The team conducted a series of trainings in the use of the FES Flourish Flower Essence Formulas for people impacted by the earthquake. To their surprise, they were also invited to visit areas impacted by the earthquake to which no outsiders are allowed to enter without permission.
This report highlights a very effective means of conducting a relief aid program utilizing what Dr. Tsuei calls "seed trainers." These people go on to helping others, who will in turn be helping others, and those others, more people again.
View a complete presentation of photos depicting their experiences here. All photographs courtesy of Dr. Tsuei. (This is a large PDF file requiring a broadband connection.)
Mian-Yang City Civilian Service Training Center
In February of 2009, our Flower Essence Therapy training team was invited by the committee members of Mian-Yang Civilian Service Training Center to introduce flower essence therapy to 120 participants, including mayors and clerks, from different towns and villages in Mian-Yang. We used five “rescue flower essence” formulas to lecture and demonstrate to each participant how to use flower essences to rescue and relieve stress. We hoped that with the help of the participants’ personal experiences, they would help us to assess the possibility of transferring the flower essence therapy skills to them for training of other local trainers as the second step.
The course started with Professor Shia, an experienced psychologist, sharing her experience working with the Taiwan 921 earthquake victims over the past ten years, in the area of rescue and stress relieve; she emphasized the importance of psychology rehabilitation and rescue. Afterwards, Professor Julia Tsuei presented the feasibility of flower essence therapy for PTSD, using the examples of the nuclear explosion in Russia, and 9/11 in New York. She explained the scientific base of this therapy and how an Electro-Dermal Screening Test (EDST) device and the O-ring Kinesiology Test can help to select the most suitable flower essences for each individual victim.
After the lectures, the participants were divided into four groups. Each member in the group took turns taking both the EDST measurement and the O-ring Kinesiology Test, and then received the correct treatment bottle while the other members of the team played the role of observers. Four training team instructors each had one Electro-Dermal Screening Device and five sets of flower combinations. All those who took the test were asked to fill out a test form including a brief history to establish a record, and to draw a picture as part of a psychology test. Then, they took the Electro-Dermal Screening Test to find out if any of the five formulas fit his or her need. The same five bottles then were tested again using the O-ring Kinesiology Test to check if the results of the two tests matched each other. It was amazing that not only every person tested had one formula that fit his or her need, but both tests indicated the same formula. After having finished the test, all the members were given the treatment bottle and instructions on how to use it.
Within two hours, all the 50 participants received this initial flower essence treatment and witnessed the effect of the O-ring Kinesiology Test. The training team members explained to the participants about the information carried by the flower essences and with what emotions they could correlate them. In the beginning, all of the participants seemed uncertain about the test. But when they compared the concordance of the EDST and the O-ring Kinesiology Test, they were surprised about the matching results and agreed on the validity both of the FET and the Kinesiology Test. Copies of diary forms were left for the participants to journal their feelings every day. We hoped that the next volunteer team would collect their diaries.
Mian-Yang Women’s Association
We were also invited by the Women’s Association of Mian-Yang City, and presented the effects of flower essence therapy to 16 women leaders and clerks of the Women’s Association who were both the victims as well as the rescuers in the earthquake areas at their Mian-Yang City Headquarters. There again, through their personal experiences, we assessed the possibility of transferring flower essence therapy to training their group in the future.
After the prior day's group participants experienced the selection process and treatment results of flower essences, the deputy principal of the school and the coordinator of this training program both became more interested in FET. Along with Mr. Lin, the Tai-Chung district director of Taiwan’s Child Welfare League Foundation, who also had come to teach the same group, became interested in FET upon hearing about our project. These three men enthusiastically volunteered to accompany us to our appointment with the Women’s Association. Therefore, there were 3 men and 16 women in the course and participated in the tests together.
It was a 3-hour course as we had done the day before, and because it was a small group, we added another aspect to the testing procedure. Not only did we check the five formulas with each participant individually, after the right formula was selected, we used flower affirmation photo cards to select from the formula the one specific flower that corresponded with the primary problem emotion that each participant was suffering from at the moment. For example, one participant had tested and picked out the flower card Forget-Me-Not representing her utmost relevant flower from her formula, Grief Relief, remedy bottle.
