Physical Trauma and Wound Healing:
by Linda Cohen
My mom, Florence Zinman, loves to swim. She especially loves the deep blue salt waters of a friendly ocean. She was vacationing in St. Bart's with her equally life-loving partner in the winter of 2000. My mom enjoys rising early and languishing in a new-day swim. On this particular day, swimming gentle laps near the shore, she felt a sharp pain stab behind her right knee cap. Thinking little of it, she continued with her day's activities but the unpleasant pain persisted. The following vacation days, my mom could only wade to her waist and not partake of full seaside pleasures.
Arriving back in New York City a few days later, the tenderness worsened; walking and bending were naggingly painful. Her longtime internist recommended seeing an orthopedist who had an MRI done and, finding a tiny tear behind the knee cap, recommended arthroscopic surgery. My mom questioned if there were any alternatives and was told she could try physical therapy, but the doctor held little hope this would correct the injury. Her new Chinese physical therapist prescribed a rigorous three times weekly regimen. My mom's a trouper. She didn't balk at this structured healing plan. I want to mention that for many years my mother has found direction and inspiration from Christian Science readings. She is an abiding believer in the natural healing powers of mind and body. It was tough to run into this snag in her busy, productive life.
After hearing that her swimming injury persisted, I whipped up a "physical healing" formula (a departure from the emotionally-based formulas I nearly always used) that I firmly believed would help release the toxic energy from the wound and heal the residual internal bruise. Weeks went by where she faithfully followed her PT program. I was working full-time and in school at night and didn't see her as much as I should have. One day when I had an afternoon off, I picked her up at physical therapy and was surprised at how much this "minor" injury affected her walking and every other activity which requires mobility and range of motion. It was disturbing to see my normally fit and carefree mother now focused on an injury.
Returning to her apartment, I helped her with some food shopping and we sat down to talk, something we hadn't really done since her return from the islands. She gently, but firmly, expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction at my lack of participation in her healing process. She, in fact, informed me that since her swimming wound wasn't healing properly, she was scheduled for knee surgery in three short weeks. I was shocked and somewhat fearful at this bad news when I asked, "Did you even try the flower essence remedy I prepared for you?" She explained that she had taken one dose of a few drops under her tongue when I'd first given her the formula but found that the alcohol upset her stomach and stopped after the initial dose.
Apologetically, I told her that the essences could also be used topically for desired results, which, evidently, I had not reported with the gift of the formula a couple of months earlier. We'd both jumped to rash conclusions. She thought I didn't care enough, and I was perturbed that she never mentioned anything about the remedy I'd thoughtfully created for her. With the air cleared between us, she agreed to give the healing formula a try by using a few drops topically, gently massaged into the bruised area. This was fine with me and I hoped for some shift in her condition. I never expected what happened next.
Around 9:00 the following morning, the phone rang. It was my mother. She called to say that after months of relative agony, her knee did feel a little better and she'd had a better night's sleep since her pain was somewhat abated. Thrilled with this good news, I asked to be kept up-to-date on her healing progress. It turned out that her condition steadily and dramatically improved. The pain lifted. Mobility returned. Normal activities resumed. She never returned to the orthopedist. She also discontinued physical therapy.
I know that my mother's positive attitude and strong belief in the natural healing abilities of the "Self " helped play a part in her healing. Also the fact that she is strong, active and has a full and meaningful life, no doubt, helped her surmount the rough patch she encountered from her swimming bruise. While PT did not help the injury, her therapist had recommended she use Epsom Salts in a warm bath several times a week. But, until she'd used the flower essence formula I made, no radical shift in the healing of her knee had occurred. Perhaps the massage, with loving intention, also played its healing part. Time may also have been a factor. The truth is though, from that time to this, every six months or so, my mom asks me to make her another small dark blue glass bottle of her healing "elixir". Of course, I am happy to oblige. In addition, many of her, usually elderly, friends and family have marveled at her genuine recovery. She always recommends that they give me a call to order the same healing formula she continues to use to keep her knee in tip-top shape.
I recommend to all who order the blend, to take it both internally and use it topically, wherever possible. So far so good. I believe this simple blend of Bach and FES essences has a deeply healing and restorative effect on bruises and wounds; I would use it for the young and old without reservation.
PHYSICAL HEALING FORMULA*
Created by Linda Cohen
(1) Star of Bethlehem Ornithogalum umbellatum (white)
Positive qualities: Bringing soothing, healing qualities; a sense of inner divinity
Patterns of imbalance: Shock or trauma, either recent or from a past experience; need for comfort and reassurance from the spiritual world
Star of Bethlehem is a deeply restorative remedy, with calm soothing properties for people who have experienced shock or trauma. It is particularly helpful for individuals who have never adequately addressed a disturbance from the past. Such individuals often seek to anesthetize this trauma in inappropriate ways, such as through drugs, occult ritual, or a numbing of awareness. There is a longing and seeking for a part of the Spiritual Self which seems inaccessible. The nervous system often becomes deadened, and the mental faculties lacking in vibrancy and coherency. In some essential way, the personality is out of alignment with its higher components, and is stymied from full and vibrant functioning. Star of Bethlehem helps bring about this much needed psychic and spiritual adjustment, although other therapeutic and counseling measures are often necessary to help the individual fully access the trauma and its causes. Star of Bethlehem is also one of the ingredients in the Five-Flower Formula indicated by Dr. Bach for broad-based emergency and first aid use. It is also often used in the very first formula a person may take as it addresses stored shock and trauma which the client may not even be consciously aware of holding.
