Navigating the Emotional Rapids with Flower Essences

Recently, I was discussing how to navigate intense emotions with a client. She was frightened by the prospect of facing a big challenge in her life, and I was encouraging her to try to open to the experience. This is a common cultural issue, as we are generally not taught how to experience our more difficult emotions like fear or anger. We may have been shamed by our parents or peers for feeling fear, so we learned to repress it. These emotions then build up, and can feel very daunting to face.

The emotional experience is generally of short duration; emotions flow like water.

The problem arises when we have not learned to allow the flow, and instead repress or bottle them up. When these long repressed emotions are finally acknowledged and allowed to move, they can move very intensely, like water bursting forth from a dam. Part of my work as a flower essence practitioner is to encourage people facing this daunting experience to recognize that the best way is to move through the experience rather than trying to avoid it.

One image that works well came up in a recent consultation. She recalled an experience of river rafting, and how frightened she was of the upcoming rapids. The river was a perfectly safe one, and her group had an experienced guide, so she realized her fear was not truly necessary. But still, she dreaded the rapids and worried about falling out of the raft. After the group went through a few rapids, she realized she could face this intense experience, and that her anticipation of the fear was actually worse than the experience itself. Even falling out of the raft was not that big of a deal. It was actually refreshing!

This adventure mirrors the experience of facing and releasing intense emotions. We tend to dread the surfacing of old and stored emotion, frantically back paddling and trying to find a way around. But truly, the way through is like navigating the rapids. You may get wet or fall out of your raft, and it is guaranteed to be a ride, but once you have gone through there is peace on the other side and a sense of relief, stillness and completion.

Like going on a river trip, you will want to be well prepared to work with your deepest emotions.

When I work with a client, it may take many months before she is ready to face them. It is worthwhile to remember the benefits of going through this process. Having these stored emotions can result in being truly blocked in life. So much energy is being used to hold them back that there is little left for growth, change, or the fulfillment of dreams and goals. Once these blocks are released, you will be surprised at how much easier life is.

Until you are prepared, lots of nurturing and supportive flower essences are in order to build a foundation of strength. It truly is an organic process, and it becomes clear when there are signs of the emotional rapids are coming up. I let the client know that these emotions are arising to be experienced and released. The first time a client experiences this she tends to be displeased, as she started taking flower essences to feel better, not worse. And this definitely feels worse! Fortunately, I have guided many to navigate these rapids, and can assure her that, while this is an intense experience, coming through the other side will be worth every moment.

I recommend having emergency flower essence formulas around, as a sort of life vest for these emotional rapids.

It is best to continue taking your base formula of whatever essences you are working with at the time as they will help support you as you navigate through this experience. This blend of flower essences is your raft, and has brought you safely to this place, and will help get you through. But you may need a little extra support when things get intense. Here are a few essence formulas I recommend. They can be taken as needed in addition to your regular flower essences. You may even want to take a few drops every ten minutes when you are in the most intense phase of your emotions.

Rescue Remedy (AKA Five-flower Formula) by Bach

This classic formula is popular for a good reason. It has broad application for many types of fear, shock or trauma, and has helped many through tough times. I am rarely without a bottle in my bag – if you don’t need it, you may run into someone who does.

Soul Support by Alaskan Essences

This is an excellent support formula for any transformational experience. I particularly like the Fireweed flowers as a component to help rebuild your energetic system after an emotional clearing.

Crisis-Desert Emergency Formula by Desert Alchemy

This formula is useful when you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, and feel as if you may “drown” in them. 

Terra by Bloesem Remedies

I love this combination and recommend it often when the emotional crisis is spiritual, or arises from a karmic or ancestral issue.

How To Spot Signs Of Fear In Your Horse

How many times have you heard of a horse exploding in a huge reaction “out of nowhere”? It can happen anytime: a horse out on a ride suddenly bucking, in the crossties pulling back and snapping the halter, or panicking and scrambling in the trailer.

Any experienced horse person can tell you, these things can simply happen out of the blue. But what if you learned to notice the warning signs and could defuse this dangerous situation?

