By Igor Pietkiewicz BFRP
Polish society is regarded as mainly Catholic. Does this affect health issues? – yes, it does, indeed. I informed one of my patients in counselling that she might find it beneficial to use the Bach flower remedies. I explained to her that the way they are made is registered in the homeopathic pharmacopoeia. Her response was rather surprising: “I am a Catholic, Mr Pietkiewicz!” she said. “I heard on our national Catholic Broadcast Station that homeopathy is evil.” How can I argue with the authority of the Church and with peoples’ beliefs?
The Church’s crusade against homeopathy is not the only obstacle we face in Poland. Medical professionals in general often disrespect homeopathy. A. Gregosiewicz, a medical professor who might be generally expected to present at least mediocre knowledge on the subject, writes in his paper about homeopathy:
“Alas! This will be the only time it runs,” says Ewa Lachnit, the co-ordinator. “We have put lots of effort into sustaining the present course, but the voices of indignation and pressure from the Medical Chamber made the University authorities decide to kill the project.”
What a shame!
For the first time, this November, I will be teaching about the Bach remedies as part of an academic course. In Poland, BFR are classified as mere food supplements, not as homeopathy. The reason is, that according to the classical homeopathic pharmacopia, the remedy must be both diluted and dynamised through shaking. To produce BFR we only dilute them and thus, the Institute of Drugs treats them as a weird hybrid.
No-one knew how to classify them and after eight years of struggle I finally managed to officially bring them to the Polish market – not as medicine, however. Considering the condition of homeopathy in Poland, perhaps it is a better solution for the Bach flower remedies.
Despite all the obstacles we have done a lot to build a good image of the Bach system and give people a chance to benefit from it. After having taken the remedies, one of my Bach students decided to enrol a university course at the age of 48. She had to overcome her fear, gain confidence in herself and re-program her thinking and beliefs (e.g. “I am too old to become a student.”) Having gone through six semesters of study, last year she defended her BA thesis at the Academy of Pedagogy. The title of her thesis was: “The significance of the homeopathic therapy of Dr Edward Bach in rehabilitation.” Now, she is one of my two students who are progressing towards their Masters, exploring the same subject. The other one studies at the Institute of Psychology.
There is also another achievement for the Bach system that seemed impossible. Having gained enough interest from doctors, I was allowed to use the BFR to accelerate the therapy of patients at the Psychiatrics and Psychosomatics Ward in our Provincial Specialist Hospital where I worked as a psychotherapist. The remedies proved extremely effective especially in case of anxiety disorders.
Since May we have started a new chapter in the development of the Bach system in Poland. BFR are now officially available. So are the courses, approved by the Bach Centre. I strongly hope, that this therapy will soon flourish here. And I would like to finish my report with a poem by an unknown author. I like it for the mood that it characterises:
are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long,
that we are now qualified to do anything, with
News from Mount Vernon å
A fierce thunderstorm broke over Sotwell in the summer. A lightning strike narrowly missed the Bach Centre – but still got to us by travelling into the building through the phone lines. The surge burnt out computer components, the phone lines, the alarm system and the fax.
As a result of this you may have had some difficulty contacting us while we worked to resolve a series of lightning-related problems. The computer network was particularly affected. Despite the help of outside IT experts it was two months or more before we could use it with any confidence. Along the way we believe we lost quite a few incoming email messages.
If you did send us email – or a fax – between August and October and you haven’t yet had an answer, please send your message again. We are up to date with the backlog and should be able to answer you quickly.
Changes to the bulletin å
Some jobs got pushed aside while we were trying to get our systems working again (see above). In particular we were unable to prepare the usual end-of-year edition of the practitioner bulletin.
We decided to take a fresh look at the bulletin, and this is the first of a new-look publication. We have decided to change the printing schedule to three times a year, which means we can produce a bigger bulletin for the same money, giving us more pages, more room for news from our global family of BFRPs, and more in-depth articles and features.
