Based on a video interview by Alli Sievers;
As he was growing up, Dr. Gregory Weisswasser’s family used flower essences. His first exposure to flower essences was as a young child, 2-3 years old. "Being the youngest child in my family, I had a lot of pent up emotions, and I was not so great at expressing them. Flower essences were helpful for me to become more emotionally expressive." Later, when he was 8 years old, his grandfather was passing on, going through the death and dying stages. He arrived at the stage where one is angry, and he was having trouble moving past it. It was the use of flower essences that allowed him to transition; very quickly when he received the right flower essence, he moved through his anger, and on to acceptance, and the other emotions involved. “I remember that happening when I was a child, the effect it had on all of us, and everyone talking about it.”
As part of his herbal medicines course, Dr. Greg worked on a special project that was an exhaustive experiential study of the herb Dandelion. It included tasting and eating it, drinking the tea, and ingesting it in capsule, and all other possible forms. In addition, he obtained Dandelion flower essence from the dispensary at Bastyr. He liked the effects of using the essence, which allowed him to shed some of the “tension patterns” associated with attending medical school: always pushing, even while one’s body indicates to stop, becoming over-taxed as a result, and then, tension results. Dandelion helped him balance out for a period of time.
He used other flower essences as well during his years in medical school; the one most important for him was Agrimony. Up until his second year in school, he was the type of person who would always smile, even when he was in a bad mood, had a migraine headache or was unhappy. Someone would ask how he was doing and he would say, "Great, great!" no matter how he felt. He recognized that it was a problem and began using Agrimony. It took time, but he felt it was as though he was shedding layers. When he first took it, anger emerged, and it was intense for him. As time went on over a few months, he was able to take the essence without having a strong anger response. His friends noticed a difference in him, and were shocked by the change when he gave honest replies to the question, “How are you doing?”
Dr. Greg remembers, while still in training with a supervising doctor, a woman who was having uterine bleeding, even though she was post-menopausal. That, of course, is not normal and can be a sign of potential risk, like cancer. She needed to have a woman’s exam and annual pap test, which she hadn't had in a long time. She also had a history of abuse, and was not happy about having to undergo the examination. It went well, but it was severely distressing for her. At the end of the exam, she sat up and was moaning, inconsolable, unable to talk, hyperventilating, and had trouble breathing. Dr. Greg asked his assistant to get Five-Flower Formula, and put it in water. It was then offered to the woman, who didn’t know she was drinking anything but water. She took a sip of it and within seconds was totally calm. The woman said, "I'm okay now…thanks so much, I'm fine, just got a little upset..." Dr. Greg describes her as the most upset person he has ever seen. “When you see things like that happen, it really makes you a believer...” He continues to observe this type of response to the formula with other distressed patients.
Dr. Greg describing the use of Five-Flower Formula with a patient:
In his current practice, Dr. Greg routinely uses a formula to mist his consultation room between patient appointments. He combines Five-Flower Formula, Yarrow Environmental Solution (YES), Lavender essential oil, and water in a spray bottle. He says that it has an amazing clearing effect on the room. “Many times after I've done an hour of body work on someone there have been many releases of energy and emotional release…and it's hot, steamy, smelly...and the next person will be coming in a moment, so as I clean up and wipe down the table, I mist the room, turn on the fan, and it literally clears out the whole feeling of the last person, and allows me to move on to the next visit. Also, at times people come in and lay down after a very stressful day, or they just hurried to make the appointment, or they're feeling frustrated about a situation, and they're having trouble transitioning into a place where they're comfortable getting bodywork or being able to relax enough to receive the bodywork. At such times, I will actually mist over them.”
Dr. Greg also feels that the Five-Flower Formula in the misting formula helps him calm down from whatever he has just experienced. For example, he may have had to tell someone about a terrible diagnosis, or he’s been dealing with intense emotional issues or a difficult situation. The formula helps him “reset” before working with the next patient.
Dr. Greg thinks that the Yarrow Environmental Solution in his misting formula freshens and clears the room in a profound manner. “I think there's something in regard to the Yarrow and the salt water. Some of the training I've done with energy work recommends that you have a bowl of salt water in which you put your hands after you do the work, just to clear energy from your hands. Sometimes I'll take the YES, put some into my palm, and rub it into my hands to clear them, because they can get super ‘hot’ clearing away energy.”
At times, Dr. Greg will also use the Fear-Less formula for people who are experiencing anxiety or are feeling extreme fear. He asks them to breathe, close their eyes while lying there, and he sprays directly over them in their energetic field.
Dr. Greg does body work, but typically doesn’t use much oil on his patients. However, he uses Mugwort Moon Magic and Dandelion Dynamo specifically for their effective results. Mugwort Moon Magic is helpful for people who have stagnant emotional holding patterns, such as people who are depressed; typically they have been chronically “slouching,” from the feeling of great sadness. All of the stagnant energy builds up in an area, which then needs to be opened up. All of the "diaphram" areas of the body are places where people tend to block off the flow of energy, blood flow, etc., between one part of the body and another. Those are areas where people hold on to emotional states.
