Practitioner Bulletin no. 15, Autumn 1997

A request from Japan

Hermia Brockway, currently our only practitioner in Japan, is doing a great deal of educational work including running an information centre and issuing a newsletter. She has been giving talks to various groups, usually of mixed audiences, but more recently has been asked to talk to the Holistic Medical Association, where she will be addressing doctors and other medical/health professionals.

Hermia is keen to provide information that her audience will find useful in a professional capacity. With this in mind she would be very pleased to hear from nurses, doctors and professional complementary therapists about their practical experience of using the Bach remedies along with their own particular speciality. She would particularly like to hear from aromatherapists, as Japanese aromatherapists are becoming very interested in the remedies.

Hermia writes: “unless the sceptics can be told just how it works in practice, they tend to remain sceptical, and in Japan you always get asked for the precise details. I do not have much material as I personally know only one doctor, one nurse and one counsellor/aromatherapist – and even they would like to know what others do.”

If you feel you can contribute or help in any way, please write to: Hermia Brockway, Bach Flower Tomo no Kai, 1-9-22 Saginuma, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Japan 216; fax (81) 44 852 6931.

Refresher days

We announced in the last issue of the Bulletin the launch of our series of refresher days. There are still a few places available on these, and in case you have forgotten the events and dates are:

  • Case study workshop, Dominique le Bourgeois, 3rd September 1997
  • Children, Judy Howard, 24th September 1997
  • Counselling skills, Lynn Macwhinnie, 30th October 1997

The cost is only £35 per day – see the response form at the back of the Bulletin for how to book.

Flying with the Bach Flower Remedies

by Patricia Campbell

I have worked as Airline Cabin Crew on long-haul flights for 13½ years now, the past two years on a 50% job-share basis. The rest of the time I run a natural therapy practice including holistic massage, reflexology with colour and Dr. Bach’s system.

With a background in nursing I am used to hearing about colleagues’ ailments on the aircraft and down route (any destination away from London Heathrow). More often these days people are interested in my complementary and natural health knowledge especially the work of the remedies. You will often find me on an aircraft jump seat, in a restaurant or by a pool with my consultation pad!

Here are some notes from a five-minute talk that I gave at a recent Bach Foundation Teachers Programme course. I thought it may be of interest to other practitioners and not only help you deal with clients who work as crew but with anyone who travels for a living. They might help you see the remedies from “a flying point of view”:

Remedy description

  • Walnut: Constant changes, surroundings and pace of life. Different cities, accommodation, cultures and working atmospheres. Also providing protection from outside influences such as those from other people i.e. colleagues and passengers – especially when flights get delayed! Also the increased levels of radiation aircraft are flying through and exposed to these days.
  • Crab Apple: For its amazing cleansing properties on the mental and hence physical level. Encourages self-worth in an industry where being in the public eye can put extreme pressure on those who already have doubts about their physical appearance. And just to let you into a little secret, always ask a crew member or regular traveller about their bowel habits – 9 times out of 10 crew experience constipation or urinary problems due to the effects of dehydration on the body.
  • Scleranthus: If I gave you an example of any itinerary for a 36 day period, I would not have to justify this remedy any further. This back and forth pattern can go on without a substantial break apart from leave periods 3 or 4 times a year, maybe 8-12 days at a time including the days off accrued from the last trip, and even then a lot of people tend to travel abroad! Can you imagine what their body clocks are saying?
  • Olive: Leads on quite naturally from Scleranthus. This lifestyle can encourage “burning the candle at both ends”, never really catching up with sleep, not being able to sleep when you try. Cramming your home-life into the few short days off, and when on board the aircraft doing quite a physically demanding job. Crews are often off sick with chronic fatigue. I find this remedy invaluable.
  • Elm: With the increasing number of working mothers like myself, organising the family and making sure everyone is catered for, finding good childcare options, sometimes having to change this arrangement in their few days off. By the time we get to work you could say that the “change is as good as a rest” but then taking on the responsibility of passengers safety and comfort for 7-16 hours at a time, and like myself, being in a supervisory role, even my Vervain character can be pushed to the limit!
  • Honeysuckle: Of course even after years of flying this remedy is very helpful. Situations change and often due to the working pattern one’s mind can be back home just simply wanting to be there with family or missing important social events. This remedy helps one to be in the present moment, leaving the past behind, knowing life’s limitation, not picking the phone up everyday while you’re away, (not to mention the cost of international calls). Making the most of life as it is now.
  • Wild Oat: People who fly as cabin crew come from interesting and varied backgrounds with a multitude of talents and, like myself, have other serious interests. Many apply to fly with the intention of enjoying it for 2-5 years – Gosh! The times I’ve heard this. Then lo and behold they are still walking around the world 10-20 years later, finding it hard to give up the job but not quite sure what to follow on with. This remedy gives enormous support and as Dr. Bach says, helps one find one’s intended path in life – to find true direction.
  • The liquid crisis formula: The Rescue Remedy brand is well known amongst crews. Often being used on the journey home after a trip, and generally coping with the life style. I hope that one day soon we will sell this remedy, if not the whole range, in the crew shop where we check in for work.
  • Crisis cream: The many times I have given away tubes of this wonder salve for sunburn, eczema and all those nondescript rashes that appear on those who travel a lot. This should be in every traveller’s wash-bag.
  • Atomisers: Another wonderful way to use the remedies when travelling is in a water spray (obtainable from Boots etc.) filled with spring water, a drop of essential oil such as lavender if you wish, and the Bach remedies of your choice. A good general combination for in-flight is Walnut, Olive, Crab Apple and Rescue Remedy. The atmosphere in the aircraft can be quite dehydrating for the skin and nasal passages, so I always have mine in my pocket.