In particular, we would like to draw on your experiences in coming issues. If you have a particular slant on working with the remedies, a special role, or a unique point a view, and would like to write a regular column or a one-off essay for us, we would love to hear from you. We can’t pay for contributions, but we can give you a chance to get published and share your experiences and ideas with other practitioners. Please get in touch.
Registration renewals å
As you know, last year we changed the system for collecting registration renewals. In September last year we sent out the first of our annual mailshots. This went to all practitioners who were due to re-register between 1st April 2004 and 31st March 2005. A second and final reminder was sent in December.
The new system seems to be working well. Most of you have already responded and sent in your renewal payments and forms. If you haven’t yet done so, remember that you will not receive any further reminders, so please pay before your renewal date.
If there are any questions about registration renewals do contact us at the usual address.
DLP launched in Holland and Spanish-speaking countries å
We’re happy to announce that the Foundation’s level 1 Distance Learning Programme (DLP) is now available in Dutch and Spanish.
In the Netherlands the course is being marketed by the Dutch Bach International Education Programme (BIEP). In Spain itself the Spanish BIEP co-ordinator is in charge, and for the rest of the Spanish-speaking world Alexandra Landgraf, who runs the Spanish version of our web site, is going to take on the administration role.
The DLP is now available in eight different languages – for more information see www.bachcentre.com/found/level_1.htm.
Practitioner fees survey å
We are still getting responses to our survey on practitioner fees, so we have decided to put off publishing the results until the next bulletin. If you haven’t yet responded, this is your last chance to send us your answers to the following questions:
- What country do you work in?
- How much do you charge for a one-hour consultation at your premises?
- How much do you charge for a one-hour home visit?
- Do the above charges include a treatment bottle? – if not, how much extra do you charge for one treatment bottle?
- How much do you charge for a refill treatment bottle?
You can send your answers by post to the Bach Centre or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And our thanks of course to everyone who has already answered!
Combinations – the saga continues
Yet another flower remedy producer has shown ignorance of Dr Bach’s work by introducing combination remedies. A new range of misters – which are confusingly packaged like cheap perfume – has been released, with names like ‘Ground & Go’ and ‘Inner Guidance’.
As so often there is confusion over remedy indications. ‘Inner Guidance’, for example, contains Chicory for ‘self-connection and oneness’ and Water Violet to give ‘peace, calm & self-reliance.’ We don’t recognise either of these remedies from their indications. And Pine is added to the ‘Cleanse & Protect’ product because, according to the makers, Pine is the remedy to ‘cleanse and clear’.
Needless to say we do not approve of these products. Not only are the basic indications for the remedies used wrong, but the usual problems with combination remedies apply – that the remedies in them will hardly ever match the needs of the people who buy them. When the products don’t work people will blame the system as a whole and won’t try it again. Dr Bach and his legacy are ill served by this kind of product.
As BFRPs, all of us have a duty to teach the system to our clients. Many of you take this further and teach the remedies in classrooms and lecture halls. We are very supportive of this. It’s all part of spreading Dr Bach’s work and helping his dream come true – that the remedies should be available to all.
However, sometimes problems arise. We occasionally hear that students taught on informal courses have tried to book on level 2 or 3 approved courses, and have been disappointed that their attendance certificates were not recognised. Sometimes we get letters from people trained by BFRPs in informal settings, asking how they can join our register. The answer – that they have to follow a full programme of approved courses first – can cause disappointment and some anger if the student feels she has been misled by the way the informal course was advertised.
To avoid this we all have a duty to make sure that students understand the status of the courses we give. In particular they need to know whether or not those courses have gone through a formal process of approval by the Bach Foundation.
In practice this is easy to achieve, if we take a little care with the way we present our courses to the public.
- First and most importantly, avoid course titles that mimic those used by Foundation-approved courses. Instead of calling your informal introduction to the Bach remedies a ‘level 1’ course, just call it ‘an introduction to the Bach flower remedies’. Don’t give a ‘Bach Practitioner’ course to your local aromatherapists’ group – instead call it ‘Using Bach remedies in your practice’.
- Second, we should only mention our BFRP status – and use the logo that goes along with it – to stress our own status as teacher. We should never use it in a way that might imply that students will achieve this status once they have gone on the course. In particular the Foundation logo should never be used on certificates issued after courses, unless of course you have written authority to do this.
