FEP38 Bach Flowers and Chinese Medicine with Loey Colebeck

Show Notes:

Flower Essence Practitioner and Educator, Loyola Colebeck, returns to the podcast to share her insights on using Bach flower essences within the lens of Chinese Medicine. Our conversation ranges from the overarching cosmology to how the organs in that system correlate to certain emotions, such as the Spleen and worry. Join us for this fascinating discussion.



Flower Essences discussed during the show:


Visit Loyola Colebeck‘s website, Mind Is Body Therapy and her online learning resources

Book: Bach Flower Essences and Chinese Medicine, by Pablo Noriega, translated by Loey Colebeck

Book: New Bach Flower Body Maps by Kramer and Wild

Show Transcript

Welcome back, flower lovers. We’re glad to have you here with us today. Today, we have a special guest and we’re going to have a really interesting conversation on how flower essences and Chinese medicine intersect. Loyola Colebeck is a flower essence therapist providing professional training and NCCAOM PDA provider, 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, Anthemon Institute, SEDIBAC, and Aula Bach and has been professionally accredited through SEDIBAC. She’s also trained in family constellations and identity-oriented psycho-trauma therapy, also known as IOPT. In her practice, she provides a gentle, trauma-informed, and Daoist approach to therapy and to support an organic healing process. Loey has spoken with us before on Episode 32 on Trauma. In today’s podcast, we are diving into flower essences and Chinese medicine. Thanks for being with us here.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:01:52] Thank you.

Rochana Felde: [00:01:54] It’s great to see you again, Loey. It was such a pleasure talking to you on that last episode with trauma. And I know today we’re going to talk more about the Chinese medicine aspect and specifically dive into a little bit of the concepts in the Pablo Noriega book that you translated Bach Flower Essences and Chinese Medicine. And just to get some grounding and kind of get us started in this whole kind of sometimes intimidating concept about Chinese medicine and all that entails, maybe you can just start at that very beginning place of what is it? What is Chinese medicine? What is it that we’re talking about when we say that?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:02:37] Yeah. Thank you. I want to say I really enjoyed our conversation last time, too, and thanks for having me back. Chinese medicine, before I had a concept of it, it was just like this enigmatic big thing that I had no idea about. And so I remember how that felt. I think maybe one simple way to explain it is that it’s rooted in Daoism, which is indigenous to China and ancient and Daoism, observed nature and the relationships in nature and everything in nature is interrelated and observing the cycles of, for example, summer and winter, hot and cold, those translated into yin and yang, light and heavy, and the dualistic nature of life on earth. And those all are experienced and happen, those phenomena form our bodies and our minds. And then the cycle of nature because it’s ever-changing and evolving, what is– it’s she or energy or life force, we could probably use those terms interchangeably, life force, Chi energy as at the base of all of it, and it takes on all these different forms. When it’s light, it is like in summertime and it rises and it’s like water that turns to vapor. And then as it condenses, it becomes water again, and then it freezes in winter. So we can think of energy as something that can be light like thoughts or dense like bones, and it’s ever-changing and ever-fluid.

And then Chinese medicine also has over thousands of years been able to track in more detail, the changes in that cycle and relationships in more parts. For example, not just summer and winter, but also spring and fall and the organs that are related to all of those seasons. What is more center is another place, so we have a circle or a cycle, and around it, there’s a central force which is also considered in Chinese medicine. Pablo Noriega, when I– when I took a workshop from him, it was like four hours kind of describing the basics of Chinese medicine to flower essence practitioners, he said– got out the whiteboard and drew a circle and he said, in the beginning, there was nothing. Then, he put a dot in the middle, and then there was something. And then he put a squiggly line through that and said and then that something divided into two parts and the light stuff ascended and the heavy stuff fell. And what he had drawn a picture of was the yin yang symbol, the tai chi symbol. So that’s where that symbol comes from, is that interdependent, interconnected, constantly changing movement of chi from heavy to light, dark to light, thick, thin, right, Ether, Marrow. And everything that we know can be cataloged into five different categories, which are the movements or phases of that cycle of chi, or seasons is another really useful way for us to conceptualize it. How’s that?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:31] It’s like a wonderful start. And it’s such a– it’s such a rich and such a faceted concept of the world that I love how you’ve summarized it. It’s– I think that makes a lot of sense. One of the things that I so appreciate about insights from Chinese medicine in my practice and in my life is how there is no rigid boundary between me and the world around me. The season, the weather, the emotions, the cultural moments are all playing out in the soil of my being. And so recognizing that this is a Metal Ox year right, and how that brings an aspect of grief into this whole year, into our lives and our experiences. And so when we notice these things, when we are looking for them, then we can feel, oh, it’s resonating through me, or when the seasons change, you feel these changes within yourself and maybe it helps you work in certain processes and aspects of your life, there’s more opportunity for shift. It’s just– it’s such a wonderful way. It’s a lens of looking at the world that is so deep and valuable and interesting. I have– I just– I adore it and can’t imagine living without it anymore and in my practice as well, to be able to see my clients through this lens, and to describe their lives and maybe their experiences through this lens, it’s so supportive and healing, right?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:08:25] Yeah, it’s really helpful when people see that there are– there are thousands of years of documentation creating a map for the understanding of how, as you mentioned, like metal and grief and how the Lung is related to autumn time. When we’re losing the abundance of summer and we’re paring down and the trees are losing their leaves and so that we can go down inside deep into what’s essential, which is bringing energy inside the body, down into the kidneys, which is our battery, which we nourish through rest at night and in winter, and so when people understand a relationship between the organ and an emotion, which is really core in our flower essence work, then it’s something– it’s something solid. It’s something– there’s a bit of a map there.

