In this episode, we discuss flower essences to help you feel more grounded, less stressed and less likely to spin out into worry and overwhelm.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Elm – Healing Herbs
- White Chestnut – Healing Herbs
- Red Chestnut – Healing Herbs
- Monkeypod Tree – Jane Bell Essences
- California Poppy – FES
- Five Flower Formula (AKA Rescue Remedy) – Healing Herbs
- Oak – Healing Herbs
- Pink Yarrow – FES
- Yarrow – FES, Alaskan Essences
- Golden Yarrow – FES
- Rhodiola – Floracoepia
- Valerian – FES, Alaskan Essences
- Chamomile – FES
- Pineapple Weed – Alaskan Essences
- Lavender – FES
- Stinging Nettle – Alaskan Essences
- Redwood – FES
Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:09] Welcome to the flower essence podcast where Nature helps you grow yourself whole. With combined decades of experience in the study and practice of flower essence therapy, I, Kathleen Aspenns and co-host Rochana Felde guide you to reconnect to Nature with these potent vibrational remedies.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:29] And today our topic is worry and overwhelm. I’m sure this is not something that affects probably any of our listeners, not like us :)… But worry and overwhelm I think is sort of an endemic problem in the world today. I think all of us have so many different projects going on and work commitments and home commitments and all of the inputs from social media and the news and the phones going off all the time.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:01:02] It’s really a naturally overwhelming state. The good news is that there are flower essences that can help us with these really unpleasant sensations of feeling overwhelmed and stressed all the time and we can learn to reconnect to our ability to feel more calm, feel more centered, and get more done without all that spin. So, Rochana, it’s good to be together again. We’ve been talking about this concept about what we want to share with our work with flower essences. What have you been thinking since last we talked?
Rochana Felde [00:01:36] Hi Kathleen it’s great to be here again. Yeah with stress and overwhelm, I mean we’re all everyone on this planet is pretty much walking around with an overstimulated nervous system. I mean you cannot escape it with the world we live in today and our bodies and our emotions are not used to this. I feel like we haven’t had a chance to evolve yet to the 24/7 news cycle, and social media, updates, and just the modern stresses. These are relatively recent in our history these kinds of things. I see it every day. The fallout from it with just even looking at friends posts on Facebook or social media and you can tell that just something will put someone over the edge and they’ll react in a way that I know is not them or their personality and the stress of the nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system fight or flight response which we need to have for survival. It’s constantly getting bombarded. Flower essences are so great to be a part of somebody’s toolbox for dealing with this now. When it comes to stress, you can’t treat stress for example. It’s what happens based on stimuli external or internal stimuli. But you can help the way your body responds in the way your emotions respond. And we can help by taking a look at what are those triggers and how can they maybe be changed. So I know we both have a lot of essences that we use in our practice. What are some that you like to work with?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:03:58] I like what you say about the nervous system and the more that we can do to help down shift our nervous systems. I really look at at the origin of where our nervous system started to become overwhelmed and a lot of us began this pattern as children. Perhaps our sleep started to get disrupted, due to maybe a trauma, or a stressful household, and that pattern never re- normalized where we can get good deep restful sleep anymore. And I think that’s really the foundation of a healthy nervous system is to be able to downshift, be calm, and be able to sleep naturally without needing to have any inputs. A lot of people use all sorts of substances to help them sleep. And you know sometimes those can be roads to getting good sleep but the problem is really just the bottom line is is that we’re not getting enough sleep, enough relaxation. We’re constantly stimulated.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:04:52] So one of the essences that I would start with talking about would be some from the Bach line of essences. I think Elm is sort of like the essence of the time. One of the shorthand versions of Elm is when you’re feeling “over-elmed”. The basic description of Elm is when normally you can really manage your life and you can kind of run all of the elements that you do run and just at times you get overwhelmed where normally you could handle it. But today is just not a good day and it’s all just too much. In those cases Elm is really appropriate. I think that that’s kind of a good starting point. I’m always looking when I’m working with clients I’m always looking at things from the Chinese Medicine perspective. So a lot of times when my clients are feeling overwhelmed it’s more of a Spleen type of scenario where they ruminate and they worry and they have the cycling thoughts, rather than when they have a higher anxiety which might be more of a Kidney deficiency kind of a pattern. So I’m always looking to differentiate those and then find the essences that are more aligned with how their pattern manifests rather than in a typical understanding somebody might just say “I’m stressed”. It’s like, “well let’s find out a little bit more about that so we can differentiate between what kind of stress you’re experiencing so that we can get a lot closer to a good remedy that will really work for you”. In those cases of that sort of worry cycling keeps you up at night maybe kind of just chewing over stuff. I find the chestnuts to be really really useful. Particularly White Chestnut is excellent for that sleep disturbance where you wake up in the middle night and you go through that whole “to do” list over and over and over. For that White Chestnut’s great. Red Chestnut is kind of a personal favorite essence for me. I tend to worry about my pets, my husband, other people rather than internal worry so I know I’ve fallen into my Red Chestnut pattern and need to booster myself with some Red Chestnut when I wake up in the middle of the night and listen for breathing. Like I’m sure people have just like vanished in the middle of the night so that’s kind of my little paranoia and I know it’s time for Red Chestnut and it’s just amazing how much it helps with those kinds of worries where you start getting into that catastrophic thinking about something horrible going to happen to your family like “oh please, Red Chestnut right now”.
Rochana Felde [00:07:47] Yeah. For the overstimulated nervous system one that I really like is Albizia. That also called the mimosa tree and I know that’s used in Chinese Medicine as well but in the herb the flowers and bark of that tree have been used traditionally in Chinese Medicine for anxiety, stress, and depression. They call it the happiness tree I believe. But it grows all around here in California. It’s planted on the sides of the streets and the suburbs which I think is really interesting will like it for landscaping and it’s got these beautiful pink flowers. The stamens that kind of puff ball out, they look so soft and nurturing and their leaves are very frond like and sensitive. So the energy of that tree – if you’ve ever sat under one, it’s just that the feeling is it’s beautiful, calm, relaxing. The flower essence calms the spirit and the overstimulated nervous system and part of that action is by regulating the flow of life energy which will help unblock emotions, when they get stuck generate anger, frustration, depression or lack of joy. I think it’s great for dissolving angry frustrated and depressed emotional states and that helps get back on to joy. So that is is a key essence for me for when I can see that the nervous system is just at a state where it’s so frazzled that it’s kind of like you gotta walk that down a bit to really go any further.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:56] Yeah that is really interesting. I think that the Albizia is used for cooling heat in the Chinese Medicine concept. The heat can be over activity anywhere but in this case it’s over activity of the mind, or over activity of the nervous system. One of the interesting things is that with the Albizia or the mimosa tree if you if you think about its pattern it has these these kind of ferny fronded leaves that close up at night and so it has that pattern of active and then passive, relaxed. So it does that cycle. So it’s really interesting that it helps to sleep. I know it more from making a Monkeypod tree with Jane Bell in Hawaii, and the Monkeypod is a type of Albizia. I forget what species it is, but it’s in that same family and its qualities have that very calming and soothing quality. In the Hawaiian growing one, it has more of a kind of a masculine sheltering energy. So it gives you that quality of feeling really protected so that you can be calm and cool and sort of just downshift your nervous system into relaxation.