joy. But that slowness can also develop into a depression. I not sure how you really tell if a sloth is depressed. Like the kapha personality, it wouldn't be a sudden swing into the depths of depression, no drama here, it would be a gradual slide into a pretty dark place. For that the Bach Flower Gentian may help. There are a few Bach flowers that help with different aspects of depression. Gentian is indicated for someone that is easily discouraged and depressed when things go wrong or when faced with difficulties. For this type of depression, minor obstacles seem insurmountable and life itself can feel a bit daunting. The Gentian depression is often a slow slide, not the sudden gloom that is more characteristic of Mustard, or the "limit of endurance" anguish characterised by Sweet Chestnut. Kapha's are not prone to drama, but can slowly develop an overall depression for which Gentian may be helpful. Gentian may give them the boost they need to encourage them to keep on trying.

The earth and water elements of Kapha suggest pretty strong, deep rooted attachments to a central place. There isn't a lot of movement or any reason to change things around for a Kapha. The gentle, self-reliant, calm personality of the Kapha dosha points to the Bach Flower essence Water Violet. Like Kapha's, and sloths, the Water Violet personality tends to withdraw and retreat behind a calm facade even when unhappy. They may avoid external distractions and keep their troubles to themselves. When out of balance, these types may benefit from Water Violet as an essence that can help restore relationships with others. Water Violet may help the out of balance Kapha get off the couch, out of the house, and into interactions with others.

The slow build up of illness, issues, or emotions for the Kapha personality may make it difficult to identify when essences may be helpful and which ones might be indicated. The lack of motivation may make self-diagnosis that much more difficult. For that reason, if you do know your kapha dosha tends to be predominant, these essences might be a good place to start when you feel out of balance and could use a little help. In the meantime, enjoy your good nature, your solid connection to the earth, and your overall groundedness.

And if anyone has a sloth that needs a home- let me know!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bach Flowers for the Pitta Dosha

It's a steamy Monday in my part of the world with the moisture pretty much lifting off the ground as the sun makes an appearance. That makes it a good time to consider Bach Flowers for the Pitta Dosha. The Pitta Dosha in Ayurveda healing is comprised of the elements water and fire. For more information on this dosha, check out this earlier post

The elements of fire and water, when combined, make steam and that is the central theme for the dominant pitta dosha personality. Physically, Pittas tend towards the mesomorph body build which is a medium, muscular build. Pitta's are usually pretty energetic people. They are considered the classic "Type A" individual.

Pitta's tend to be pretty intense individuals. They like things to be efficient and orderly. They are often pretty keen business types that follow strict routines, guidelines, and ways of thinking. Any of the Bach flower essences may be indicated and helpful for the dominant Pitta personality, but a good place to start when considering essences might be Rock Water, Vervain and Cherry Plum.

When unbalanced, the Pitta's routine strictness can become a harsher rigidity or lack of flexibility. Rock Water is the Bach flower that may be indicated to help soothe such an over-conscientious workload outlook. Rock Water is helpful when high standards become self-denying. The Type A personality runs the risk of being disappointed with themselves if they can't meet their own high ideals and that is when Rock Water may come to the rescue. Rock Water can allow for some flexibility in life. It can help Pitta's be more willing to change their minds,consider other ways of doing things, and understand that inner harmony can be achieved without externally enforced behaviors.

The Pitta personality is enthusiastic and can become quite involved in a cause, a way of thinking, a business idea, an exercise or diet. When that enthusiasm becomes unbalanced or out of control, Vervain may be a helpful essence. People that can benefit from Vervain often take on too much work and may try to tackle too many jobs at once in their exuberance to achieve, fix the wrong, and make the world a better place. Like the Pitta dosha, the Vervain personality may suffer from lack of sleep due to their active minds and unwillingness to relax. When unbalanced they can become irritable, frustrated, and annoyed over matters of principle and the actions of others. Vervain can help the unbalanced Pitta calm and settle easier. Vervain helps an unbalanced Pitta be more tolerant and able to relax so they can take a broad view of life and events.

People with a dominate Pitta rarely "sit on the fence". They are passionate, opinionated people that are quick to help, rescue and create. They can also be quick to fly into a rage. When you see the "steam coming out of your ears", it's time to consider a few drops of the Bach Flower Cherry Plum! Cherry Plum is indicated when you feel about to explode or give way to violent impulses. Cherry Plum can help restore a calm mind so you can think and act rationally and not out of rage. Cherry Plum can also help you let go of constricting ways of thinking or unrequired actions.

You can have a dominent Pitta dosha and not require any of these Bach flower essences, and you might benefit from others as well. The three suggested are not meant to be limiting or restricting. As far as I know, Dr. Bach didn't make any connections between the doshas and the flower essences. However, sometimes it's helpful to just have a starting point of reference. These essences are merely meant as a point to start, a place to begin your research, and see what makes the best match for you. Happy experimenting and I'm always happy to hear your results!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bach Flowers for the Vata Dosha

Self-diagnosis can be a difficult task. I think it becomes even more difficult to figure out what it is you need when you really need something! Perhaps that's why we like to categorize things, and put labels and diagnosis on ailments. Once you have a diagnosis it feels like it is easier to treat. It doesn't really work that way in alternative medicine but I understand the mentality. It is the way we have been trained to think.

Along these lines, someone asked me the other day if there were Bach Flowers specific to the doshas. That got me thinking... While any of the 38 Bach flowers might be indicated for any and all of the doshas, there are some that come to mind as a good match for each dosha, similar to the way certain flowers can be "assigned" to each of the chakras. If you already know which dosha you are, this could be a helpful way to narrow down your choices when looking for a healing essence. Often you just need that place to start.

