A webinar by Ian White – 13th April 2014
Ian White kindly recorded a webinar for me on how the Australian Bush Flower Essences (ABFE) can be used to support carers. This is the transcript of that webinar.
There are three main categories of caregivers.
I would have the first one as parents.
The second one, along with parents, would also be what we could term lay caregivers – they are not paid for their work. And this could be a person looking after their elderly parents, or it might be the husband or wife – a spouse – of a parent who is say suffering from dementia. In both these cases, there is the responsibility and care that they have for the wellbeing of those people whether they are children, their parents or their spouse.
The third category would be the professional healer where they are actually paid, where it’s their career. They might for example be a medical doctor, or a naturopath, osteopath etc.
If we think of a parent and in many cases the caregiver, the full-time caregiver, is the mother. There are quite a few Essences which will support a parent being a caregiver and in particular a mother.
So, the mother has gone from being pregnant to mothering, and especially if this is the first time, it’s a major change in the woman’s life. Bottlebrush is the Essence to help one go through a major change. It could be an emotional or it could be a physical change. And again, if the woman is breastfeeding, then there is another major biological change that she is going through.
Now there are three Essences, which work together to bring about emotional balance for a woman during menstruation and menopause. The first two are She Oak and Bush Fuchsia. The third remedy is Pink Flannel Flower, which is working energetically at a heart level. In Chinese medicine, the heart and the uterus are connected. When a woman is giving birth and lactating, there is a lot of change occurring, so we would add the Bottlebrush to those three remedies. If the new mother is in balance and harmony, then it’s going to be easier for her to be functioning and parenting well.
Macrocarpa is another Bush Essence which can help either the mother or the father to parent because a young child will often bring with it a lack of sleep; they are up frequently during the night, feeding, changing the baby’s nappy, and they can get quite exhausted. Macrocarpa can really give her enthusiasm, inner strength and endurance levels a good boost.
And of course, the key remedy for caregivers is Alpine Mint Bush. Parents have the responsibility of the child’s wellbeing 24 hours a day and are having to make many important decisions which are going to impact on that child. So that responsibility, that 24-hour care that they are giving can lead to emotional and mental exhaustion – for which the Alpine Mint Bush is our pivotal remedy.
Now if we are thinking of an adult looking after their elderly parent or parents, for example if they suffer with dementia, or a spouse looking after their partner who has also got dementia, then there are a number of Essences, which can assist the Alpine Mint Bush. Again, I would recommend Alpine Mint Bush because it helps anyone who has round-the-clock responsibility in caring for that elderly person – sometimes it can even be a younger person in their 50’s who has the dementia.
Crowea, can be added to Alpine Mint Bush as it addresses the worry and concern, about their parent or their partner. Their worry may be that if they go out to get a haircut or do some shopping, will the person with dementia go outside the house where they can quite easily get lost. If they are living by the bush, by a body of water like a lake, river or by a main road then this can be a very dangerous situation. These carers are always on call, which is different from a professional healer who has their set hours. Yet even with the latter there can be that exhaustion because again it’s that responsibility that they are under, especially if they are not able to switch off thinking about all their patients after the session as this can lead to that same exhaustion as well.
All practitioners are being paid for their expertise and for making decisions, which in some cases can be critical for that patient. If they get the diagnosis wrong or the treatment strategy wrong or prescribe the wrong homeopathic, the wrong medication there can be dire consequences. They are constantly dealing with that responsibility. In a consultation, the healer as they are asking a question, will often be thinking three or four questions ahead. When a practitioner graduates, very rarely do they have a mentor, someone who they can confide in their problems and get feedback of how they are working. It is more or less, “you have graduated, now you are on your own – good luck!”
Initially it is not so bad as they don’t see too many patients initially. But as they become more competent and confident, they will see more patients. This can lead to situations where they might want to see a patient in the next week or in a few day’s time, but they are booked out. So, a lot of practitioners, because they want to help someone, they end up working in their lunchtime or working longer into the evening, which can have a big impact on the physical wellbeing. They can experience emotional and mental exhaustion. It also intrudes on time they might have set-aside for friends, family or doing something in another area of their life, for example spiritual or recreational.
Flannel Flower allows a practitioner to set some good healthy boundaries. Being able to say “no”, sticking to their schedule. If you’re busy and can’t see someone, they maybe you have to stop seeing new patients – refer patients on to other practitioners.
Also, if you were brought up by a parent who was an alcoholic, it may be difficult for you to treat an alcoholic patient, so you may need to make a decision it’s too emotionally challenging to treat an alcoholic – “I’m going to refer any of those patients onto another practitioner”.
Alpine Mint Bush is also like that “tap on the shoulder” to assess how you’re going. Allowing you to make decisions in a preventative way so as to stop you getting exhausted. Are you taking holidays? Are they long enough? Are you working too many days a week? I feel that four days a week is the maximum in which a practitioner should see patient. You need a day to do your paperwork, to do some research, conferences etc.
What happens is that when a practitioner starts, they’ve maybe got other hobbies, activities, interests; they have friends outside of their chosen career. Fast-forward ten years or so and quite often their main friends are from within that discipline that they’re working in. That often they get busy and they don’t have as much time to do their pottery or their surfing or whatever those activities outside of their career were. So, the Alpine Mint Bush can just make sure that you are doing things to nurture yourself, so you are not getting emotionally and mentally exhausted – that there is enough self-nurturing to compensate for all the healing work that you are doing and the responsibility that goes with it.
And another remedy to consider is Fringed Violet. It’s like a psychic shield in case you are being drained energetically by your patients. Of course, we could think of Macrocarpa for a practitioner, but it is more the Alpine Mint Bush for that mental and emotional drain which can sap their enthusiasm for being a practitioner.
For more information on Australian Bush Flower Essences, please go to their website or ring (02) 9450-1388.
Please note that this webinar is the property of ABFE and cannot be shared or used elsewhere without their permission.
Australian Bush Flower Essences
Phone: (02) 9450 1388