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Flower Essences and Electrosensitivity: Breaking Out of (an Emotional) Prison

by Sheila Hicks Balgobin(more info)

listed in flower essences, originally published in issue 210 - November 2013

The issue of electromagnetic stress and electrosensitivity is a growing concern with enormous implications for long-term health.  While the counselling relationship was short-lived, I gained a great deal of knowledge about both electrosensitivity and how flower essences can positively impact this condition.

As a qualified psychotherapist as well as a flower essence practitioner, I was well aware that there was precedence for flower essence therapy in psychotherapy and psychiatry, particularly in Cuba, where flower essences are issued on the Cuban National Health Service as a medical specialty. (Miyar, 2004).

Arlene: A Case Study

The following is a summarised account of Arlene’s‡ progress, whom I worked with over a five month period in an effort to address her extreme electrosensitivity. I had used flower essences with counselling clients in the past, with good results; would they, however, impact such an extreme physical condition such as the electrosensitivity that kept my client a prisoner in her own home?  Would Arlene be able to break out of the physical and emotional prison she had been locked in for over five years?

Arlene taught me a lot about electrosensitivity as a health issue – it even affected how I could practice, e.g., turn off my mobile phone before entering Arlene’s home and having to communicate through a carer, who made and received her phone messages, as Arlene became quite ill if she went near the phone.  

I also learned that it was only in addressing the emotional life of this client that a breakthrough with regard to her electrosensitivity became possible.  I do believe that, without the use of essences, the major shifts this client experienced would not have occurred with the speed and depth that they did.

Background to the Case Study

I met Arlene for the first time as a client who had received reflexology treatments in her home as part of a complementary therapy project run by the charity with which I work.  One of my colleagues had referred Arlene on to me, as she was interested in trying counselling to address her electrosensitivity issues.

Arlene, a devout Buddhist, was a rather delicate looking woman in her early sixties.  Relationships between her and her immediate family were extremely poor and she had a complicated history, including:

  • Home bound for the past 5 years as a result of electrosensitivity-related illness;
  • Fifteen years' use of toxic materials at work;
  • Mercury fillings;
  • Yeast overgrowth in gut.

After a detailed discussion about what Arlene’s expectations were with regard to the sessions (she stated that she wanted to ‘get to the bottom’ of what was the source of her extreme sensitivity - and lead a normal life once more) and the approach I would use, we agreed to an initial contract of eight appointments, after which we would assess where we were and where to go next.

Arlene was keen to learn about flower essences and curious as to whether they might be of help to her.  After an assessment of her history, I suggested that a non-alcohol based essence range might be best, as her liver was already working overtime to deal with the high levels of toxicity in her body.  Arlene agreed and we decided to use the Spirit of Makasutu range (my own flower essences) as they are distilled with Red Shiso, a non-alcohol preservative.

Spirit of Makasutu Essences

The Spirit of Makasutu Essences (SoM) range was created in the sacred forest of Makasutu in Gambia, West Africa, Jamaica and Florida.  The range is preserved with Red Shiso, a non-alcohol preservative, which is fixed with white vinegar.

Red Shiso

Red Shiso

Red Shiso is my preferred medium for making essences for various reasons, including:

  • Red Shiso is documented as being 1,000 times more powerful than synthetic food preservatives;
  • The taste is agreeable to everyone - I’ve used the essences on people, plants and animals, and all have responded well;
  • Energetically it amplifies the vibration of the essences used and seems to harmonise them – even when a larger than ‘normal’ number of essences are combined, clients seem to experience the effect of each one without any ‘getting lost’.

The SoM range is composed of thirty five flower essences and three environmental essences.  They are collected in the gentlest way possible, i.e., I do not cut flowers or remove anything from the environment where the essences are made.  A wise flower (a prickly pear bush from which I made my second essence) told me to sit bowls of water underneath or in the midst of plants – and save my hands from thorns!  I make all my essences this way in exchange for a reiki treatment (to the plant/environment) – and I believe this makes the essences quite gentle, but powerful.  

