“We have a 12-year-old pit bull and our veterinarian said you might be able to help,” Marcie anxiously told me. “Kelly gets really frightened sometimes, and goes berserk with panic. The other day, we came home and found she had actually eaten all the way through the wall of the room she was in. We couldn’t find her at first. Then we discovered she had climbed up our oak tree in the yard, and we had to get a ladder to bring her down!”
I am accustomed to hearing worried voices on the phone when people contact me about flower essences for their animals. But nothing prepared me for this. Though any animal can get frightened, this seemed extreme. At 12 years old, how did Kelly muster the strength and will to climb up a tree? What made her so desperate?
In order to be effective with Kelly, I had to accurately determine the cause of her behavior. Marcie gave me plenty of information about Kelly’s history and personality to help clarify the triggers for her behavior. I began to suspect that Kelly’s panic was not caused by fear, but by a condition I call hypersensitivity. An animal who needs essences for anxiety, fear or terror usually displays obvious fear postures and behavior. You might see cowering or general timidity and shyness. You can usually see the fear in his eyes. A good example is a dog who was hit or beaten. You might see him cower in fear even when a person just raises her arm.
But Kelly did not fit this description at all. Her behavior was generally normal – unless she was in the presence of certain sounds. She was unusually reactive to a variety of noises, including computer typing and wind chimes. Recently, there had been some ongoing construction work on the street near Kelly’s home. She was panicking and trying to escape the sound of the jackhammer. This is why she’d been contained in a small room off the kitchen, and was the likely trigger for her eating through the wall.
My experience over the years has demonstrated that animals who are desperately trying to get away from sounds are usually not afraid, but hypersensitive.
The energy field
To really grasp what hypersensitivity is, you need to understand the idea of an energy field, or aura. All living creatures are surrounded by an energy field, which acts as a kind of protective “cushion” around the body. This energy field is part of our life force, or “chi”. A strong aura filters out unwanted stimulation. An animal with a strong, healthy energy field can, for example, be in a crowded room and not be unduly bothered.
But sometimes an animal’s energy field is weakened, or even broken in places. This can happen during birth, and often occurs with surgery, injuries, physical or emotional abuse, or neglect. When the energy field is compromised in this way, the animal doesn’t have a means to adequately filter out environmental stimulation.
Such an animal may avoid being touched or dislike social situations. He may hide or retreat, and appear nervous, irritable, and tense, especially in response to environmental stimulation. A hypersensitive animal may growl, or even bite – not because he is afraid, but because he is overwhelmed.
Flower essences to the rescue
Many people don’t know there are literally thousands of flower essences available from hundreds of producers worldwide. I personally work with about 1,000 essences from 14 companies, including 15 to 20 essences for different types of hypersensitivity.
• Yarrow is widely known to help rebuild the aura and provide protection from unwanted energies. Flower Essence Services and Alaskan Flower Essences both make several Yarrow essences, as each color of Yarrow provides a somewhat different type of protection.
• Some of my other essences for hypersensitivity come from Living Essences of Australia, which makes remedies particularly for individuals who are sensitive to sound, or are easily distracted.
• South African Essences produces Bluebell, which is also specific for sound sensitivity.
• I also draw from Hummingbird Remedies, which makes a number of essences to help filter out various unwanted external energies.
Occasionally, an animal will change his behavior with just a single combination of hypersensitivity essences. More often, I have found the desired results are not achieved until I address the underlying causes. This is especially true for animals who have been traumatized, neglected or abused in the past. Many essences are designed to clear various types of trauma. Animals may require a few different formulas over a period of weeks, in order to achieve noticeable and lasting results.
Making a selection With all these choices, how do you select the essences that will help your dog or cat? The good news is that if you administer the wrong essences, you can’t hurt your animal. They just won’t resonate with his energy field and will pass right through. But they won’t help either.The key to accessing the wonderful healing powers of flower essences is to choose the right ones at the right time. To accomplish this, you have three options:
1) Familiarize yourself with a variety of essences, and learn how to use them. It takes time and study, but if you have the interest, it can be very rewarding. It might involve taking courses. You also need to develop a way to tune into your animal’s emotions. And finally, it is best to experiment with the essences on yourself, so you learn by experience how they work. Some practitioners offer individual mentoring.
2) Some essence producers offer pre-made combination formulas. This is done in order to serve a lot of people at low cost. The low cost is an advantage and many of these are good. The disadvantage is that no one has matched the essences to your particular animal and his issues. If you try one of these formulas and it doesn’t work, you might want to consider the next option.
3) Get help from a qualified, experienced essence practitioner who can prepare formulas custom tailored to your animal and his/her issues. While this is more expensive, the accuracy of a competent practitioner could end up saving you money and heartache in the long run. To help you decide on the best practitioner, ask the following questions:
• What kind of experience do you have?
• Do you do a lot of animal work (as opposed to people)?
• Have you worked successfully with issues similar to my animal’s?
• Do you work with essences from just one company, or do you have a variety at your disposal?
• Do you have good references?
So what happened to Kelly the frantic pit bull? I gave her three rounds of essence formulas over a couple of months. Marcie reported that she became less sensitive to all sounds, and even tolerated the nail-gun used by construction workers. At our one year followup, Kelly had had no further episodes of “going berserk”. Success!
Alaskan Flower Essences, alaskanessences.com
Flower Essence Services, fesflowers.com
Healing Waters, essencesonline.com
Hummingbird Remedies, druidlabs.com/hbr
Living Essences of Australia, livingessences.com.au
South African Essences, safloweressences.com
Animal Wellness also recommends the following:
LifeFORCE Pet Health, lifeforcepet.com