Among my greatest joys has been watching children respond well to Bach Flower Remedies and other Vibrational Essences. I want to help anyone to be able to use these great, safe gifts of nature for their children's health, development and relationships. Here I present the experience and wisdom of many people well qualified in Essences, child care and treatment. See Essences for Children for detailed information about specific individual and sets of Essences relating to children's issues. For info about how to use them read "And This is What You Do"
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At the 2003 Gathering of the British Flower & Vibrational Essence Association (BFVEA) many members shared an open and wide-ranging discussion about Essences and children. It was my intention to gather information and experience from what I knew would be a rich pool of knowledge among us. I hope this small effort will be a beginning, and that the following chronicle of the discussion, to which Ive added my own further thoughts, will inform, encourage, and inspire our work with and for children.
For the general public reading this as a web page, I hope this will help you to be aware of the many issues involved with children, and choosing a responsible practitioner.
LAW It is wise for anyone who is involved with Essences - practitioner or otherwise - to be aware of the current laws about usage and prescription. Remember also that the various points of BFVEA Conduct and Ethics of good practice apply no matter the age of the person we are working with. Most are common sense and worth remembering with your own children too.
As a practitioner treating others children, you are obliged by law to ensure that they have been first been recommended to their doctor for their medical condition. By law, medical attention (i.e. a doctor) must be sought for children under 16.
To treat children under 18 you need permission, best in writing, from a parent or guardian before treatment. Its helpful to have your own simple form ready to use, including space for updated permissions.
Its important that the parent bring the child to the session (no dumping!). Whether or not its appropriate for a parent to be in on the consultation is individual to each case. (We were reminded that, especially when people are unwell, an unhealthy relationship dynamic of "persecutor-victim-rescuer" may be stimulated. Be aware and take care.) However if you are alone with a child it may be wise to have the door open or ajar. Were looking to find the balance between what will be a private safe space for the child, and making it be seen (including by the child) that there is no threat to the child from yourself as practitioner.
IN CONSULTATIONS There is a need to protect yourself in your role as a practitioner. It may be important to have a witness, other than a parent, in on a session. Especially when people are not well, negative projections are common and easily made, and the professional is an easy target.
HELPING THE CHILD TO SPEAK AND CHOOSE:
Often a parent will speak for a child. We can then, having acknowledged that communication, ask the child to put it in your own words. It may be in order to ask the parent to step out. A helpful rule of thumb is to let the child show the way. Ask the child to think about the issue then choose the Essence/s. With the boxes in their lap (or near if theres lots!) we might say, Humour me, and tell me what you feel as you hold your hand over each box. Perhaps as a game. Children have felt cool, warm, tingly, crampy, draughty, or simply feel drawn to a particular Essence. We can observe, watching for signs of resonance whatever sensations of difference they feel, and encourage them.
There are many other 'choosing' aids if they arent kinesthetically sensitive - pictures, colours, favourite flowers and gems, sounds, symbols (e.g. with Green Man Tree Essences) and so on.
One observation was that children (and animals) take on a lot that is adult stuff, therefore first see the child with the adult for the full picture, then treat the child. I have witnessed several occasions when a child has picked out an Essence relating to the parent's issue/s. Acknowledge and act appropriately on that. And then ask the child to focus on their own questions and needs.
Remember that parents and other people involved with the child may be surprised at outcomes.
Sometimes simply the empowerment of having their own voice, and responsibility and freedom of choosing for themselves can catalyze a positive shift in their situation or condition.
NO ALCOHOL? If needing to treat orally but not use alcohol, we can make up a dose in a vinegar or (better tasting:) vegetable glycerin base. You can check if the relevant Essence producers can supply their stock in non-alcohol.
Remember that Essences can also work well when applied externally, so alcohol may then not be a problem at all. (Full details for how to use: "This is what you do")
If using Essences in a cream base, check for what if any preservative is added. Tony from Ainsworths pointed out that some people have an ill response to preservatives (and other synthetic ingredients).