As in any other profession or area of life you will find a variety of the personality types, and just as Dr. Bach observed, we can experience the same situations but react in totally different ways. This applies very much in the flying community and even though you may regularly meet a certain type who is attracted to this field of work, e.g. Vervain, all the type and mood remedies must be considered.

I have found using the remedies in this area of my life an enjoyable challenge and hope that this article will enlighten and encourage you too.


We’ve been asked by Jennifer Miles in London to include some pictures of the remedies actually being made. So to begin with here are a couple of boiling method remedies at the start of the preparation process. The first photo shows John collecting Wild Rose…

…and the second shows John and Judy gathering Honeysuckle from Dr Bach’s hedge.

We’ll try to include more photos like these in the coming months. And if you have any other ‘special requests’ for photos or anything else, please let us know!

Using the remedies in a medical centre

by Charles Callis

I had been employed as a counsellor for four hours a week in a GP surgery in Northampton for a year when I decided I had got my feet sufficiently under the table to broach the subject of my using the remedies for my patients. I said I wanted to do a study on the subject. The response was that they were quite happy for me to go ahead so long as I did so off the premises. They were unwilling to take clinical responsibility for it, as they would have had to do if I had prescribed or given remedies in the centre. They were not familiar with the remedies, were aware of some litigation in the States following the use of herbal remedies, and I had not had the opportunity to explain in detail directly.

Rather than argue the case further at that point, I took the opportunity and conducted a nine month study offering use of the remedies to my clients at the centre, but off the premises. This was done free of charge and involved home visits at five weekly intervals to monitor progress and make up new mixtures. I offered the scheme to 24 out of the 30 patients I saw during the nine months. 19 accepted, but 5 dropped out at an early stage leaving 14 who completed at least ten weeks on the remedies. At the end I sent out a questionnaire and received 12 responses, as follows:

How did you find taking the remedies?

  • Easy: 11; OK: 1; Difficult: 0

Were you aware of any adverse or side effects from taking the remedies?

  • Yes: 0; Not sure: 1; No: 11

Do you feel you benefited from taking the remedies?

  • Don’t know: 1; Not at all: 0; Slightly: 2; Significantly: 3; Very much: 6

Would you use the Bach Flower Remedies again?

  • Yes: 11; Not sure: 1; No: 0

Do you think prescribing of Bach Flower Remedies should be available at the surgery?

  • Yes: 12; Not sure: 0; No: 0

Armed with this information, which I wrote up as a formal study, I proposed that the doctors allow me to do further study using the remedies alongside counselling, this time prescribing on the premises and this they have agreed to. It is now therefore part of my normal work there. In order to avoid problems arising from making up remedies or charging payment on the premises, I arranged with the local pharmacist that he would make up the remedy mixtures according to the prescriptions and charge the customer himself. This makes everything simple both for me and for the client, which is as it should be.

