I was in a session with a client the other day when she asked me how long she should take the flower essences I was recommending for her.
I expect every practitioner has a different perspective on this, but I begin to answer this question by offering Dr Bach’s guideline:
Take a particular flower essence one month for every year you have had the problem.
As often happens, this guideline is often followed with a quick bit of math, then an expression of dismay! For so many of my clients a flower essence addresses lifelong issues, and the prospect of needing to take an essence for years is a bit overwhelming. I completely understand, and can offer some refinements to the guideline from my own personal experiences, and from working with clients.
First, I like to set an expectation that you will be taking a flower essence for a while.
Once we have identified a core issue, one that is clearly a pattern (and often established in childhood), and matched it with a primary remedy, you will want to engage with this essence over time.
This core issue is often resonant with one of the Bach flower essences known as the Twelve Healers. Dr Bach felt each of us was born with the purpose of learning one of these great life lessons, and he identified these primary essences as matches for an array of personality types.
One of my intentions as a practitioner is to support my clients as they shift on the deepest levels. To do this does take time.
Taking a core remedy for one month or less is like playing “whack a mole”. You are likely to experience an easing of the issue, but it will pop back up again relatively soon, and you will be right back where you started.
But if you continue taking the essence, even after you feel improvement, it will continue to work with you. An essence that works with a lifelong issue can be a profound teacher, and you will continue to see facets of the imbalance resolving as you continue. In my own experience I have had awareness shifts that help me see how my pattern has impacted many aspects of my behavior and relationships far beyond the more obvious situation that suggested the type essence.
For a lifelong issue I recommend working with your type remedy for six months.
This is a long enough period for the essence to work, illuminating and releasing many of the aspects of the pattern as it manifests in your life. Then, after the six month time period, you may evaluate and see if you would like to continue with this essence. I have found that I tend to feel “done” with it after six months, but will keep it in mind to reevaluate and possibly start taking it again after a year or so. As you have worked deeply with the essence, you may see additional layers emerging over time and recognize qualities that relate to the type essence, and want to reengage by taking the flower essence again.
Now, life continues as we work on these deeper issues, so formulas will also contain flower essences to help you in many other aspects of your life. Essences can help ease transitory issues, give support for current situations, and create conditions to fulfill your hopes and goals, even as you work on deep and lifelong patterns. As the custom formula is tuned to you, and where you are each month, you will receive many layers of support for precisely the elements of help you are needing.