You might think of the last time you went to the dentist. Most people have at least some level of concern when they go, and feel at least a little bit worried that they might experience some pain. Fortunately, dentists and staff have been trained to watch their patients closely, and to regularly check in with them. They ask you as the patient to tell them if you feel any pain, and tell you to raise your hand to ask them to stop.

Imagine yourself in a dentist’s chair, but this time, you are being held down by the assistant while the dentist works in your mouth. No one is noticing you are becoming more and more anxious, and a small amount of pain you feel causes your adrenaline to spike, expecting it to get  much worse. You start to wiggle, and are reprimanded for doing so. What are the chances you would panic and bolt out of the chair and room without further notice?

This scenario reminds me of how horses are often treated. We as the handlers know there is nothing to fear, and there will be no pain or harm caused. But the horse may have very little idea of what to expect, and has no way of asking you to slow down or stop what you are doing. This causes his tension level to rise, and he may over react to a tiny amount of pain or discomfort.

One of the principles of the Tellington TTouch Method is to observe your horse closely, to notice even the smallest sign of discomfort in the horse, and work to alleviate the horse’s concerns. These signs can be very small, and are often mistaken for good behavior. For instance, a horse may become completely still before he explodes in fear. This is a type of response to fear termed freezing, and can be very dangerous for the handler who thinks the horse is just fine with what is going on around him.

Some of the signs of concern we look for when handling or training a horse are:

Breathing – Many horses hold their breath when they are concerned or worried, or take shallow breaths. Look for the ribcage and belly to fill with each breath, and to release easily and completely. Often we only notice a horse has been holding his breath when he exhales deeply.

Mouth – A nervous horse will often hold the mouth very tightly and will have a hard chin. He may also fidget and nibble on ropes or anything nearby as a source of distraction to himself when he is nervous.

Tail – Many worried horses will have a very tight tail, tucked close to the buttocks. It is also a sign of distress for a horse to whip the tail back and forth as opposed to the gentle swish to remove a fly.

There are of course many other signs to notice, but these are some of the most obvious and easy to spot. Next time you tack up your horse in preparation for a ride, you might go a little more slowly and see if you can spot any areas of concern for your horse. Each small concern you can address and release will have a cumulative effect on your horse’s ability to relax and focus on the job.

Techniques to help alleviate your horse’s fears

Acupressure on Conception Vessel 17

This point is a powerful calming point that will both settle the horse and help him to relax and breathe fully and deeply. The point is located on the ventral midline, just behind the line of the horse’s elbows. There is usually a depression or soft spot here about the size of a quarter. Apply your fingertips gently to this spot, hold and take deep slow belly breaths as you wait to see the horse’s response. Most horses will start to relax, lower their heads, and start to breathe deeply.

TTouch Tail Work

There are a number of techniques from TTouch to help soften a tight tail and help a horse relax. One of the ones recommended is to do Tail Circles. First, check to see if the tail is not too tight – if it is completely clamped, start with some Hair Slides and TTouch circles on the dock itself. Once the tail has relaxed a little, reach with your hand up under the dock and lift it firmly skyward. With your other hand, grasp the lower part of the dock and arch the tail in a rainbow shape. Holding this angle, circle the tail as if winding up the horse. This movement will help the horse relieve tension and soften the tail.

Mimulus Flower Essence for fear

One of Dr Bach’s original flower essences, Mimulus, is an excellent choice to ease your horse’s fears. It is specific to “known” fears, fears that are clearly defined to the horse. For instance, your horse may be frightened of needles, or blankets, or the wash rack. Mimulus will help ease these specific fears and help him relax. Give two drops on a cookie twice daily for at least a few weeks to make a lasting change.

Helping Your Horse Overcome His Fear – Part Two

In Part One, I discussed a method of desensitization intended to help a horse overcome fear. This process is problematic as it often causes dulling and dissociation in the horse, rather than helping him overcome his fear. I’d like to show you some other ways to help the horse become less fearful and more confident. These techniques work with the horse to encourage his inherent curiosity and help him stay calm and present, thinking through a challenge rather than rushing through fearfully. The best part is once a horse has had a few positive experiences of working through a new situation with your assistance, he will be more likely to trust you as he is presented with the next one.

