Practitioner Bulletin no. 21, September/October 1998

Christine Newman

by Stefan Ball

It is with great sadness that I write of the death of Chris Newman in June this year.

Chris trained at the Centre in February 1993, following in the footsteps of her twin sister Jill Woods, who had come on the practitioner course fifteen months before. My own first contact with her was in August 1996 when I phoned her out of the blue to ask if she would teach a course on the remedies at Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education. I hadn’t been at the Centre long then, and hadn’t got to know many practitioners, but after five minutes talking to Chris I felt that I had known her for years. She was warm, approachable, enthusiastic, and a delight to talk with.

We saw quite a lot of Chris last year, as she came on the BFTP teachers’ course and then on two refresher days. She loved working with animals, and was booked on the animal day last June, but at the end of May we heard from Jill that Chris was ill in hospital and would not be able to come. And on the 18th June we were shocked and upset to hear that Chris had died.

‘Chris did not want anyone apart from her immediate family to know the severity of her illness,’ her sister Jill told us, ‘initially because she wanted to avoid feeling any pressure on her, but she then maintained this view all the way through, so it was a very difficult task letting all her friends know she had died when some didn’t even know she had been ill. Their letters and cards have been a measure of how much she was thought of.’

From all the Centre, and on behalf of all practitioners, we can only extend our sympathy to Jill and the rest of the family, and say how much we respected and loved Chris. She is already sorely missed.

Animals and the law

Practitioners are reminded that in many parts of the world the law on treating animals with the remedies is unclear. In the United Kingdom, for example, it is legal to select remedies for your own animals and to help other animals in an emergency, but when dealing with other people’s animals we recommend you only work with a referral from a qualified registered veterinary surgeon.

See the practitioner guidelines for more information.

BFR education on prescription

by Angela Davies

I would like to tell other practitioners about my work in the hope that networking in this way may provide others with ideas and opportunities.

For the last 12 years I have been a tutor in Adult Education teaching Yoga, Relaxation, Massage and Reflexology. More recently I began offering classes in the Bach remedies, having taken the Level 3 Practitioner Course in June 1995 and the Bach Foundation Teachers Programme course in May 1997.

In September 1997 1 became co-ordinator of a new venture in Adult Education in Gravesend called the GP Referral Scheme. This idea started in Thanet, Kent and was born out of the scheme already running throughout the UK where GPs refer patients to leisure centres for exercise. I have made links with local GPs who refer people for exercise, relaxation and complementary therapy classes within Adult Education. The GPs are encouraged to write prescriptions for patients who may be described as overweight and/or de-conditioned, depressed/stressed, recently bereaved, redundant, divorced, suffering from post-natal depression etc.

It is a scheme beneficial to all involved with it. The GPs have somewhere to refer patients at no cost to their practice, sometimes avoiding the need for issuing drugs. The patients can have 40 hours of tuition at half the price they would normally have to pay and the centre benefits from extra students.

One of the GPs referring has attended a relaxation class with me and also taken Bach remedies so she has a very good idea of the sort of people who can benefit from this scheme and duly tells them about it; she sends me a lot of mildly depressed, stressed and anxious individuals. I meet these people, find out what their needs are, and help them to choose a class. Needless to say, quite a number of them are finding their way in to my Bach classes!

Earlier this year we were awarded a grant to take Adult Education into the community with the aim of reaching non traditional users. One of the classes I organised was a Bach class which took place in the waiting room of a GP’s surgery when it was closed in the evenings.

The GP referred 8 women to the group and we met for 2 hour sessions over a period of 4 weeks. The surgery is in an area where there is a high level of unemployment, an 11% literacy problem and there are a large number of single parents. There is also family violence, tension and behavioural problems with children.

From the very first session it was clear that this was a group of women who were not used to being listened to; they all wanted to talk and ask questions and all at the same time! The atmosphere felt rather chaotic and I found myself wondering how to proceed.

I quickly produced my ‘talking stick’ and gave each woman time to introduce herself which seemed to help the group to settle. I then began a very brief introduction of myself and the remedies sensing that this group were much more interested in what the remedies could do for them rather than me or the history and philosophy of Dr. Bach!

Then I opened up the floor again and we began a more orderly general discussion where the women started to talk about their problems and how they were feeling. It quickly became clear that this would be a student-centred learning group in the truest sense of the word.

As each woman identified a problem and I encouraged them to talk about the feelings associated with it, I was able to identify a remedy. At the end of the evening they all went away with a treatment bottle and I went away feeling very privileged to have witnessed such a deep sharing of emotion from a needy group.

The following three sessions proceeded in more or less the same manner; me identifying remedies as they identified states of mind and feelings. The attendance rate was good and the remedies were found to be working in gentle and dramatic ways. Somehow (don’t ask me how!) we managed to cover all 38 and the emergency combinations as well.

The Health Visitor (who all the women seemed to know and have a good relationship with) decided to sit in on the last session. This was most useful as she was able to hear the women evaluate the course and talk about the effects of the remedies.

The main feedback from the women was that it was helpful to have the time and space to tune into what they were feeling and the problems existing for them; a rare occurrence in their lives. By this time all of them had had good results with the remedies and had some quite dramatic stories to share with the Health Visitor.

The most spectacular was a woman in her mid-50’s who reported that in four weeks, not only had her dermatitis disappeared and she had stopped having to use her inhaler, but there had been a significant lift in her mood.

