CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

The healing power of plants and flowers

Who would have thought that a tiny, soft-petaled flower would have the power to heal the largest of wounds? And yet, the right flower apparently can heal trauma, abuse, and the whole range of negative human experience.

I learned this first-hand tonight at a lecture given by Dame Diana Mossop of THE PHYTOBIOPHYSICS FOUNDATION. According to the Foundation:
Complete Harmony is a range of 20 Flower Formulas which follow the principles of Vibrational medicine, Chinese acupuncture, the Chakra system, colour and the philosophy of emotional trauma. These Phytobiophysics® Flower Formulas have the capacity to stabilise and harmonise the deep trauma, which occur in modern society on all levels of consciousness.

Her more advanced research has led to the creation of the Superfit range, these are powerful Tree Formulas which support on a deep spiritual level and enable healing and recovery on a deep level.

The Institute of Phytobiophysics® was established in 1990 and was affiliated to the Open International University of Complementary medicine in 1992. The Institute offers comprehensive formal Post graduate training to practitioners of all medical modalities. The Institute syllabus was accredited by the Guild of Professional Practitioners in 1997 and was affiliated to The Complementary Medical Association in 1999. The Institute now offers a two year post graduate Diploma course offered in modules.

For further information of the charter of The Open International University of Complementary Medicine [Medicina Alternativa] please read the Training prospectus .

There are now approximately 7000 practitioners world wide practising the Mossop Philosophy and using the Phytobiophysics® formulas.
There is much more on the website about this fascinating and dynamic person. But back to my first-hand narrative. Dame Diane showed an extraordinary film with moving images of the flowers with which she works (I want to say "with whom she works"--it is almost impossible not to 'anthropomorphize' these plants as the movie vividly brings to life the unique life of each one). Each flower she described as having a unique 'vibration,' a unique energy, a unique quality. When viewing the images, these qualities came to life on the screen. One has to open intuitively, emotionally, clairsentiently if you will - with clear sentience - to experience this. It does not simply come from the head.

There was one scene that moved me in particular. Oddly, perhaps, it was of one of Diana's students picking a flower in order to produce a 'flower essence.' Now let it be known that I have taken flower essences quite a few times, and using the empirical method, despite my considerable study and practice of energy healing, could not detect anything at all. So I have always held a kind of quiet skepticism (more about that word later, though it is lower case "s" here, not a trumpet call or calling card) about this healing modality. At any rate, the camera caught a nanosecond of a very subtle gesture just after the flower was picked: the student, with a reverent wave of her hand, sealed up the aura (or energy field) of the flower, energetically sowing up the place where the trauma to the stem had occurred.

This touched me very deeply.

Then again - duh! - how the universe works with such incredible intelligence and subtle humor. My 2005 book, Healing at the Borderland, launched from a comparison made by D. T. Suzuki of two poems, one by Tennyson and one by Basho, about the human response to a flower. Tennyson plucked the flower from its crannied nook in order to appreciate it -- thus, ironically, taking its life; while Basho merely paused to appreciate its ineffable essence on the side of the road. Hence, the two modes of interacting with life: analytical vs. intuitive, "West" vs. "East."

Side note: if only doctors would learn to touch their patients, their patients' emotional bodies, with that same subtle awareness and reverence. Even when (especially when!) checking a heartbeat down a stethescope, or testing the reaction of a funny bone.

So many amazing things in that talk. Experiential: I gazed through my third eye as Diana was talking, and had the experience I have not had for many years - since studying at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing -- of seeing her face dissolve into many faces. If you ever hear someone say that, for example, "Michael" or "Abraham" or some other being or entity is actually a group of beings or souls, that is what I saw on Diane's face: first one being, then another. The words were coming from a very high plane of consciousness.

And at the same time, the sweet, grounded sense of this individual, with her own personality, triumphs, and very human sufferings and challenges to meet and heal, came through as well.

On the shadows of my consciousness now I am aware that in a few weeks I have a talk and an individual whose bio self-describes as a "skeptic" will be sharing the podium. I do not like debates anymore--much as my enjoyment of high school debate set the stage for law school. Either/or, black-and-white, my way or your way, "proving" one's self "right" and another "wrong," and all that aggressive, "old Earth" wrestling no longer poses interest for me. Now I suppose some people are good at trotting out all the facts and figures. Some might take delight in defending, for example, by pointing out all the medical schools with dean-level recognition of integrative medicine programs. And I have written extensively, not apologies, but treaties, essays, articles, chapters, collating data, mining information, expanding conceptual frameworks. All that was good.

But this is now. Now is the time to draw on the work and stand in the light.

A little skepticism is a healthy antidote to fanaticism; a little more easily turns itself into the very thing it condemns.