If you are a dead ringer for today's picture, you might be a dominant Vata Dosha as they tend to be the ectomorph body type. If the resemblance isn't that great, and you're not sure, check out this earlier post

The Vata Dosha is comprised of the elements air and space. That type of light, spacious detachment, suggests the Bach flower essence Clematis might be helpful in times of imbalance. People with dominant Vata Doshas are often creative and dreamy. They tend to spend a lot of time in dreamland and may lack the groundedness of other doshas. Clematis may help them connect with their roots so they can bring their creativity into action. Clematis may also help them maintain an interest in the present rather than drifting off.

People with a dominant vata dosha tend to be quick in action. They are fast talkers, move in bursts of energy, and have difficulty relaxing. When they get out of balance, they tend to become impatient and frustrated. This is a match for the Bach Flower Impatiens. This essence can be difficult to self-diagnosis because when you are in an impatient mood you don't have the patience to figure out which essence you need! So if you are of the Vata Dosha, you might consider trying the essence Impatiens as one of your first "go to" remedies to help you breathe deep, relax, and take the time to figure out what other essences are indicated.

That type of creativity that is common to the Vata Dosha, when it gets out of balance, can lead to worrying thoughts and a sense of restlessness. This in turn can lead to some restless nights and bouts of insomnia for people with this dominant dosha. White Chestnut may be indicated for this imbalance. White Chestnut is helpful for anyone that has repetitive thoughts going round and round their head preventing sleep. White Chestnut can help you replace worry with clearer thinking and an ability to concentrate during the day or sleep at night.

For the Vata Dosha, there may be no constant but change. This person is up and down and moves from bursts of energy, thought and emotion. This points to the Bach flower essence Scleranthus. Scleranthus is considered the essence for indecision, when you are trying to decide between two things. The pattern of scleranthus is that of up and down, back and forth, changing between the extremes of joy and sadness or energy and apathy. During the extreme of positive energy and joy, it may be difficult to self-diagnosis. In fact, there may be no desire or need. During the extreme of apathy or sadness, it may be hard to remember you had a swing the other way a few days, weeks or minutes ago!

The Vata Dosha loves change and resists routine. Although they are drawn to spontaneity and shifts, such lack of routine can bring about an imbalance and can result in digestive complaints, physical aliments, and emotional upheaval. For this, the Bach Flower Walnut may be indicated. Because the Vata Dosha personality brings so much change into their lives, they may, at times, need some protection from this change. Walnut can help you move forward during change, staying steady to a course and a path in life. Sometimes Vata Dosha's need that directional assistance.

Sometimes it's all about finding the right place to start. If starting with your dosha helps you find the path towards healing, then that's a good place to begin. Follow the path, try some essences and see where it leads.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Animal Signs: The Otter

The animal world seems to be making itself known to us lately in some unusual ways. Or at least this is happening in my part of the world. I'm not sure if it was the lunar eclipse, or solstice, or some pretty intense electrical storm activity that seemed to have the birds out of whack for awhile. Thankfully, they have stopped throwing themselves at the windows and seem to have calmed down. A few days ago a deer made headline news when he crashed through the window of a coffee shop in the city. Strange behavior that we seem to be seeing more of. The Heron is still hanging around but seems to be above any self-destructive or extreme behavior. He appears quite regal and content on his buoy or flying above. There are butterflies and dragonflies all around these days- a welcome sign of summer I guess. Now an otter is making his appearance known to me. He's been swimming around pretty contented but I think he wants to be talked about on the blog so here goes.

Daniel Mapel in, "Into the Heart of the Wild", describes the Otter as being a symbol of child-like playfulness. That certainly describes the Otter behavior. I'm sure he has concerns of basic survival but you wouldn't know it by looking. He swims around in no big hurry or pattern and just seems to be enjoying the splashes. Mapel explains the Otter is an animal that nurtures our ability to relax and not take life too seriously. Having Otters come into your life (and I believe this can happen through actual appearances, pictures, or just being drawn to the creature), may be a symbol that nature is encouraging you to keep a light outlook on the world and your situation, even when facing serious matters. The Otter encourages us to see life as a fun game and a joyful place to be no matter what might be brewing around us. The Otter is seen as a symbol of increased freedom, and light-hearted adventure. It is said that the Otter may come to those that are depressed or chronically worried in order to encourage them that life is not meant to be difficult.

If worry seems to be a constant in your life that takes you away from playing with the Otters, there are a couple of Bach flowers that might help. Both Red Chestnut and Heather can help soothe the worried mind.

If your worry seems focused on others, Red Chestnut may be indicated. Red Chestnut might be considered the "mother's essence" as it is indicated for those that are over-concerned for their children or family members. When out of balance, this concern becomes a pretty consuming fear and has a way of spiraling out of control. The remedy is helpful if you find yourself worried that minor complaints will turn into serious diseases, or everyday activities will end in tragedies such as plane trips into crashes. The parent who lives in fear their son or daughter will be in a car crash can be helped with Red Chestnut. It isn't just parents that hold these worries or fears. Children may be over-concerned they will loose a parent or loved one as well. Red Chestnut won't take away your love and concern for family members, but it can help you balance compassion without anxiety. It likely won't help you fall sleep before the car is back in the driveway, but it might enable you to read a good book until they get home, instead of staring out the window or pacing the hallways.

