By Amy Shaffer Crawley
A few weeks ago, I came home to find my husband Jim - who has MS - trapped underneath his wheelchair in the bathroom, unable to move. He had lost his balance and fallen while trying to reach down for his urinal. He had been there for 2 ½ hours. You can imagine the panic I felt, not to mention the fear I had that Jim might be injured. I immediately called 911 who came and got him back into place, at which point we determined he wasn't hurt. Shaken, we then both took Rescue Remedy to calm our nerves. We felt better almost immediately, avoided a meltdown, and went on to have a pleasant evening.
Rescue Remedy is the well-known composite of 5 single essences that are part of the self-help stress relief system of the Bach Flower Remedies. Since discovering the remedies about 20 years ago, they have been an integral part of my caregiving life, and often - quite literally - saving it. They help me to maintain emotional balance, even when I feel the world is caving in.
Created by Scottish physician/immunologist/bacteriologist, Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s, the Bach Flower Remedies (also called Essences) consist of 38 single essences - plus the aforementioned composite, Rescue Remedy - that address and correct "negative" emotions such as fear, loneliness, despondency, and anxiety. They are non-addictive, effective, and gentle. They can be given to children, the elderly and even animals. You can start and stop using them at any time without fear of withdrawal symptoms. Although I prefer a more natural approach to healing, those who choose to use anti-depressants can augment with the Bach's without fear of any drug interaction.
Depending on what's going on in my life, I combine up to 6 or 7 at a time to create a personalized mixture; other times, I just need one or two doses of a single essence, depending on the severity and longevity of the given situation. I call the essences my "miracles in a bottle." They have never let me down.
Best of all, they're very inexpensive, can readily be found at most well-stocked health food stores, and even if you take the wrong one(s), you will not be harmed; it simply won't have an effect.
Throughout my years as a caregiver, the remedies have given me hope when I was without hope; consolation when I was in despair; support when I was overwhelmed; and comfort when I was traumatized.
For more information, visit: the Wikipedia entry on Dr. Edward Bach or The Bach Centre.