Bach Therapy is a whole, complete, clear and simple therapeutic system that applies to our emotions and mind-set. We aim to focus on those of our feelings and mental concepts that are currently the most exacerbated, causing the greatest trouble and pain. We strive for transforming them and coming back to our internal balance. Bach therapy does not target the symptoms of our physical body. They might improve, we might experience alleviation, however this solely a beneficial ‘side effect’ of the therapy of our emotions and mind.
Bach therapy uses the so called remedies - 38 in number - discovered by Dr. Edward Bach: 37 water-based extracts from plant blossoms and 1 remedy of pure spring water from healing springs, exposed to the elements of sun and wind.
Before you launch yourself impetuously on your personal journey, you need to know something very important – Bach therapy will not prevent your ups and downs, neither will it change your deeply hated job by a magic wand and it certainly will not exchange your irritating spouse for something or somebody better. However, it will perform a different magic. Despite all your woes and sorrows, Bach therapy will be the tender and caring hand that will wipe the tears off your face and the blood off your galled knees and will gently and delicately bring the smile back to your lips. You have to know, though, that this magic will not happen without you playing your part. Your personal active participation is needed. In return, you will be guided along your individual path of well-being! Only yours, no-one else’s. You will feel the indispensable confidence that comes from knowing that you ALONE are part of the ‘reasons’ for your welfare. On this path you will be supported by nature itself - the creator of this unique system, Dr. Edward Bach, called the plants he used ‘the happy fellows of the plant world’.
About Dr. Bach, his extraordinary work and the Bach Centre
Dr. Bach (bætʃ - Dr. Bach’s name is pronounced bætʃ according to the local dialect of his hometown Moseley) was a British medical doctor, highly respected by his colleagues, a surgeon and specialist in bacteriology, immunology and pathology at University College Hospital in London, who had a very successful private practice. Dr. Bach was born in 1886 in Moseley, close to Birmingham, and died in his modest home at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in 1936. There he had chosen to dedicate himself to helping those in suffering, there he finalised his therapeutic system. His house is currently the home of the original and authentic Bach Centre and the later established “Dr. Edward Bach Foundation”, which keeps the International Register of Certified Practitioner. His study, where he received patients, has been kept and is now available for visits and for the trainees at the Centre. The garden, where all the remedies can be found except for the Vine and the Olive, is kept by a gardener. A modest education centre was created, dedicated to training practitioners as well as individual students who want to use Bach therapy for themselves or their close family and friends.
Besides being a medical doctor, specialising in classical allopathic medicine, Dr. Bach was a man of holistic concept and approach, who realised the higher purpose of the soul, as well as his own vocation – the discovery, development and perfection of his philosophy- and therapeutic system. A system so simple, clear and safe, that everybody could take advantage of it independently and at any time. He was convinced that all our sufferings, including the ailments of the physical body, are the result of the discord between our souls and our personality. He laid down his concept concisely and plainly in two small books – “Heal Thyself” and “The 12 Healers”. This fact demonstrates one of the extraordinary qualities of his work – its simplicity. For us modern people, however, this simplicity seems to be quite hard to comprehend. It seems as if we need to complicate matters in order to understand, to apprehend them. We constantly look for additional explanation, clarification, detail. Unfortunately Dr. Bach himself burned all his notes in his desire to prevent any variations and interpretation - all his work, everything he developed and diligently described during the years, all his way to the final, complete, perfect system. This is at least the information given by the Centre. This decision deprived us of opportunity to see and understand the difficult route by which perfection is achieved. It has deprived us of answers to questions we ask ourselves on our own paths as users or therapists. Still, on the other hand this decision has opened the door for each of us to our own personal discoveries, giving us the opportunity to make our own way, to ‘follow our own breath’.
Regardless of our attitude to his decision, however, now we can rely only on these two books, which can be found on the official web-page of the Centre (www.bachcentre.com). ‘Heal Thyself’ has been translated into many languages.
In the process of his work Dr. Bach started from well-known principles in homeopathy. Being a close friend of Samuel Hahnemann, the father of contemporary homeopathy, he had similar ideas and shared initial developments and collaborations with him. The results of these were too unsatisfactory, however, as there was no simplicity and clarity, nor was there a system that was whole, complete, and easy to apply. Most of all, those developments and strategies were not really safe! Homeopathy uses a large variety of compounds, many of them toxic. It is true that different large-scale dilutions are applied, which in turn makes the system hard to master and apply. Hence, Dr. Bach left behind his initial concepts, highly influenced by Hahnemann, as well as his private practice in London and embarked on his own journey. His method attained its final perfection by striving for the creation of a system that is simple and completely safe and that can be applied by everybody at any time. Thanks to his deep devotion to the cause of helping his fellow man and to his higher aim to accomplish the purpose of his life, he was able to achieve a temporary deferment of death in his own arduous fight against cancer and finalised the elaboration of his unique therapeutic system. Soon after he declared it whole and complete and published ‘Heal thyself’ he passed away in 1936.