And what is more, when we go into classical Chinese medicine, which looks at a larger cosmological sort of picture and includes some of the spiritual aspects, then we can also look at what’s called the visceral spirits, which are really, I’m not going to say what they really are actually, but the visceral spirits related to each of the five organs in Chinese medicine have virtues. And when– and when we are– when our organism is in balance and energy is in center, I’ll explain that a little bit better in a minute, but then the organs express their virtues and the virtues are what we are fomenting through flower essence therapy. Flower essences help us express the virtues of the organs rather than the emotions, which there’s nothing wrong with emotions, but when they’re extreme or chronic, they can create illnesses. And so through flower essence therapy, we get to catalyze the virtues, the expression of the organ’s virtue. And that’s something really useful in our work with clients, in our work with ourselves is recognizing, am I in the emotion? Am I in the virtue? And I’m not going to– and I don’t need to use my mind to or my intellect to force it to happen. The flower essences can help me organically develop this.

Rochana Felde: [00:11:06] And before we get too far into the details of that, there is a concept in the book that I really liked and that was the three different levels of illness or knowledge. And I was wondering if you could talk about that a little bit.

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Loyola Colebeck: [00:11:30] Yes, and that let me see, here we are. So in Pablo Noriega’s book, Bach Flower Essences and Chinese Medicine, in the introduction, he talks about the work, it was the doctorate thesis of a Brazilian academic acupuncturist, Dr. Eduardo Alexandre, where he describes, he recognized three different levels of healing in classical Chinese medicine. And those were the celestial level, human level, and the earthly level. And this is– this is like so juicy for me. I get so excited about being able to see how flower essences are useful on all these levels. So the celestial level is the level where we, like our soul, has a purpose in life. They call it the Chinese– in Chinese medicine, they call it the celestial mandate. It’s the Tiānmìng theory. It’s what our– it’s our destiny. And when we’ve been able to become aware of what we’re really here for and what the structure of our personality and our aptitudes are for in this life, and we– and we align with that and we choose it and we practice it, we have access to health. And when we’re not aligned with our truth and our purpose and what we’re really good at and what we’re really here for, there’s a dissonance. There’s a discord between heaven and earth through our bodies and we don’t have optimum health.

