Heal Thyself: Lessons From Dr Edward Bach

Heal Thyself: Lessons From Dr Edward Bach

Dr Edward Bach was a physician who believed that the heart of all disease stemmed from an imbalance in emotional outlook. In 1931, he wrote a book, Heal Thyself, and it’s astounding to me how many of the principles he shared 90 years ago are still relevant today. Below, I have outlined some of the key points that stood out to me.

  • “We must realise that the short passage on this earth, which we know as life, is but a moment in the course of our evolution…our intuition tells us that birth was infintiely far from our beginning and death infinitely far from our ending. Our Souls, which are really we, are immortal, and the bodies of which we are conscious are temporary, merely as horses we ride to go a journey, or instruments we use to do a piece of work.”

  • “…So long as our Souls and personalities are in harmony all is joy and peace, happiness and health. It is when our personalities are led astray from the path laid down by the Soul, either by our own wordly desires or by the persuasion of other, that conflict arises. This conflict is the root cause of disease and unhappiness.”

  • “For the greater part of the last two thousand years Western civilisation has passed through an age of intense materialism, and the realisation of the spiritual side of our natures and existence has been greatly lost in the attitude of mind which has placed worldly possessions, ambitions, desires and pleasures above the real things in life. The true reason of man’s existence on earth has been overshadowed by his anxiety to obtain from his incarnation nothing but worldy gain. It has been a period when life has been very difficult because of the lack of the real comfort, encouragement and uplift which is brought by a realisation of greater things than those of the world.”

  • “The real peace of the Soul and mind is with us when we are making spiritual advance, and it cannot be obtained by the accumulation of wealth alone, no matter how great.”

  • “And now we come to the all-important problem, how can we help ourselves? How can we keep our mind and body in that state of harmony which will make it difficult or impossible for disease to attack us? The perfect method of learning this is by calm thought and meditation, and by bringing ourselves to such an atmosphere of peace that our souls are able to speak to us through our conscience and intuition, and guide us according to their wishes.”

  • “In this age the fear of disease has developed until it has become a great power for harm, because it opens the door to those things we dread and makes it easier for their admission.”

The last point regarding fear of germs and disease really stood out to me, not least becasue this was written in 1931 but feels as though it could have been published last week! That’s not to say we shouldn’t concern ourselves with illness at all. A level of awareness of disease and illness is the very reason a wellness industry exists and why most of us strive to maintain good health. However, awareness is vastly different to fear and a sense of helplessness. My goal and vision for our community is to feel empowered and responsible for their own health.

So what can we take from this? There is obviously a very physical aspect to the disease process. However, functional and naturopathic medicine also recognises the role of emotional wellbeing in health. An acknowledgement that most illnesses are multifactorial. An understanding of the unity between thoughts, feelings and ailments is essential for healing. When Dr Bach speaks of a personality free of conflict, I take this to mean not only feelings of anger, resentment, sadness and grief, all of which can wreak havoc on the body, but also simply day-to-day stress. Furthermore, when we move away from our spirituality, we risk losing touch with our higher purpose. Each of our purpose will be different, and we must trust that our experience is unique to us for a reason.

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