If your worry is more focused on yourself than on others, Heather may be the Bach Flower essence that is indicated for you. Heather is indicated for those that are preoccupied with their own situation, ailments or concerns. It is helpful for people that exaggerate their symptoms into full blown anxieties. The typical hypochondriac can benefit from a few drops of Heather. This is an essence that might be hard to self-diagnose, but often comes up in professional consultations. People that can benefit from Heather often exhaust their friends from constant talk and endless details about their own issues. They can drive people away because of such extreme neediness. The classic Heather personality is a fast talker that invades your personal space in order to explain what they are going through.

On the other hand, the Otter may make an appearance just to say- "Hey, it's summertime, chill-out in human land". We could take a lot of lessons from our animal friends. If only we would listen...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Today is summer solstice and therefore the true beginning of the summer season. And in my part of the world, it has been a beautiful sunny day, reason to rejoice in itself!

During this summer solstice, the sun is in Cancer according to my We'Moon book, which means it is a particularly nurturing time. The sun in Cancer calls us to nurture gardens, fertilize our souls and reconnect with family and friends. It's a special time of peace and quiet contentment.

The summer solstice speaks to the root chakra and that sense of feeling safe and secure, deeply rooted in the earth. The root chakra is focused on stability, basic survival needs, self preservation, trust and the sense of being grounded.

The summer season is a good time to nurture your root chakra. It's a time to live life simply, to kick back and enjoy what is around you without unnecessary complications or strict plans. It's a time to "go with the flow", basking in the energy the earth provides you with.

If you aren't experiencing that peaceful connection with the earth and a sense of security there are some Bach flowers that can help.

Rock Rose is helpful if you fear for your survival. It can help balance a state of being "frozen in fear". This deep sense of fear can leave you incapable of making decisions to ensure your well-being. Rock Rose can help restore your ability to react and move forward during a crisis.

Sweet Chestnut is sometimes indicated with issues of the root chakra. It is helpful when you have a deep sense of mental anguish. If your ability to survive in the world is heavily dependent on someone or something that is no longer in your life, Sweet Chestnut can help to restore your sense of balance. Sweet Chestnut is particularly helpful when you feel you have met the limit of your endurance. It helps when life has been very difficult such as when you are grieving the death of a loved one.

The root chakra is quite concentrated on feeling a connection to the earth and those basic needs. If life isn't providing you with that sense of "safe connection", you may remove yourself to a dream land. This isn't a pleasant daydream state, but a yearning for better times, better circumstances, a different life. The dreaming prevents action, and can set up a vicious cycle. The worse things get, the more you escape, and while you are off in dream-land, the world continues to fall in around you. People in this constant dream state are often accident prone because of distraction. Clematis is the Bach flower essence that can help bring you down to earth. Clematis can help you put your dreams into action so that you can take an active interest in the world around you and shape it into a secure place.

One of the foods that resonates with the root chakra is ginger. It's a perfect time to sit back in the hammock with a glass of ginger beer, a gingersnap and a really good book. Enjoy the sense of re-charging.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Tired? Exhausted?: Bach Flowers for Energy

Tomorrow marks the first day of those "lazy hazy days of summer". Summer is supposed to be a easy going, slow paced time of year. Hmm.. isn't that interesting? If the lead up to these slower paced days has you feeling a little worn out- there are some Bach Flower essences that might help.

The two classic Bach flower essences for exhaustion are Olive and Oak. It is helpful to distinguish between the two.

Olive is indicated when you are exhausted in both body and mind. If you find yourself tired to the point of tears- this is the essence for you. Olive is a great essence to consider if you have been going through a period of personal difficulties, intense work, or a long illness. People that can benefit from Olive often feel as though everything is an effort. If the leisure activities that you once enjoyed don't even interest you anymore because you're just too tired- consider a few drops of Olive. Olive can help you restore your inner strength. Olive can help you listen to your body so that you pace yourself better and recognize the needs of your body before you reach your limit. Olive can help you renew an interest in life and restore you vitality.

Oak is also indicated for a sense of fatigue. The Oak person will continue to struggle on despite feeling exhausted. Unlike Olive, the Oak person will have no time to even think about crying. Oak people are usually driven by a sense of duty. They keep plodding through in an effort to help others and be reliable. The person needing Oak is often working for others- many others. Like the Oak tree, this person has many branches that reach out to others in an effort to care, support, and help. Also like the Oak tree, this person may find themselves feeling empty in their core. They have given so much to so many others and the numerous branches of self that there is nothing left inside. The Oak person won't allow themselves to relax until all the duties are done and they ignore how tired they are until they come crashing down. And, for an Oak person, it is often a big crash. They collapse in total exhaustion and often come down with a serious illness and are forced to stop. Oak can help restore energy to this type of person. When balanced, an Oak person is able to recognize the need to relax and look after themselves as well as their various duties. Taking Oak can help you see the need to feed your inner core so the branches can remain strong, being fed from within.

If neither Olive or Oak seem to describe your sense of fatigue, and instead you feel overwhelmed by the work load, Elm may be the essence that can help you. Elm people are usually very competent and capable people that suddenly become depressed and exhausted. In the Elm state, people begin to doubt their abilities and feel they can't deal with the workload. Elm can help put things into perspective. Elm can help restore your normal capable personality so you can return to a sense of efficiency and self-assurance. When balanced, the Elm person only takes on as much as can be coped with. They take time to look after personal needs as well as the needs of others.

