It still amazes me how some physicians can take away a person's will to live with just a few words. In 2000, I was working at Denmark's well-known Humlegaarden Complementary Cancer Clinic. Many of the people I saw there had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had come to this clinic for one last try at a cure. I found some of them were in a rather dilapidated state emotionally.
Sue was one of my clients there. When she first came to see me she looked the picture of misery. Her daughter had committed suicide a few years before and in the last year Sue herself had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
At the beginning of the treatment I held Sue's right hand to intuitively test for which Bach flower remedy she might need. When I determined it was Gorse, I asked her if her hope needed strengthening. At that she burst into tears, telling me how her doctor had taken her hope away by saying there was no cure for her and that trying complementary medicine was a waste of time.
"If only he had said, ‘Well, you could give it a try,’" Sue wept. "Instead, he has stripped me of my will to live."
I wondered what right her doctor had to say that. No doubt, it was based on his experience of Sue's disease. But, even if he was right, surely it must have been obvious something could be done to ease Sue's emotional pain.
In such misery, for the first three sessions I had with Sue, she just cried and cried. I had not come across such deep pain before and thought there might never be an end to her tears. Sue said she had never been able to cry when her daughter had taken her life, or even when Sue had been diagnosed with cancer. Now it was all coming out; there were just floods of tears.
To match this, during the light touch healing I did on Sue, I experienced huge amounts of healing energy enter her body. At times I felt it entering her with such force that afterwards Sue reported she felt bruised across her chest. This was even though I had not put my hands on her with any more than the lightest touch.
Also over those sessions through intuitively selecting various Bach flower remedies, I was able to access deeper aspects of Sue’s emotional pain. It was as though I was peeling the layers of an onion. At first, Sue had loss of hope, represented by Gorse, and then great fear about the future, which was revealed through the remedy Mimulus. This was followed by Pine to help her with regret and forgiveness.
Though giving her these remedies in the first three sessions, all I was able to do was hold Sue’s hand while she cried. Finally, on the fourth session Sue’s tears subsided and we could talk.
Feeling the relief she had obtained from therapy, after the fifth session, Sue wrote me this letter by way of reference:
“The first time I came to Kim she made a good impression on me, because she was so calm and relaxed and interested in people. When she picked a Bach flower for me after holding my hand, and said it was meant for hope, something inside me exploded in my heart and I started to cry. I felt she was the person who could take all of my tears and my heavy problems which I had kept inside me for such a long time. It was a release to let go through a person who was so willing to listen and do something to help me.
The vibrations I felt from Kim's hands and from her treatment made me open my mind and heart, and let all the burdens come out. After a time (3 to 4 treatments) I felt more calm and comfortable. The fear was not so difficult anymore. And when she told me about the light and the energy we can get from the great power - maybe God - it was like coming through my difficulties to more hope for the future.
One day Kim talked about personality, and what she told me about my Bach flower remedy for this was just like looking at myself through a mirror. Kim's treatment has given me the opportunity to open my mind and my heart. She has given me hope and strength to continue. I feel calm and much more comfortable and optimistic.”
It was not only a delight to receive such a letter, but to feel Sue's lightness of being by the end of the last session. I believe the fact that Sue could feel so relaxed and free from her past burdens could greatly help her immune system to focus more fully on fighting her disease.
In her first session, I began my diagnosis of Mary’s condition by lightly holding her right hand. As I did so, I moved the palm of my other hand over the top of Bach flower remedies in their box. I was intuitively looking for the one that would identify her problem.
When I reached for the Five-Flower Formula for trauma, I was suddenly overwhelmed with pain. I stopped for a moment and closed my eyes, mainly because I didn't want to burst into tears in front of Mary, especially as this was the first time she had come to see me.
While I waited for my emotions to subside, I was extremely aware of Mary watching me and wondering why I had paused. Almost a minute passed until I could speak again, as the pain I had felt was so intense. I was then able to ask Mary what severe trauma she had recently experienced that had so overwhelmed me.
Mary related that her boyfriend had recently died in a boating accident and she had experienced a lot of grief, as well as anger, since his death. While the story of her boyfriend’s death was dramatic, Mary related it to me quietly and calmly. The tears I had felt inside her when I selected her remedy were now nowhere in sight, though, I was still waiting patiently for Mary to react. As a natural therapist, I had experienced this kind of emotional ‘numbness’ before. While the sensitivity I had developed through my work helped me to identify Mary’s issues, I could see it would take longer for Mary to consciously access her pain in this session.
Also, while accessing Mary’s subconscious pain, I felt like I had not only identified what her problem was, but was in effect already crying her tears for her. By this feeling I knew that the healing process had already begun.
As I watched Mary calmly relating her story, I wondered if by the end of the session she would be crying her own tears. I also wondered how and when I would help her to do this. In the beginning of any session such as this, I never really have any idea how things will proceed. All I really had to guide me was my previous experience, which had taught me I would get a clear sense of what to do when the time was right.
Mary had wanted to try meditation as part of her treatment in this session, so I next took her through a guided ‘visualization’ to open her chakras, with a focus on facilitating the energy flow of the heart. We sat down facing each other to do this together. By the end of the meditation I felt completely relaxed, but when I opened my eyes to look at Mary, thinking she might feel the same, I could see she had a look of pain on her face.
