Autoimmune diseases and the Bach flower remedies
I won’t go much into precise definitions, the diagnosis, treatment and terminology. My objective is to explain these diseases both to potential clients and practitioners in the simplest possible way in order to bring forward their mental and emotional bases, and the selection of the flower remedies that may be used in the process of curing, together with conventional treatment methods.
The autoimmune diseases are ailments in which the cells of our immune system, that otherwise protect the organism from external and internal foreign and undesirable agents, attack the cells of one’s own organism. So, instead of doing their job and protecting us from all that is not good for our organism, they start to turn against it. Depending on the type of tissues and organs they attack, there is a large number of diagnoses, such as: systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, then systemic sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, etc., etc. Back in 2010, I myself felt huge dryness of my mouth and eyes that just kept lasting. I ascribed it all to my work on computer, staying in enclosed space for long hours… But, there was something inside of me that kept telling me I did not live the way I wanted and that there was something very much wrong there. At the time, I neither had enough awareness nor enough courage to abandon all that was old and head for a new life, that is, into the awakening.
In addition, I felt huge tension, had endometriosis on my left ovary, numbing and contractions in my face. I felt I was drying out, that there was no life in me and no joy. And it just lasted and lasted…
Since I’m a medical doctor myself, I suspected an autoimmune disease, considering the dryness symptoms. I decided to visit my colleagues and I got the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome. This is an autoimmune disease in which all salivary and lacrimal glands are under attack, leading to the dryness of eyes and mouth. In the case of a certain percentage of such patients it may progress into rheumatoid arthritis over a longer period of time. So, I got a diagnosis I actually feared and I refused the therapy – the corticosteroids. Knowing their adverse effects, I declined to take them and thus I started on a quest that would change my life.
Namely, in the case of the autoimmune diseases, as a reaction to the damage or the trauma, there is an inflammatory reaction of the tissue under attack. The trauma occurs on account of the attack carried out by one’s own immune system cells against one’s own tissues. Here the body defends itself from its own attack, i.e., it attacks itself. Yes, here we attack ourselves most often because we live under the conviction that we ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, that we do not behave in a certain way, that we have not fulfilled some expectations… The corticosteroids are the drugs that suppress our immune response in these situations, thus reducing the damage to the tissue. It is therefore clear that they deal with the consequences of the attack, which is also an important point, but not the real cause of the attack. They constitute an integral part of the therapy for these diseases.
In fact, that quest for the healing, that search for the inner satisfaction and happiness which lies only within ourselves started much earlier in my case. Knowing what kind of anger I carried for years, I started to explore. I was sure that my autoimmune disease was a consequence of the long suppressed anger that was but a tip of an iceberg.
I clearly remember what a colleague of mine told me when he heard the diagnosis: “Well, why you are eating yourself Nada? You see that your own cells have started to attack you…”
The autoimmune diseases are the diseases that often appear in people with misbalance in the heart energy centre, which occurs because of the sorrow for being rejected, at the deepest layer. All our memories are stored right there, in our heart centre. If there is any traumatic situation that happens to us, it is recorded there… Further work on myself, learning, educational courses, observing, work with clients, all of this has led me to the following insights that I will write about later on…
So, the autoimmune diseases are the diseases that quite certainly have emotional and mental aetiology. They occur on account of aggression directed at oneself that was created because we have rejected some parts of us. Accepting oneself and closeness with oneself come from the heart centre that is located behind the sternum. The misbalance in the heart centre happens because of the sorrow caused by rejecting and not accepting oneself as a whole. We usually discard those parts of us and those behaviours that have not been supported, that is, for which we had been criticised, punished, etc. Not accepting oneself comes from OUR TRAUMATIC MEMORIES that get created for different reasons. Each time we felt rejected created its trace and became our painful memory: they told us we were not good enough, that something we were doing was not right, they kept criticising us, we were expected to be like this or like that and every time we “failed” we were very angry at ourselves; we were punished when we made a “mistake”; we had to meet somebody else’s expectations, etc. etc. Therefore, the key words for rejecting oneself are: “mistake,” conditioning, expectations, punishment and criticism; I will not even go into some much more serious things such as different types of abuse and harassment. But, as we all know, it is also important at which intensity and how we react to a situation. For some persons, a situation may be exceptionally stressogenic, even traumatic. For some others, however, that same situation need not be endangering at all. For some child, even the most banal criticism may be very traumatic, while the same thing will not cause any reaction in some other child. And let me reiterate, all our negative emotional reactions NOW come from our experiences and MEMORIES stored in the heart centre.
Which are the flower remedies and methods that may help us “save” ourselves and accept ourselves as a whole:
Tapping on the heart centre: “Although I’m feeling like this or although I have done this or although … I deeply, fully and completely love, respect and accept myself.” You can read more about the energy centres balancing techniques at http://www.nadamarkovic.com/konsultacije/.
