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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bach Flowers for Crisis Events

I thought after yesterday's experiences, perhaps it would be a good idea to devote a blog posting to the value of Rescue Remedy. It is  the Bach Flower combination Dr. Bach developed for use in crisis situations.

There are 38 individual essences in the Bach Flower collection.  Each one of these essences is designed to help balance a particular emotion. There are subtle differences between the essences and it can take some good detective work, knowledge of the essences and self awareness,  or a professional consultation, to really identify which of the 38 would be most suited for an individuals particular situation. You can experiment with the essences.  They are meant as a self-help approach and it won't hurt you to take the "wrong" essence, you just might not get the full balancing effect you will if the essences are appropriately selected.

A typical remedy bottle includes 4 to 6 different essences, providing a unique combination of healing help. This type of "chronic" remedy is usually taken as 4 drops, 4 times per day for the maximum effect. Some people experience immediate relief when taking their remedy, for others it's a more subtle benefit.  After a few weeks with the same remedy, people typically experience a layering effect.  One layer of "issues" or emotions is shed or balanced, and they are ready to move on with a different remedy combination.  These remedies are designed to bring long term stability and balance.  Often they help with long standing emotions,  personality traits, or patterns of behavior that have developed over time.

But Dr. Bach didn't stop there. Perhaps it was his background as a physician, or maybe it was the experience of having a sailor pretty much "wash up on the shore in front of him", that encouraged him to develop a remedy that could be used by everyone for emergency situations.

When you suddenly find yourself in a trauma or emergency situation, one of the first parts of your mind that suffers is cognitive thought.  So it's pretty hard once the air bags have deployed in your face, to take a step back and think about what Bach Flower essence might help you with that. It's also pretty impractical to carry around the 38 different essences "just in case".  That's why a bottle of Rescue Remedy can be a valuable addition to your first aid kit, glove compartment, purse or back pack.

In emergency medicine, particularly in the pre-hospital arena, the first "trick" when providing aid is to calm the patient so they can think and respond to questions about what happened and how they are feeling physically. When you aren't calm you don't even know what or where it hurts. That's when a few drops or a spray of Rescue Remedy can really make a difference.  In my opinion, every emergency room and all emergency services personnel should carry Rescue Remedy as the immediate response. Teacher's should have a bottle on their desk and playground supervisors should have one in their pocket. If Rescue Remedy was given as the first action, right up there with immobilizing someones head and spine and telling a patient to take a deep breathe, our bodies and our brains would be better able to begin the healing process.

Rescue Remedy contains 5 of the 38 flower essences; Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis.

If you've ever been in an emergency, or witnessed an emergency, you probably remember you weren't feeling all that patient with yourself, others, and the world in general.  You might have sped into some pretty "non-purposeful movement" just to be "doing something".  If you've ever listened to someone try to explain what happened at a crisis event you know what I mean.  The words and actions just come tumbling out in a fast rush without really making a lot of sense.  People run all over the place in scattered ways to try and help. It feels like emergency personnel took hours to get to you instead of minutes. Nothing seems to happen fast enough for you.  That's why Impatiens is in included in the remedy.  Impatiens helps you calm done, slow down, and allow your brain and body to start working together to process things calmly and efficiently.

Star of Bethlehem is also included in Rescue Remedy.  It's the essence for the after effects of shock.  If you could get a few drops of Star of Bethlehem in you and the patient immediately after an event has occurred, you can help neutralize the emotional effects of the trauma and already be on the way to recuperating instead of continuing down a spiral of shock, pain, disbelief, and grief.  This essence might help prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from showing up years after an event has occurred.

Cherry Plum is included in Rescue Remedy. It is the essence indicated when you fear losing control of your behavior or on the verge of a breakdown. Some people in crisis events react violently. Some people react hysterically. Most people feel on the verge of one or both of those reactions, if only for a fleeting moment. The more crisis you experience and the more "trained" you are, or the better able you are to detach yourself from others, the more controlled you are likely to appear, but for even those seasoned veterans, or victims who have been there multiple times, there is still that moment of fear. That's why Cherry Plum is in there. It helps you calm your racing mind so you can both think and act rationally.

Some people freeze up during crisis events. For some it's more obvious than others, but most people have at least that second when they feel absolute terror. This is often accompanied by a sense of helplessness.  If you've ever seen trauma in action you know what I mean.  You can see the child as they teeter off balance, you know they are going to fall, and time slows as you realize there is no way you can cover the ground required to do anything about what you are seeing. The moment before you hit the tree, there is a similar feeling- total helplessness to prevent this event. That's the emotion that Rock Rose helps with. It provides courage and peace of mind so you can "get your wits about you", move your legs and be calm in the face of the fall-out. 

Clematis is also included in Rescue Remedy.  Clematis helps people in shock remain grounded in the here and now and addresses that sensation of fading consciousness. It is said   Dr. Bach found a sailor on the beach fading out of consciousness, and Clematis is attributed with helping him focus on the here and now and maintain his presence so his body could react in ways to help him heal and recover. Our minds are kind of tricky things it would seem.  Sometimes during emergencies we want to just "slip away", "pretend it's not really happening", go off to dreamland, succumb to another dimension.  Clematis helps you maintain your interest in the world around you so you can focus on what you need to do to improve your situation and initiate your healing.

That's why the 5 essences where chosen for Rescue Remedy. You don't need to remember that. You don't need to think about that, analyze that, or argue that.  All you need to do is have a bottle of Rescue Remedy handy and try it the next time you find yourself in an emergency situation.  You don't even have to consider whether or not your situation qualifies as an "emergency".  We are all individual in that manner.  If this seems like a bad, difficult or uncomfortable situation for you and you could use some emotional help- take Rescue Remedy and see what happens.  If you can't figure out what is wrong with your child or your pet, give a couple of drops or sprays of Rescue Remedy and then see how they respond.  You might need to follow up with more tailored essences, but once the layer of trauma, panic, and shock is balanced you can get to the underlying issue.

There are so many examples of  Rescue Remedy's amazing properties. I have seen it work in dramatic and wonderful ways.  But there's nothing like personal experience to become a believer. You can find Rescue Remedy in both spray and liquid preparations in most drug stores, health food stores, and even some grocery stores.  It's the most common form of Bach Flower essences out there.  Pick one up, keep it within reach and see what it might do for you.

Enjoy the journey.

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