It indicated that the participant perceived in herself the contradictory feelings between the deceased loved ones and her present family members. It turned out that she lost her husband during the earthquake; and afterward, she remarried a man who had become a widower in the disaster. Her job assignment at the time of our course was to help those people who had lost their spouses in the earthquake to pair up and rebuild their families. It’s quite obvious that she suffered tremendously from conflicting feelings. She was amazed that we could point that out within such a short time. We told her that she would feel relief when and after taking the flower essence formula. She and the rest of the women in the workshop were all inspired and promised to take their formulas as prescribed, keep a journal, and were eager to arrange training programs in the future when they went back to their local sites. There was a village master, Ms. Wu, who came from a minority tribe in the mountainous Bei-Chuan area, who asked specifically for further contact with us.
512 Civilian Rescue Service Center (NGO)
We next went by invitation to the “512 Rescue Service Center (NGO)” in Chengdu City, and conducted a whole day session, and actually carried out a training session in regard to flower essence therapy. In the course, we also included how to choose personal flower essence formulas and select the correct individual flowers.
The course at the center was scheduled for a whole day; it most matched our original idea of the training project. This center was set up specifically for the rescue work in the aftermath of the earthquake. Workers are all volunteers with different backgrounds, mostly social work or counseling/psychology graduates or students, who have many similarities with our FET core course trainees in Taiwan. They came for new knowledge and were ready to be trained. Therefore, we conducted a whole day session with an extended volume of content including explanations for all of the individual flowers (39) that make up the five different Flourish formulas.
In the testing procedure, one flower essence formula was selected for each participant, and one flower from that mixture that he or she most needed was identified using the flower cards. Other than learning how to select flower essences with EDST, they also practiced how to use the O-Ring test to choose the appropriate flower.
In this course, Professor Xia gave a special lecture to the participants in regard to the “action research” plan of the Flower Essence Project. As she stated, everything we’ve done so far is a part of the “action research” in practice. If everyone involved in the “action” understands the idea and henceforth applies it, it would not only benefit the recipients of their services, they themselves could gain a lot of knowledge from it. At the end of the day, we believed we had gained dozens of potential local core-trainers to aid us.
Low-Ti City Red Cross Team
During this trip, we were invited to visit Low-Ti City of Hunan Province, and the Red Cross Handicapped Mutual Help Service Association. This city has committed to help Sichuan Li County and is establishing a three-year rehabilitation program. Low-Ti City Red Cross sent two representatives to Chengdu City to attend the training program of Flower Essence Therapy that was held at the 512 Rescue Service Center. The two representatives and the training team members discussed in depth the plans to train the core members of the Low-Ti team on the usage of flower essence therapy as part of the 3-year plan.
On our last day in Cheng-Du (we would catch our flight at 2 PM and head back), we had set an appointment with the “Red-Cross Loving Cooperation Association for the Handicapped” in Low-Ti City, Hu-Nan Province. We were to discuss with their representatives the psychological assistance project for the reconstruction of Li-County of Si-Chuan. We met Lou-Ti’s team at the “First International Forum of the Psychological Assistance for the 512 Earthquake” at the end of the prior year, and had kept close contact with each other ever since that time. In the national reconstruction scheme, Hu-Nan Province adopted Li County, which was located way up on the mountaintop, and is also one of the most severely damaged areas by the Earthquake. This team from Low-Ti therefore, is the key engineer of the reconstruction plan for that area.
Their team had organized a group composed of twenty handicapped volunteers for the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Centre of Si-Chuan Hua-Xi Hospital. Their offering of psychological assistance for the severely injured people in the earthquake achieved outstanding results, which were acclaimed in the International Forum. It was during that occasion that we met and shared our experiences. By our demonstration, they deeply felt that flower essence therapy would be one of the most suitable tools to soothe shock and restlessness after the catastrophe, to alleviate chronic sorrow and depression, to overcome despair, to restore self-healing ability, and to recall new hope for life. Therefore, they have incorporated our program as a ‘seed-trainer program’ and ‘stress-relief counseling service’ in the three-year plan of Si-Chun’s and Hu-Nan’s joined provincial project. This team was sent to participate in our preliminary seed-trainer programs held together with the 512-relief service center. They also hope we can make plans for future training programs with their program representative Mr. Mao Zhi-Wen, the president of the Red-Cross’ mutual-aid association for the handicapped.
In this preliminary training program, they had the opportunity to experience the treatment themselves. They learned attentively the contents and techniques and also studied diligently the materials and use of the instrument in the hope that their three-year plan could go beyond only training courses but include service providing. They wanted to fund a workshop in Li County and recruit from Taiwan some suitable training personnel who could stay there longer to assist the trained students in serving the victims.