Helping a horse overcome fear with Tellington TTouch Training

The Tellington TTouch Method incorporates a broad variety of techniques and tools that can be applied individually or layered together. There are no fixed recipes and you are encouraged to use your creativity to figure out a way to work with an individual horse on any given day. There are many great resources to learn the Method, but I’d like to show you one way we might work with a specific fear – that of walking on a new surface.

It is common for horses to be nervous to step onto an unfamiliar surface. He may refuse to load in a trailer because of the feel of the floor, or stop at a water crossing, or simply shy at a shadow on the ground. We can help a horse overcome these types of fears by using plastic tarps.

You will need 2 plastic tarps and a still day (wind is not your friend in this process!). Take your tarps and fold them lengthwise into strips. Depending on the type of tarp you might end up with a 10’ length and a 12-18” width. Lay the tarps on the ground in a very wide “V” shape. Depending on your horse, you may need to start out with the narrowest part 6’ apart (no part of the two strips are touching each other). This shape allows the horse to enter at the wide part of the “V”, walk through without touching or coming close to the plastic itself. Your goal is to let the horse take a good look before approaching the opening, then walk through calmly.

Monitor your horse closely for any sign of nervousness or concern, and make sure he has really seen the tarps before you enter the space between. Allow him to turn his head and raise or lower it so he can really see and process the tarps on both sides. You don’t want him to paw or grab the tarp with his teeth at this point as he could frighten himself and set the process back. You always want to give him the choice to say “I can’t” as you invite him to walk through. You can always make the obstacle easier by widening and taking it slower. When he feels heard, and can trust you to listen to his concerns he will develop more confidence in you and be more willing to try.

As he shows you he is comfortable walking through the opening between the tarps, you can gradually narrow the space between them. Be aware of where your footsteps land, as you don’t want to frighten him by the noise of your boots suddenly scrunching on the tarp. I recommend letting him watch you as you move the tarps around so you can notice if the sound is concerning to him. If so, go slowly, and avoid startling him with a big noise. You may find that a head wrap and a body wrap will help a nervous and sound-sensitive horse. The wanding technique I discuss in Part One will be very useful to you as you help him overcome fear of the noise.

As you work through the process of narrowing, then eliminating the gap between the tarps, you can also widen out the folded tarps as well, creating a larger surface to walk between. Eventually, your horse will be completely comfortable stepping over the tarp. This may happen in one session, but don’t push your horse. Watch for little steps of improvement, and make sure it is easy for him to be successful. These positive experiences will build and he will develop greater and greater trust in you as you progress.

This experience of safely and bravely stepping on tarps will help your horse with many new footing and surface challenges. You can also give your horse different experiences by doing this exercise with pieces of cardboard, plywood, carpet, or rubber matting. Be creative with whatever you have around the barn and keep your horse interested to see what you have up your sleeve for the next work session.

Calm your horses fears with Acupressure

One of my favorite points to teach my clients is Governing Vessel 24. This is an excellent choice to calm a horse and help him focus. It eases anxiety and busy minds (and busy mouths).

This is an easy point to find, and safe to use for any horse where you can touch the head.

The point is located on the central midline of the forehead, directly under the forelock. Hold the halter while standing off to one side of the head, and apply a fingertip to the area directly under the forelock. Your horse many respond well to a gentle steady contact, or prefer a light circular rubbing motion. Whichever technique you use, allow a few minutes to let the horse experience the acupressure and relax. When introducing acupressure to your horse, he may more easily accept a few seconds at a time, building to a few minutes as he becomes accustomed to the sensation. Regular acupressure on this point before or after training sessions will help him be calmer and able to think more clearly.

Flower Essence for confidence

Sometimes a horse may be needing a boost in confidence, rather than being particularly fearful. He is just a bit timid, and doesn’t dive into new things like his herdmates. In this case, try Larch flower essence. This is one of the Bach flower essences, and is useful in any circumstance where a horse (or dog, or person…) is nervous about trying something new, and is afraid to fail or be embarrassed. It shifts the perspective into a sense of excitement and possibility and an eagerness to learn and try new things.

Offer a few drops on a cookie before sessions and see if your horse finds a new sense of courage. You may find it useful to take a few drops yourself before a lesson or a class.

