When you talk about physicians who were ahead of their time, you probably cannot miss Dr. Edward Bach (September 24, 1886 - November 27, 1936). During his brief career span, Dr. Bach changed from orthodox medicine and engaged himself in developing an innate variety of medication, which is effective in curing emotional as well as spiritual health. This is something greatly accustomed to the inclinations in contemporary natural health medication.
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Dr. Bach was born in Moseley on the outskirts of Birmingham. Being a person from the Welsh background, Dr. Bach was instinctive and weak and, at the same time, an independent child having an immense love for nature. At the tender age of 16 years, he left his school and subsequently spent three years of his early life at his father's brass foundry in Birmingham with a view to bear the expenses for his medical training.
In fact, Dr. Bach turned to a career in medicine owing to his natural compassion for nature as well as to his sensitivity towards his fellow humanity. Since he was quite young, Dr. Bach realized that the personality of individuals as well as their attitude had an influence on their health conditions. When he was still a student, Dr. Bach was concerned about the patients as individuals instead of cases. As a result, in the early stages of his career, he concluded that like ailments, traits of an individual are of greater significance compared to the symptoms and they ought to be considered while they are being treated medically. Dr. Bach qualified from the University College Hospital (UCH) in London in 1912 and became a Casualty Medical Officer there in 1913.
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Incidentally, Dr. Bach never had a sound health and even refused to join the services during the World War I. By the time it was 1917, he became so seriously ill that it was even anticipated that he would die. Nevertheless, the will power of Dr. Bach to finish his work resulted in the total recuperation. Later, at the time when he increased his essences, the conviction that pursuing an individual's proper vocation is vital for spiritual as well as physical health had a great influence on Dr. Bach.
Following his complete recuperation from health breakdown, it was forecast that he would only live for another three months. It may be noted that Dr. Bach suffered from a malignant tumour in his spleen, which was taken out in 1917. Gradually, he became a busy medical practitioner and had his clinic near Harley Street in London. In addition to being a medical practitioner, Dr. Bach also undertook research as a pathologist and bacteriologist, developing a series of homeopathic medicines that are popular as the Bach bowel nosodes (homoeopathic formulations derived from microbe cultures, fungi, viruses, pathological secretions as well as excretions). These homeopathic remedies are taught to medical students as well as used even to this day.
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Between the period 1919 and 1922, Dr. Bach served as a bacteriologist and pathologist at the London Homeopathic Hospital, where the fact that the founder of the alternative stream of medicine homeopathy Samuel Hahnemann had emphasized on the personality of a patient in ailments about 150 years back dawned on him. Combining his personal understanding with the principles laid down by Hahnemann, Dr. Bach worked out the Seven Bach Nosodes, oral vaccinations hinged on intestinal bacteria that distilled the intestinal tract with notable effects on the general health of the patients as well as on complicated chronic health conditions, such as arthritis.
Even while he was engaged in research and was developing his formulations, Dr. Bach continued his practice at Harley Street and treated poor patients at Nottingham Place for free. Although he had very little free time for himself, he carried on with his research for simpler as well as purer techniques of treatment. While the medical profession had embraced his vaccines, Dr. Bach did not like the fact that they were founded on bacteria and he became restless to substitute these vaccines with milder methods - probably rooted in plants. It may be mentioned here that the oral vaccines developed by Dr. Bach are used even in the present times by a number of homeopathic and other physicians.
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Afterwards, Dr. Bach wrote a short book titled 'Heal Thyself' with the message that all physical ailments are a result of being in disagreement with an individual's spiritual objective. This book was published in 1931 and has been in print since it was first published.
During a dinner party in 1928, Dr. Bach had an eye-opener. While he was observing the other guests at the party, Dr. Bach become conscious that they could be categorized into many different types of individuals. This inspired him to conclude that every type of individuals would have a particular way of reacting to an ailment. In the autumn that year, he paid a visit to Wales and returned with two plants - Impatiens and Mimulus. Using these herbs, Dr. Bach prepared new formulations like he had done in the case of the oral vaccines developed by him and prescribed these formulations to patients according to the personality. The results were immediate and very positive. Afterwards, in the same year, he added another plant Clematis. Using these three essences, Dr. Bach was on the verge of developing a completely novel system of medicine.