Concrete proposals were offered: they hope that the core-training team in Taipei will send ten trainers to Chang-Sha, the capital city of Hu-Nan Province, to provide a two-week preliminary training course, because its environment is relatively easier to be adapted than Li City. Afterwards, the most suitable ones would be chosen to be sent to Li City. These chosen volunteers would supervise the training process and service providing. The planners would then come up with concrete plans for the “technique transference” with long-term training at the second stage. Our meeting also included appraisal of substantial cost. What was most valuable was Professor Xia’s sharing of her experience in implementing the post-921 reconstruction program in Taiwan and her advice to Mian-Yang City on the same subject. She recommended that respective plans for reconstructing Li City and Mian-Yang City be put into practice simultaneously so that they could cooperate. Finally, amid bouts of wishes and blessings, we said goodbye to the members of the last group of this visit to China.
After the preliminary training experiences of these three different groups, we observed that there had been some interesting yet distinguishing features shown among them. We believe it’s due to the distinctions between the participants’ backgrounds, mission goals, and initial intensions. However, there were great similarities, too: all of them were inspired and felt confident in this fast and effective method of emotional counseling. They cherished the flower essence formula they received, filled in the information sheet, and promised to write down how they felt after using the flower essences.
After our officially scheduled courses were completed, we found that out of all 192 people who joined the courses over the three days, 102 were subjected to the flower essence test. Among them, 50 were from the CCP Academy, 17 from the Women’s Association, and 35 from the 512 Civilian Rescue Center. Subjects who came from the previous two groups were victims themselves, and, they also took charge of their local rescue work. The third group however, was mostly made up of volunteers from outside regions. We recorded their ages, gender, positions, and levels of education.
From the test results, we found the need for certain formulas was significantly relevant to the severity of trauma one experienced, and also was relevant to the subject’s gender. In our study, the CCP group was the one with the most stress, and the vast majority of its members were male. Among them, 60.9% (more than half) needed Post-Trauma Stabilizer; 23.9% needed Grief-Relief; only 13 % needed Fear Less; 2.2% needed Illumine, no one needed Magenta Self-Healer as yet.
In the Women’s Association group, 43.8% (less than half) needed Post-Trauma Stabilizer; Grief Relief 31.3%; Fear-Less 25%, no one needed Illumine and Magenta Self-Healer.
It is interesting to note that the need for different remedies reflects not only the seriousness of the trauma, but the way the individual adjusts oneself. Women talk and shed tears easily, which may help them to progress to expressing grief, while men still remain in the shock stage. As for the civilian group, 37.1% needed Post-Trauma Stabilizer, 31.4% Grief Relief, 14.2 Fear-Less, 8.6% Illumine and 8.6% Magenta-Self-Healer.
Unexpectedly, the commissioners of the CCP Academy at Mian-Yang City who took flower essences during our course felt the “magical power,” and decided immediately to take us to the most seriously damaged area of the earthquake—Bei-Chuan county—where it is still tightly blockaded to the outside world. They hoped we could see in person the desperate needs in that area, and also, they expected us to demonstrate this flower essence therapy method to the high authority officials who are in command there. Therefore, with mixed feelings of unease, curiosity, but with wholehearted love, we rented a minivan at our own expense and headed north from Cheng-Du, met with the commissioners from Mian-Yang City, and went on to Bei-Chuan County.
Bei-Chuan located in Mian-Yang City, is the birthplace of the Great Yu, one of the kings in Chinese history. It is an autonomous territory belonging to the ethnic minority tribe Qiang. Its total area is 2869 square kilometers, with a population of 161,107. Administratively, Bei-Chuan is divided into 17 townships and 278 villages.
Our car drove along the highway surrounded by a continuous mountain range. In springtime, the mountain should have virgin green foliage. Instead, under the grey light of the sky, it looked stern and strict. When we got closer to Bei-Chuan, more and more huge scars were evident that were the result of mudflows and landslides, branding the sloping side of the hills. The traumas were so obvious that one could not miss their presence.
When we reached the first gateway to Bei-Chuan, Mr. Luo, vice chairman of Bei-Chuan Reconstruction Committee, Mr. Lee, deputy chief of the Bei-Chuan Taiwan Affairs Office, and Mr. Wang, deputy chief of Bei-Chuan Religious Affairs Office, were already waiting for us. This is where all the “offices” are, and people are required to get their passes into the off-limits area from here. After our documents were in order, under the escort of the commissioners and armed security, we went into the first township of the county. Although broken walls and debris were all over along the road, some were hidden behind the front row of a more tidy line of board-houses. In front of those houses, there were stacks of lumber, bricks and tiles. There were long red-banners hanging on the walls, saying: “Thanks to the people from XX city, for their kindness and assistance to us.” Men and women dressed in working clothes were busy loading or dispatching, which goes to show the vitality and spirit of the reconstruction effort.