Restoring Shen – Helping The Shut Down Horse

Have you ever seen a horse plodding around an arena, complying with his rider’s wishes, but somehow lifeless? His eyes are dull, he shows no interest in his surroundings, no joy in his work. He tires easily, and his rider must work hard to keep him moving.

Many horses have undergone harsh training practices that frighten them into shutting down. If he misbehaved by jumping around he may have been shanked or smacked. Many horses are frightened and confused by punishment and learn to hold still to avoid pain. A horse may freeze, becoming rigid and holding his breath, or shut off his awareness so he does not notice frightening things going on around him. 

These practices do not help a horse cope with domestic life well, as he will always be surrounded by unnatural and possibly frightening things. He has never learned to think, to safely investigate, and then to recognize the item as non-threatening.

Instead, he develops a coping strategy to his stressful life. Anytime he feels frightened he will shut down and become dulled to what is going on around him. Many horses spend a lot of their lives in this shut down place, unaware of the world around them.

This state has unfortunate impacts for the physical health of the horse, as well as the obvious negative mental impact. In Chinese Medicine, the body cannot be healthy without the guidance of the Shen. The Shen can be loosely translated as spirit, and can become disconnected from the body by shock, trauma, or stress. The Shen guides all the systems of the body to create resilient health; when the Shen has been disturbed the body is prone to disease or injury and does not heal easily. 

Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to help your horse recover and learn to feel safe in his world. A word of warning, however – a horse who has lived his whole life this way may begin to act like an untrained horse. He may have never spooked in the arena before because he never noticed all the possibly scary objects, shadows or noises before. As he comes back into awareness, he may need support and patient retraining to overcome his fears.

Techniques

One of the very first techniques I use with any frightened horse is to help them regain a sense of where their body is in space. The tool I use is the TTouch Wand (a white dressage whip). With calm, smooth, intentional movements, I stroke the entire body firmly (to avoid tickling or annoying the horse), making sure to stroke down each leg all the way to the ground. For a horse who is frozen or dissociated this can be an important technique to help them come back into an awareness of their bodies. One of the great advantages of using the Wand is that it is safe for you, keeping your hand and body out of harm’s way. It is also generally well accepted by the horse, as it is not as threatening as a hand touching or possibly grabbing them. I have encountered horses who have been treated harshly by whips, and view my Wand as a threat. If this is the case, I demonstrate to the horse my intentions by stroking my own legs and the legs of their person as well. Keeping the Wand down, making slow and deliberate movements, and approaching slowly is also helpful.

Clicker Training

An excellent way of rehabbing shut down horses is to teach games with Clicker Training. I recommend reading up on the basic theory of reinforcement and training with the clicker (as, of course, there is no magic to the tool itself) and start playing with your horse. When you see the spark of recognition in your horse’s eyes, and see his excitement from offering you new behaviors, you will be hooked. This type of positive reinforcement training gives your horse a completely new experience, a sense of agency and choice, and can be the start of a new type of partnership. 

Acupressure

The shut down horse is often prone to shallow breathing, or simply holds his breath if he is uncertain or frightened. Acupressure on Conception Vessel 17 (CV17) is indicated to help him relax his ribcage and diaphragm and breathe more deeply. This point also helps to calm the Shen, so will help ease his fear and anxiety.

CV17 is located on the ventral midline (the center line running from between the front legs on the belly), just behind the area of the points of the elbows. Often this is where the girth will be (and this is a great point to use for a girthy horse). This point is easy to find by standing at your horse’s shoulder facing the head, reach under the girth area and find the hollow on the midline right behind the elbows.

Flower Essences

Mimulus (Bach) is a flower essence I reach for often to work with frightened horses. It is the essence to ease known fears, such as of dogs, or tarps, or trailers. It can help your horse overcome specific concerns and learn to access his innate courage.

Star of Bethlehem (Bach) flower essence is a remedy to help overcome trauma, helping the Shen come back to rest in the body. Even if the trauma is long in the past, it is helpful to use this essence to restore an animal’s sense of peace and calm.

Yulan Magnolia (Flora of Asia) flower essence helps to restore natural, calm breath pattern when it has been disrupted by fearful events or trauma. This essence is a useful remedy to help restore the Shen.