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Dr. Bach renounced his flourishing practice in 1930 with a view to focus on the development of his pristine treatment system. He even left London and traveled to different places in England, including Wales as well as the English countryside with a view to find out such plants that would offer a succession of medications that would facilitate in treating the basic conditions of inability of the normal functioning of the human consciousness.
He was successful in discovering the first 12 medications by 1932 and published the results of his work in February 1933 in 'Twelve Great Remedies'. Soon, Dr. Bach started endorsing these medications in the medical community, who were trained in traditional belief and, thus, were very slow to react to his findings and works. Next, Dr. Bach endorsed these medications making use of advertisements in newspapers and this, in effect, fetched him encouraging response from the general public. Nevertheless, the General Medical Council strongly disapproved his work.
Between the period of August 1930 and till 1934, he made Cromer, on the coast of Norfolk, his base. He continued to prepare more flower essences and was very successful in treating his patients using those medications.
Despite the fact that his resources were diminishing, Dr. Bach never charged any fees from his patients. Subsequently, in 1934, he shifted to Mount Vernon to a small house in Oxfordshire, which continues to be the Dr. Edward Bach Centre. In the meantime, he continued his work - writing and treating patients, in London and Sotwell. At the same time, Dr. Bach continued with his research with newer essences. It is important to mention that during this period, he suffered very much mentally as well as physically before he discovered the right plant to ease his symptoms.
By the time it was 1934, Dr. Bach had developed exactly half - 19 of the final 38 flower medications, and in the same year he shifted his base to Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire. He developed the remaining 19 flower medications at his new location. In the same year, Dr. Bach also brought out the second publication of his work and this time titled it 'The Twelve Healers & Seven Helpers'.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bach carried on with his work and lecture. At the same time, he trained his assistants so that they could carry his work forward. When he had developed all the 38 flower medications or essences, along with Rescue Remedy, he realized that no more essences were required. In fact, the 38 essences developed by Dr. Bach included every aspect of human nature and, therefore, all the harmful conditions of the psyche that caused different ailments.
It may be noted that Dr. Bach's curiosity in homeopathy was stimulated by a common belief in the all-inclusive method of curing an individual as a psychological, emotional as well as a physical complete person and the ailment as a manifestation of imbalance or instability of the whole. On the other hand, orthodox or conventional medicine looked at the ailment in isolation, which Dr. Bach impulsively sensed was not dealing with the basic problem, but just with the consequential pathology.
While Dr. Bach always felt that he had a relationship with homeopathy and depended on an incredible assortment of substances, counting products of ailments, and also his personal optimism and intuition plus his several years of therapeutic experience, he eventually moved towards a lifestyle where nature was a source of remedial substances. One of the basic percept of Dr. Bach's principle included the significance of emotional instability as the main cause for vulnerability to ailments and also being the origin of the malady in itself. In fact, Dr. Bach may be considered as one among the pioneers in the healing of emotional/ mental ailments.
Dr. Bach's knowledge regarding homeopathic attestations, in other words, testing the remedial attributes of different substance, as well as his understanding of the delicate values of plants actually hinted him the precise type of personality who could get relief by using a particular essence. He discovered that by simply making prescriptions depending on the sensitive traits of a patient he was capable of obtaining the results which he had never witnessed earlier. These results demonstrated that the whole person was being drawn into a condition of better health. This aspect had such a great impression on Dr. Bach as a healer that he focused on flower therapy and discontinued using traditional medications.
Two years since he published his second book in 1934, Dr. Bach wrote the third edition 'The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies' during the summer of 1936. In this book, he had incorporated the entire 38 flower remedies developed by him and which bear his name to this day. In the same year, it was also Dr. Bach's 50th birthday; he gave his first as well as the last lecture publicly on the bounties of his work done throughout his life. Soon after this incident, his health began to deteriorate, as if he had completed his entire life's task. And on November 27, 1936, Dr. Bach breathed his last in sleep.
Prior to his death, Dr. Bach had delegated his friends and colleagues the complete responsibility to continue his work. In fact, he had trained these people to be capable of carrying his work forward. In addition, he had made an appeal that his residence ought to continue as the principal source of all his discoveries. Therefore, even to this day, the Bach Center Mount Vernon is enthusiastically occupied in providing advice and education. At the same time, the center also carries on preparing the mother tinctures of all the 38 flower remedies developed by Dr. Bach. In this manner, the Trustees of the center make sure that the practices as well as principles of wholesomeness, plainness and entirety, which were very close to Dr. Bach's heart and work, are preserved.