(2) Self-Heal Prunella vulgaris (violet)
Positive qualities: Healthy, vital sense of Self; healing and beneficent forces arising from within oneself; deep sense of wellness and wholeness
Patterns of imbalance: Inability to take inner responsibility for one's healing; lacking in spiritual motivation for wellness, overly dependent on external help
Self-Heal flower essence is one of the most fundamental and broadly applicable remedies for true soul healing and balance. Its very name is exquisitely evocative of its profound qualities; this essence addresses the capacity of the Self to become involved with and take responsibility for its own healing journey. No variety of outer measures and techniques can bring about genuine healing at any level unless the individual is quickened from within and motivated to seek and affirm the wholeness of life. Self-Heal flower essence addresses a very special relationship between the etheric, or life body, and the Spiritual Self. On the physical level, the etheric body restores wholeness to wounds and other afflictions by quite literally "re-covering" the body with its sheath. The Higher Self can also draw upon the etheric life force and the possibility for recovery. Self-Heal flower essence is especially indicated for those who have lost belief in their own capacity to be well, or who have abdicated this inherent responsibility to healers or others. It is a very beneficial remedy for those who face great healing challenges, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. The great lesson and the powerful gift of Self-Heal is to enable the Self to affirm and draw from the deep wellspring of etheric life, toward true recovery and restoration.
(3) Arnica Arnica mollis (yellow)
Positive qualities: Conscious embodiment, especially during shock or trauma, recovery from deep-seated shock or trauma
Patterns of imbalance: Disconnection of Higher Self from body during shock or trauma; disassociation, unconsciousness
Arnica helps to heal deep-seated shock or trauma which may become locked into the body and prevent full healing recovery. Especially during accidents or violent experiences, the Higher Self or soul disassociates from its physical vehicle and may never properly re-enter certain parts of the body despite seeming recovery. This remedy can be especially helpful for unlocking many puzzling and psychosomatic illnesses, which do not respond to obvious treatment. When Arnica is used for such cases, the soul will often relive or re-experience the emotional trauma which accompanied the original experience. In this way the soul is finally able to integrate the experience and to fully inhabit the part of the body which suffers. Arnica can also be used on a short-term first-aid basis to allow rapid recovery from trauma. It especially helps the soul attain greater awareness of the parts of the psyche or body which may be underutilized in the individual's full expression of Self.
(4) Echinacea Echinacea purpurea (pink/purple)
Positive qualities: Core integrity, contacting and maintaining an integrated sense of Self, especially when severely challenged
Patterns of imbalance: Feeling shattered by severe trauma or abuse which has destroyed one's sense of Self; threatened by physical or emotional disintegration
One of the most important initiations in the contemporary life of the soul is that of coming in right relationship to the Self, or spiritual ego. While inflation of the ego can be a formidable problem, there are equally devastating assaults to the positive spiritual identity of the human being. Until recent times, family, community and Nature have provided the context for a certain kind of self-identity. However, the increasing anonymity of modern civilization, along with countless other mechanizing and alienating forces, leaves many souls bereft of earthly or human nourishment. More importantly, acts of crime, violence, and sexual or emotional degradation, often beginning in early childhood, shatter the dignity of the Self. Many souls often live a phantom-like existence, seeming to have a functioning persona when in fact only a meager connection to the true Spiritual Self exists. This is one of the underlying reasons, at the level of soul reality, for the vast outbreak of immune-related diseases. Echinacea flower essence stimulates and awakens the true inner Self. This is a fundamental remedy for many soul and physical illnesses, especially when the individual has experienced shattering and destructive forces. Echinacea restores the soul's true self-identity and essential dignity, in relationship to the Earth and to the human family.
(5) Dandelion Taraxacum officinale (yellow)
Positive qualities: Dynamic, effortless energy; lively activity balanced with inner ease
Patterns of imbalance: Overly tense, especially in musculature of the body, over striving and hard-driving
The soul needing Dandelion flower essence feels a natural intensity and love for life. Such individuals are compulsive "doers" who enter with great zeal and zest into many activities. Unfortunately, they can over-plan and over-form their lives beyond the natural capacity of the body to sustain such intensity. Furthermore, such persons may become unable to experience more contained moments of reflective activity. The unexpressed inner life of the soul and the harsh demands on the body collide to create extreme tension, especially in the musculature. The Dandelion flower teaches these individuals how to listen more closely to emotional messages and bodily needs. As tension is released the soul feels more inner ease and balance, allowing spiritual forces to flow through the body in a dynamic, effortless way.
*Flower Essence Qualities and Portraits are excerpts from the Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, ©Flower Essence Society
Linda Cohen is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Counselor, flower essence therapist, and writer of poetry and nonfiction. Born in New York City, Linda graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. from New York University. She received her Master's Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Queen Mary College, University of London, in 1971. In 1991, she graduated from The Gary Null Health and Nutrition Program given through The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and is recommended as a health counselor by Gary Null in his book Healing Your Body Naturally. After a 15-year affiliation, Linda recently received her certification as a flower essence therapist through The Flower Essence Society. In 1996-1997 she served as a staff writer and columnist for Movement Magazine:The Guide To South Florida's Night Life. She has counseled privately since 1991 at chiropractic offices, health clubs, and spas in New York City and Miami Beach. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163 fax: 530-265-0584
Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.