All of this is covered in the Code of Practice, so you might want to re-read what that has to say about advertising courses and training. And if you aren’t sure about a particular wording or form of advertising do get in touch with us and we will be happy to give an opinion.
One-day courses å
On the subject of independent courses, you might be interested to know that we list some on our web site. The place to go is www.bachcentre.com/found/oneday.htm.
What you will find there is a list of courses run by practitioners. Some of them are general-interest courses aimed at members of the public who want to learn more about the remedies but are not especially interested in getting a recognised certificate. Others are more specialised and are aimed mainly or exclusively at other practitioners. These courses can of course be used as part-fulfilment of your CPD requirements.
It won’t escape your notice that the courses currently on the list are all based in the UK. We want to change this! – so if you are running a course that might be of interest to practitioners, and especially if your course is outside the UK, please email details to email@example.com and we will add it to the web site.
Note that it takes up to six weeks to update the web site, so please give us plenty of advance notice.
Time in the silence
BFRP Sally Karpe wrote an article on the remedies for the UK magazine New Visions. A reader of the magazine wrote the following month with his own recollections of the Bach Centre, and we thought you would like to read what he had to say:
My personal association with the Bach flower remedies began in the ‘thirties when my father became one of the first patients of Dr Bach. Consequently, as an enquiring teenager, I became familiar with the therapy at an influential stage of my searching, listening to family discussions between my father and grandfather on clinical aspects of healing of the day.
Some years after medical school I found myself in a village adjacent to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, and to my joy found Dr Bach’s personal housekeeper, Nora Weeks, still in the tiny cottage. Not only still with us some twenty years later, but maintaining continuity with his own very personal approach to practice, in her own manner.
Nora showed me Bach’s own country furniture crafted by his own hands. I subsequently made many visits to Mount Vernon and exchanged views on therapy and patients and, in time, I was allowed to sit in at consultations. Nora Weeks’ consultations were very much based upon ‘spending time in the silence.’
– Professor G, Bournemouth, UK
‘Spending time in the silence’ – it shows that the commitment to listening was as great then as it is now among the wider family of Bach practitioners. And of course the house and the furniture – and the welcome – are the same as ever at the Bach Centre. If you haven’t visited us yet, remember to look us up next time you find yourself in the neighbourhood.
Tomatoes and chemists
A BFRP in Italy has been credited with developing a new variety of golden-yellow tomato. Dr Suzanne Arregger Perini, an English botanist who has lived in Italy for 40 years, grows a wide variety of tomatoes using organic methods. The new variety, which has been named ‘Golden Gazzi’ after the area it was discovered in, is thought to be a spontaneous mutation from the Mexican Ribbed tomato.
Suzanne does use the remedies on her plants… although there is nothing to suggest that they were used on this particular crop.
Suzanne has been just as active in her other role as a Bach Practitioner. Working in Italy as a practitioner is difficult because everyday activities like mixing treatment bottles are only supposed to be carried out by medical doctors and pharmacists. With the co-operation of her local chemist Suzanne has found a way to work within the law.
‘He plans to dress one of his windows to advertise the Bach flower remedies,’ she writes, ‘and will send people who make enquiries to me. I will carry out the consultation at my home and send the clients back to him so he can make up the treatment bottle.’
We hope this scheme goes well, as it sounds like a great way to get the remedies better known and encourage people to seek them out.
Working with survivors of abuse
By Ruth Souhamy BFRP
On a sunny autumnal day in October I made my way back to the Bach Centre, my first visit having been in September 2002 when I did my level 3 course. This time it was to attend Tessa Jordan’s seminar ‘Working with Survivors of Abuse’.
I had wanted to do Tessa’s seminar for a year. Having already worked with several clients who had suffered from abuse in childhood, two of whom had been my case study clients, I felt that the workshop was something that would help me.
I’d forgotten how quiet and peaceful Sotwell was, and it was nice to get away from the noise of the city even if it was for only a short time. But the best thing was the opportunity to share time with the other practitioners and with Tessa, and the discussions throughout the day gave me additional insight and awareness.