Dean Zhang explained to us in the minivan that the Government’s plan for the rescue work is for each county in the damaged area to be “adopted” by one province of China. Then, the most prosperous county/city in that province adopts one township/village in that victim county. Bei-Chuan is adopted by Shan-Dong Province, therefore, there were many well-known city names from Shan-Dong Province appearing on the banners.
Mountains from both sides of the highway were getting closer to each other because it is a gorge where two streams from the mountains merge; it meant we were near Bei-Chuan County. The magnitude of the disaster proved to be more serious as we got closer to the center of the Earthquake. Not only had walls of some of the buildings fallen, most buildings were crushed, and lay in ruins, with piles of rubble scattered over vast areas. The mountains with roads and highways were also deformed and out of shape. The mountain tops that used to be covered by dense and luxurious forests have been reduced to huge streams of mud falls. Under the mud stream is a precarious pile of debris; it is another village which had been swallowed! There is some construction work going on, but given the immense amount of land moved, the reconstruction effort in the aftermath, remains really scattered.
As we got closer to the valley, the wounds over the hilltop as well as the piles of debris on the ground were both more visible and clear to the naked eye. But astonishingly surprised, we saw a wide expanse of yellow flowers of rape [mustard], shining with glorious light, blossoming at the foot of every mountain along the way. Seemingly, they’re telling us, despite the heavy shadow of devastating disaster, Mother Earth still mercifully spills her milk to comfort and nourish those people who survived. We also noticed there were cherry blossoms, red or white, along the misted valley, sending a message of life in the early spring.
We came to the second checkpoint and had our passes verified; all sizes of vehicles were parked along the roadway, and visitors had to walk to go further from this point. There were quite a few vehicles that day and lots of people gathered in groups, some were relatives or friends of the victims, others were supporting teams from provinces some distance away.
According to Dean Zhang, during Chinese New Year’s holidays, the government encouraged people from outside the region to spend the holidays with survivors in the damaged area. From the second checkpoint to the third, which is located in the entrance of the valley, there were stands erected along the roadside, selling local products and specialties, with a view to helping the people of the region to be economically productive, rather than being totally dependent on charitable donations.
Bei-Chuan—half buried by mudslides
When approaching the third checkpoint, we were the only two vehicles allowed to go in, and from there, only people with special missions or tasks to perform can get permission to enter. Our minivan moved very slowly, inch by inch, because it was impossible to drive through the terrain. There were huge rocks in the way; some were as big as a round dinning table and blocked two-thirds of the road. The half-buried Bei-Chuan suddenly appeared in front of us over the broken cliff ahead. The shock was way beyond anything one can imagine, and there is no best way to describe the enormity of the level of devastation that lay before us.
Members of our team were chatting and joking during the first half of this adventure. But when we got to the second checkpoint, not only was the air condensed, and silent chill demonstrated, tears were already creeping down some of our faces. We hadn’t yet heard the story told by the high commissioner about what happened, but the sadness was pervasive; everyone was touched and felt like weeping.
We got out of the car, Vice Chairman Luo waved his palm and said, “We here had over 10,000 of our folks buried under where we are standing. …. My office was right there at the third floor of that crushed building. I was bounced out at the time, and my left leg was wounded. I didn't care about the pain but just ran to the intersection at the city center. There were twenty-some people running with me. Then all of a sudden, a big flow of mudslide rushed down, hit us, and swallowed up my colleagues ahead of me. And, there was another wave of residual shaking; hills and trees seemingly danced wildly in the air. People behind me were knocked down and overwhelmed by houses tumbling all over. Only a few people were left standing in the ashes of ruins, horrified… .” We spoke up when he paused, “It was one body-distance from death!!” “No,” he replied, “just half a body!”
The first thing to do at the time, was try to rescue anyone who was buried alive. And at the same time, said Vice Chairman Luo, to console the surviving students and help them compose themselves and restore order. It was 2:00 in the afternoon, and all students had been seated in their classrooms. The county’s kindergarten, Qu-Shan Elementary School, and an in-patient department of the county hospital were centered in the dirt-flooded area, and had the most casualties. Another junior high school, located on the other side of the county government building, also turned into a mass graveyard.
