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BW Businessworld

Flower Power

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Ajay Kumar, a senior executive with a leading infrastructure company in Delhi, has always been afraid of speaking in public. In his 15-year career, quite a few deals have fallen through because of his hesitation while making presentations. So when his organisation asked him to chair a meeting with a foreign delegation, he panicked. He needed a boost of confidence and his friends suggested everything from meditation to psychobabble.

Having tried most remedies, Kumar was still nowhere close to feeling in control as he boarded the aircraft to Mumbai for the meeting. Fortunately for him, the gentleman seated next to him on the plane was a Bach flower therapist. They got talking and the practitioner gave him a small bottle and assured him the meeting would go smoothly. Just four drops from the bottle every two hours would do the trick. It was a mixture of the SOS cure called ‘Rescue Remedy' and Larch, for confidence. To Kumar's surprise, he overcame his anxiety and the meeting went rather well.

Today, Kumar swears by Bach flower therapy — a medicine system that can change subtle emotional and psychological states of being. Terror, intolerance, depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, hatred... two drops thrice a
day of the right remedy can uproot such deep-seated personality traits.

Treatment for one's emotional and mental state, and not necessarily the physical state, is the essence of the remedy, named after Welsh bacteriologist, Dr Edward Bach who, in the 1930s, discovered 38 flowers that can treat emotional imbalances. For decades, flower therapy remained an obscure tributary of homeopathy till a recent rekindling of interest in it. Today, its popularity is growing the world over, with annual conferences, publication of books and a large number of practitioners who recommend the appropriate flower remedy after taking into account the personality, mood and emotional outlook of an individual.

Flower therapy even treats conditions that may not necessarily be considered problems. Take, for instance, the case of 15-year-old Anshu Sharma who was afraid of the dark. While the boy's fear was real to him, most  laughed it off or asked him to pray or better still, leave the lights on. It was while researching on the Internet for a project that he discovered that flowers can cure scotophobia, or the fear of the dark. He got in touch with Alka Raghbeer, a housewife in Delhi who has been practising Bach remedies for two decades now. She gave him the essence of Mimulus — meant to cure fear of known things.

A few drops of the essence for a week and Anshu was a changed boy. "I can finally go off to sleep with all the lights off. It's such a liberating feeling," says the Class XI student.

For Shreya Ahuja, who had been suffering from migraine for over three years, allopathic and homeo-pathic medicines did no good. A friend suggested Dheeraj Vishal Yadav, a Delhi-based naturopath, who treated her for three months with a combination of flower essences and cured the migraine. "I did not treat her for her physical ailment but for her mental and emotional state. She was finding it difficult to adjust to her in-laws' house and that was the root cause. By giving her a few doses of White Chestnut and Walnut along with Cherry Plum, she became more receptive to her new environment," says Yadav.

Bach works on the principle that the body is only a medium of expression of our mental and emotional state. By curing the emotional imbalance, the body gets cured to a large extent. "Disharmony between your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing leads to disease. Bach flower remedy cures you inside out," says Yadav.

The flower remedies have no potency and can therefore work alongside any other medicine without any interference. Many allopaths, homeopaths, naturopaths and even therapists suggest flower therapy for a faster cure.











Flower remedy works on the principle that the body is only a medium of expression of our emotional state


Of course, the remedy has its share of critics. Most practitioners of allopathy don't believe in flower therapy's magical touch. Says V. K. Sehgal, a government doctor in Delhi, "Flower therapy cannot cure a person of physical ailments such as pain. If someone believes in it, they can try it out, but don't give up on actual medicines. It can at best complement a proper treatment, not substitute it."

 The 38 remedies are available at leading homeopath chemists in metros and are even being made locally. But the ones imported from England are more effective. "These were discovered in England, and everything from water to soil makes a difference to the potency of the flower essence," says Yadav.

The next time you envy a colleague because he has a bigger car or house than you, don't beat yourself up, just take a few drops of Holly and cleanse those negative feelings!

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 07-05-2012)


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