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How to choose essences

Today there are so many essences from which to choose! Many of them have very subtle effects that can make a choice based on reading the descriptions a difficult task. As a result many people feel that they must find a therapist to choose for them. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, it is also possible to learn how to choose essences for yourself. After all, one of Bach’s objectives in developing flower essences was that people should be able to use the essences to heal themselves. We are all capable of tapping into our intuitive knowledge to find the right essence for our needs.

To help you in choosing the right essences, we will look at several methods:

  • learning to listen to your intuition
  • pendulum dowsing
  • kinesiology.

One method is not necessarily better than another. The important thing is to learn to test and to trust in your testing. Some people will learn quicker than others, but as with most things, practice will improve your skill and build your self-confidence.

Intuition

Here are a few pointers that will help you tune in to your intuition:

  • Go to a quiet place where you feel comfortable.
  • Center yourself - do whatever it takes to calm your mind and turn inwards, maybe a few minutes of meditation, breathing exercises, a visualisation.
  • Put in front of you your flower essences or the documentation which you have about flower essences, whether it be a book, catalogue, cards or flower pictures or a list of essences.
  • Ask for help from your highest guidance and state your intention (i.e. “my intention is to find the right flower essences to help me with…”). Be as precise as possible but only focus on one issue at a time. Writing your intention also helps you focus.
  • Now listen for and expect to receive an answer, which may come in various ways. Do you feel attracted by any of the names? Do any of the descriptions strike a cord with you? Is your eye drawn to one of the essences? Are any of the essences from a country to which you feel a particular affinity?

Trusting your intuition improves with practice. Listen with your heart, not your head. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by the choice. Choice is good! Open up and listen to your intuition. But remember: intuitive thinking is not a mental process. Trust yourself and go for it!

Kinesiology

Muscle testing, or kinesiology, is another way of choosing flower essences. There is a simple way of doing this that everyone can learn.

Taking your non-dominant hand, make a circle by joining the tip of your thumb to the tip of your little finger. Now put the thumb and index finger of your other hand together and place them into the circle.

Ask a question and with your thumb and index finger try to pry open the fingers forming the circle. If the response to your question is positive, the muscles will remain strong and the circle will not open. If the response is negative, the muscles will weaken and the circle will open. The important thing is to apply the same amount of pressure trying to keep the circle closed, as you do with the fingers that are trying to open it.

When testing, the questions must always be formulated in such a way as to elicit a clear yes or no response. If you do not get a clear response it may mean that you are not asking the right question, that the question is not formulated properly, or that the information you request in not available to you.

To get effective answers, you must be balanced, centered, focussed and neutral. It might take some practice, but is well worth it.

Pendulum dowsing

Pendulum dowsing is used by many people to choose flower essences for themselves and others (family, friends, clients). Below is a brief description of how to dowse for flower essences.

Using your dominant hand (the hand you write with), hold the string between your thumb and index finger and swing the pendulum. Ask the pendulum to show you a “yes” movement. It will move in a circle, clockwise or counterclockwise or in a straight line. When you have determined the “yes” motion, ask the pendulum to show you a “no” movement. This will always be different from the “yes”. These different movements will not change. The “yes” movement should be the same tomorrow as it is today.

Once you are clear on which movements represent a “yes” and a “no”, you can begin to ask questions. Before starting we advise you to always ask to be connected with your highest guidance. Also ask if it is a good time to test for essences and, if you are testing for someone else, whether you have permission to ask questions about this person. If you get a “no” to any of these questions, put down the pendulum and try again at some other time.

When testing, the questions must always be formulated in such a way as to elicit a clear yes or no response. If you do not get a clear response it may mean that you are not asking the right question, that the question is not formulated properly, or that the information you request is not available to you.

To get effective answers from using your pendulum, you must be balanced, centered, focussed and neutral. It might take some practice, but is well worth it if you can develop your skill with a pendulum and have the confidence to trust in the answers that you get.

Personally, I found it difficult to use a pendulum when I first tried. It did not want to move for me. After I learned kinesiology, which is my preferred choice, I found that I was able to use the pendulum. Both testing methods are equally valid. The important thing is to develop a testing method in which you feel confident.

Flower cards

Flower Cards are an increasingly popular means of getting to know the flower essences and how to use them.

Each card contains a photo of a flower and an indication of its use. The photos help you to understand the clues nature has given to the healing qualities of each flower by its shape and colour - what is often termed the Doctrine of Signatures. When taking a particular essence, it is often helpful to see what the flower looks like.

The cards will help you choose which essences you need in an intuitive manner. This is particularly helpful if you are feeling confused or not able to make a choice on a purely mental level by reading the descriptions of the flower essences.

Some therapists ask their clients to pick a card at the end of a session to determine which essence is needed to anchor the work that they have done together.

The cards can be used in a variety of ways, one of which is called "visual tuning". Slowly and deliberately look through the cards and select the three photos you are most attracted to. If you have a strong aversion to a card, pull this out as well. See if the messages on the cards provide new insights into issues you are dealing with at the moment, or perhaps point to something that you are resisting.

Cards are available in the following essence ranges:

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