I was struck by the response of ordinary people to the remedies. Not only were the great majority very willing to try them, but they were very definite in their conclusions that the remedies were helping them, even while continuing difficulties delayed or prevented their recovery. I am delighted to be able to incorporate them in my normal work.

Consultation charges

In the last Bulletin we invited you to let us know, in confidence, how much you charged for consultations so that we might have a more realistic idea of what current fees actually are. You will be encouraged to know that there is very little variation in what you charge, the average fee falling between £15 and £20, inclusive of treatment bottle.

Most of you made provision for the elderly, unemployed etc., which can be done by either formally making it known that you offer this concession, or informally by using your own discretion when you see the client concerned.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this survey – we feel reassured that we were not as far off track as we thought we might have been, and we can now guide new practitioners more accurately.

Indian retreat

Karen Rosen, a practitioner in Hove, East Sussex, is about to depart on a once in a lifetime adventure to South India. She is going to run a Retreat offering holidays and workshops, in Kovalam, Kerala, in the southernmost part of the Goa peninsula. The Retreat is called Kailasam, and Karen’s aim is to make an affordable, safe and comfortable way to stay in India with the opportunity to meet and learn from local people. Kailasam is about 20km from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala.

Kailasam sounds wonderful – “a haven set amid the cocunut trees, with the beach – miles of golden sand with a tantalising selection of restaurants and shops – only a 5 minute stroll away”. You will need to be prepared to do without many of the “luxuries” of Western living (although Kailasam does provide spotlessly clean rooms with private toilet and shower), but if you have a spirit of adventure and enjoy the experience of simply “being” rather than “being organised”, I cannot imagine how Kailasam could fail to send you home feeling refreshed, rested and at peace, yet at the same time, excited by the whole experience.

In addition to being a holiday retreat, there will be the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops such as massage, yoga, meditation and Indian cookery. You can find out more about what is available and about Kailasam and the surrounding area generally by contacting Karen Rosen, 29 Connaught Terrace, Hove, E. Sussex, Tel: 01273 749311 (before 26th August), or Savita Burke, 70 Wolseley Road, Portslade, East Sussex. BN41 1ST (Tel: 01273 410101).

The Bach Centre web site

We are pleased to announce that the Bach Centre/Foundation/Trust has a new web-site:

The site includes general information about the work of the Centre, who’s who at Mount Vernon, info on our Bach Foundation education programmes and practitioner training world-wide, our books, videos and other educational material, and much more. In addition, the site acts as an educational source in itself, providing information about Dr. Bach, his medical history and philosophy, as well as details of each of the remedies.

The text is accompanied by pictures and photographs and we are pleased to be able to include beautiful water-colour illustration of the plants. These water-colours were painted by practitioner Margaret Foster from Wiltshire, who combined her enjoyment of the countryside with her love for wildlife by painting all the remedy flowers. It was a lovely surprise when she offered them to us and came to Mount Vernon to present us with them personally. We are in the process of having some of them framed to display on the walls where they will be enjoyed by the many visitors to the Centre, as well as all those from around the world who visit the web-site.

Odds & ends

  • Healthcall Services Ltd. provide out of hours patient-care facilities to doctors at Primary Care Centres, mainly in locations along the south coast between Portsmouth and Plymouth. They are offering these facilities to others, such as complementary health professionals, during daylight hours (7am-7pm), together with a 24 hour telephone answering service if required. If you are interested please contact Sue Savage Tel: 01705 322000, Fax: 01705 322100.
  • Freshwinds Charitable Trust provides free therapy, advice and support to adults and children with serious and life-threatening illnesses. The charity is based in Birmingham, and this autumn launches the Golden Circle Appeal project for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Freshwinds is looking for therapists willing to provide therapy on a voluntary basis from anything from two days per week to one day a month. If you would like to know more or are in a position to help, please contact Michael Langford, Trustee, Freshwinds Charitable Trust, Tel: 0121-350 8423, Fax: 0121 384 7077.
  • We have been asked to let practitioners know about the 6th International Conference, entitled “Stepping Into the Future”, which will be held at Regent’s College, Regent’s Park, London (Tel: 0171 487 7540) 26-28th September 1997 and will include speakers from all over the world.