The Essences Arlene Selected

Various essences would be presented for selection by Arlene at the end of each appointment, – using the preceding dialogue as a base. It was important to allow her to control the process, rather than have something imposed upon her, especially as it was clear from the outset that she felt her situation was completely out of her control.

Month One

These are the essences that Arlene selected along with their qualities:

Red Hibiscus (creativity); Pink Oleander (agitation, worry); Baobab♦ (grounding, perseverance); Crocodiles of Katchikally♦ (creativity; strength combined with gentleness); and Orange (soothing, enjoyment of life).

Red Hibiscus

Red Hibiscus

After taking the essences, Arlene noticed discomfort in her throat and often had crying spells – she eventually noticed a connection between these bouts of tears and a sensation of constriction in her throat.  Arlene also became aware of some basic feelings about herself. She felt disconnected from everyday life and people, humiliated, helpless, dependent on others and an unexplained sense of loss.

At the heart of all Arlene’s feelings was the fact that she felt unwelcome on Earth and that she had no right to be here. 

Months Two and Three

Arlene continued to take Orange, Pink Oleander and Red Hibiscus; to this was now added: Yellow Trumpetbush♦ (encourage forgiveness, instil compassion); Prickly Pear♦ (gently, but firmly maintain boundaries; calms an impatient/prickly manner); Saw Palmetto (protection; helps address feelings of vulnerability); and Jasmine (help for those too grounded in everyday reality).

Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto

During the time of taking the essences, Arlene’s mood had clearly improved - which was borne out by MYMOP (Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile) and PSYCHLOP (Psychological Outcome Profile - similar to MYMOP) scores - see diagrams below.  This period was characterised by copious amounts of tears as Arlene  began to expand her notions regarding her personal space and  understand that it was her own thoughts that often sabotaged her efforts to engage with the world.  

Arlene also reported at this time that the left hand side of her body felt blocked - not painful, but noticeable; her throat felt clearer and her GP commented that she appeared stronger and more grounded.  She was changing and even began to look different - calmer, more confident and present.  A more assertive woman, who could safely express anger, began to emerge.

Her focus had shifted to what she could do, instead of what she could not.  She began to find places she could go and be amongst people without becoming ill.  During one of these outings, Arlene purchased a dark green turquoise pendant.  When she asked me what it was good for, I was pleased to state it was for electrosensitivity and toxicity of all kinds (including emotional toxicity). 

However, although Arlene was changing her view of herself, she hadn’t entirely let go of her negative self-talk - she stated she was drawn to a dark green turquoise because she was ‘too mousy’ to feel comfortable wearing a bright blue or light green stone.

Months Four and Five

Months four and five saw a distinct shift in the essences that ‘called’ to Arlene: the essences selected were: Bougainvillea (support during transition/change); Corn Poppy (clear thought, decisive action); and Yellow Frangipani (spiritual growth).

Corn Poppy

Corn Poppy

During this period Arlene noted that since obtaining her turquoise pendant, painful incidents from her past had surged forward and she began to see her own role in the creation of these situations. It was at this time that she realised that when she didn’t assert herself, she paid the price – in painful, silent anger and humiliation.

She began to consider the notions of forgiveness and compassion for her family (and friends); as a Buddhist these concepts resonated with her and gave her a lot of food for thought.   Now Arlene began to acknowledge the fact that she would probably never have a good relationship with her family – and that she would have to ‘create’ a family with friends who loved and accepted her as she was. More importantly, she could now forgive her family for their past and present actions and behaviour towards her.

It was around this time (following a disastrous trip to attend a family gathering) that Arlene became concerned about where she would spend the Christmas holidays – her family was clearly not an option and her funds were limited.  Unfortunately, I never learned what she decided – just before Christmas Arlene cancelled her appointment with me and informed me she would get back to me with a new date. 