During the seminar we covered what the word ‘abuse’ really means and the types of abuse – neglect being something that is often overlooked. We looked at the signs to be aware of during a consultation, not just the obvious signs but the hidden ones too, such as depression, tiredness, panic attacks, eating disorders – although abuse would not necessarily be the reason for these problems in all cases. We also explored the signs presented by children experiencing abuse.
I reflected that one of my clients had smiled and laughed whilst telling me about how her grandfather had abused her as a child. The reality of the abuse is that the abuser is usually someone known to the person. For a child it is often another family member or family friend or someone in a position of trust.
After lunch we split into small groups to look at two case studies and then shared our feelings, responses and remedy selections with the rest of the group, bearing in mind to still only deal with what was being revealed now and not to make assumptions.
Later we did a ‘Loss Exercise’ that gave me a personal insight into how I would feel at losing someone or something from my childhood. It was hard to decide what I was prepared to lose. For me, it was the loss of a person that was the most difficult, but for a child in an abusive situation their feelings may be totally different.
We also discussed the legal implications with regard to the boundaries of confidentiality with our clients and when it was appropriate to involve other professionals. Although we had discussed this on the practitioner course, it was helpful to look at this again especially in regard to on-going abuse.
At the end of the day we had the opportunity to choose and keep a polished stone and share what the day had meant for each of us. For me it was empowerment. In my therapy work I see many people whose childhood still has a negative affect on their adult lives. I now feel more equipped to support a client who reveals past or present abuse during a consultation so that they can take their power back in their own time and in their own way.
Thank you, Tessa, for a very informative and thought-provoking day.
How to Practise Complementary Medicine Professionally, by Richard Knight, Bridget Main and Janet Robinson, 3rd edition, Arima Publishing 2004
There are several guides of this type on the market. The different thing about this one is that it is organised in a ‘question and answer’ format. Subjects are treated one by one and it is easy to get to the meat. This makes it very useful as an on-the-spot reference guide.
Although the book is aimed mainly at people who are just starting out in the profession, with sections on insurance and licensing and so on, there is no doubt that most of the material here will be useful even to very experienced practitioners. There is good sound common-sense advice on dealing with clients who are changing practitioner, and the book is especially good on the ins and outs of record keeping.
There are some drawbacks to this publication. If you work outside the UK you might find some of its advice does not apply to your particular country. And Bach practitioners in general, given the peculiar status of our system, may find some advice, on making up treatment bottles for example, does not in fact apply to them.
For some, however, the biggest stumbling block might be the price. At £12.95, and just 124 pages, we feel the book is expensive for what it is. Although having said that, we note that all proceeds from its sale go to help the work of the Association of Natural Medicine, which is a registered charity. Given that and the usefulness of the layout we are inclined to think this money well spent.
How to Practise Complementary Medicine Professionally is available from the Association of Natural Medicine, +44 (0)1376 502762, or from online bookshops.
(Have you read a book that other practitioners should know about? Please send your reviews to the usual address and we will be delighted to print them.)
Bits and pieces
- Bach Support Group Meeting, 48 Crabbe Street, Ipswich, UK. 14th April 2005. All welcome. Meet old and new friends and indulge our passion for talking about Bach remedies! No charge, but contributions to a charity are welcome
- Bach Foundation-approved Level 3 Animal Practitioner courses run every year at the Natural Animal Centre in Wales. The course is in three parts: Stage 1, a two day introduction; Stage 2, a 3-day course; and Stage 3, a 4-day course followed by a period of home study and supervised case studies. For more information contact the Natural Animal Centre, Penhill, Trawmawr, Carmarthen, SA33 6ND, Wales: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0870 991 3334.
- Animal CPD Conference. –The Natural Animal Centre’s annual CPD Conference is an opportunity to hear about the latest research on animal behaviour, and meet and share experiences with fellow practitioners. The next Conference is on the 19th and 20th March 2005 and costs £150. Contact the Natural Animal Centre (address above) for more information.