Whether it's Olive, Oak,or Elm, there is a central theme with these essences. There is a need to really balance and restore the core. We often get so caught up in our "to do" lists and busy lives that we don't pay attention to what our body needs. Whether it's effort driven by tough times (Olive), duty (Oak), or a sense of responsibility (Elm), we can become drained. Once drained, the body often responds by giving up and giving in to illness and exhaustion. We reach the "breaking point"- sometimes quite literally.

Maybe summertime is meant as a recharging of the batteries. Rather than setting up the summer activities, or struggling to accomplish so that you can relax, it's time to just stop. Stop- right now, today, this minute. Breathe in and out, consider how your body really feels and honor yourself for a moment. Give yourself a break and take one thing off the list of "must do's". Let someone else pitch in for a moment, let the house go dirty, don't take on that new project. Say "no" to just one thing or one person. You might be surprised at how much energy you have within if you pay attention to the need to stop now and then. Consider it an investment for your future.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bach Flowers for Animals in Transit

So tonight is the full moon, the lunar eclipse,and the final game for the Stanley Cup. It's also close to the end of the school year and all the ceremonies, joys and angst that comes with that. I don't think we could be any more charged with energy around here.

So it seems to me that tonight should just be a nice place of balance between the waxing moon and the wanning moon. That means today is the day to finally "let go" of all the things that you don't want to travel with you into the next moon phase. It's also a time to consider what new things you would like to have come into your life during the wanning moon phase and as we get close to summer solstice.

It seems like this sense of wanting to bring something new into your life has been good for the animal kingdom. I have talked to a lot of people lately that are in the process of, or have already acquired, a new pet.

The transition from one home to another, including the travel involved in getting to a new home, can be stressful for both animals and humans. This is a great time to consider using Bach Flowers. Animals respond very well to Bach Flower essences.

One of the first essences to consider for such a time of change is Walnut. Finding a new home is a major transition in any animal's(and owner's) life. Walnut can ease the process. You don't have to consider Walnut (or any other Bach Flower) only in terms of negative emotions. Happy change and new circumstances that are exciting and welcome can also be eased, leveled out, or balanced with Walnut. Think about that butterfly feeling in your stomach and reach for Walnut.

Scleranthus might be helpful during the plane, train, boat, or car ride to get to a new home. Scleranthus is typically used for uncertainty or indecision, when you are struggling between two courses of action. That movement from one place to another can be a little unsettling. I have had both human and animal clients relieve car sickness with a few drops of Scleranthus before embarking on the journey.

Wild Oat might help the new addition adjust to his/her role in the family. Animals, not unlike humans, struggle to find their place in the hierarchy. Sometimes they can be confused about when to follow, when to lead, and when to stay very neutral. Wild Oat can help your new pet sort out his or her true path or place so their talents can be used constructively within the overall family dynamics.

If you have pet "siblings" that might not be as excited about a new arrival as you are, you might consider giving them Holly in anticipation of a new arrival. Holly is the typical "sibling rivalry" remedy. Animals needing Holly sometimes act aggressively because they are feeling a bit confused or insecure in their heart. Holly can help them realize you still love them and may ease the conflict over your affection.

Honeysuckle might be an essence to consider if you or any of your pets are having some moments of doubt after the initial arrival. If you are starting to long for the peacefulness you had before the new puppy peed on the rug or chewed one of your shoes that was supposed to go with your bridesmaid outfit a day before the wedding (personal experience on that one!), Honeysuckle is indicated. Honeysuckle is for those that have an over-attachment to past memories, and their attachment to the past prevents them from moving forward (or buying a new pair of shoes!). Big sigh...

Any of the 38 Bach Flower essences might actually be indicated as you adjust to the new arrival of a pet. Particularly if you are adopting an older animal or rescued pet, you may need to look at personalized remedy options. In the meantime, Rescue Remedy can make things easier for you in hectic times. Rescue Remedy contains Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis- all of which are great ones to consider. Rescue Remedy is also readily available in most health food stores, and can often be found in grocery and drug stores as well.

I can't wait to meet the guy in the picture. For now he's known as Mr. Purple until he reveals his real name. He's not mine, but I'm hoping to be a "favorite Aunty". I plan to bribe him with treats laden with Bach Flowers!!

In the meantime, howl at the moon tonight. Never mind the chewed shoes and enjoy the feeling of bare feet on the grass. Let go of all old, no longer useful stuff, and welcome in the new whatever your new might be. Put your shoes high up on a shelf and enjoy the magic!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Full Moon Preparations

On June 15th the moon will be full and we will experience another total lunar eclipse as well. Seems as though we are experiencing a lot of celestial phenomenon lately. I also believe that once you become more open and receptive to the universe and possibilities for things that you can't necessary see, explain, or touch, like nature's rhythms, and the moon cycles, the greater the affect they exert on you.

We last had a lunar eclipse in December of 2010 I find it interesting that this previous one occurred on the winter solstice and tomorrow's summer lunar eclipse is happening very close to summer solstice (June 21). I'm sure that's no "coincidence" on the part of the universe.

All of this happens tomorrow, but I thought it might be worth talking about in advance. It seems to me that I often realize after the fact, that there were universal nature occurrences that could explain behavior. The emergency planner in me suggests there is some warning or preparation phase here that might be worth taking note of!

The full moon is in Sagittarius. This is said to "get things moving". According to my We'Moon book, the moon in Sagittarius brings refreshing honestly and signifies a time of open minds, souls and attitudes. This drive to action also brings with it a certain sense of impatience, an inability to sit still. It might be a good time to have some of the Bach Flower Impatiens on hand if you are feeling that restless energy. Impatiens is indicated for exactly that- impatience. I personally am on the "frequent flyer plan" for this essence and can attest to it's ability to help balance that irritability that creeps in when nothing in the world is happening fast enough. Impatiens can help you relax and allow so you can move with the flow instead of trying to out-pace it.