So, building of a new pattern by which we do not reject ourselves in the given situation, but rather by which we deeply accept ourselves. We accept all our memories, emotions and all parts of ourselves, including those for which we consciously believe to be less worthy and undesirable. Nothing is bad, all the emotions are good and only what has been suppressed has a devastating effect and takes away huge amount of energy. By accepting, we are integrating this suppressed energy and it no longer works against us, but rather for us and for living our full potentials. Thus, we are building a feeling that we are perfect beings by just being born and by just coming to this planet. That we are worthy and that we deserve to be happy and to live abundance in every sense of meaning. But, first within ourselves.
The meridian therapy or “tapping” is a very powerful technique for releasing suppressed emotions and in that sense it is very valuable in this work. Please read more on http://www.nadamarkovic.com/meridijanska-terapija/.
Gratitude for all we have and don’t have, for everything that has happened to us, for all our achievements, even the smallest ones. Gratitude primarily to OURSELVES, gratitude to the others, to all the good and the bad. But, in fact, there is no bad, these are only pretty and less pretty gifts we are getting on the path of our spiritual development. And we also need good, thorough rest, but in a broader sense of meaning.
Flower remedies: The tip of the iceberg, the surface layer, this is usually covered by: Holly, Willow and Beech.
Holly is the flower remedy which is administered in the case of all negative emotions: hatred, contempt, open anger, jealousy and proneness to insulting others and/or hitting them. The person in the negative Holy state takes everything personally and reacts very tempestuously even to the slightest “criticism.” These persons have an impression that everybody is doing something to them on purpose and they do not trust others. But, there is one rule: the persons are projecting their own film, created as the result of their memories, to the world and the people around them. In the past, such persons were “attacked” and demeaned, and now they are projecting this on the others and reacting like a raging tiger. Such persons carry traumas linked to unacceptance and rejection, no matter what they actually were. We cannot attack somebody now unless at some point we ourselves felt attacked, criticised, abused or rejected. And unless now we feel these emotions about ourselves for all kinds of reasons, basically these memories that are the trigger for such reaction of ours. We always hear the echo of “you are not good enough and that’s why you will be punished.” So, the negative Holly state is primarily a sign of not accepting oneself and of self-destruction. The hatred aimed at somebody else is in fact the hatred of ourselves. That person that we hate is in fact that painful and unaccepted part of us that we have suppressed deeply into the unconsciousness. Jealousy, for instance, comes from the conviction that somebody else has something that we don’t have. But the basic feeling here is that of less valuing oneself. At the deepest level, the person actually thinks that it does not even deserve what the other person has because it is not good enough and this creates jealousy. All of this is Holly which enables self-acceptance, creates love for and thankfulness to oneself, the sensation that we are good, that we are worthy and that all that is in fact ours will eventually come to us.
Not accepting oneself leads to not accepting others and their behaviours, which in turn may lead to the negative Beech state, lack of tolerance for the others and this is in fact all that we do not like in ourselves, thus pushing it back into the unconsciousness. Therefore, when you came across a person you “cannot stand,” think it through if perhaps this person is your mirror, i.e., the mirror of your subconsciousness that needs to come to the surface and then be accepted like a jigsaw puzzle. When you accept all of you. Your entirety.
Why the anger caused by Holly and Willow? Because, as I’ve said, the aggression aimed at oneself lies in the basis of autoimmune diseases. The negative Willow definitely attacks itself. This is the state of embitterment, humiliation and disappointment because one’s own life is perceived as unjust. When some unexpected life situation throws it off the track and brings it into this state, the person then thinks the life is not fair and does not want to accept responsibility for its own state and feelings. Here again we are talking about accepting and not accepting, but this time of life circumstances which need not always be in our favour. But, it is important to accept them because all that is happening around us are we, the reflection of our thoughts and convictions. So, that passive anger and embitterment lead the person to start eating itself. Whatever the cause, the long-term Willow state in which the person is embittered and has not learned to accept the life and all the situations it brings along lead to a situation in which the person “corrodes” itself, “eats” itself. And that is precisely the aggression towards oneself …
Another, deeper layer may involve the following flower remedies: Centaury, Rock Water, Crab Apple, Cerato, Mimulus, Rock Rose and Mustard.
Centaury restores personal strength and enhances the consciousness, the awareness of personal value and the feeling that we have the right to live our own life and thus to work in our favour. In the case of the negative Centaury behaviour, the person also negates and rejects itself and its own need in order to meet the needs of the others and it does this for different reasons. The Centaury type puts itself at the disposal of the others not so much because of the spontaneous motivation, but because of the inner coercion and insincere self-deception. This often leads to the Holly type of anger, since we are neglecting ourselves; or to the Pine type of guilty consciousness if we say NO and do something out of line of the expectations of others, following ourselves.
