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Flower Power: how flower therapy can help improve your mood

For most of us, flower power is a term associated with the 1960s peaceful counterculture movement in America coined by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.  But while Ginsberg instigated the social healing powers of shrubbery, he probably wasn’t quite as aware that the power of the flower has a rather more literal healing effect on the mind, body and soul.

Sue Davis is a naturopath at Lifehouse Spa & Hotel and an expert in flower remedies. The popular turn of phrase takes on a whole new meaning.

“Flower therapy goes back many years to Paracelsus. He was a 16th century Swiss physician who used the power of nature to heal people. He thought that using the distilled dew from flowers would have healing properties. And he was right!”

How flower remedies are made

To obtain the energy from a plant, and thus its essence, practitioners pick fresh blooms and place them in a crystal bowl. They allow the sun (or the moon, or sometime both) to beat down on it. When the flowers wither, the extracted essence is combined with alcohol to preserve it.

The practice has a thriving history amongst Australian aborigines. That’s where many flower remedies are made today. However, most of us will have come across them in the form of Bach’s Rescue Remedy - a favourite amongst stressed students.

What flower therapy does

“It is quite spiritual,” says Davis, “but it works on the physical as well. It’s very good for headaches and depression, and is restorative.”

Flower remedies work on a similar level to aromatherapy. Therapists believe you are drawn towards the essences you are lacking in. Davis also points out that research has been done in Australia testing energy fields around people before and after flower therapy. They show significant changes.

The therapy is designed to reinstate balance in the body. Practitioners believe that our energy fields change before we see physical signs of illness. They believe the ailments themselves are the final materialisation of an ongoing imbalance. Flower remedies address that at an earlier stage. It is why they can be used for a particular problem, or simply to help individuals to feel better.

Who flower therapy is for

Asked who flower therapy is for, Davis emphatically employs that ambiguous answer: “Anyone!” But she is entirely right to do so. Where many treatments are off the cards for anyone who has been ill with cancer, had recent surgery, or in the early stages of pregnancy, bespoke flower remedies are entirely safe for everyone. They can also be combined with other holistic treatments such as Reiki.

The spiritual aspect begs the question as to whether you need to believe the remedies will work in order to see a result. On this point, Davis is pragmatic. “Of course it works best if you are open minded about it. But because it works on a physical level it does work for everyone.”

Davis herself is a wonderful spokesperson for flower remedies. A former member of London’s corporate scene, she retrained as a naturopath in Australia. Backed up with a Bachelor of Health Science and her warm, sunny outlook, her enthusiasm is infectious. She is fully aware that in a modern world of fast paced living, people want to see results to practical problems. Using it in her own life, she points out the diversity of the remedies and their effects.

“I always used to go for the same kind of man, but with a different name. There was a pattern, weirdly they were always born in the same month, and of course the relationships kept failing. I found the right remedy and now I have moved from June to August!” (Sue later married her ‘new month’).

Emotional, physical and spiritual healing. Ginsberg was onto so much more than he realised.

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