Animals certainly react to the pull of the moon and the power of events like lunar eclipses. I have had some horse clients lately that had positive kinesiology tests for the use of ETS Plus for Animals. After taking the essence they seem to be more relaxed and less fearful anxious or hyper.

As I type this blog I have a bird hurling himself at one of the windows. He/she (I realize it'd rude, but I have no idea which he/she is!), started this behavior early Sunday morning. He/she was calm and relaxed yesterday but is back at it this morning. It is quite unnerving to me, so I can only imagine how he/she feels about it! It also seems like pretty strange behavior to me. It is intentional behavior- not a mistake in not seeing the window it would seem. Maybe it's new parent anxiety as I'm pretty sure there is a nest around there somewhere but honestly if he/she doesn't stop it's going to be a single parent family!! If I could figure a way to get ETS Animals to he/she I will definitely do that!!! It occurs to me that there is extra frenetic behavior by the birds lately and perhaps that is because of the moon phase? Maybe he/she is just impatient for the babies to appear?? Well there is hope then because there is an increase in births during a full-moon phase.

In my part of the world at least, this full moon seems to be coming with the "winds of change". There has been strong wind for the past few days and every indication of it continuing. Seems if you combine a full moon, a lunar eclipse, and strong winds you are going to arrive at some type of change. For change, Walnut is the Bach Flower essence that is indicated. This is a good one to have on hand these days and something to consider prior to a full moon event if you feel affected by the pull of the moon. Walnut is helpful for people that are sensitive to change. That change might be very earth-bound circumstances such as moving, divorce, puberty, menopause etc., or change that is related to the atmosphere such as weather patterns, temperatures, winds and moon phases. Walnut can help provide protection from change and outside influences. The essence can help you move forward in a positive direction, free of the past and negative influences of others. If you feel yourself, jittery, "out of sorts" , held-back, or side-tracked during this full moon phase, consider Walnut to balance you. If you feel like hurling yourself at the window it might also be indicated!!!!

Aspen is another Bach Flower to consider if you have a sense of unknown fear. It can be helpful during increased atmospheric changes like storms Sometimes I think when we feel unsettled by the atmosphere, we try to analyze our feelings by putting them into an earthly category and fear seems to be an easy slot to fit into. If you are transferring feelings into fear, than Walnut may be a better choice of remedy, but if you are actually feeling a unexplained sense of apprehension for no reason, than Aspen is indicated. If that sense of fear comes on very suddenly or is a feeling of foreboding, Aspen can help. Aspen helps you replace fear and apprehension with the ability to welcome new experiences and new moons.

During the lead up to a full moon is also a good time to see if ETS-Plus might be indicated for you. Use the kinesiology method to see if Perelandra might be helpful for you This perelandra essence helps provide balance at a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. It is similar in indication to the Bach Remedy Rescue. ETS-Plus is designed to help us cope with a changing world and shifting energies as we grow and expand our consciousness.

More than anything, I guess the message from nature is to allow and let be. Maybe just knowing that the moon is entering a new phase and that there is a greater pull on us from the universe during such activity is all we really need to recognize. Rather than trying to fight the influences, or put our emotions into categories, I think it's about acknowledging that such forces influence us in ways we might not fully understand. We don't need to fight against or fear these sensations we just need to ride the wind and celebrate the moon.

Salute the moon in all her glory!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prom Dresses and Bach Flowers

It's that time of year. The flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer, we are only a few days away from officially being summer and the countdown for school summer vacation is on. For some people, that also signals the elusive hunt for the perfect prom dress. Yikes! This is not an activity for the faint of heart.

In the movies, dress shopping is a very pleasurable female bonding type experience. Giddy girls are seen flitting from shop to shop, loaded down with bags as they skip along laughing and enjoying themselves. Right... If you've been there, you might have noticed a bit of a disconnect between Hollywood and reality. Just a bit.

Maybe if you are a size 0 (what does that mean anyway!), or better yet- size 00!!! perfectly proportioned, confident in all aspects of yourself and your body, and oh yes, have a bottomless pit of money or a "no limit" credit card- this could be true. For the rest of us, shopping for a prom dress can involved a fair bit of angst.

There are some creative solutions to the problem. Cinderella solved all issues by calling on her Fairy Godmother. One twitch of that wand and poof! a dress perfectly molded to her shape, flattering from every angle, and complete with matching accessories appeared. Little Red Riding Hood cleverly deflected all attention from her dress by donning a flashy outer garment complete with hood, so hair-do wouldn't be an issue. This might work for the winter prom, but difficult to pull off during summer. Snow White didn't seem to worried about it all and employed animals when fashion changes were required. But then again, she had 7 guys all fawning over her with not a hint of competition so it really wasn't as big a concern. The Paper Bag Princess had a clever new-age approach to wardrobe, but paper bags are pretty much available in that 00 size only, and if rain is in the forecast, a wardrobe malfunction could be pretty serious.

So what's a girl to do? I recommend considering a healthy dose of Bach Flower remedies before even attempting the shopping excursion. As always you have to personalize your remedy, but here's some that come to mind.

First and foremost would be Crab Apple. It can get you past the hurtle of expecting yourself to look like the petite but curvy mannequin. Crab Apple can help balance your self esteem so that you have the courage to look in the mirror with your eyes open after you've tried on a few dresses. Crab Apple is also a must for bathing suit shopping! Eh gads! you forgot about that didn't you!!!