Call it Gurdjieff's Law of Opposites or view the yin-yang, the result is the same. Contempt is no fun to debate.

So it is ever-more important to stand in the ground of one's awareness, without deflecting the force-field to impermanence and unreality. As to those still seeking understanding, in order to understand that sealing of the tiny flower stem's aura, one has to 'use the mind to go beyond the mind,' as the Upanishads advise. Not dismiss it as a hand-wave, not defend it on a theory, but go into experience. If energy healing is not accessible then start with guided imagery, visualization, meditation, or simply a peaceful, centered place that is beyond the plane of attacking and sneering.

My experience was that these essences of flowers bring gifts that are very real, both emotionally and physically. The flowers have something to teach us, they can bring extraordinary healing. Something so often un-noticed as a flower, and yet each is individual, each has subtle gifts, subtle properties, contributions to excavating old blocks in the psyche and filling in with new discoveries.

One of things Diana said struck me as true: the healing occurs on a spiritual plane, and it is because it occurs there so powerfully that it can affect the physical. She gave case histories of people with cancer and other diseases, and how these formulas affected them in powerful ways. She did not claim miraculous "cures," but miracles can occur on many levels. Coming to terms with an old grief can itself be miraculously liberating and transformational. And, the physical can also change.

Now as a lawyer I am also evaluating people's claims. Are there any legal issues involved in going beyond an assertion that a flower harvested on a particular moon day and steeped in water has healing properties, and tying that healing into particular physical or mental conditions?

And yet, and yet.

What particularly struck me about Diana's statement is that it is so completely true. And reminds me to acknoweldge that truth. And to recognize that it has been so very difficult to stand in a total different paradigm of the world all the time. In my experience it is indeed the spiritual that creates the physical. That has not changed. And yet, this material world wants to evaluate, test, pass judgment on the spiritual from the material filter.

Of course there are advantages to that, and we call it scientific method among other things, and it does represent a way to help curb the shadow side of human nature -- the excesses, the abuses -- so namaste and salutations to that and to those who profess and advance it. And at the same time it is so important to recognize the method's limitations. As Einstein put it in his so often-quoted maxim, problems cannot be solved on the level they are created.

Quantum physics cannot be understood at the Newtonian level of reality.

And so on. Quantum physics, Kabbalah, energy healing, esoteric knowledge, the multi-verse.

The Skeptic (capital S) and I are living on two totally different Earths.

Autism. What is the root cause, and is it related to all the crap we put in our bodies, the chemicals we have strewn about our plants and foods and soils in the name of efficiency and corporate profit.

Another thing Diana spoke about was the extent of "spiritual tragedy" our planet is suffering. So many physical conditions are the result of spiritual tragedies. She spoke about forgiveness, and how failure to forgive (even to 'forgive God' for a tragedy) can lead to illness. We know it is all about imbalance, that is what traditional oriental medicine and energy / vibrational medicine tell us. But here she framed the humanity's series of escalating perils in terms of spiritual tragedies. At a fundamental level, it is separation from our essence that is behind all the grief, rage, and Pandora's box of tragedies less loose on so many people. All the accumulated debris of trauma, abuse, victimization, hurt.

This is psychology 101, widely recognized, even among those trying to heal national wounds (such as wounds of genocide and tribal conflict), yet strangely novel when framed in spiritual terms.

Trees. The healing power of. Imagine you had an older sibling, 5,000 years older. What wisdom might this sibling impart? That is what the tree essences do, I gather from what she said of these new preparations. The trees are constantly giving generous gifts. Are we open? Are we in tune? Do we notice the moon? Or are we too busy with our MySpace pages and electronic ego projections of ourselves?

"Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers, a sordid boon," the poet wrote.

The softest flower can heal the mightiest trauma, just as the power of flowing water can, over time, wear down the mightiest mountain.

Diane also spoke of vibrational medicine as the medicine of the future -- but of course; didn't I write a book called "Future Medicine"? -- and also that it should be strong enough to effectively compete with pharmaceuticals, with biochemical substances that work solely on the physical level. Because there is a competition.

I have been advising people on how best to deal with An Inconvenient Truth: that the legal rules governing the 'medicine of the future that is emerging today (some of which is very ancient)' are, to a large extent, holdovers from the late 19-th century, and at that, from rivalries among competing medical sects. To make room for future medicine, much clearing has to be done.

And Diana's talk reminded me that my soul sits in the abode of vibrational understanding, the place where the heavenly harmonies produce the music downstairs, and that to live fully in this is to be in the place of truth, confidently, and mindful of the gap between the spiritual tragedies around us and the place of wholeness we - I - strongly must hold to help this blue ball hurtle into its next plane of divine manifestation.
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The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of The Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine, a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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