Integrated Medicine: A Discussion of Flower Essence Therapy
2002 SAVMA Symposium
Kenneth T Crump, AHT
Animal Cancer Center
Colorado State University

Complementing Your Practice

Complementary medicine offers a variety of opportunities for a dedicated veterinarian to expand his or her skills, as well as add another healing tool to a medical practice. The term ‘complementary’ is selected here for a purpose. The term ‘alternative medicine’ suggests an either/or approach to healing. Complementary medicine offers the suggestion that these modalities be used in conjunction with traditional Western medical techniques. The intent is to integrate all forms of treatment with the interest of the patient’s health as the focus. Compassion, sound Western diagnostics and treatment, and complementary modalities combine well to hasten a patient to optimum health. Complementary techniques range from the very practical study of quality animal nutrition, to the more controversial practice of healing touch or prayer. As you explore this field of interest, be careful not to abandon years of training in the western scientific process. Proceed as an open-minded skeptic. The book Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Principles and Practice edited by Allen M. Schoen and Susan Wynn is an excellent resource to begin study.

A Four-Step Disease Process

Simply stated, the holistic approach to medicine revolves around a single axiom: “Organisms function as complete units which cannot be reduced to the sum of their parts.” Further, to the holistic practitioner, a disease process follows a four-step path:

1. Energetic imbalance

At this step in the disease process, illness is an energetic imbalance that can only be detected by intuition. The patient may present with the owner reporting the pet isn’t acting normal. The owner will not be able to pinpoint a specific problem. Physical exam, bloodwork, and all other diagnostic tests will report normal results.

2. Functional disturbance

At this stage in the disease process, the patient is beginning to change habits to accommodate the disease. The pet may avoid jumping, or may visit the litter box more often, or change his/her eating habits. Subtle changes in the actions of the pet will confirm to the owner that something is wrong. Still, all traditional diagnostic tests will yield normal findings.

3. Inflammation

This is the point in the disease process when traditional diagnostic tests will begin to yield abnormal results. The changes in behavior will also become more pronounced.

4. Pathology

At this final stage of the disease process, the body is beginning to change its morphology in response to the disease. An abscess may be walled off, a bladder infection is causing the bladder wall to thicken, etc.

Flower Essence Therapy

Traditional Western medicine has tried and true modalities to treat the third and fourth stages of a disease process. To treat the first and/or second stages, you must turn to complementary treatment modalities. Examples of treatment choices for the Energetic Imbalance stage of disease might include flower essence therapy, homeopathy, applied kinesiology, Reiki, nutrition, acupuncture, or Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Functional Disturbance stage might be treated with herbs, homeopathy, chiropractic, nutrition, acupuncture, or Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The purpose of the Flower Essences is to support the patient’s fight against illness by addressing the fear, depression, anxiety, trauma and other emotional factors that are thought to impede physical healing. They can also be used preventively, at times of anxiety and stress. They are particularly helpful for individuals who seem to feel generally tired and unwell without a specific medical reason.

Dr Edward Bach was a medical doctor and homeopathic physician who spent his life searching for the purest methods of healing. He believed, as many doctors do today, that an individual’s attitude plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness. Before he died in 1936 he had developed a complete system of 38 flower essences, each prepared by capturing the vital energy (the essence) from flowers of wild plants, trees or bushes. These are used in combination to treat the individual, rather than his or her disease or its symptoms. Today private individuals, medical and complementary health practitioners, psychotherapists, counselors, dentists, veterinarians, and healers use these safe, gentle flower essences worldwide.

Flower Essences may be taken in conjunction with other medical treatments; they will not conflict with acupuncture or medications, including homeopathic remedies. They are safe, have no unwanted side effects and are not addictive. They are gentle in action and can safely be taken by individuals of all ages.

The Original Essences and Their Related Emotions


 Rock Rose: Terror

 Mimulus: Fear of a known cause

 Aspen: Fear and worries of an unknown cause

 Cherry Plum: Fear of losing control–suicidal

 Red Chestnut: Fear or over-concern for the welfare of others


 Cerato: Seeks advice and confirmation from others

 Scleranthus: Indecision between two choices

 Gentian: Discouragement of a known source

 Gorse: Hopelessness; despair

 Wild Oat: Uncertainty as to a correct path in life

 Hornbeam: “Monday Morning” feeling; procrastination

Insufficient interest in present circumstances

 Olive: Lack of energy from a known cause

 Clematis: Dreaminess; lack of interest in the present

 Honeysuckle: Lives in the past

 White Chestnut: Unwanted thoughts; mental arguments

 Mustard: Deep gloom with no origin–then leaves

 Wild Rose: Resignation; apathy

 Chestnut Bud: Failure to learn from mistakes


 Impatiens: Impatience; quick to anger / forgive

 Water Violet: Proud; aloof

 Heather: Self-centered; self-concern; chatterbox

Over-sensitivity to Influences and Ideas

 Agrimony: Mental torment behind a brave face; denial stoic

 Walnut: Protection from change and outside influences

 Centaury: Can’t say no

 Holly: Hatred; jealousy; greed

Recommended Reading

1.  Four Paws, Five Directions C Schwartz, 1996–Celestial Arts Publishing

2.  The Web That Has No Weaver T.J. Kaptchuk, 1983–Congdon & Weed

3.  Bach Flower Remedies For Animals S Ball & J Howard, 1999–Hillman Press (Frome) Ltd, England

4.  The Science Of Homeopathy G. Vithoulkas, 1981–Grove Press

5.  Emerging Therapies S.G. Wynn, 1999–AAHA Press

6.  Natural Health For Dogs And Cats R.H. Pitcairn, 1995–Rodale Press

Speaker Information
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Kenneth T Crump, AHT
Animal Cancer Center
Colorado State University

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