Chestnut Bud is also a good remedy to consider before the shopping trip if this is not the first time you have been down this road. Chestnut Bud helps you learn from past mistakes. It might help you bypass those stores with the unbelievable prices, those styles that just aren't going to be flattering and the thought that you will lose or gain, 10 pounds before the event.

Oak might be a helpful remedy for the sheer endurance required for the shopping trip. If your feet hurt at the thought of "pounding the pavement" or cruising the malls, Oak is your remedy. If can also be helpful if you have spent a lot of time helping your friends find a wonderful dress, a great date, and positive self esteem and find yourself feeling a bit "hollow in the core" as a result. It's a busy time of year and if dress shopping is just one of the things on a long long list, Oak may help you find the balance you need to continue on.

Gorse may be essential to the shopping experience. Gorse can help you find light at the end of the tunnel ( or in this case the changing room). It is for people that have lost hope and have given up. Need I say more?

If you not the one trying to find the dress, but the one paying for the dress ( think "Father of the Bride" movie), you might want to consider a few remedies yourself. Mimulus can help you balance the fear of the credit card bill. Chestnut Bud might be indicated for you if you've been through all this before. Water Violet might help you find the social skills to actually accompany one or more teenage girls to the mall in the first place.

Finally, if you find your mind traveling to the dreamy world of fairy tales, where dresses are abundant, perfect, and free- Clematis is indicated. Clematis can help you bring your dreams into the real world. There is always a dress out there somewhere!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lady Slipper Plant Signs & Chakra Balancing

I think nature gives us lots of signs all the time if we are open to listening. It occurs to me that in the way that animals can be considered as signs or totems, plants may perform the same function if we are open to it.

For some reason this year, Lady Slippers are everywhere. This seems very unusual as they are quite a protected and endangered plant in many areas of the world. In some areas, including my own, it is illegal to pick or transplant a Lady Slipper plant. Perhaps that is part of what gives the flower such mystic. We are taught to really notice and gaze at a Lady Slipper flower without getting too close or touching it!

The Lady Slipper has a long history within traditional folk lore. In Native American culture it is legend that a princess gave her shoe to an injured rabbit. As she continued on her way barefoot, her foot got sore and started to bleed from thorns and thistles. While she rested her feet, a bird asked the Great Spirit for help. When the princess awoke she was wearing a beautiful pair of lady slipper moccasins. The spots on the inside of the flower are reminders of the marks on her feet. The story is that she gave willingly and without expecting anything in return and therefore was provided for and rewarded by the universe in a miraculous way.

In flower essence therapy the Lady Slipper is said to help integrate spiritual purpose with daily work.

Like animal signs, having a Lady Slipper flower suddenly appear in your life may be an indication that you should reflect on integrating the higher chakras with the lower ones. While the world is shifting and changing so quickly and we are bombarded with so much information and change, there is a tendency to become pretty "clogged" in the 6th and 7th chakras. It is as if all the switchboard phone lines have lit up with callers while more are coming in and you can't manage any one particular message because you are too busy receiving more calls and keeping everyone on hold. Some part of you recognizes the influx of information but you can't bring the information into meaningful action or purpose because it hasn't become integrated with lower energy centers that help us perform on a day to day basis. This results in your head and body moving at different vibrational levels and the disconnect can be pretty exhausting and unsettling.

I haven't personally tried Lady Slipper essence but it readily available and sounds like a pretty good idea if this is the way you are feeling. A good chakra balancing may also be appropriate to help you integrate your energy.

This type of disconnect is also a clear indication for remedies from the Perelandra collection. These essences are designed to integrate energy from physical, emotional, mental and spiritual (PEMS)levels. In particular, the Rose essences may be helpful. "Gruss An Aachen" helps with this forward movement of the body and soul working together. "Eclipse" helps you get out of your own way so that you can allow your body to receive input from higher chakras and act on the information, and "Nymphenburg" supports, holds and facilitates fusion of body and soul. With Perelandra essences, you don't have to figure out the definitions to make a match, you just use kinesioloy to identify which ones are most suitable for you. This method can be particularly helpful when your brain is clouded with too much information in the first place!

So, if you feel yourself drawn to, or seeing Lady Slippers maybe it's time to pay attention. The fact that they are out in abundance this spring may not be a coincidence at all! I think this seemingly fragile orchid type flower has been just waiting for the right time to make it's abundance known and maybe that's true for all of us! Maybe if we could just really incorporate that energy coming in to us in a meaningful way we could truly act with the best intentions and in line with our purpose. Who knows, that type of fully connected action might bring significant reward. You can never have too many pairs of shoes!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

E.coli outbreaks and Alternative Treatment

The e.coli outbreak that has caused 22 deaths, over 600 hospitalizations, and over 2300 illnesses in Germany has now "surfaced" in Canada and reached the media today as headline news. Apparently an Ontario resident turned up with the particular strain. He had been to Germany and most likely was in contact with the contaminated food source- the source of the German outbreak has not yet been identified.