Education section: the Bach Foundation Teachers Programme

The UK Bach Foundation Teachers Programme (BFTP) has now become well established, and has proved to be very popular. Those of you who have attended will, I am sure, concur that Lynn Macwhinnie is a great teacher and has delivered an outstanding course, providing everyone who attends with inspiration and the confidence and enthusiasm to achieve their goals.

Each practitioner was asked to complete an evaluation of the course, and the feedback has been extremely positive. The following is a selection of the comments which were made:

  • Very full and interesting day. Gaps in all the right places, structure varied and content valid.
  • Excellent pace and content
  • Supportive, informative and very helpful
  • Excellent teaching and structure, one of the best I have been on for information shared
  • I feel more confident and very enthusiastic

Practitioners were equally enthusiastic about the way the course was taught:

  • A very complete, well-structured course run by an extremely interesting and competent teacher
  • It was wonderfully inspiring Lynn, thank you. You are a wonderful role model
  • Lynn is one of the best, if not the best teacher I have ever encountered.

Lynn herself has written a summary of her feelings following the first few pilot courses. Here it is in full:

Pilot Bach Foundation Teachers Programme

by Lynn Macwhinnie

As one of the Bach trainers, my work also includes delivering training lectures to pharmacists and retailers, which has, on occasion, meant meeting the challenge of argumentative sceptics. So when reflecting on the three different BFTP courses which have recently taken place at Mount Vernon, the first thing which comes to my mind is the enthusiasm of the practitioners who have pioneered this new phase in furthering the work of Dr. Bach. The “buzz factor” was high in the training room!

In planning the programme we wanted to give participants the opportunity to gain new information and develop their teaching skills. The aim was to take their commitment further by working toward teaching Bach Centre-approved courses. The programme itself is highly interactive. It is designed to draw on the existing expertise of participants, as well as enhancing areas for development and providing a focus for considering different approaches to teaching and learning. We also wanted everyone to feel inspired and connected to the terrific network of Bach Foundation Registered Practitioners (BFRPs).

One significant part of the programme is for each participant to deliver a presentation to the group on any aspect of the remedies. Prepared in advance, the micro-lessons were extremely interesting in providing an insight into the work that practitioners are involved in, such as working with carers, the terminally ill, animals, midwives, music students, flight crew and people with special needs. New insights were also gained by presentations which included: Dr. Bach’s philosophy, comparisons, publications, observations and the emotions associated with difficulties such as infertility. These presentations were not only an opportunity to help hone delivery skills, but also provided a forum for ideas and feedback.

Evaluation is an essential ingredient for any teaching, including this programme, so the comments from participants have been crucial to its development. For example, we originally planned to divide practitioners into different groups according to their levels of teaching experience, but it became apparent that there was mixed teaching ability within each group. Evaluations showed that practitioners felt that this enhanced the learning process for everyone.

The original schedule of two one-day programmes and one two-day programme gave us a good overview of what worked, what needed adapting and what was missing. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which is really encouraging and appreciated, but the main thing missing is time, particularly for the one-day participants. Time to consolidate the learning that is taking place, time to be at Mount Vernon, time to be with fellow-practitioners and time to share ideas, swap skills and discuss experiences. The two-day participants felt it was hard to imagine being there for less time, and they would have liked even more.

On the basis of all feedback received we have decided to move the pilot scheme forward by continuing with a two-day programme only. Evaluation will be on-going and future BFTP courses will continue to evolve through the valued input of each participant. We hope that all that you gain from committing to the BFTP and in utilising the extensive course material and ongoing support from the Bach Centre will be reflected in the quality of information and inspiring courses you then teach in your local education centres.

My personal thanks to all the participants for the generosity of spirit they expressed through their active participation and excitement about the teaching programme. As a trainer it was a treasured honour, not only to be teaching at Mount Vernon, but to be working alongside so many dedicated BFRPs. I look forward to meeting more of you on the new programme scheduled for the autumn.

This archive material has been edited to remove some out-of-date advice and information.