About the history of creation and dissemination
Dr. Bach left his deed in the hands of his friends and coworkers Nora Weeks and Victor Bullen. They worked dedicatedly on the preservation, elaboration and dissemination of his work and in turn chose a successor to continue – John Ramsell. Via Ramsell and a young female homeopath, Dr. Bach’s work found its way to German-speaking Europe, where it is now well known and widely accessible, which was one of the main goals of its creator. The young lady, Mechthild Scheffer, is a significant person in Bach therapy, about whom John Ramsell said: ‘She has her own mission!’. Unfortunately her numerous books on the remedies and methods of approach to this therapy are not part of the Bach Centre’s recommended literature. The probable reason for this is that she introduced a quite complex interpretation, responding to the traditional inclinations of her native audience, who are accustomed to very elaborate definitions and large-scale and detailed discussions on each aspect. This does not fit with the concept of simplicity in Dr. Bach’s work and is in contradiction to his wish to avoid interpretation. Becoming familiar with different works and interpretations however does not demean the value of the original system. On the contrary, it gives additional grounds for our deep respect for this perfect simplicity, so hard for us to achieve, so elusive and for which we really strive. It is one of the most important and distinctive characteristics of the work, philosophy and personal practice of Dr. Bach.
About the Therapists/Practitioners
In the terms and language of the Bach Centre the therapists are called ‘practitioners’, or ‘registered practitioners’, since besides their training at the Bach Centre, they undergo a process of evaluation of their work as therapists. Those who qualify are included in an integrated register. They have acquired knowledge and skills that are internationally recognized and dedicate their work to the high principles of Dr. Bach, observing a code of morality and ethics. This way the Bach Centre aims to ensure clients will not chance on an inappropriate therapist.
An essential part of a therapist’s vocation is to educate, to support a real and deep understanding of the therapy essence in their clients. We say ‘client’ as we aim to distinguish from the ‘patient’ in standard allopathic medicine, who has no understanding of the medical system he subjects himself to, nor has he a chance to gain such knowledge. Patients have no voice in the matter of determining their own condition, diagnosis or treatment. In our modern-day society we are ‘trained’ to completely hand-over our health to others, whom we nominate as ‘qualified’, and we are not ready to take personal responsibility. We’ve lost our ability to look closer into ourselves, to listen to ourselves and our faith that we are able to see and hear what we need to help ourselves. In Dr. Bach’s therapy the therapist and the client have a completely different role. The therapist is not an untouchable eminence, speaking incomprehensible words and lacking acceptance of external opinion, let alone objection. If you come across one such, run! The therapist is the helper, who supports the client on his own way to personal awareness, truth and welfare. This gives freedom, as well as true and significant responsibility to the client. Sometimes it is a heavy load, sometimes a great power!
About the 38 remedies and the deep philosophy conceptDr. Bach selected plants different from the healing plants of phytotherapy. The latter treat the physical body and Dr. Bach was searching for examples that work at a much higher level: plants able to connect with us and heal our emotional and mental bodies. These plants he described as being of ‘higher order’ and called ‘our fellow friends from the plant world’. He gradually discovered 37 of them. For the preparation of his remedies he used (as Nelsons and some others still do) only wild plants from areas with high energy vibrations.
For Dr. Bach each of these remedies represents a certain ‘psychoprofile’, if we might use a term from modern-day psychology. They relate to character traits, emotions and behavioural models and have a particular vibration. The way the remedies ‘work’ is very similar to the homeopathic principle ‘Let like cure like’. It is however very important to understand that each of these remedies does not only represent a negative picture of emotional and mental states. They contain not only the extreme negative but the positive counterpoint as well, and of course all the possible nuances between them. When we experience a negative emotion and we take the proper Remedy, we receive support on our way to transformation of this emotion towards its positive aspect.
The reason for Dr. Bach’s concentration on negative emotions and mind-sets was his deep belief that they act to divert us away and disconnect us from our higher self, our soul and its purpose. When we are in harmony and unity with this higher self, we find ourselves in a state of genuine joy and happiness. On the contrary – neglect of the higher purpose of our soul and of basic virtues leads to manifestation of lower traits, distress and illness. This is related to the metaphysical idea of unity, unity of the whole of creation. As the personality, the ego, rises against the goals and principles of the soul, it actually rises against the whole, the unity as well. This means the personality works against itself, but on a higher level. This philosophy shows Dr. Bach to us as a person integrating basic human virtues, grounded in different religions: the humanity, love and acceptance of Christianity and the Buddhist concepts of interdependence and energy. Being far removed from clerical dogma and the Buddhist ideal of Nirvana, he possessed deep understanding and acceptance of the human aspect together with a determination for persistent and self-sacrificing work to help his fellow men. In his work and views there is no bigotry, no militant implacability towards the negative traits, but on the contrary – he is full of understanding, patience and love, working to support the development of their positive counterparts. This is the way to a life in accordance with our higher purpose, life of virtues, life that is a source of genuine joy, happiness and hence of health!
