This article was previously published May 2, 2012, and was updated on June 30, 2023
What is the Bach Flower Method?
Dr. Edward Bach, (1886-1936) was an English pathologist and bacteriologist who developed a system of diagnosis and therapy based on personality identification and thirty eight flower essences called The Bach Flower Remedies. These homeopathic remedies rebalance personality types and facilitate healing all on realms of the human being.
Dr Bach was drawn to the medical profession from a very early age. He was convinced that there was a simple method of healing to be found that would cure all disease. As a medical student he believed that the true study of disease was in observing how each individual patient was affected by his complaints and seeing how these different reactions influenced the course, severity and duration of disease.
One of his first observations was that the same treatment didn’t always cure the same disease. What that means is that if for example there were ten asthma patients in the hospital ward and they all got a certain medication, they didn’t all respond to that same medication in the same way. Some patients benefited from it and others didn’t. This caused him to try and discover what was causing this difference in response. He discovered that what made the difference was people’s personality and attitude.
In 1919 he was accepted to the London Homeopathic hospital and was deeply influenced by the homeopathic approach of treating the patient not the disease.
His quest for the ultimate remedy lead him to whales where he spent six years from 1930-1936 discovering the remedies and developing the method which is now known as the Bach Flower Remedies. It includes thirty eight remedies each addressing a specific personality type or mood state. He found that balancing the inner factors associated with disease, supports the body to restore physical health.
Each personality type is characterized by a broad spectrum of mental, emotional and behavioral patterns. These address beliefs, attitudes, emotional triggers and responses and typical behavior.
The underlying concept is that each personality type has a repertoire of internal resources that can be self-serving or self-limiting depending upon the balance between positive and negative aspects.
- The Oak personality type is known for responsibility, independence and endurance. These traits can be extremely beneficial when in balance. However, when in excess, the oak personality takes on more than he can carry, eventually causing collapse in the form of physical disease.
- The Agrimony personality type is known for optimism, joy and love of life. When balanced, these traits are extremely resourceful. However when unbalanced, optimism and sense of humor become a mask for the inability to deal with unpleasant emotions. These unresolved emotions accumulate, causing physical disease.
The remedies address these personality types bringing the core potential back into balance. This facilitates access to the positive aspects of the personality potential, creating inner harmony and self-realization. This renewed self-alignment supports the physical body’s healing.
Identifying personality traits facilitates a profound understanding of the underlying themes associated with disease and provides an easy and accessible method of treatment.
With that, people can also experience a wide range of mood states that can dramatically affect the body. Mood states by definition are usually short in duration and not typical of the particular personality type.
For example: any one of the personality types can be temporarily exhausted, despondent, indecisive or traumatized in relation to a particular issue or for a specific period of time.
Physical conditions can be the result of temporary mood states or the cause of them.
In both cases healing is enhanced by rebalancing the mood state as such facilitating the body’s full healing capacity.
The advantage of the Bach Flower remedies is that they address both personality related patterns and mood states, offering a hands on “whole-person” solution for the entire spectrum of the human experience.
Treating the patient, not the disease, is no longer just a token of language. It is a valid and clinically proven perspective that demonstrates the power to promote better physical, emotional and mental health.
Joan Jacobs is a holistic healer with 25 years experience as clinical healer, educator, speaker and author with expertise in emotional & spiritual healing. Joan teaches at the Faculty of Health Sciences, at the Ben Gurion University, Israel, and has held senior teaching and program coordinating positions at leading schools of complementary medicine in Israel with emphasis on advanced studies of The Bach Flower Method.
Joan instructs programs for cancer survivors, women’s health and empowerment and substance abuse victims. She also created unique HR management programs for the corporate arena and has worked with some of Israel’s leading companies. In 2010 she created The Light Within International Healing and Transformational Program and published her first book Messages from the Soul – A Holistic Approach To Healing. Joan hosts the Light Within Radio Show on VoiceAmerica’s variety Channel.
Contact details: [email protected]