There are many strategies that can help your horse stay aware and learn to overcome his fears. Much of the Tellington Method and TTouch is useful in these cases, particularly the groundwork exercises. By helping your horse learn to move in awareness of his body and take on new challenges successfully, you will help him to become more confident in trying new things in general. The TTouches are also highly beneficial in helping him release the tension in his body created by fear and helping him to breathe more normally.

Signs Of Stress In Your Horse: Mouthing

How many horses in your barn are constantly “busy” when they stand tied? They chew on anything nearby – ropes, blankets, handlers… constantly fooling around. When they cannot reach anything with their mouth, they may paw or walk back and forth to the limits of their tie.

This is very common, but should it be ignored? And, what can you do about it?

Many people have been instructed to correct any of these behaviors by shanking on the halter, or smacking the horse in the neck with a loud “no”. It has not been my experience that this works to stop the behavior, instead becoming more of a cyclical action/reaction that repeats daily while the horse is handled.

These behaviors are usually chalked up to the horse being bored, impatient, or spoiled. If you are certain this is true, you are likely to punish these bad behaviors. But what if your horse is not doing these things to drive you crazy, but instead is acting out of stress?

There are many ways you can help your horse feel less stressed. Many of them are just good horse keeping practices like maximizing turnout, providing hay at all times, and regular exercise.  There are also a number of wellness techniques you can add into your routine to help, creating moments of calm and connection with your horse on a regular basis. I find that problem behaviors such as mouthing and fussing can be reduced or eliminated using stress relieving techniques like TTouch, Acupressure and Flower Essences.

TTouch Mouthwork to relieve your horse’s stress

I do Mouthwork with nearly every horse I work with. This technique is one of the most powerful ways I have found to relax tension and reduce mouthing behavior. Anytime a horse shows mouthing, chewing, licking, or biting I consider it a call for help and a sign of stress, and step right in to help him.

There is not a fixed way to do Mouthwork, simply start moving around the skin on the horse’s muzzle, nostrils, lips, and chin. You are likely to find quite a bit of tension and holding in the area. Just keep working away at all the areas of the muzzle, being careful with your hands to avoid being bitten. Always keep a hand on the halter when you are doing this work so you can manage the horse’s head.

Once your horse has relaxed a bit, and you have worked around the exterior surfaces, you may want to work the lips and gums. This is not necessary – skip it if you do not feel safe doing so. You may wish to have an experienced horseperson show you the inside of a horse’s mouth, and teach you where you can put your fingers in on the sides of the mouth to avoid the teeth.

I usually introduce myself to the horse and get them used to the idea of my hands in their mouth by starting with tiny TTouches on the lip surfaces, then put my thumb under the lip while keeping my fingers on the exterior of the mouth. This helps prevent my hand from being pulled in and bitten. 

Once I have worked the lips, I may slide my hand under the surface of the upper lip and rub the gums. Most horses, once they get over the initial reaction of “what is she doing?” relax and enjoy having their gums rubbed. I do this firmly, holding the halter with my other hand for safety.

TTouch Mouthwork is very different from letting a horse mouth you, or play with your hands. A horse can lick or play with hands endlessly. It is more of a distraction behavior, and helps him tune out whatever else is happening to him. Mouthwork actually helps release tension. Doing a few minutes of Mouthwork will help him stand calmly afterwards, and he will be much less inclined to fuss with his mouth.

Acupressure on Pericardium 6 to relieve your horse’s stress

Pericardium 6 (PC6) is a powerful calming point for horses. This acupressure point has many other uses, for instance, it is an important point to relieve digestive problems. But nearly every horse can benefit from the calming effect of acupressure on PC6.

One of the easiest points to find, PC6 is located in front of the chestnut on each front leg. Simply stand at the shoulder and run your hand down the back of the leg on the inside surface. Locate the chestnut and rest your fingers on the skin in front of the chestnut. The point is located just in front of the chestnut, 1/3 to 1/2 way down the length of the chestnut. Gently rest your fingertips, breathe, and watch for signs of relaxation in your horse. Your horse may sigh, blink, chew and drop his head.

Flower Essences to relieve your horse’s stress

I’d love to see a bottle of Rescue Remedy in every first aid box. This combination flower essence formula is a first line remedy for shock and fear. It helps calm the body and mind, so you and your horse can come back to center after a fright. I prefer the Healing Herbs brand, labeled as Five-Flower, with the misting top so I can easily dose myself and my horse. 