So flower essence therapy is– that is such a sweet spot that I love to be able to have as a guiding star in flower essence therapy. Then– and then at the human level, the things like constitution and personality can become fixations and imbalances. So if someone has a tendency toward metal, let’s say sadness, then that can become a fixated way of experiencing the world and can create illness. Or another someone has a overactive fire element and too much heat and too much excitement, and that fixation can end up draining their life force, right? So flower essences can help bring balance to the earthly level in that way, and then– at the human level, I think. And then at the earthly level, we have pathogenic factors around us, such as hot– the heat of summer and cold of winter. And when those get in to our bodies, they can create imbalances and flower essences can help regulate those factors too, which is why I’m just really parroting what Pablo says in his book because he’s such a wonderful thinker and writer, and healer.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:14:57] And isn’t that– and that’s what my teacher has explained to me is that there’s thousands of years of history and nobody will ever know it all and nobody will ever have all the answers, but it’s– it links with my mandate of expressing my nature as much as I can through this– through this lens, through this ability. And I’m learning all the time, right? I’m learning and growing all the time. So it fits in really well with becoming ever more of who you are and being able to be a clearer channel of the will of heaven, of your– of your own nature, really, to express it as fully as possible in your own way, right? It’s not about trying to turn yourself into somebody else and that’s where you go awry because you’re trying to fit in or you’re trying to be who your parents expected you to be or your culture expects you to be or whatever. Instead, it’s really about going in as much and being able to express really who you are as a unique expression of your spirit, of your– of your soul, to speak of it from a more Western perspective. Isn’t that what’s so cool? It’s so specific to you. It’s not like fitting you into this model that you have to kind of compress yourself into.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:16:24] Right, or what you’re saying, it’s just lighting me up because I was working with a client yesterday who we’ve been working together not very long, maybe a month or more, and who’s making progress, and week by week is making progress and still said I just– I just want to know when I’m going to get better, but I know that that’s not the way to think. And I was able to say that like really becoming more of who you are, be it like truth to oneself, it’s not going to be what happens in the world out there, because there’s going to be overwhelming experiences and traumatizing experiences that we’re going to have to handle and deal with and our personalities are going to come into play however they’re going to come into play, and getting better is becoming more and more true to myself and how I respond to those things in the world, so maybe I can measure my progress in how true am I to myself in my response to the world.

Rochana Felde: [00:17:38] And I love how well this is, of course, so similar to the cosmology of Ayurveda and the–  that in the beginning, there’s just pure existence and that meets this consciousness and this will which together form the intellect, which forms the ahamkara, which is the I am. And it is the piece of you, this divine piece that is you and uniquely you and is part of– it’s– well, it’s hard to describe it, but it does– it tells us what is us that I am I and I am not you. And the ultimate way in health, there’s so many pieces in Ayurveda that are about the different body, mind, and spirit healing, but the ultimate healing comes from healing that, from having a healthy ahamkara. And that is, it sounds like this is what we’re talking about here too. And it is also what comes up with my clients with flower essence therapy because there is this– the sense of not being confident in who– with a lot of clients and not having that confidence of who I am or what they should be doing, their Dharma. What is their– why they are here and are they doing it right? And this fear of I’m not doing it right, or I’m not good enough or I’m looking at this outside force that says I should be doing or feeling or thinking this way. And then we turn back and look at the internal person and the health and healing of that person, regardless of the outside forces that are saying what they should do and be.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:19:35] I love how that fits into which was the episode about trauma? 32?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:19:41] 32.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:19:42] Where I mean that also sounds like healing the selfhood that can be fractured from traumatic experiences or trauma of love, which anyone who’s listening can just listen to episode 32 to know more about that but that I am or in IOPT, it’s I want which is ultimately like I sense myself-hood, and I want to be here, right? I want, just those two words coming down to that. And I am, there’s something similar in there, at least to my ear, not knowing Ayurveda.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:20:25] It reminds me of the way I would think about it is sort of it’s that spark of why you came here that moment that you decided to become you and bringing that inspiration, it’s truly an inspiring moment where spirit comes into body. This is why I’m here. And just lighting up with that and expressing that as purely and truly in our lives as we can. Oh, this is such really good stuff.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:20:58] Yeah, I’m remembering something Pablo wrote in his book about one specific flower essence, and I can’t recall which one, where he said that remembering our purpose, it’s like discovering is really this uncovering. And in Chinese medicine, we’d be driving fire into the water in the sense of going down into the mystery of who we are through meditation, through flower essence practice, and any other number of practices to remember what we came here for. And that can be really beautiful, too, and how memory is related to an organ system and then we can look in that organ system and see what imbalances that are there.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:21:46] And to sort of bring it into practice, the talking about maybe we could talk a little bit about Shen disturbance and kind of an opening place of how this works in practice with essences. And we talked a little bit about maybe how traumas can disrupt Shen and the things that we can do as practitioners to help bring this back because we’re in this elevated area of our purpose. And that’s not– usually, I mean, it’s part of the picture when a client comes to see me but a lot of times there’s a lot of other stuff in between us and why we came here. And maybe we can talk a little bit about some essences that relate to certain aspects of that.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:22:38] Yeah, yeah, because one’s purpose, like I said, having that is like an underlying or a guiding star ultimately, like where we might be headed in the therapeutic process. But that certainly doesn’t mean that there’s an awareness of it or a starting point in a therapeutic process, right? And often where we start our imbalances in the personality or a personality, a constitution, it becomes imbalanced because of traumatic experiences and so– and so those survival strategies related to our personalities get stronger and the emotions build rather than the virtues of the organs, right?