About preparation and intake
In addition to all the plants being non-toxic (we use wild rose, olive, vine as well as many other plants that most people would describe simply as weeds) the methods for preparation of the extracts are extremely simple and natural, based on the elements sun, water and air. Dr. Bach used predominantly the so-called ‘sunshine method’ – fully bloomed blossoms, collected early on a sunny morning, are floated on the surface of pure spring water in a thin glass bowl and left for 3-4 hours. The sky has to be completely clear of clouds. The essence is then transferred into a glass bottle and the same amount of pure brandy is added. This gives the so called ‘mother tincture’. In further dilution 1 part mother tincture is added to 240 parts pure brandy, which gives the stock solution, further used for preparation of the individual blends. Another method of preparation used by Dr. Bach is the boiling method, used predominantly with the blossoms of trees and bushes, where the blossoms are boiled for maximum of 30 minutes and the derived essence is filtered several times before the brandy is added. These methods are observed and applied as strictly nowadays as they were by Dr. Bach. The remedies are produced by several pharmacies in Great Britain. One of the most famous is Nelsons. In the course of his work Dr. Bach developed a deep relationship with them and entrusted to them the production of his remedies. ‘Mother tinctures’ are still prepared at the Centre though!
Regarding the blending and intake – it is as simple as everything else in this perfect system. There are 2 options – in a dropper bottle for long-term use or in a glass of water for immediate use.
If you select the first option you are treating long-term issues that might even have become chronic. If, for example, you have the general tendency to care for others to the extent of neglecting yourself, this is unlikely to improve in only a few days. Taken properly, 4 drops 4 times a day (like a 4x4 vehicle), the personal blend in a 30 ml dropper bottle will be enough for 3 to 4 weeks. The blends are prepared by adding 2 drops of the stock to 25 ml pure water and 5 ml brandy. The only exception here is the rescue, where 4 drops of stock are used for the preparation.
The second option you need for temporary, short-term conditions. For example, if you suddenly experience anger due to some kind of incident, then you can easily put 2 drops of Holly in a glass of water and you will feel relief very soon, your anger will ‘melt like snow under the sun’, as per Dr. Bach.
About the conduct and process of the therapy
How are the proper remedies selected for each individual blend, for each individual client? What should we expect during the course of the therapy? Who can apply this therapy in general?
Dr. Bach considered the interview with the client, the conversation, to be the only proper method for selecting and ‘prescribing’ remedies. The client is encouraged to share details of the emotions and mental conditions that are the most aggravated at the moment, causing the most trouble and torment. Most of the remedies can correspond to deep character traits as well as passing conditions. In addition they can be manifested in different aspects and at a different scale. All of this shows that for an accurate and successful prescription for ourselves and for others we need most of all openness and acceptance. Judgement and covertness will no way lead us to good results.
As human beings we move on through different stages and conditions in our life and many of us will discover that we correspond to not only one or two flowers, but often many more. We have to accept with ease and peace that we can find ourselves in many diverse situations and experience a variety of emotions and mind-sets. If we accept challenges, we will be able to overcome them since we will keep our mind cool and clear and our heart will beat with passion. We will be genuine ourselves and we will live a genuine life!
It is remarkable that having such a highly developed intuition and understanding of the vibrational qualities of his remedies, Dr. Bach did not accept prescription based on radiesthesia. Why? The answer lies in human nature, in the amount of energy we have and use. What is meant here? According to Dr. Bach the personality, with all its emotions and mind-sets, is symbolically represented by an onion; the onion with all its layers and skins. Dr. Bach was focused in treating the outer layer, meaning the emotions, mind-sets, attitudes visible to us on the surface, those that are clearly manifested and most aggravated. They can not only be easily defined, but easily influenced as well. As soon as we are able to manage them we have enough energy to reach a deeper layer, simply because it now appears closer to the surface. What was previously deeply hidden becomes visible, rises to the surface. Because of this layered structure and sequence of observations, it might sometimes appear to us that the remedies have side effects. In fact, they have just accomplished their work and are giving way to layers previously hidden not only from the eyes of the people around us, but from our own eyes and from our consciousness. Dr. Bach explains that the remedies are so safe, that even an inappropriately chosen Remedy cannot bring any harm. They do not have the ability to trigger the appearance of negative states non-existent within us, they only help us reach deeper down into ourselves.
Regarding the question who might use this therapy, well - EVERYBODY! You can read more on this in the section “Why Bach Therapy? Is Bach Therapy for me?”. Starting with newborn babies, pregnant women and nursing mothers to old men well advanced in years, healthy people and those with numerous diseases, including cancer patients! EVERYBODY! The reason for this is that the remedies are COMPLETELY SAFE! At first, they are obtained from harmless plants, some even edible. In addition, the means of preparation is so natural, delicate and fine, that only the ‘higher essence’ of the plant is extracted. The remedies are so safe that they can be combined with any other therapy, any dietary regimen, for everybody. They are even used to treat animals and plants. Using this therapy everybody can obtain help, support and relief without the slightest concern and apprehension.
Take the first steps! Transform your life to joy and satisfaction!