- The Bach Foundation Teachers Programme is aimed at UK-based BFRPs who want to improve their teaching skills and eventually run Bach Foundation-approved level 1 courses. The programme includes a two-day course at the Bach Centre followed by a period of supervised teaching, and access to support and training materials. The next course takes place on the 7th and 8th March 2005. Contact us for more details.
- Aquí se habla español – The Spanish version of the Bach Centre’s web site is at www.floresbach.com, or click the link on the Bach Centre’s main home page www.bachcentre.com. Spanish translations of the Bulletin are at www.floresbach.com/found/bulletin.htm.
We want you to use this bulletin to keep in touch with each other. If anything wonderful, funny, interesting or plain typical has happened to you in your work with the remedies, or if there are questions that have been nagging away at you, or you simply want to say hello, please write and tell us.
Send your contribution to the Foundation, 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.
I have a friend in India who is a nurse and practitioner in Indian medicines. She loves working with the Bach remedies and in the past three years I have sent her books, literature and remedies. She can’t get them there, or afford them. Bearing in mind that there are no approved Bach courses where she lives – she is self-taught – I have helped her where I can.
She has asked me for further support, and if there is anything that other practitioners can do to help her help others. If you have any spare books, information or remedies that you can send her it will be gratefully received and well used. She would welcome visits from travelling practitioners too!
My friend’s details are: Mrs Malarvizhi Thanga Gorindan, No 75 First Floor, Third Cross, Vengatanagar, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu 605011, S. India.
If you do write to her please mention my name in any correspondence, and of course the practitioner bulletin!
– Barbara Tremain BFRP, England
I am a registered mental health nurse and use the Bach remedies in my practice. Due to this I have access to information on medication and possible interactions with other substances. I have found out that in addition to ‘Antabuse’ or ‘Disulfiram’, which can be prescribed to help people stop drinking alcohol, another drug – ‘Procarbazine’, used in the treatment of Hodgkin’s disease – may also produce dangerous side-effects if a person taking it comes into contact with alcohol.
It might be unsafe to use Bach remedies, even diluted in hot drinks or in cider vinegar or glycerine, with these medications. People prescribed them are told to avoid using body sprays or mouthwashes that have alcohol in them. And the side effects can be extremely severe, in rare causes resulting in death.
On a more positive note, on World Mental Health Day last October I was finally allowed to give remedies to some of my clients with mental health difficulties. The remedies went down very well, and I endeavour to keep spreading the word. I am also currently working on a policy to implement the Rescue Remedy in the service I work in.
– Nathalie Harris BFRP, England
Congratulations on getting permission to use the remedies in your mental health practice, Nathalie. The general rule is to be explicit that the remedies contain alcohol. People on the medications you mention will know to avoid anything with alcohol in, and with some drugs, as you say, ‘avoiding’ might include a bar on external application as well. – Ed.
Last evening I received an e-mail from Buddy Elias, the only living relative and cousin of Anne Frank. He lives in Basel, south of Freiburg, with his wife. We met and became friends in 2001 when he came to Freiburg upon invitation of the Anne-Frank-School here – an amazing, inspiring person.
He was in Sri Lanka with his wife and a friend for an Ayuveda cure over Christmas. His wife had just announced that she was going down to the beach when the catastrophe happened. His first thought went to his wife – he just screamed out – obviously he thought she´d been torn into the sea and drowned. Two young Sri Lankesen grabbed him by the hand when the second wave came – they ran 3km up a hill (he just in his underpants) to safety.
His wife had changed her mind and had not gone to the beach. The friend drowned, as did 100 people in the neighbouring hotel.
They lost everything but, as he said, “that doesn´t matter” – the two young people had saved his life. He is now back in Basel. He will be 80 this year. They are users of Rescue.
– Nicola Hanefeld BFRP, Germany
The tsunami tragedy has touched so many. If you haven’t donated yet you can do so via the UK web site www.dec.org.uk, or through other sites across the world. – Ed.