"I feel blocked.” she said, looking distressed. “I have a pain over my heart."
I knew now the trauma of her boyfriend's death had come to the surface and I wondered if at this point I might be able to help her clear it. I felt the time was right to give Mary the remedy for trauma and I also asked if I could do some light touch healing on her.
Mary looked skeptical at first, as she hadn’t tried this before. But she let me put my hand lightly over her heart. As I did so, I felt energy immediately building up inside me. When it got very intense, I felt it suddenly surge towards Mary through the tips of my fingers. In that moment, the energy felt as intense as a laser beam. At the peak of this energy flow, Mary suddenly burst into tears. It was then I could really feel her intense pain surfacing.
Though Mary struggled with this outpouring of emotion, I could also see she was determined to be brave and strong as she let torrents of tears pour down her cheeks. After a few minutes, Mary stopped crying and I could now feel the pain had gone.
It took a few more moments for Mary to fully recover her composure. When she did, she looked at me and smiled, saying, "I feel really light in my chest now. In fact," she paused considering, "I feel really light in my whole being. It feels like a great weight has lifted off me." Now I could see that so much of the trauma of her boyfriend’s death had been lifted off from her. I also felt her new lightness of being as my own.
I met Paul during a retreat at the well-known Tauhara Centre on the North Island of New Zealand. One thing I immediately noticed about Paul was that it was quite difficult to talk with him. As we spoke, I noticed our conversation just seemed to peter out for no apparent reason. I just couldn't get enough of a fix on my thoughts to have a decent chat with him. However, we were able to talk long enough about what I would be doing in my workshop for him to be interested in attending it.
During the workshop, Paul even volunteered to have his Bach flower remedy intuitively selected. I was curious to find the remedy Star of Bethlehem featuring for Paul. It is for trauma and can specifically be used as a “soother of sorrows.” Unfortunately, Paul didn't relate to this and was quite adamant it was not his remedy.
Normally, I won't give a remedy until I have confirmed it with my client. However, I could see Paul had made up his mind and this wasn't going to happen. While outwardly Paul showed no signs of needing this remedy, I had noticed one clue that might help me. This was the disconcerting feeling I had, in previously talking to Paul, of a significant trailing off in our conversation. This I knew to be a definite symptom of Star of Bethlehem. The reason for this can be that one is not fully in the present because of the distraction of unprocessed trauma residing in the subconscious. To me, Paul seemed to have a significant amount of this.
Wondering what to do, I contemplated this for a few minutes. Usually, if I find a symptom that is as distinctive as Paul’s I would be very inclined to administer the remedy. On the other hand, I also like my clients to accept the remedy I have chosen. So, I hesitated, wondering if there was anything else I could say to Paul.
While I was wondering, Paul spoke. "You know, even though I don't think this is the right remedy for me, it's funny you should choose it as I am a Jew."
His comment raised a few immediate and obvious concerns for me. "Could I ask you about the Holocaust and your family?" I asked. "Yes." Paul replied. "Many of my immediate and extended family were exterminated at that time. And I felt very traumatized when I found out. But, I'm over that now," he insisted, firmly folding his arms to emphasize the point.
"I'm sure you're right." I said, trying not to arouse any more defensiveness. "But, I would like just to suggest, as this remedy has come up and there is a significant trauma in your past, there may be a reason for this."
I didn't want to belabour the point, but equally would have liked to have talked to Paul about the possibility he might still have some processing to do regarding the Holocaust. However, as I could see he really didn't think so, instead I asked if he would like to take the remedy by way of experiment.
"Sure. I'll give it a try," he said, now shrugging his shoulders. After giving Paul a few drops of the remedy, I observed him closely for the rest of the workshop. But, for that whole 3 hour period I saw no distinctive change in his demeanour.
It wasn't until I bumped into him the next day while walking through the garden, that I noticed something was very different. As I engaged Paul in conversation, I sensed more happiness as he chatted away to me at some length about the retreat and all the nice people he had met. I also noticed there was no sign of the previous trailing off in our conversation.
After a bit, I asked him how he was feeling. He beamed then and said.
"I feel great! Like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Thank you."
Kim Uildriks MA is an Australian registered psychologist and supervisor of psychologists. She is also a Natural therapist, incorporating the Bach flowers into a strongly intuitive approach to therapy. Kim is available internationally for consultations on-line and also face to face on the Gold Coast in Australia.
While specializing in trauma, Kim also provides assistance to clients with a wide range of emotional challenges.
In industry, Kim provides Employee Assistance and Critical Incident counselling. In this field she has extensive experience in working with trauma, attending Critical Incidents on-site as well as through Employee Assistance Programs and “Manager Assist” counselling. Kim also brings her skills in mediation to industry, when critical incidents may highlight an organization’s procedural issues.
Kim also conducts workshops combining Complementary Medicine with orthodox psychology. “Emotional Debriefing for Health Professionals” is a 3-hour intensive of special interest to other therapists. Kim has conducted workshops since 1999. Her approach is facilitative and dynamic, strongly encouraging group participation.
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.