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Flower power didn’t die in ’60s

Steve Benson
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Alicia Sirkin believes in flower power.

Sirkin, a Bach Foundation registered practitioner, uses flower essences to heal people suffering from emotional distress. She will be teaching an introductory course this weekend in Carbondale.

While it may sound odd, Bach Flower Essence therapy ” which can be taken in liquid form or applied to the skin with a cream ” is used by millions around the world. It has also been prescribed by several physicians to help their patients cope with physical ailments.

Alec Forbes, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Help Center in Bristol, England, has used flower remedies for more than 30 years.

“I use flower remedies regularly and find them to be most helpful in alleviating the emotional and psychological stress many of the cancer patients experience,” said Forbes, a former member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicine, in an article written by Sirkin for Alternative Medicine.

And J. Herbert Fill, M.D., a psychiatrist and former New York City Commissioner of Mental Health, claims flower essences are more effective and safer than psychotropic drugs.

“I deal with emotional problems as well as physical ones,” Fill said in the same article. “In my observations, these remedies appear to work on a much deeper level, apparently assisting the individual in resolving deep-rooted conflicts, as opposed to simply relieving the symptoms.”

A study conducted by John Bolling, a former assistant professor and chief resident in psychiatry at New York University’s Bellevue Medical Center, concluded that 80 percent of the patients he treated with flower remedies showed significant health improvements.

Flower remedies were created by Dr. Edward Bach in the late 1920s. A surgeon who treated hundreds of wounded soldiers in World War I, Bach started searching for alternative remedies at the age of 43, when he discovered certain flower essences could trigger an emotional response.

“He knew he was on to something,” Sirkin said. “He began experimenting on himself and his patients.”

Within six years, he had identified 38 trees, plants and bushes that could alter certain emotional states, such as anger, depression and stress.

Those same 38 essences, which include flowers from aspen, elm, chestnut, olive and pine trees (to name a few), are still used today. The plot of land where Bach mastered his craft ” Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire, England, ” and several of the original trees are also still used to provide the essences.

Sirkin said the feedback she has received from her clients has sent her on a mission to inform everybody that flower therapy is available, and that it can change lives.

“It’s very heartwarming to share the use of essences with other people, to watch their lives unfold and watch them blossom into their full potential as human beings,” she said. “They release anger, and fill up with hope for the future.”

Sirkin’s two-day introduction to Bach Flower Therapy will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the CCAH Annex, La Fontana Plaza, in Carbondale. Tuition is $235. For more information call 1-888-875-6753.

Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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