Join us for a discussion on a trauma-informed process using flower essences to unfreeze stuck emotions, heal old wounds, and release ancestral traumas. We are delighted to bring Loey Colebeck on the podcast to share the hopeful message that healing is possible.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Gorse – Healing Herbs
- Star of Bethlehem – Healing Herbs
- Rock Rose – Healing Herbs
- Oak – Healing Herbs
- Pink Monkeyflower – FES
- Crabapple – Healing Herbs
- Pine – Healing Herbs
- Sturt Desert Rose – Bush
- Mariposa Lily – FES
- Evening Primrose – FES
- Baby Blue Eyes – FES
- Joshua Tree – FES
- Boab – Bush
- Bottlebrush – Bush
Rochana Felde: [00:00:10] Welcome to The Flower Essence podcast and join us on an exploration of the healing wisdom of flowers.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:18] 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.
Rochana Felde: [00:00:40] Welcome, Flower Essence friends. Today on the podcast, we’re going to seek to understand a little bit more about trauma with special guest, Loyola Colebeck. Loyola is an accredited flower essence therapist, instructor, lecturer, and the English translator of Pablo Noriega’s excellent book, Bach Flower Essences and Chinese Medicine. Loey studied Clinical Flower Essence Therapy in Barcelona at the Superior Institute of Traditional Medicine, the Anthemon institute, SEDIBAC, which is the Catalonia Society for the Study and Diffusion of Dr. Bach’s Therapy and Aula Bach. She is also trained in family constellations and Identity-oriented Psycho-trauma Therapy known as IoPT. In her practice, she provides a gentle trauma-informed and Daoist approach to therapy to support an organic healing process. Loey also wrote an eye-opening article about trauma and flower essence therapy for Sentire magazine, which you can now access on her website for free. And this exploration of the traumatized psyche is what we’ll focus on for this podcast.
Welcome to the podcast, Loey.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:02:02] Thank you so much.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:04] We’re really delighted to have you here today. It’s really a pleasure to have someone of your stature in the field with us to share your insights on trauma. I would love to hear kind of how you got into this whole thing. What drew you to flower essences? Perhaps, there’s a personal part of that story too that you want to share. Tell us a little bit more about you and who you are.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:02:28] Thank you. I mean, I could take the deep route on that, or I could take the straightforward, worldly route on that. I think I’ll go with the latter.
And so I was first introduced to flower essences in the late ’90s in California through a roommate who’s become a lifelong friend and dabbled just in a personal way until I moved to Spain in the early 2000s. And at a certain point, a naturopath there kind of introduced me to them a little bit more seriously when I was going through an illness, and they spoke to me really clearly that this was going to be my path. And so I just said, “Well, okay, very well. Then, I will study, and here we go.” It was an unusual kind of clarity for me that this is what I’m going to– this is what I’m supposed to be doing. So I just looked for a study program and got going.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:03:39] Yeah. And would you tell us a little bit more about the field of flower essence therapy in Spain and in the Spanish speaking world because as English speakers and Californians, we are familiar and immersed in the worlds we’ve been in, and you’ve been really informing us about how big it is there?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:03:56] Right. I mean, so just starting from a point of departure that as far as books that are published about flower essence therapy, there are more titles published in Spanish than any other language worldwide. They’re in Spain. In Barcelona, for example, there’s more than one institute dedicated just to flower essence therapy study and other schools that include naturopathy and chiropractic and so on that also include flower essence therapy study. There are regional professional associations for flower essence therapists. The one I belong to has bi-annual conferences, weekly meetings, bulletins, offers guest lectures, workshops. So there’s a lot of seriousness around flower essence therapy, a lot of practitioners.
Cuba has had Bach Flower Therapy included in its national healthcare system for almost 20 years. Nicaragua has officially recognized the therapy. There’s just a really– and there’s Mexico, there’s conferences. It’s very widely diffused. Most people have at least heard of it, know what it is, know that it’s not essential oils. And so when you have that many professionals who have so many other fields of study, so many specializations, there’s just such an advancement of the field that we don’t really have, I think, in the English language or in the US. So part of, I guess, my life’s work has been to bring that to the English language. And part of that was translating Pablo Noriega’s book to English and then providing the flower essence therapy training course and certification course that I provide.
Rochana Felde: [00:06:08] Fascinating. I’m wondering how you got involved in doing the translation for that book.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:06:15] Ooh, that’s a juicy question. I love this. Pablo Noriega’s a really special person. And so I had been working in Spain with women and sensual, sexual, feminine healing. And then through SEDIBAC, I saw that there was going to be a workshop provided by this person, Pablo Noriega about Daoist sexuality and Bach Flower Therapy. So I went to his kind of pre-workshop lecture, and there was a really clear like, “Oh, this soul, this person, I need to. There’s something here.” And so I took the workshop, and it spoke to me so deeply, basically kind of gave a lot of words to things that I already know and knew and practiced.