You can give flower essences to your horse by misting a cookie and offering, or mist your hand and pet your horse’s muzzle. It is also great to use on your hands as you do Earwork.

Another important flower essence for stressed horses is Cherry Plum (Bach). I use this essence for horses that mouth, bite or fuss while tied. It is specific for mental stress, the fear that you will “lose it” and react in an extreme fashion. With horses, I see this type of fear manifesting in the above behaviors while tied or when otherwise confined, such as while trailering. This flower essence can help dial down the anxiety and help the horse cope with stress better.

Separation Anxiety in Animals

As a flower essence practitioner, I work with a lot of animals who suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs can show anxiety when their people leave the house or put them in another room. They may bark, whine, or even destroy items in their need to be back with their person. Horses can become excessively attached to their herdmates and be unwilling to leave them, or panic and run home when separated from companions. These are just some of the expressions of separation anxiety.

Behavioral Modification

Behavioral modification techniques can be very helpful in reducing or eliminating separation anxiety. Whenever I work with a client, I recommend implementing this approach in addition to using flower essences. There are many resources available from which to learn about behavioral modification techniques. To learn more about these techniques and dog behavior, I highly recommend the books of Patricia McConnell.

Why do animals develop separation anxiety?

There are a number of theories about how separation anxiety develops. I find that animals who have it often have had stressful early lives. The mother of the animal who develops separation anxiety may have been under stress through her gestation and birth (such as a homeless and starving stray or a puppy mill dog), or the animal may have been weaned too early or in a stressful manner. These early stresses have profound and long lasting effects on a developing animal.

Flower Essences for Separation Anxiety

Fortunately, flower essences can go a long way to helping animals recover from separation anxiety. When I work one on one with a client, I develop a formula based on the precise needs of the animal at the time. However, there are essences I can recommend that can help your animal. Learn more about how to give flower essences to your dog, cat, horse or bird here.

Northern Lady Slipper, Alaskan Essences

This essence is one of my favorites. I use it for many situations, but it is especially healing for early traumas. It is a gentle and enfolding essence that helps release the trauma related to stressful gestation or infancy.

Star of Bethlehem, Bach Flower Essences

The Star of Bethlehem flower essence is a primary choice for healing any kind of trauma. It soothes the spirit and helps the animal feel safe in their bodies and in their homes.

Grove Sandwort, Alaskan Essences

This essence is excellent in cases where the bonding process between mother and infant was disturbed and the infant did not receive the nurturing they needed. It helps to establish grounding and a connection to other forms of support to feel loved and cared for.

I am happy to offer consultation and custom essence formula creation over the telephone or Skype for you and your pet! Please get in touch and we can discuss your needs.

Flower Essences for Anxious Dogs | Animal Wellness Magazine

Modern life is full of things that can make a dog nervous. From the constant assault of noise on sensitive ears to the overwhelming sights and smells of a city street, even the calmest dog may become stressed from time to time.

For a highly sensitive dog, even life at home can be a challenge. Stressors can be specific, like the sight or sound of a vacuum cleaner, or more general, such as any sudden noise. Fortunately, there are many ways to help anxious canines cope. Flower essences are a valuable complement to any stress-reducing program.

Read more from my article Flower Essences for Anxious Dogs in Animal Wellness Magazine

How to give flower essences to birds

I began to learn about flower essences in order to help my pet parrot. Knowing how delicate and sensitive birds are, I was extremely cautious in trying new things. Fortunately, flower essences are completely safe for birds as long as they are diluted before use.

How to give flower essences to birds:

  • Put a few drops in a small bowl with a few ounces of water, mix well, dunk a treat and offer
  • Add a few drops to the water bowl – refresh twice daily
  • Add a few drops to water in a misting bottle and mist around the bird and cage.

Of course, if your bird dislikes being misted, do not mist him directly. It is important that any animal have the ability to decline the essences. When putting essences in the water dish, it is kind to offer a bowl of water without essences. Watch your bird and see what he prefers.

I am happy to offer consultation and custom essence formula creation over the telephone or Skype for you and your bird! Please get in touch and we can discuss your needs.