And so Shen in Chinese medicine is the concept is spirit, mind, and it’s the– it’s the organizing factor of human. It comes from the sky or the stars, and it organizes matter into us as an organism and its home is in the organ of the heart. And a lot of times you’ll see someone put– they’ll say when someone refers to themselves, like I,  and put my hand on my heart to refer to I. So Shen and the heart are like the emperor of the whole system. They’re the ones that organize. Shen is the one that organizes everything so that it’s all cohesive. And traumatic experiences can disturb, fracture can send Shen out of its home, all different things that can happen to Shen. And so one of the flower essences that is related to reorganization of divine pattern is Star of Bethlehem. We can see that in the shape of the flower, right, that 6-petaled and how that’s related to the kind of, what do we call that, something geometry.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:25:04] The sacred geometry.

Rochana Felde: [00:25:07] Sacred.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:25:07] Holy? Not holy. There we go, sacred geometry. Because it’s this organizational structure of some matrix, it’s not chaos. It’s the organizational structure of our life here on Earth. And how that flower essence can help bring structure to the heart, and we even see in Kramer’s body about our body maps, that the Star of Bethlehem Zone is over the heart, right, which is quite beautiful. So we get to see in different researchers and writers how these things overlap, too.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:25:43] I love the image that, and I forget where I read this, but talking about the Shen as being a flock of birds that reside in the heart as if they’re a flock of birds in a tree and a shocking event happens and the birds all fly away. And restoring the Shen is bringing all your birds back home into the tree and your heart and we might be missing part of our flock and bringing those– bringing them back home to reside in the heart, for me, that’s an image that really works because I think we’ve seen that, whoosh, all the birds going and helping them coming back home in your heart. And the Star of Bethlehem has, for me, I can almost see that where you see that there’s a spike coming up and all the flowers emerging. And you can see that, that same thing where they could explode out and then they could also constellate back in.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:26:42] Yeah, and then the Rock Rose that works so well next to and alongside with the Star of Bethlehem and its– and its Latin name is Helianthemum, which is related to the sun and the sun is related to the heart. In Chinese medicine, fire. Fire is the element of the heart. And so to see a flower essence, it’s called sun that is related to shock and how shock affects the heart. Specifically in Chinese medicine, shock affects the heart. And we know that in common language, right? And so having a safe place to come– for the birds to come back to is also part of it,  that– and on other levels, how that Rock Rose, that Helianthemum will help regulate the fight or flight response. And how that aligns so well with the re-organizational structure that the Star of Bethlehem provides.

Rochana Felde: [00:27:50] And as we– as we get into this conversation and we’re talking about these systems like the heart and spleen and kidney and all of that, that it’s such common language for Chinese– in Chinese medicine. I just wanted to maybe mention to the listeners who aren’t used to hearing this kind of language, that it’s not the Western concept of these organ systems. And maybe that’s more obvious with the heart because the heart rate has a bigger meaning in Western culture. But when we talk about these more technical organ systems, how would you describe that difference?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:28:36] So in Pablo’s book, he describes that we have the physical organ and that is the home of the visceral spirit which has it’s like psychological and spiritual aspects, and I can make some examples that will help bring that home and then those two together, along with all of the emotions and virtues and body tissues and viscera and body liquids, that whole system with the capital H, Heart is that whole system and the small h, heart would be the physical organ, right, and they relate with each other. And they affect each other just like that taichi symbol, that yin yang symbol, the spirit is diving down into the matter and the matter is dissolving up into the spirit. And they affect each other. They relate to each other. So there isn’t an exclusion of the physical organ.