And so then we kept in touch, and then his book came out in Spanish, and I had proposed a different book translation that wasn’t accepted, but when I saw this one, I said, “This is the book that’s going to be– this is going to be the gateway, hopefully, to other books that haven’t arrived, that haven’t been translated yet,” but that one, it was so clear that this was going to be– it was just really clear to me. It was like one of those downloads like, “Ooh, this is the path to take.”
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:07:44] I was really excited to see the book, and then I reached out to you after reading it. And just reading through it, it’s so brilliant in that it helps to kind of to bridge these two worlds of Chinese medicine and all of the richness that comes from there. But bringing the essences into that mindset, into that framework, right, in a way to bring those two together, which I had never seen before. And so when I read it, I was just so excited and continued to learn from it because there’s so much there. So thank you for doing that. Do you use the insights of Chinese medicine in your own practice? Is that something you bring in?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:08:30] Absolutely. I mean, that book, just speaking to what you’re saying, Pablo had a clinical practice for 20 years before the book was published. He spent 10 years writing that book. So it was not just some musings. This is really deep stuff that he really observed and researched over a long period of time, held up by all these other professionals that I mentioned, so many other professionals being able to speak to ways of working.
And absolutely, I mean, the way that I approach the flower essence therapy with clients is really kind of multidimensional. So there’s some of the Gestalt psychotherapeutic practice. There’s the trauma-informed stuff. There’s the Chinese medicine. There’s birth chart. I would say those and some Daoist meditation I teach because that’s such a great foundation for being able to move through whatever a person is dealing with.
Rochana Felde: [00:09:37] And when you work with trauma, and since this is going to be the main topic today, how can you define trauma for everybody so that we’re all on the same page about what that means?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:09:53] Yeah, thanks. So trauma can be defined in a variety of ways, and one really clear way I think is an unbearable reality. So the way that Franz Ruppert, who developed this IoPT – and I’m holding up this book for people who are listening and can’t see – but there’s a graph where the psyche is divided into three parts. And when the organism is whole and healthy and feeling safe, then the nervous system is relaxed, and we’re open to reality, and we’re able to adjust and change and learn with anything that comes our way. And when there’s a threat, the nervous system sharpens, focuses in, and the organism reality is narrowed to focus on the threat and the stress responses kick into gear so that we can deal with the threat. And when that threat becomes overwhelming and our stress responses can no longer handle that threat, the threat overwhelms our stress responses – in other words, it would be too dangerous to cry out – that’s when the nervous system freezes those stress responses and the psyche denies reality, and that’s when a split is created in the psyche. So there’s a denial of an unbearable reality, and the stress responses are frozen in the body psyche.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:11:39] And the next element that I think you bring forth in your work and is part of the flower essence work for anyone who works with it is the recognition that this is not strictly a psychological problem. This is not strictly something that happens from the chin up. When the individual is traumatized, it’s a trauma both to body and soul or spirit or whatever word you might want to use. And that wound impacts the health of the body, of the mind, of the whole being. And I think that that’s a significant part of the therapeutic work you use in the frame model that you come from. And I just wanted to say it out loud because it is one thing that perhaps not the ones who are listening to us, but the world in general, it’s only barely kind of coming to the recognition that these sorts of things have downstream effects that end up in physical problems.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:12:41] Absolutely. Yeah. And there’s more and more scientific research about that proving the mind-body connection or the indivisibility in a sense.
I mean, I named my practice Mind is Body Therapy. It’s because it’s just not true that they’re separate. Our thoughts affect our body. Our body affects our mind. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:13:10] Then, that to me, that’s one of the strongest, most compelling parts about Chinese medicine is that forever recognition. It’s been around for thousands of years that body and mind are united and one, and they both interrelate and intercohabit, and both need to be addressed.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:13:29] Yeah. And that’s where flower essences fit in so great or one of the ways that flower essences fit in so great. There’s just this understanding of life force or chi, and that’s just something that we don’t measure in the West. It’s not considered really in the West, but in the East, it’s taken for granted that that exists. So chi or energy or life force just has different degrees of density. And it’s the really light stuff when it’s thought energy, and it’s the dense stuff when it’s bones, right? And it flows. And it can dissolve. It can condense. Then, it becomes so clear how flower essences can work on all these levels when you have that beautiful, thousands of years old, Chinese medicine framework.