Animals love flower essences! Learn how to use flower essences to help your pet with issues like barking, separation anxiety, and general household stress.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Pink Yarrow – FES
- Animal Care – Alaskan Essences
- Vervain – Healing Herbs
- Guardian – Alaskan Essences
- Star of Bethlehem – Healing Herbs
- Northern Lady’s Slipper – Alaskan Essences
- Grove Sandwort – Alaskan Essences
- Holly – Healing Herbs
- Kousa Dogwood Bud – Flora of Asia
- Grounding Green – FES
- Tellington TTouch – website, many excellent books and video
- Flower Essences for You and Your Pets Class, November 10th at Gathering Thyme, San Rafael, CA
- The North American Flower Essences For Pets, Laura Cutullo, book
- Bach Flower Remedies for Dogs, Martin J Scott and Gael Mariani, book
- Bach Flower Remedies for Animals, Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis, book
- Treating Animal Illness and Emotional States with Flower Essence Remedies, Jessica Bear and Tricia Lewis, book
Rochana Felde [00:00:39] Welcome to the Flower Essence Podcast. Welcome back to those who’ve been listening. And thank you so much for the positive feedback you’ve given us so far. We truly love doing this. I’m Rochana Felde and on this podcast we’re going to change the format a little. Our topic is Flower Essences for pets. And since Kathleen is an expert in this area, I’m going to interview her and I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot right along with you.
Kathleen Aspenns has been a flower essence practitioner for over a decade, creating the Flora of Asia flower essence line in the process. What some people may not know is that in addition to working with people, she has an even longer history working with animals. She’s trained in multiple animal wellness therapies and specializes in using flower essences for pets and their owners. So today, Kathleen, maybe we could just start out with you telling us a little bit more about your background working with animals.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:01:45] I’d be happy to. Animals are always my first love. And I think that when I first started studying flower essences, I was really certain that I was only going to work with animals. And when I started to do the certification work, where I trained with Jane Bell, and was certified through the Alaskan Flower Essence project. When I first started do that certification work I really realized that it would be much easier for all of the paperwork and the case studies to do it with people. And so I first started working with people actually as part of the certification, and I discovered that I really loved it. It was quite a surprise to me. So I’ve always been interested in working with animals. Animals have been absolutely a first love from my very early earliest memories. When I was a young girl, I thought that for sure I’d become a veterinarian in high school. And then for almost 10 years after that, during that time and after I worked as a veterinary technician with small animals and exotics. So I got a lot of experience in handling animals in that way. And it really at some point I really realized that it was kind of hurting my heart to work with animals that way, because so much of what’s done in veterinary medicine is.. You’re restraining them and doing treatments to them and using injections and all sorts of things. And there’s a lot of times you’re missing out on the sentience of the being. And it’s just a tough thing to do. Medicine itself is kind of invasive to the body. And I just really realized that that wasn’t the right thing for me to do. And I’ve moved on since then. I’ve trained extensively with Linda Tellington Jones for an equine TTouch certification. And I absolutely adore that method. And since starting to work with her, I really recognized how aligned I am with her philosophy and her system, because we’re always working with the intelligence of the horse and we’re never forcing. We’re never pressuring. We’re always trying to work with the horse’s ability to offer. So I just feel like that was a wonderful reset for me to be able to recognize that there was a different way of working with animals that didn’t involve force or coercion. Instead, we can work with the intelligence of the creature and help them live their lives better with that, with less conflict and fear. I think so much of of the behavior type work that we always think of with animals is about managing problem behaviors. And there’s a lot of coercion that happens there. It’s a lot of, you know, shut up and do what I say. And I think that it really relates to me personally, because that was a lot of my upbringing that I was essentially treated like a non sentient being and told to essentially shut up and do what I was told. So I can really relate to how animals feel from just an absolute soul level of recognizing this experience, and how I want to help things be better. And I think flower essences are just one more way that we can help our animals feel better in themselves, overcome things like traumatic experiences. And those traumatic experiences can be just ordinary things, like we think of an animal who was a shelter animal or a rescued animal, and their childhood was probably pretty traumatic. If you just think about the reality of that. And so I think that working with animals with essences is a really natural fit and can really help enormously with really common issues in the same way that it does with people. And I think that’s really what astonished me when I first started working with people, that I started realizing just how much we overlap. I’d always looked at animals, noticing this is what’s going on. This is what’s going on with with him or her. And then realizing that people have the same feelings, have the same struggles and challenges. We just talk about them differently because we talk about them and animals just act. So by watching people and seeing what they’re doing, I can kind of reverse engineer where the behavior is coming from. “Oh, you had a tough childhood, too.”