There was one exception, a senior high school situated in the southwest part of the city where classrooms at the lowest level were crushed, with one-third of the students buried, mostly 10th graders. But the rest, those situated on the higher levels; the 11th and 12th graders, were evacuated safely. Vice Chairman Luo selected several leaders among those who survived, and asked them to roughly organize and support each other. When rescuers from outside arrived, the whole group marched on their feet toward Mian-Yang City and fled their hometown which was still experiencing repeated residual shaking. He also sent another troop of people to Mian-Yang City in advance, to prepare emergency shelter, food and drinking water. He cast his eyes to a distant place as he told us the first words he said when he came across any relatives of those who survived, “Don’t cry, don’t cry!”
The CCP Academy had prepared at our request, two bouquets of flowers from our team, for presentation on that spot to be part of a memorial to the victims of the Earthquake and to express our feelings, participating in the mourning process. We also pledged that we would make all the efforts in our power to assist their remaining love ones. We all didn’t talk much at the scene. There were two families who brought incenses candles, and sacrificial offerings for the deceased; they worshipped toward the sky, gazed into the distance, and wept silently. On our way back, we also visited the ruins of Bei-Chuan Senior High School, and saw the pictures of the students and classrooms taken before and after the Earthquake.
Encouraging signs of new life and hope
What braced our hearts afterward was the visit to several board-house districts. One is the Ren-Jia-Ping Board-House District of Qu-Shan Town, run by Da-Shui Township Residents’ Committee. Its village master, Ms. Wu, was the one who attended our course with the Women’s Association and specifically asked for further contact.
We toured the standardized facilities in the Ren-Jia-Ping Board-House District. Situated in a big board-house, there was a long kitchen range with a stove to the right side; the center part was the common area for this family. They put a brazier in the middle with a grill, and roasted pork was hung high on the beam; they were responsible for the meat supply of the co-op. To the left side of the room was a wooden board with odds and ends of items used daily, which obviously was the only “table” in the day-time; at night it was used as a bed. In the back of the room separated by a curtain, there was a bunk bed; children’s toys were scattered on the upper bed. Generations of this family were starting their life here.
Village master Wu was eager to show us the board-house district built by their committee. It turned out to be a very clean district under her supreme leadership. Laundry was hanging under the eaves to dry in the sun. Clusters of Chinese cabbages were hanging on a string beneath it. An old grandma, neatly dressed, was sitting in front of the house doing needlework. Lanes and alleys were orderly, straight and clean. A red-cheeked baby was held in the arms of its mother and looked at us curiously. These babies were born after the Earthquake; they wouldn’t realize yet just what disaster had happened before their births. Ms. Wu took in her hands beautiful arts and crafts, which were made by her fellow villagers, as she walked with us, and explained their reconstruction plan for the local economy. She also earnestly invited us to come back to teach and provide a more general application of flower essences to help relieve the emotional stress they all experienced. Out of all these torrid and traumatic experiences, we finely saw encouraging signs of new life and hope rise from the board-house district.
During the same trip, we visited “Qu-Shan Youth Services Center.” We met the volunteer who provides psychological assistance there, and we shared and exchanged experiences. Ms. Gong, a member of our team, is a Muslim. She found to her amazement, an Imam was performing the daily prayers with Muslims in the district. After a while, the Imam enthusiastically led us to the location where the Mosque used to be. The distinctive minaret of the dome was now lying quietly in the ruins; however, its Imam was still attending to his people.
Then, we met three Buddhist masters in another board-house district. On their wood board table, there were piles of proposals and blueprints. They came from a large Buddhist organization, and were planning to build a temple before the tomb-sweeping festival so that the dead could receive sacrifices from what was offered. We felt it was when people are facing great calamities, that there seems to be an urgent need to think about the issues of life and death; and bring to bear a true and pertinent understanding to the value of human life. No wonder there were two officials amongst our hosts in Bei-Chuan who were involved with religious affairs.
Upon our last stop in Bei-Chuan, we were treated with a mid-day banquet. In return, we took out our equipment and offered flower essence tests to our hosts. The result was just as we thought it might be: of all seven people, five men and two women, they all displayed urgent needs for Post-Trauma Stabilizer and Grief Relief. We saw faint tears in the eyes of these “tough guys” when they received the formulas and information on directions and possible responses. On our way back to Mian-Yang City, hardly anybody spoke. Amidst the rumble of engines and our travels from then on, the heaviness of Bei-Chuan was in our hearts.
The Flower Essence Therapy Team
Prof. Julia Tsuei, MD M. Med. Sc. FACOG
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163 fax: 530-265-0584
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