An anecdote on how children, even when very young, may diagnose more clearly and efficiently for themselves (see also Empowerment). When my godson of about 2 1/2 years was visiting with me, away from Mum, he was in distress, crying. His language wasnt great at the best of times, and through his wails I couldnt figure out what was upsetting him. Was he missing Mum? Or...? I asked if he wanted "Flowers" (the set boxes were open on the coffee table as usual). He nodded and I said (inspired and fraught!), Point to which one you want. To my amazement he pointed to Red Chestnut (fear for others), and I imagined it didnt mean anything. But trusting intuition I gave him the drops. He calmed immediately, and was soon able to convey to me that he was indeed afraid for his Mum at home all on her own, would she be OK?
POINTERS ON APPLICATION / USE For detailed instructions, "And This is What You Do"
All in all there are so many ways we can use Essences, and we keep thinking of more. I reckon that, in a write up like this, more important than a long list of ways to use would be simply asking children more often, How would YOU like to use the Essences? And probably theyll come up with some fantastic ideas we havent dreamt of yet!
EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE Make sure theres always some rescue / emergency formula* at home, and when traveling, where the children can get and use it for themselves and you. This is a prime way for the child to develop independent skill. *Whether Bach's Five Flower*, or other producers' trauma formula that best suits the child and family.
Even better, Dr. Edward Bach imagined a whole set of Bach Flower Remedies in everyones medicine cabinet. Children can be amazingly adept at choosing and using them well.
Let them look after their own dosage bottle so they can take it when they want, i.e. hand over control to them.
Allow and encourage your children to choose Essences for you. Out of the mouth of children, into the mouths of parent. This can be a great help for opening up honest expression, clearing the air, and growing understanding in relationships. And most children long to be able to help their parents what a wonderful way this offers!
CHILDREN MAKING ESSENCES: Maria Maw (Unitive Essences) wrote to me about 3 Essences in her Unitive range - Rhododendron, Elderflower, Old Mans Beard - that were made by children with her help (she finger tested for which plants to use). The children found out what they are for, again with muscle testing help. She found that besides feeling empowered at having made an Essence which many people would benefit from, that were amazed at how simple it is. She reckons they gained enormously from putting their experiences and feelings into words, sharing these, and working with others to come to a joint understanding. They were often amazed that their experiences could be so important!
A P.S. to Marias note: My Rainbow Healing Garden, on the beauteous coast of West Somerset, has been developed partly for the purpose of an Essence making training garden. I regularly set up "Making" teaching days. Children are welcome with adults, as long as it is their choice.
ESSENCES FOR RADIATION / MEDIA EXPOSURE I would be glad to hear further information on Essences you have produced and are using for children using TV and computers, mobile phones, and exposed to other forms of radiation. Not only Essences for dealing with healing from or shielding against radiation (I know that Arthur Bailey and David Beale have already produced such Essences, refer to Essences for Children page or browse the producer's web site BAFEP). Perhaps even more importantly to address the psychological effects. We discussed some details such as the ill effects on young children because of using their visual sense inappropriately too early and the havoc this brings in their development. Whether there are specific Essences for these and other media-related issues, or whether it may be a matter of working with type Essences, or related issue, we would be glad for your views, information and experiences.
A NOTE ABOUT THE 'RESCUE' FORMULA Dr. Bach formulated a Very Useful Essences combination of his Remedies. If I would recommend any single bottle of Essences for all people who care for children and animals to always have handy and I DO! it would be this. The liquid form combines five of his Remedies. In the cream form a sixth, for cleansing, is added. Because "Rescue Remedy**" is a copyrighted name, other producers call it by different names, so look out for: Five Flower Remedy (Healing Herbs'); Emergency Essence (Crystal Herbs' and Sun Essences'); and Recovery Remedy (Ainsworths'). All of which I can recommend, as well as Bailey's, and David Beale's. Details for all of those on www.bafep.com (** "Rescue Remedy" I do NOT recommend, as, sadly, it is no longer made according to Bach's instructions (it is a homoeopathic preparation). Also, unlike those above which are sold in the full stock form, Rescue Remedy is very highly diluted, so not suitable for further dilution.)
CONCLUSION At the base of all this group discussion were assumptions of the importance of helping children as much as we can and that Essences are among the most appropriate means. If you have ideas, further information, anecdotes and inspirations to offer about these and any other facets of Essences and children, please Contact me. Thanks.
All information, recommendations and instructions are given intending to support and not replace medical care. Please use "Flower Essences" and all other Lifepower teaching and recommendations responsibly, and seek medical help as appropriate.