The GP Referral Scheme is now in its third tern and I have 7 GPs and a Health Visitor referring patients. We started this as a pilot scheme and I had news recently that funding for my position can continue so the scheme is assured of a future, which I am most pleased about.

Welcome to…

Since the last (July) issue was prepared, 30 new practitioners have joined the register:

  • in Belgium, Jef Strubbe;
  • in Bermuda, Donna-Lee Meyer;
  • in Brazil, Maria João Sacagami and Roberta Minervino Pacheco;
  • in Cyprus, Barbara Jones;
  • in Italy, Nora Magnocavallo;
  • in Luxembourg, Gitte Wind Nielsen;
  • in Poland, Igor Pietkiewicz;
  • in Spain, Talia Lino, Adela Sancho Gonzalez, Isabel Aguilar Mingot, Nuria Via Marti, Paola Dazzini and Mercè Gascón i Vilaplana;
  • in the UK, Alison Perkins, Aileen Hughes, Sue Barnett, Alison Evans, Kathleen Hopping, Jenifer Burton, Helen Knight, Julie Standing, Sally Ann Karpe, Eve Hunt, Karin Mittiga, Christine Mukans, Ian McPherson and Janet Kaye;
  • and in the USA, Ann Holmblad and Joanne Crovets.

There are now 482 practitioners on the register.

Your letters

I have persuaded the doctors in a second practice where I work to prescribe the remedies alongside my counselling, on the same basis as the first. [See Bulletin for August 1997.] They have asked me to see people for Bach as a therapy in its own right and I have to provide them with criteria for referral, once the rest of the system is up and running.

The whole system hinges on working with the local chemists. This has lots of advantages, fitting easily into existing National Health systems while keeping financial matters out of the surgery and giving people open access. The price was decided by the first chemist, pegged at the same as a 10ml Rescue(R) Remedy, and this seemed reasonable to me.

I supply instructions for making up a treatment bottle to the chemist. The client gets from me a piece of paper with the name and address of the chemist on it, the amount to be paid for the treatment bottle, and instructions on how to take it and what to expect. I put my name on this, not for self-advertisement, but because the doctors have made it clear that the system is my responsibility and any come-back comes to me.

Charles Callis

I am interested in any experiences that practitioners might have using the essences to help people with eating disorders. This is what my Master’s thesis is focusing on, and my research so far indicates that they would be a powerful integrative therapy in helping people with this horrible disease.

I’d be grateful if anyone with any experiences in this area could get in touch. Thanks!

Gaye Mack, USP-1997-1016H

If anything wonderful, funny, interesting or just plain typical has happened to you in your work with the remedies, or if there are any questions that have been nagging away at you, or if you simply want to say hello, please write to us at the Bach Centre, marking your letter clearly as being ‘FOR PUBLICATION’.

We can’t promise to print every letter in the Bulletin, but even if we don’t use your contribution we always love to hear from you.

Top remedies around the world

The top-selling remedies in different parts of the world make interesting reading. In all countries the premixed crisis formula is of course the most requested remedy, and in most places the cream version and the full set of remedies come close. But when you look at individual remedies things get quite interesting.

In the UK and Ireland Olive and White Chestnut are used more than any other remedies, for example, so perhaps there are many people suffering sleepless nights because of repetitive thoughts here – and suffering the effects the next day!

Mainland Europe, on the other hand, seems to feel that life at the moment is a succession of shocks: Star of Bethlehem is the most demanded remedy in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. The Dutch turn more to Larch to keep their confidence up.

Across the Atlantic, both North and South America are adapting to change thanks to Walnut, but their feelings about changing are perhaps rather different. In the North there is fear and anxiety (Mimulus) – while in the South the high sales of Crab Apple and Impatiens pose a puzzle that we at least cannot fathom. Perhaps the latter reflects the influence of Spain, where Impatiens is also much in demand.

And if you were to pick a place to live based on the negative emotions people are experiencing? Our choice would be either Holland, Ireland or Australia – the only places where Holly does not feature in the top ten.

A change to the Bach Foundation International Register database

Up to now we have only been able to list practitioners once in our phone list, under the area (county, state or region) in which they live. This has sometimes caused problems for practitioners who work in two different areas, or who live in one area but actually see clients from an adjacent city just the other side of a state or county boundary.

We’ve now rearranged the database so that we can list the same practitioner under different areas, so if you have a good case for being listed two or more times then let us know the reasons, and the extra area(s) or addresses that you want to appear under.

Note that even if we list you several times we can still only list ONE contact number for referrals. Almost all practitioners have answer-phones that can be set to give other contact numbers when you are out.

Summer competition – the results

We asked you to look at the following quotations and tell us which remedy you would select for each one. As a tiebreaker, we asked you to tell us why you made the selection you did for quotation number four.

The answers were of course open to individual interpretation, but our own preferences were:

  1. I must from this enchanting queen break off – WALNUT
  2. Oh! How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes – WILLOW
  3. And then it started like a guilty thing upon a fearful summons – PINE
  4. Indeed the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow – CHICORY

Nobody agreed with us all the way, but after much thought we are awarding the prize of a book of her choice from the Bach Centre Collection to Susanne Templer. Susanne gave Cherry Plum for answer no. 3, which we hadn’t considered but which on reflection was an interesting and imaginative answer; and for question 4 she answered Star of Bethlehem, reading the onion in the light of the ‘peeling the onion’ process and seeing the grief of a past trauma as the centre of this person’s particular nest of emotional states.