Rochana Felde: [00:29:49] All right, thank you. I just wanted to make sure we mentioned that.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:29:55] Thank you.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:29:56] It’s a super good point because if you’re not– in my head when I’m hearing it, I’m hearing the capital H. I’m hearing the capital S, but it certainly is not something to assume. But so thank you for bringing that into the conversation. Can we talk about– can we talk about Spleen a little bit? This is– this is one of the things that I could be a little obsessed with Spleen, which would be appropriate, I think, from the perspective. But I do see it a lot with sort of an entry point when clients are coming for help when people are asking for flower essences for help because the realm of the Spleen is the realm of worry and rumination in the emotional sense of the Spleen. And that’s just something that I don’t see a lot of help for. In other aspects of medicine or healing, we tend to want to sort of mind our way into well-being. And I don’t see that being particularly helpful for these sorts of imbalances. Can we talk a little bit about some essences that are really helpful for this and how it fits together a little bit?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:31:19] Yeah, so let’s talk a little bit first about like what the Spleen is in Chinese medicine and the fact that in Western medicine, it doesn’t really have a very important place, right? It’s this thing that is related to immunity but it doesn’t really have such a central or important place as it does in Chinese medicine. And in Chinese medicine, the Spleen and the Spleen Stomach are about digestion. They’re about integration. And they’re related to the element of birth, which is that center and holds things together and digests experiences, integrates experiences. So digestion is related to the Spleen, therefore rumination, right, we’re chewing on something, we’re chewing it and chewing it, maybe not digesting. And rumination is also thought, so. And then also the muscles of the body are related to the Spleen, and saliva is the body fluid related to the Spleen. The color yellow is related to the spleen. And so things that can be harmful to the Spleen system can be eating too much raw food, eating too much cold food, too much abuse of the seated position, rumination, too much thinking. So having a cold smoothie while you’re sitting in front of your computer working is probably going to give you diarrhea or burps or indigestion or it’s going to make your– like not– you’re not going to be so sharp.

So what helps bring that energy of spinning one’s wheels, and I say spinning wheels because once again, Earth is the element of the Spleen and Earth holds things together in the center. It’s the center of energy. So the Spleen’s energy, the Spleen’s chi, each organ has a different type of chi. Ascending, descending, expansion, contraction, or centering. The Spleen is related to centering energy and also spinning on its axis like the earth. And so spinning one’s wheels mentally, thinking over and over about something is imbalanced Spleen chi. And what is needed to help bring that into balance is the impulse of the Liver’s energy. So what do we do? Get up and go for a walk, right? Get up from your computer. Go for a walk. Things start flowing. Thoughts start processing because the Blood, our Blood is related to spirit. It’s like the– it’s the physical– it’s like condensed spirit, let’s say. So when the blood is flowing, because we’ve gotten up and gone for a walk and then the thoughts start to process and get digested, our digestion improves from that experience. So flower essences that are related to all of that process, both Liver-related flower essences and Spleen-related flower essences, likewise Kidney-related flower essences, things, right, because there is no individual organ. They’re all a system working together. And that’s part of when– if you’ve ever seen that picture in Chinese medicine of the star with the circle around it, what it’s showing is the relationships between the organs. What helps balance out what.

So in as much as the Spleen helps hold things together, well, one really important one I see in the– in the overachievers and the obsessive type personalities is Elm because they and sometimes we, I’ll speak here, I’ll include myself, we will keep on adding on responsibilities hyper responsibility, big projects to the degree that I can’t hold things together anymore and I start to fall apart. Either my self-esteem starts to crumble or my digestion starts to give out, but something related to that Spleen crumbling, right? I just can’t hold it together anymore and Elm helps the Spleen bring energy back into the center and to like, discern in what order. It helps restructure. It helps bring it back together so that I can take on what I need to take on one piece at a time, digest one thing at a time. That’s one. Of course, White Chestnut is kind of the epitome of the mental rumination and the broken record and how useful that is for the Spleen to help process experiences.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:37:08] Exactly, because culturally, the modern culture, we’re raised up in a culture of you go to school, you study really hard. And unfortunately, in the US, there’s less and less physical activity. There’s less and less art. There’s less and– it’s a dreadful, unfortunate thing because there’s so much focus on that intellectual learning and remembering, memorization, and being able to spit it back out into a test form. And so, I mean, that is the epitome of the overuse of that– of that Spleen energy. And so we’re trained in that early, early on and we’re trained that success looks like that. So you sit at your computer and you grind it out and you do all these intellectual processes and you– and then at night, you can’t stop. At night, your mind just keeps spinning and spiraling. And so I think that it’s kind of built into at least the American culture, but maybe sort of the modern Western culture, there’s overuse. And so we see a lot of these sufferings that are related to that inability to digest. And then you might bring in the excess consumption of sugar, which is overtaxing to the Spleen. And there’s a lot of things that involve that. But that White Chestnut, like you were mentioning, it’s just so endemic that we have this. I wake up in the middle of the night and I can’t stop thinking. My mind just won’t stop going and I’m worrying about this. And so it’s one of those ones that’s it’s almost an entry point for so many people to recognize that there’s help for that. There’s something we can do about that and then we can make other recommendations as to lifestyle but the essences are like, ooh, right on point for those topics.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:38:57] Yeah, I remember when we took White Chestnut in my training course and reported back and, oh my gosh, the students, it was clear as day, often people have very varying experiences to different essences. And I had this experience. Everyone, wow, all of a sudden there was a placid lake just like that. Like my mind was a placid lake and yeah, me too, and it’s something that, wow, we’re just not– even serious practiced meditators, it’s just like we get used to just not paying attention to the radio, but it’s still there. And how the White Chestnut can actually turn off the radio for a minute, right, so that the mind can be just a calm lake.