“Mugwort Moon Magic, what I consider to be the more yin of the two oils, is very good for getting the stagnant energy moving. If someone's neck is tight, they're ‘stuck.’ Even if I just apply some of the oil, and slowly move the tissue around, I'll find that the heat will dissipate, damp heat will begin to move. I actually feel the hot steam, moisture, and heat coming off, and then everything will loosen up; I can feel the pattern break up. It's almost as though the energy is so thick, it's like the consistency of jelly. After I apply the oil, I feel it melt into a liquid, then a gas, and ‘poof,’ it’s gone. I've used it on many, many people with very good success, targeting those types of situations.”
Dandelion Dynamo, a more yang oil, works differently, according to Dr. Greg. It is better for more physical issues (but not just physical, as they most likely start in the emotional body). It helps with the type of stiffness in the body associated with pushing beyond where the body wants to go, resulting in hardening. Different emotions can lead one to that kind of “pushing” behavior. Dandelion softens hard muscles, but unlike the Mugwort Moon Magic, it “tonifies” them at the same time. While the muscle will have strength and is holding itself, it loses the hard, rigid, rock-like aspect that comes more from a mental perspective and pushing beyond limits.
Dr. Greg has found Dandelion Dynamo to be very effective in the neck, shoulder, and head areas, where many people carry their tension. (It works for other areas as well, the pelvic diaphragm, low back, or hips, depending on the person’s pattern of holding tension.) “You can't go wrong with this oil for neck-shoulder restriction. Many people have that condition from working at computers: there's a tendency to put the chin forward, and then the whole back of the neck tightens trying to lift the head up. Also, it's the same position for many people driving or sitting in their ‘Lazyboy’ watching television for hours every night; they’re leaning back, the low back is collapsing, the chin comes forward; again, the ‘head forward’ position. Some people are in that position for 10 hours a day; it's chronic for Americans. I spend day after day working on physical conditions caused by these types of situations. Both Dandelion Dynamo and Mugwort Moon Magic are very useful tools, and I think that they could help people at home as well.”
“For those who do use them at home, I recommend different applications: mixing them into bath water, whereby the whole bath will pick up the energetic vibrational pattern (of the flower essences); it's a great full body application. For some people, I suggest putting the oils on particular points, the temples, or the third eye. Putting another Seasons of the Soul oil, Benediction oil, on the third eye and the temples, has a “lightening” effect on a person.”
“I will also tell people to use the oils for rubbing onto their neck or into sore muscles, when they have had stagnant energy. For instance, a woman with PMS and stagnant pelvic energy, would rub Mugwort Moon Magic above the pubic bone over the uterus to help with that kind of energy block. I think it's similar to how moxa is used in Chinese medicine. The oil works the same way on stagnant acupuncture points, stagnant areas of the body, causing the energy to move.”
Dr. Greg recommends Self-Heal Crème, which he finds to be very healing for cracked skin and dry eczemas where it’s necessary to help “lock in” moisture. He has seen it make a significant difference in severe cracked skin problems, helping to make the skin competent again. He also occasionally uses it for body work; “it has a very good ‘glide’ and works well.” It also helps his own hands after doing body work, preventing them from cracking. In addition, Dr. Greg has observed that Self-Heal Creme speeds up wound healing once the wounds have already closed.
Dr. Greg very often uses flower essences with children and he believes it empowers them to have their own bottle of essences to use when they need it for their emotions. When many children experience their emotions, they are either “fixed” or told to be quiet. But in neither of those cases is the child actually dealing with them. Feeling an emotion, taking flower essences, and letting the emotion come up and then pass—knowing that another emotion might come up later—helps them to develop emotional intelligence; emotions come and go, they're waves of energy.
Bill Mitchell, a favorite teacher of Dr. Greg, called emotions "energy in motion"—it's a lot of energy, and it's moving. He likes to think of them as waves: one doesn’t want to stand in front of a wave; one wants to float above it or dive through it, one doesn’t want to try and stop it. “The lesson you can teach children is to let emotions pass by, and flower essences are a very good way to aid with that, because they reduce the intensity of the emotion while bringing it up and out, which is just perfect. Furthermore, I think that flower essences free up energy that is being wasted on storing these emotional patterns and trying not to look at them; that in and of itself takes energy.”