E.coli is a naturally occurring bacteria that has likely always been with us. It is found naturally in the digestive tracts of both humans and animals. It doesn't usually cause any problems. If it does, it's conventionally treated with antibiotics. It was a chapter in my "Bioterrorism and Biological Emergencies" book because, in 1982, a new strain of the bacteria appeared on the scene that was resistant to antibiotics. It was called e.coli 0157:H7. In the first detected outbreak, the bacteria was found in undercooked meat. In 1991 it was found in unpasteurized apple cider (trees had been fertilized with contaminated livestock manure) and 27 people got sick. In 1991, 500 people in Washington got sick from contaminated hamburger in a fast food chain and 4 children died. Then in 2000, we saw the biggest outbreak when it contaminated the Walkerton Ontario town water supply. In that outbreak there were 7 deaths, 2300 illnesses and 150 hospitalizations from a community of only 5000. There have been other outbreaks since then, but Walkerton was a "wake-up call" for a lot of increased legislation around water and food testing.

The symptoms of e.coli are the result of inflammation in the digestive system which result in sudden onset of stomach cramping, diarrhea, and sometimes mild fever. Most people recover within a week, but in extreme cases, the bacteria is carried from the digestive system to the blood stream and begin to affect the kidneys causing a breakdown of red blood cells. This leads to the condition (hemolytic uremic syndrome) that has been diagnosed in most, if not all, of the fatalities.

That's probably way more biology than you really need to know! The question is, how is it treated? This is one that really doesn't get a lot of conventional medicine treatment other than rehydration and support. In the extreme conditions, kidney dialysis and blood transfusions may be part of the plan.

It is not a good idea to use anti-diarrhea medications either over the counter or prescribed. This just keeps the bacteria inside the body- the diarrhea is a natural effort by your body to rid you of the offending agent. It's best to let it "run" it's course. You do however have to make sure you (especially children or compromised individuals) are staying hydrated. That means you have to drink a lot of water, clear juices etc. to replace the fluid that is being lost. Antibiotics don't work in these resistant strains and vaccinations are not appropriate because the agent isn't a virus.

The good news is that e.coli is not contagious. In order to get sick, you have to introduce the bacteria to your body. Usually that means you have to eat or drink the contaminated food source. The only other way to introduce it is to have the bacteria on your hands prior to touching your mouth or eyes (mucous membranes). This has been known to happen in the course of touching someone else's diarrhea while changing diapers, cleaning up after, and other such disgusting but necessary activities!! The key is to wash your hands thoroughly!!!

There are some alternative treatments for e.coli. And it doesn't matter if the strain is antibiotic resistant or not!

Colloidial silver may be helpful as it is an anti-bacterial agent. It could be used to clean surfaces in the area of the infected person to prevent further contamination. It can also be taken internally in either prevention or treatment approaches.

Perelandra ETS, Immune, and Digestive might be helpful to treat or prevent the symptoms from occurring.

From the homeopathic world, Arsenicum would be helpful with the cramping symptoms. China would be helpful to combat dehydration. Nux Vomica might help with the stomach symptoms. Rhus Tox. might be your globule of choice if that usually works for you when you have stomach symptoms. Belledona could help if there is a fever component. The thing with homeopathics is that you don't need to find a remedy to treat "e.coli" you find a remedy that matches with the symptoms you have. So whatever you normally use for stomach issues should provide relief. You don't need to have a diagnosis before you treat in the world of homeopathy.

It's often the simplest things that make a difference. You really need to always wash your hands before you eat!!! You need to wash them very well if you are treating someone that is sick. You need to keep your hands away from your mouth and eyes. You also should make sure food is cooked properly. Most of the outbreaks can be linked to improperly cooked food sources. The bacteria is destroyed by heat so if the food is properly cooked and the preparation surfaces aren't a factor, there isn't a problem. Sometimes that means food that "sits" too long after it is cooked before it is consumed. Lots of times when an outbreak occurs, before the testing is even confirmed, people kind of "have an idea" or a suspicion what it was they ate that wasn't right. They sort of "knew" but they ate it anyway. If food doesn't feel right- trust your intuition and don't eat it!! For this, the Bach flower essence Cerato might be helpful!!

Finally, I couldn't bring myself to post a picture of e.coli although there are millions of pictures of the bacteria taken under microscope. It just looks too creepy and crawly when blown up to that magnitude!! I chose the picture I did because e.coli outbreaks tend to be the type of cases where alternative medicine is welcomed. Conventional medicine often doesn't have the answers so it's time to return to our roots and consider other options.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Inspiration vs. Obligation

I was in a series of rather dull meetings and lectures last week when a friend of mine emailed me my horoscope. She has an uncanny way of sending these to me only when they are really pertinent. The horoscope suggested I consider whether I am taking on tasks and projects due to inspiration or obligation. It went on to suggest I only do those things that inspire me and toss out obligatory actions. Hmm...

I really started to think about how many things we do because of some sense of obligation and how often that sense is somewhat misguided. I considered how many times I had thought I was "helping" someone out of a sense of obligation when in fact they didn't want or need to be helped at all. On the other hand, the times that I have been inspired to help or offer assistance it has been met with grateful acceptance and has resulted in a win for all of us.

Certainly this works in the writing world. Books, articles and stories that someone has been inspired to write are so much better than anything someone has felt obligated to write. And you can easily tell the difference.

Maybe inspiration comes from the universe, or our higher selves, a more "pure source" whatever you believe that source to be. Obligation on the other hand seems more routed in culture and earthly rules of social order. No wonder it doesn't "fit" as well.

For instance, some men of a certain generation perhaps, go out of their way to hold the door open for a woman. They will drop everything to do this, and often the situation becomes rather awkward. They are holding this door open while the woman still isn't even there yet. They insist she goes first, race to reach the inner door before she can etc. etc. I've seen this happen with pretty frail men who struggled to maintain this social order concept while the woman would have been much more capable of opening or holding the door for the man. If however, the other persons' arms are full, they are struggling with a package, a child, a stroller, crutches or a cast, to be "inspired" to hold the door usually ensures a win for everyone. You're likely to be greeted with a smile, maybe a second of conversation, a light moment. That's inspiration versus obligation to me.