Some flower essences that may be helpful for your bird

Rescue Remedy is always a good choice for any kind of stressful situation, from veterinary visits to nail trimming to thunderstorms. It is a broadly applicable essence that will help to calm, ground, and restore emotional balance after any fright or upset.

Aspen flower essence (Bach) is an excellent choice for parrots who have “night frights” and startle or fall in the middle of the night.

Northern Lady Slipper flower essence (Alaskan Flower Essence Project) is a beautiful nurturing essence to help a parrot overcome a stressful “childhood” and settle in with a new family or living situation.

Filaree flower essence (Flower Essence Society) can be helpful for parrots who pick their feathers, as it helps those who become fixated or worried about specific things.

Scleranthus flower essence (Bach) is helpful for parrots who suffer from hormonal mood swings, a common problem in adolescent birds.

How to give flower essences to cats

Cats love flower essences, but generally don’t like the smell of the brandy preservative. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to give your cat flower essences that will result in minimal alcohol exposure.

Ways to give flower essences to cats:

  • Add a few drops to a few ounces of water in a bowl, dunk a favored treat, and offer
  • Add drops to the water bowl – refresh water and essences twice daily
  • Add drops to a misting bottle of water and mist above the cat, over the bedding, or in the home in general

Cats tend to show strong preferences for particular essences, depending on their need at the time. One friend’s cat will tell her which essences she wants by selectively knocking bottles off the shelf! I recommend showing the bottles to the cat one at a time, and letting your cat tell you which she wishes to have. Watch carefully for a response – it may be turning away or towards the bottle, purring, or some other response.

I am happy to offer consultation and custom essence formula creation over the telephone or Skype for you and your kitty! Please get in touch and we can discuss your needs.

A few flower essences for your cat:

Cow Parsnip flower essence (Alaskan Flower Essence Project) is very helpful for cats who are frustrated at being kept indoors. It helps them adjust and be more content with only indoor adventures.

Cherry Plum flower essence (Bach) is indicated for terror. This essence is excellent for wild or feral cats who must be trapped in order to have medical treatment or as part of the taming and socialization process for any cat.

Walnut flower essence (Bach) is useful for the moving process. Cats have a clear sense of territory and changing homes or situations can cause them a lot of distress. Walnut can help them break the ties to their old homes and reestablish themselves in a new situation more easily.

Quaking Grass flower essence (Flower Essence Society) is great for multi-cat situations. This essence helps to smooth interactions between group members and create greater harmony.

How to give flower essences to dogs

Dogs tend to like taking flower essences when they are diluted.  The smell of the brandy used as preservative is off-putting for most dogs, and depending on the size of dog, possibly not healthy for them. When properly diluted dogs happily take their essences.

How to give flower essences to dogs:

  • Add a few drops to a few ounces of water in a bowl, mix well and dunk a dog cookie or favored treat and offer
  • Put a few drops in the water dish – refresh the dish twice daily
  • Add a few drops to a misting bottle with water and mist around the dog

Dogs will tend to let you know which flower essences they prefer, and refuse to take what they don’t need.  Pay attention to your animal’s response, and honor their preferences.  When I think my dog needs a particular flower essence I will show her the bottle.  She tells me by eagerly putting her nose on the bottle if it is something she wants, and turning her head away if she doesn’t want it.  Every animal is different, so pay attention to your pet’s efforts to communicate with you.

I am happy to offer consultation and custom essence formula creation over the telephone or Skype for you and your dog! Please get in touch and we can discuss your needs.

Some flower essences for dogs:

Borage flower essence (Flower Essence Society) is wonderful to help depressed or moping dogs. I recommend this essence for dogs in boarding or shelter situations, or whenever a dog has lost his spark. It lifts the spirit and gives courage and hope.

Pink Yarrow (Flower Essence Society) helps dogs who are living in a stressful family situation. Dogs tend to be sensitive to the emotions of the people around them and Pink Yarrow can help them insulate and not take on these emotions. It can be a great help for them to be able to live their own emotional lives and not have to take on the turmoil around them.

Holly flower essence (Bach) helps with jealousy and sibling rivalry. It eases feelings of not having enough love or attention to go around, and releases the tension of having to share space and resources.