Dr. Greg speaking about children and their emotions:
“I believe many people are simply hanging on to their emotions, they’re over-identifying with them. Flower essences provide a way to work through them and be comfortable with the fact that one has emotions and just ‘let them do their thing’ versus shutting emotions down with pharmaceutical medications. Now, it's to the point where the second most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the United States (first is statins/cholesterol drugs), is anti-psychotics, dopamine-blocking drugs. We are drugging our country to not feel anymore, in huge numbers. It could be a hundred million Americans. This is a mass experiment, along with many other mass experiments, but it's very dangerous. People are going to bottle everything up because they have no way of even feeling their emotions and in many peoples' opinions, bottling emotions leads to disease states such as cancer and heart disease.”
Dr. Greg thinks it is important to tell patients that if they are highly emotional about something, it might become very intense before it gets better. “It’s important to give them that information or they tend to discontinue use. Knowing that in advance is supportive for them. You can feel the pressure level dropping off, they're into it, and then it works.”
Walnut is an essence that Dr. Greg often uses in his practice: “We live in very transitional times, the world is changing in dramatic ways; the solar system is changing in ways that are huge, the sun is changing; there are big changes happening! Technology is changing amazingly fast. So, all of our lives are changing, and people are impacted spiritually. It’s almost “climactic” feeling; there’s a buildup that many people feel, from many different perspectives. Right now, everyone likes Walnut because of these transitions taking place. It helps people feel a little more comfortable, and helps to find one’s place is in the midst of all the change occurring in the world, one in which everyone is telling you how you should feel, what you should do, but no one really knows. Walnut helps to get in touch with one’s inner guides and center, and to know that you're on the path you're supposed to be on. Walnut is a perfect example of an essence that's good for almost everybody worldwide because of the state of the world.”
The naturopathic perspective first takes into account basic good health practices such as sleep, clean water, good food, loving relationships, exercise, art, etc. It's believed that it is always better to provide healing in those areas as the first step. The next area of healing to explore is using energetic medicine such as flower essences and homeopathy, bodywork, emotional counseling, etc. The last resort for healing would involve using toxic or potentially toxic adverse substances. Clearly, it’s important to try the other areas of healing first, flower essences among them, as they are very safe to use.
“I think there's a rush for people to be put on psych meds. In the primary care setting, people are coming in, they are feeling...depressed. But, they don't have depression, which is a diagnosis with a list of criteria. Possibly that's when you should be medicating people. And usually, I think most of the research, for instance on Prozac, was for a short period of time, with counseling. Not just, you go to your primary care doctor, oh, you're feeling sad, take this pill for the rest of your life—which is what's happening! And now, we've found out that Prozac and the other SSRIs lead to severe osteoporosis, which is a major problem.
Dr. Greg describing life without emotions:
“Using such medicines that actually cause harm is a real problem in our society; we use medicines that are too ‘heavy.’ Especially those drugs that ‘squash’ peoples' emotions, because we're supposed to have emotions, they're normal. Not only are they normal, they give life more richness. If you take away your emotions it's going to be pretty dry; you might as well be a robot. And, that's where we're going more and more with the psych meds. Where we're going now, which is blocking everyone's dopamine with anti-psychotics, is really going to create a society of ‘blahs,’ because the dopamine is what causes you to have drives, makes you want to eat chocolate, have sex, exercise; many of the things that we do is because we get a ‘dopamine reward.’ If we start blocking all dopamine there will be no drive to do anything. One just doesn’t care. When that's the second-most prescribed class of drugs in the country, we're talking about creating zombies out of Americans. It's sad.
“Drugs should be for circumstances when the feelings are so strong that they disrupt your ability to function in society properly, or they're disrupting your relationships or your work relationships, and they're falling out of societal norms...now you have an issue, and you may have to consider drugs, or maybe you can use the lighter medicines, it just depends on how serious it is.”
“Alternatively, something like a flower essence is going to allow you to feel your emotions, take the edge off of the intensity, learn about them in a deeper way, and move forward, which is much better. They can be used in conjunction with counseling and somatic body work, it all works extremely well together.”
Flower essences can be used in conjunction with medications, because there is no interaction between the substances. “That's important to recognize because many herbs and vitamins interact with psych meds in different ways which are complicated, especially for home use. If someone wants to get a medicine that's going to affect their mood, on their own without a practitioner‘s help, flower essences are a wonderful way to go. Books are readily available for learning about the essences and one can start experimenting”. However, Dr. Greg cautions that people with serious emotions not take too many flower essences all at the same time.
Dr. Greg uses a questionnaire to help people select flower essences. He helps them narrow down the number indicated, and to see which most resonates for them, he often uses and/or reads from the Flower Essence Repertory in the process. “The Repertory is by far, I think, the best flower essence book I've ever seen. It gives the straight and narrow explanation, and then the well-rounded more deeply spiritual explanation for each remedy; it’s very useful.”
Dr. Gregory Weisswasser earned his Naturopathic Doctorate from Bastyr University, a leading educational institution in the Natural Health Sciences. During his five years at Bastyr, he was well trained as a primary care Naturopathic Doctor and also searched out additional training in particular areas including physical medicine and mind-body medicine.
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