Rochana Felde [00:06:23] That’s really interesting. Can you tell us a little more about that TTouch method that you touched on?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:06:30] Yes, it’s the stutter. The Tellington TTouch Method is a type of bodywork, essentially, that was created by Linda Tellington Jones. She trained with Moshe Feldenkrais. And so a lot of the philosophy and the way that we work with the horses comes out of that work. It’s a very gentle form of body work that focuses on helping to restore healthy function to the movement, but also recognizes that through gentle movements of of the skin, essentially we’re really moving the skin rather than doing a deeper type of body work, we’re able to unlock areas that have gotten stuck, or from pain, and help them to release. So it releases on all the levels, on the physical, on the emotional and also on the mental level for the horses. We’re all one thing, right? You know, we can have something stuck in our bodies. But it’s also stuck in our emotions and it’s also stuck in our mind. So TTouch is a type of work that includes the body work of which there’s quite a lot. And then also has some types of groundwork. And then there’s also some ridden instruction. My practice is primarily in helping empower people to learn the body work because it’s a very gentle and accessible way of working with the body so that they can be really empowered in working with their own animals and they develop these tools that they can always keep with themselves.
Rochana Felde [00:08:01] Now, is this something that can be used with other animals besides horses?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:08:06] Yes, it’s been wonderfully developed with other types of animals, companion animals. They hold trainings for dogs and cats and other companion animals. And there are people who are doing it with llamas and all sorts of other animals. So it’s really it works with all animals. And there’s also a human form as well, of course, because we are animals, too. Right. My certification is with horses exclusively. So that’s the sort of work that I practice.
Rochana Felde [00:08:35] And do you combine Flower Essence Therapy with that for the horses?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:08:41] Absolutely. I think that it’s something that I bring to everything that I do is the notion and consciousness of how the flowers can help. So it’s one of those things that you can layer in. And I know that there are a lot of other practitioners who do other types of therapies and add in flower essences because it’s just so incredibly healing. I love to do flower essences for the animal and then also for the person, because so often there are a lot of overlapping issues.
Rochana Felde [00:09:09] Right. And I’ve heard that when you’re giving your pet a flower essence, that the owner should take the same one. Is that exactly right?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:23] I think that it’s really a good idea. Very often when I’m talking to somebody and, you know, sometimes the pet brings them to me. Right. The pets are pretty smart and they’re like, “I know how to get help from my person”. And the person would come to me and ask about something for their pet and we’d be working up the case on on their pet and then I’d start talking about some of the essences that might be really useful. This essence, that essence, in describing what they do and then the person will you know, more often than not, will say, “oh, that sounds like something I could use, too”. And, you know, it’s just absolutely true that we are so aligned with our animals that very often the right essence for them is the right essence for us to.
Rochana Felde [00:10:08] Amazing.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:10:09] It is. It’s astonishing if you don’t really think about it and if you think about it, you know.. Well, of course, of course they would share. They share our lives with us. And they’re so empathic. And they absolutely are here to help us and take care of us and to love us. And so they will take on things or often we will be attracted to animals that have similar issues so that we can start working them out. You know, if you’re thinking about it kind of on a soul level, we develop partners to help us work out our issues.
[00:52:21] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or healthcare practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of the Flower Essence Podcast.