While it is a pity that Arlene never contacted me again, the short time that we worked together showed a depth of progress that I do not believe would have occurred so quickly or profoundly without her taking flower essences. It also made me realise that electrosensitivity is not just a physical problem, but is rooted in the person’s emotional landscape.  It was only when her base thoughts about herself were challenged and she learned to let go of negative self-talk, that her boundaries expanded and she was able to engage more fully with the wider world. It became safe for Arlene to be in the world and she felt better equipped to deal with the toxicity she encountered – whether in the environment or within herself.

Statistical versus Experiential Change

The changes experienced by Arlene were confirmed, to a certain extent, by the MYMOP and PSYCHOLOP forms she filled out each month (see below):

MYMOP and PSYCHLOPS Graphs

MYMOP and PSYCHLOPS Graphs

A look at the stats in isolation would suggest this client had shown little improvement over

the four month period during which she used the essences.  However, I have noticed, in an informal flower essence study I carried out several years ago, that statistical data only tells part of the story (Balgobin, 2007).

The challenge for adequately reporting outcomes, I believe, hinges upon the inclusion of the ‘soft’ data, i.e., the anecdotal evidence collected from directly working with the client.  Unless some way is found to include this data, reporting would at best be incomplete. While this is by no means a formal or complete case study, I hope that it demonstrates the possibility of using flower essences as an adjunct to talking therapies and that one day a formal study on electrosensitivity will be undertaken.

What I learned from working with Arlene was invaluable; I came to understand that:

  • Toxic emotions were just as deadly as the chemical toxins that had damaged Arlene’s health - her internalized negative thought patterns and expectations trapped her in her home more than her physical symptoms;
  • The essences supported and encouraged the release of Arlene’s emotional toxins and fostered personal growth in a profound way.  When she cried the most, she noticed that she gained greater insight into herself and, more importantly, her sensitivity decreased; in other words, the more Arlene believed in her right to be on Earth, the more her electrosensitivity decreased;
  • A multi-faceted approach was important - essences were used alongside dreamwork, visualizations, crystals, Reiki and even Arlene’s Tibetan bowls. 

There is no ‘magic bullet’ that will resolve all the issues faced by any given client; it seems that this somewhat eclectic approach worked best - in keeping with Dr Bach’s words, “I worked with the client, NOT the disease”!

Bibliography

Balgobin, Sheila. Flower Essences = Beauty + Science. Positive Health PH Online 138: 21-25. August 2007. 
www.positivehealth.com/article/flower-essences/flower-essence-therapy-beauty-science

Miyar, Beatriz M, PhD. Breaking New Ground: Cuba is the First Nation to Incorporate Flower Essence Therapy in an Official Medical Program. Calix 1: 74-78. 2004.

Footnotes

‡ Names and Details Changed

♦ A ‘bête noire’, i.e., this essence inspired discomfort/dislike, usually a sign of the issue(s) the client is trying to avoid, but only included if client agrees, after discussion

Acknowledgement Citation

This article was originally published in Essence magazine, Spring 2013, by the British Flower & Vibrational Essences Association (BFVEA), www.bfvea.com

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About Sheila Hicks Balgobin

Sheila Hicks Balgobin IFPA BFVEA, principal of THE HEALING GARDEN for Stress Management, is a qualified Flower Essence practitioner and small producer of Spirit of Makasutu Flower & Environmental Essences. Sheila  is also Treasurer for the British Flower & Vibrational Essences Association (BFVEA) and Joint Gathering Officer for BFVEA’s annual conferences. Sheila uses her training in aromatherapy, crystal healing and flower essence therapy, along with intuitive dreamwork skills to assist clients in identifying stressors and working through them.  She also teaches simple stress management techniques that can be done anytime, anywhere. Sheila can be reached at shbalgobin@the-healing-garden.me.uk  www.the-healing-garden.me.uk

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