Welcome to… å
Since the last issue of the bulletin was prepared, 127 new practitioners have joined the register:
- in Argentina, Zunilda Teresa Perez, Graciela Silvia Mozolewski and Adriana G. Reati;
- in Australia, Gina Paola Salvagno and Judith Maxine Collis;
- in Austria, Monika Urbanski;
- in Belgium, Tom Vermeersch;
- in Brazil, Aodileni Pellegrini, Ana Lúcia Guilhermino da Costa, Tatiana Seixas Passos, Clara Karin Vogt Dos Santos, Cleide Martins Canhadas and Stela Spagolla;
- in Canada, Beverley von Marksfeld-Fuhrherr and Marjorie Nielsen;
- in Chile, Luz Sylvia Cuevas Reyes, Macarena López Moren and Paulina Sepulveda Ritchie;
- in Denmark, Christian Stelling, Birgit Sjøgren, Tina Fouchard, Marianne Christensen, Cecilie Rosdahl and Anna Kristensen;
- in England, January Moore, Mai’Lin Knight, Linda Gwendoline Parrott, Gina Bowman, Jacqueline Bowen, Valerie C. Dove, Irene Booker, Bhuvaneshwari Anand, Valerie Anne Warren, Barbara Anne Childs, Maria Walker, Jill Bellamy, Stacia Smales Hill, Deborah Caron, Helen Bright, Heather Clarke, Belinda Nash, Jane Westover and Debbie Stewart;
- in Finland, Teija Takala;
- in France, Dominique Pasquier-Sarteel, Corinne Capdeville, Hélène Jayet, Emily McKoane Borel, Anne-Marie Martino, Carol Gilbert, Hervé Cherry, Christian Fimiak, Marie-Gabrielle Audouit, Sabine Gramel, Nathalie Villemain, Pascale Challamel and Laurence Heimlich;
- in Germany, Klaus Hengst and Anja Schley;
- in India, Pritpal Bhatia;
- in Ireland, Helen Garry;
- in Italy, Claudia Politi Persson;
- in Japan, Junko Senda, Kazuko Sugita, Emiko Morita, Miho Yamazaki, Taeko Sugiyama, Saori Nako, Naomi Karube, Eri Tsugawa, Hitomi Nakano, Yasue Yamamoto, Michiyo Yokomura, Naomi Taneichi, Naomi Tomiyama, Kazumi Fukuda, Kumiko Kaneuchi, Akiko Sunoue, Saeko Ishii, Yumeko Watanabe, Mikiko Koike, Tomoko Ashizawa, Junji Fujwara, Miyata Mie and Emi Otsuka;
- in Luxembourg, Eva Fayaud-Gounot;
- in the Netherlands, Linda P.J. Ten Barge, Willy Scheuierman-Koster, Peter Gerardus Maria Ramselaar, Natasha Michaela Smits and Fredy During-Boere;
- in New Zealand, Mitsue Matsumura, Jennifer Barraclough and Elaine Rudkin;
- in Norway, Marie Selmer and Signe Sivertsen;
- in Romania, Carmen Elena Badila;
- in Scotland, Evelyn Liddell, Yvonne B. Campkin and June Wood;
- in Spain, Xesca Abellan Perez, Antonella Perre, Lucia Aldave Moron, Jorge Miguel Marijuan, Nerea Moreno Merelo, Mercedes Aguirre Torrontegui, Carmen Salvado Ayucar, Carmen Almansa Saez, Sara Roman Carrasquero and Montserrat Collado Herráiz;
- in Taiwan, Yi-Ying Chang and Chiu To Cheng;
- in the U.S.A., Miriam C. Johnson, Rexene Bray Ward, Cheri Piefke, Robin M. Skov, Clara Sibert, Kimberly A. Rockshaw, DIHom and Linda Cortese;
- in Uruguay, Graciela Raquel Gatto Luceño, Pilar Barquín, Rosana Virginia Burgos Silva, Suani Vera Camacho and Maria del Carmen Bastos;
- in Venezuela, Magaly Herrera de Machado and Enrique Vásquez;
- and in Wales, Mallory Lee Armstrong.
There are now 1,548 practitioners on the register.