We are obligated to "color within the lines" and inspired to make our own lines.

So when I first read my email, I looked for the nearest exit. I was really only there because of obligation and wasn't feeling inspired. But I didn't quite have the nerve to just walk out. Instead I tried to change my mind set. I decided maybe I should consider the speaker as a future character for a book and I began to really look at him from a detached perspective and paid attention to mannerisms,language and "character development". I felt quite entertained, and in reality I listened more actively than I had been previously.

I continued to carry the theme of "inspiration vs obligation" through the week. It helped me "let go" of a lot of things. Instead of "working the room" during breaks, I really just talked to people that I really wanted to, or felt drawn to. Once I used a break to go browse in a book store all by myself. I found a wonderful new book. I had a number of really interesting conversations that had nothing to do with the topics of the meetings. I started listening to some of the lectures on social media from a different perspective. I stopped thinking I was going to "have" to do this and considered how such avenues might help me pursue other interests. On the weekend, I felt "inspired" to set up a twitter account. I'm actually having some fun with it.

I started to think about the Bach Flower essence Elm, and how it's indicated when you feel mentally and physically exhausted. I realize that exhaustion, at least for me, often comes when my list of obligations just seems to long and weighty. I doubt whether I'm doing anyone any good at this point. Maybe when I'm reaching for Elm, I'll also use it as a trigger to ask the question of whether my list is borne from obligation or inspiration. If it's only obligation, maybe it's time to "let go". In fact, throw out the list- you don't need a list if you're acting out of inspiration!

So I guess it is taking the nearest exit. Acting on inspiration means you listen to your true self and choose the path that feels right and light. Do what inspires you and see how much better you feel!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Alternative First Aid for Abrasions

I didn't drop into another dimension although it's been awhile since I posted on my blog. In much less dramatic an incident, I injured my hand and haven't been able to type as a result. I'm back at it again, and figured I'd share my treatment regime for the injury.

First of all, from a prevention point of view- this injury could have been avoided. I was leading a horse when she spooked and jumped. Instead of letting go I tried to hold on to the rope- even while it shredded the skin on my hand. I guess I often am presented with evidence to suggest I should "let go" of the misguided effort to control. This time the evidence was a pretty impressive abrasion/friction burn to my hand.

Abrasion, like "road rash" hurts like heck because nerve endings are exposed. Abrasions and burns are also prone to infection because of the easy route for bacteria to a suddenly unprotected area. Today's picture isn't my hand injury but it's pretty reflective of what an abrasion injury can look like.

Here's my alternative treatment protocol which seems to have worked very well for me and the injury is healing in record time.

1. Perelandra ETS or Rescue Remedy ( I used ETS). Did I mention this type of injury hurts like heck!!! That type of pain/shock/surprise and insult is what both ETS and Rescue Remedy are designed for. Once you can get past that initial reaction you can start to figure out what to do to treat yourself.

2. Colloidal silver. I submerged my entire hand in a bowl of colloidal silver. The silver will clean the wound. It also felt really good as long as I kept it submerged. Exposed to the air it stung like crazy, in the silver it felt very soothed. Once it had soaked for a bit, the pieces of rope fiber came off and the whole thing looked a lot better. I am still soaking it in colloidal silver once a day and will continue for a week or so.

3. Arnica. I took Arnica 30CH (8 globules) about every 5 minutes for the first hour. I continued taking this dose once every hour for 4 hours and then 4 times a day for 1 day. I would have taken 200CH if I had them on hand- I didn't. I thought I would wake up the first morning to a totally swollen hand. I had no swelling at all and I attribute this to the arnica as I've seen it work like that before.

4. Hypericum. I would have taken Hypericum in the same dosage as the Arnica if I had some in the house and I know it would have done wonders for the pain!! This is exactly the type of injury hypericum is perfect for. Are you sensing a theme here- my personal first aid kit was not well stocked! I took Magnesium phosphate instead for the pain. It's a good runner up but not my first choice for this type of injury.

5.Hypericum salve. Because I didn't have the globules and because I did have hypericum cream, once I had finished soaking the injury I applied this cream. It really soothed the pain. This salve is thick and sticky and feels and smells like tree sap. It's also kind of yellowish once applied so it makes things look bad. It's good for increasing the sympathy factor! The first day of the injury I re-applied the cream and then covered with bandaging to keep the area clean.

6. Calendula cream. After the first day, my hand wasn't hurting much anymore but was still really open to infection. I kept soaking in colloidal silver at night and in the morning I applied calendula cream and covered with bandaging to prevent infection.

7. Perelandra: Tomato; Zucchini; Soul Ray # 2. Once I had my wits about me a bit, I used kinesiology to figure out which perelandra essence might be helpful. For more information on Kinesiology go to this earlier post
These were the ones that were indicated. I took one drop of each. The tomato is probably pretty universal as it's indicated for cleansing and helps you to resist disease, or in this case infection. Zucchini is indicated to help restore physical strength during convalescence so makes sense as well. Soul Ray # 2 is indicated for balancing the sensory system and supports the full expanded system as it functions as a unit.

So four days later I'm really amazed at the power of the body to heal. By the way, about three seconds after her initial "jump and bolt reaction", the horse was, and remains, perfectly fine!!!