Pools, leaves, and clearing emotions

"The remedies to be described are beneficent in action, and cause no aggravation nor reaction for their effect is to uplift."

Rock Water Dr Edward Bach wrote those words in 1930, and our experience is that he was right.

Bach remedies are gentle and positive. They can't put us into a negative emotional state. Still less can a remedy cause a rash or a headache: a chemical analysis of a personal mix in a bottle would show nothing but brandy and water.

But it's also true that taking remedies sometimes brings up other stuff. Cleansing emotions can be like raking last year's leaves out of a pond. The water will be clearer in the end, but it starts off looking dirtier.

This is why some of us feel subjectively worse when we start taking a mix. We are becoming more aware of feelings that were already there.

It also explains why others of us occasionally report apparent physical reactions - a brief headache, a minor skin irritation - or experience more vivid dreams. The remedies are cleansing negative emotions, and the effects of that cleansing is sometimes felt on other levels.

Practitioners have different approaches to this kind of situation. Some will suggest taking less than the usual four drops from a mixing bottle, aiming for a slower effect.

Others stick to four drops but suggest fewer than the usual daily minimum of four doses.

Others leave the mix and the amount as they were, but suggest using Dr Bach's emergency combination as well, on the basis that clients might need (to stretch the metaphor!) a lifebelt to keep their heads clear of the muddy water.

But there's another approach that many find more helpful.

Dealing with negative feelings is what the remedies do. Why not adjust the remedies in the mix if needed, to deal with any new emotions, and then take the usual amount even more often than before?

More frequent doses are known to be a good way to deal with pressing problems. This would normally be our recommended way to get through the nearest thing there is in the Bach system to a healing crisis.

"I want to make it as simple as this: I am hungry, I will go and pull a lettuce from the garden for my tea; I am frightened and ill, I will take a dose of Mimulus."