Rochana Felde: [00:39:52] I find it– I find it fascinating that Chinese medicine has all of this information about the Spleen system because I don’t see that anywhere else. I mean, like you said, Western medicine doesn’t really talk about it. And Ayurveda doesn’t call it out like Chinese medicine either, but I believe it does consider it part of the– of the stomach digestive area and also with immunity. But with Ayurveda, the core of every kind of disease and imbalance is digestion. And that’s not just physical digestion, but mental digestion, emotional digestion and everything that– everything that you’re taking in and your ability to discern if that’s good for you or not good for you, or part– should be part of you or not be part of you and how your– how you use it on all of those levels energetically and physically. And then the fact that it correlates with immunity is also kind of a similar thing because that goes back into that piece of the ahamkara and identifying what is mine, what is– what is not mine. So there’s this discernment sort of factor that I’m seeing that feels like it maps up to what we’re talking about here.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:41:17] Yeah, there is– because digestion– because in Chinese medicine, the digestive system has different organs and viscera that are related to different organs, they’re not always related to the Spleen, but the Spleen does interact with the other organs. So when you talk about the Spleen system and digestion of experiences, for example, understanding that trauma, not a traumatic experience, but the trauma that’s held in the body, like PTSD, for example, is an undigested experience, right, an unbearable reality that simply cannot be understood, integrated, incorporated into the truth of reality. It’s an unbearable reality that I have to reject and it gets stuck in the system and it just is on a repeat loop, repeat loop, repeat loop. And therefore, how trauma affects the Spleen. Well, then also understanding that the Spleen organ is in charge of like, it separates out food and liquids and sends– it sends the most delicate chi from food and drink to the lung to help create defensive energy, right? So if our Spleen isn’t functioning well, it can’t– it can’t separate out that most delicate light chi to the Lung to create our Wei Chi which is our defensive energy, which the Lung is in charge of managing.

And then– and then once we get past the Stomach to the Small Intestine and we talk about discernment is the word you used, what is mine and what isn’t mine? And that’s related to the Heart, right, and the Heart has the Pericardium, which is like the gatekeeper of what comes in and what goes out. And so when trauma disturbs the Heart and I don’t– I can’t– I can’t discern any more, my boundaries aren’t healthy anymore, they have become too hard or too soft or both, pretty often is what it is, and it’s hard for me to discern, too. And that Small Intestine piece, how that’s related there. So now we’re talking not just about White Chestnut related to the Spleen, but we might also then be talking about Centaury related to the lung and boundaries. We might be talking about, help me out here for a flower essence that could be related to, once again the Star of Bethlehem and the Rock Rose for the shock, the origin point of what’s going on.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:44:22] Yeah, I think of Gentian quite a bit for that Spleen Heart relationship where the– it’s that sort of collapse. You feel overwhelmed and you just have no strength and you’re just, oh, which–and then that Heart Kidney axis, I look at certainly Rock Rose. I see that as being very much that Kidney spirit, but also Olive too when it’s just been so depleted for years and years of trauma being lodged in the system and no release and no help for that, they get so depleted.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:44:56] Right. Because it takes so much energy to contain such a big and overwhelming experience. It’s not like it went away. Our system is holding it in a box somewhere. This is like using all the energy to try to contain it and survive it but it’s still there. And that’s very, very draining.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:22] This has been such– I mean, we could– we could do this all day. This is such an interesting conversation and I hope that our listeners are hearing this and getting really interested and piqued as to further learning. I think that the book, this Flower Essences in Chinese medicine is such a good entry point for people who are interested in flower essences and have some base of knowledge of flower essences to start to build that bridge to Chinese medicine. I think the book itself is really designed for people who are interested in flower essences to introduce these major concepts. Isn’t that right?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:46:08] Yeah, Pablo wrote this book, this was his first book, and apparently, he’s working on another one. This one took him 10 years to write. So partly because of his lovely, wonderful personality, interested in very many things, but also because he wanted to get it right. He took– he took his time writing this and he wrote it for the flower essence practitioner or dabbler who has an idea of what flower essences are as an introduction to Chinese medicine in relationship to flower essences. So the first half of the book is a primer on Chinese medicine, starting with yin and yang, talking about chi and xue which is blood and energy. Each of the organs, each of the emotions, describing what the emotion is, what’s the energy of the emotion, the visceral spirits, what are their names, what are their virtues? What does that look like? What does that mean, he gets into the description. And he is Argentine, and so he was writing in Spanish. And that is a poetic language that fits really well with the poetry and metaphor of Chinese medicine. So translating it was a delight and I did have to rewrite it in English. So like the richness of the Spanish comes through part– like it comes through. It does– It’s not missing. But gosh, it would be wonderful if you could all read the Spanish version, too. And the original title was– the subtitle of the original title was A Bridge Under Construction, so, like, you just used that word bridge. Yeah, A Bridge Under Construction. There was something I wanted to say, but I’ve forgotten.