Why Rock Water? Because of the consequent need for perfection, because of the strictness towards oneself, the rigidity, continuous desire to be “perfect” in order to be accepted or, more often, in order not to be rejected. And we do not see that through this aspiration towards some fictitious perfection we are actually rejecting ourselves again and we are destructive towards ourselves since we are unconsciously again meeting some or someone’s expectations. This is the flower remedy that is used for the treatment of self-denial and self-rejection.
When we do not accept ourselves such as we are, some people constantly need confirmation from the outside that they are good and accepted and that everything is alright. This is the negative Cerato state and it may also be seen in the persons with autoimmune diseases. We continuously need confirmations of love in order to love and respect ourselves… We also need “permission” from the others in order to create our own life and make the decisions as we please and in accordance with our own will, for we have actually lived our entire life in line with an imposed template, meeting the expectations of the others…
The Crab Apple negative state is linked at the deepest level with the feeling of inner uncleanliness and repulsion, primarily towards oneself and towards what we truly are, and then consequently towards everything else around us. These are the persons who have been for years subjected to certain norms of behaviour. They behave in line with them and if they break them, they become auto-destructive, they have a feeling of repulsion towards themselves, and they feel poisoned both physically and spiritually. Then, they most often have a very strong feeling of guilt and fear of punishment, which in turn leads again to giving up on oneself and to self-punishment. The flower remedy augments the feeling of self-acceptance, it reduces the repulsion, and the increased need for morality and purity. It leads to our blossoming, getting to know ourselves and our needs, and being in harmony with them.
The Mimulus and Rock Rose negative states in the case of autoimmune diseases: These states at the Mimulus or Rock Rose intensity in the form of trepidation or panic fears often exist in the case of persons with autoimmune diseases in terms of the fear of punishment and the fear of not being accepted or being rejected if they don’t behave in a certain way. The fear of self-expression and behaving in line with oneself, because during the growing up the person has perceived and experienced some of its authentic behaviours as inappropriate since it was subjected to frightening or punishment.
Also, the client may often get into the Mustard negative state. Why the Mustard negative state? Because Mustard is used for the treatment of endogenous depression, seemingly unsubstantiated depression… But this only seems so on the surface. The depression of the Mustard type is often created from the long-term “suppression.” Namely, throughout its entire life the person has been limited by an authority from being what it truly is and from doing what it actually wants to do. When the life’s development of a person has been limited in this way, it first uses aggression and fights for its rights like a wild animal. If this fight is suppressed, then appears frustration and aggression that is directed towards oneself because it could not be properly channelled outside because of some circumstances that to the person seem objective. Therefore, the person has been prevented from spontaneous expression of itself and its emotions, which in the long run leads to aggression aimed towards oneself and eventually to depression characterised by emotional tension and the loss of vitality and will …
Here I would certainly mention Walnut as well which protects our aura from all the impacts and brings back our inner stability. Because it is primarily the children of the Walnut type that are hypersensitive who are very liable to influences which in turn may lead them to become auto-destructive if the setting was not the most favourable for their psychological development. If they were forced to adopt behaviours and norms that were unacceptable to them.
In the case of persons with autoimmune diseases, it is eventually, therefore, necessary that they fully accept all of their rejected parts that have been suppressed into the unconsciousness, that they become aware of them and regain their own entirety. It is important that they build self-respect, gratitude and self-confidence, as well as the unconditional love for oneself. And that from now on they take full responsibility for how they feel.
The deepest layer is most often that of Sweet Chestnut, Star of Bethlehem and Pine.
Sweet Chestnut: Because in the basis of this misbalance is, therefore, enormous sorrow on account of the rejection which lies under the unacceptance and self-rejection. It was actually that huge sadness which at some point in time made us suppress precisely those parts of ourselves that made us feel rejected and sad. This is where the basis for rejecting and not accepting others lies.
Pine: The flower remedy for feeling guilty, for the feeling of inadequacy caused by the “memory” that we are not good enough since we have not met certain criteria AND we did not fulfil some “duty” of ours which exists as negative conviction from the past and a negative pattern of behaviour and thinking again in terms of self-rejection and self-negation.
Star of Bethlehem is used for the treatment of shock and psychological traumas, for the treatment of all our traumatic memories that were too strong and sometimes unbearable for us and that have imprinted themselves like a seal into our heart. If we have not processed these traumas adequately, releasing them, they keep surviving frozen somewhere and this can significantly shape our life and all our future events. I’m thinking, for instance, of the embitterment caused by a trauma of the Willow type; aggression caused by the spiritual suffering of the Holly type, etc. As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, both are very much directed at oneself. That suffering on account of a trauma that has been experienced is primarily auto-destructive especially if the person has the type of personality that finds it difficult to forgive and release, such as, for instance, the Chicory personality type.
Each one of these layers may be noticeable right away and very superficial; these are my observations using my own example and the example of my clients, and the emotional and mental state of the patients with whom I have come in contact with in different ways. Therefore, all variations to the theme are possible, but these are the flower remedies that dominate.
Autor: Nada Marković