Rochana Felde: [00:48:01] Well, I have to say that I found the book really accessible and I really don’t have a great understanding of Chinese medicine other than going to acupuncture and knowing feng shui, like as far as some of those concepts with the elements and the yin yang, but, and the meridians. So I guess for me, it’s always been a little bit overwhelming. I’ve tried to read some of the more, other books about Chinese medicine and just kind of put them down and never followed through with it. So I really — I really appreciated the clarity and ease in which the concepts are expressed in this book. And then, of course, the flower essences and how the– how all those map. It’s a really unique piece of literature that nothing– there’s nothing else like it out there. So, yeah, thank you for translating it.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:49:09] Oh, my gosh. It was a labor of love and, — and it was part of my– it was part of my destiny. And like I was– there was a lot going on in my life throughout this translation, and when I started and I remember feeling lost, but I would take Wild Oat and just sit down and work on the translation. So it is definitely part of what I’m here for, so I can only be grateful for the opportunity and I’m grateful to both of you for the opportunity to spread the word, which is a beautiful also labor of love. As you mentioned, the second half of the book is Pablo spelling out the Bach flowers in Chinese medical terms, not in a, this is everything there is to say about the flower essences, but like a kind of starting point with some really great insights on those flower essences from the Chinese medical perspective.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:50:20] We’re really glad to have you here and to have you to share this information. For me, the reading that book, when I first saw it popping up on wherever I happened to see it, I was just so excited because I’ve been looking for that linkage. I’ve been– you have one that I’m completely compelled and interested by and then the other. And it’s like, how do they fit together because they must. They must. I knew they must. And to be able to see it, it was– it was absolutely an incredible gift to receive because now it’s just– it created that bridge. It created that bridge between these two bases of knowledge. And now I can keep building on it and using it and, oh, getting more ideas of how things fit together. So I’m really grateful that you brought it into the English language because my Spanish skills are not up to snuff to read it in the original. So thank–

Loyola Colebeck: [00:51:12] Well, and that’s probably how we first met was you found that, and then you contacted me. And so there’s thanks to the book for existing and having its life. Thanks to Pablo for bringing it, and it has a life of its own now, right, and it belongs to all of us and is making these connections between us. And just once again, thanking Pablo, who is out there. He is there in Buenos Aires like doing his thing, teaching, and lecturing. And he’s working now more on– like his focus lately is using creams and using topical applications of flower essences for working on emotional levels, not just tissue states. So that’s interesting. The SEDIBAC biannual conference just happened in Barcelona, I think, last weekend, and he was presenting on that topic. I didn’t attend. I was making art at a retreat. But he– that was one of the compelling presentations. So there’s so much more. There’s so much more.

Rochana Felde: [00:52:24] And Loey, tell us what are you working on these days?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:52:27] Well, I’m working on, so I have a on-demand online class, it’s recorded, that is an introduction to Chinese medicine, the Bach flower essences and this book, and it includes the book and so that is NCCAOM pre-approved for PDA credits. So that’s one thing that I’ve got available. The thing that I’m working on, kind of like my big labor lately has been the Flower Essence Therapy Certificate Training course that I offer. It starts in September, it goes through May, and it’s every other Saturday except for some holidays there. There’s a month break here and there. And that is for not only professional development but also personal exploration. So some students come just to dive into their process in group and in a supportive process. Some people would do better just starting with a therapeutic process. Some people like to do both and have that group process of learning the flowers while experiencing. And then most people are doing both where then they’re going to be applying it, they come as holistic nurses, massage therapists, meditation teachers, psychotherapists. So a variety of different fields that– professional fields that people decide they want to incorporate flower essences. So I have students from around the country, Canada, and that’s what I’ve been doing. This will be the fifth year. Last year had a wonderful group of students and there is a reparations fund available. So there’s–  it’s a mixed and diverse group of people which is really enriching for all of us. Yeah, that’s what I’m working on. I hoped that this book would be the gateway book for other translations, and I’ll tell you what, it is a lot of work to translate a book. So I’m hoping that there are people out there who are inspired to translate some other books from Spanish, which has more books about flower essences than any other language. There’s so much to learn from practitioners who are in Latin America.

Rochana Felde: [00:55:03] And, oh, I was just going to circle back to the course that you’re offering on Chinese medicine and Bach flowers. And is that geared toward– what kind of audience is that geared towards? Is that for people who already know something about Chinese medicine or know something about the Bach flowers?

Loyola Colebeck: [00:55:28] That– as a class that is pre approved for continuing education credits for acupuncturists, there is– it’s an introduction to the book. And I don’t think that it’s so much an introduction to Chinese medicine as in the sense of like, in the beginning, there was nothing and then there was something. But it does walk us through what is in the book, what are the ways that we can approach Chinese medicine or approach flower essence therapy from a Chinese medical perspective, talking about what are flower essences because that’s a whole other beautiful area for even seasoned practitioners to refine our knowledge of how to talk about what we’re talking about.

And then we get into a little bit of what are the transpersonal patterns developed by Dr. Ricardo Orozco, a Valencian now living in Barcelona, a teacher, because the transpersonal patterns were kind of the point of connection for Pablo in connecting the flower essences in Chinese medicine and the transpersonal patterns being kind of the essential essence of the essence. For example, Cerato dispersion, oh, dispersion, that translates as Chinese medicine, right? So I talk a little bit about what does that mean? What are the transpersonal patterns? And then I– and then I break down the Rescue Remedy too. If I’m not mistaken, I do that in that class, breakdown the ingredients and what the energy is of each, and how they work in synergy, and why Rescue Remedy works the way it does. And so that’s really useful knowledge for us to have as well. So you don’t have to really know anything about either. The class is pre approved for acupuncturists, so.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:57:33] Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that and we’ll be sure to put links to your site and all of this information in the show notes that you can access on thefloweressencepodcast.com website and also on your podcast, I’m sure there’s a section for notes and things like that. And we also want to give a little thank you and a shout out to our patrons so much. And Loey is offering you a discount on that class we were just talking about and also a little thank you of some information on your research on Elder. So we’ll have that. That’s exclusively for our patrons. Thank you, patrons. And you’ll get the links and information in that notification from Patreon. And I think we’re coming to a place of coming together. This has been such a beautiful conversation. I’m so happy that you joined us again and shared so much of your heart and your practice and your information with us. It’s been absolutely a delight to talk Chinese medicine in flower essences.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:58:44] Thank you. Likewise. I wish we could continue. I wish we could hear questions from people who are listening. I’m sure there are– there’s at least one question in every mind out there of every listener. And I would love to be able to have that conversation and get more into like, what are the virtues and what are the– what are the emotions, but there’s the book for that. So hopefully anyone.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:59:09] And also there’s social media for that. We–

Loyola Colebeck: [00:59:12] Yeah, I mean there are a lot of books about Chinese medicine.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:59:16] Well, and also just for listeners, if you have a question, please ask your question on the post, ask your question in the post on Instagram and on Facebook, and we monitor that and we love to get questions from you. So please, please, please reach out. We’d love to answer those questions because nothing makes us happier than hearing from you because it’s the three of us sitting around a Zoom meeting and yeah, it goes out, it ripples outwards. And we love to see the ripples coming back to us a little bit. So I appreciate that.

Loyola Colebeck: [00:59:51] Yeah, yeah, write the posts. I’ll just admit that I’m really, really, really bad at being timely on looking at the social media. But I will eventually answer questions that are directed to me. So there you– just saying out.

Kathleen Aspenns: [01:00:04] And we can send you– we’ll send you a ping if there’s something that like, ah, you got to get this one.

Loyola Colebeck: [01:00:09] Thank you. Thanks so much for this opportunity to share.

Rochana Felde: [01:00:14] Yeah, it’s our pleasure. We love having you on and it’s amazing how fast the time just flies by when we’re– when we’re all chatting. So it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for coming on.

Kathleen Aspenns: [01:00:25] Until next time. Bye-bye now. 

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