Why Heather's Never Looked Bach

Once burned-out teacher now happy treating other people after she used flower remedies to heal herself and recover from chronic fatigue

Magic potions: Heather Hull's illness left a legacy of negative feelings but she says Bach's Flower Remedies healed her hurt

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More and more GPs are embracing holistic healthcare and some are even referring patients. Jane Cartledge met Derbyshire practitioner, Heather Hull, who used a combination of therapies to treat her own chronic fatigue condition.

When Heather Hull walked away from Sheffield's Hallamshire Hospital after an appointment to discuss her debilitating M.E. condition, she felt crushed, dispirited and alone.

Heather's GP had referred her to the hospital after the chronic fatigue condition left her unable to continue her job as a secondary school English teacher.

Doctors at the hospital had told her there was nothing they could do to improve her health and she was simply offered a wheelchair and anti-depressants.

Heather, by now at the end of her tether and spending most her days in bed at her Holmesfield home, decided to try to treat herself.

Her friends taught her the ancient practice of Reiki Healing and as Heather's energy levels slowly increased, she began to practise on herself and read all she could about Reflexology and Flower Remedies.

Slowly her good health returned and soon she was able to climb stairs and stand unaided - simple feats which had seemed impossible.

Now, almost a decade later, Heather is a self-employed healer, having left the world of teaching and its stresses behind.

Although she attributes her remarkable recovery to Reiki, she says using Flower Remedies also helped enormously, particularly in dealing with her feelings and mental state.

"The M.E. just basically scythed me down and I was ill for 18 months. There's no treatment really for M.E., and I didn't want to spend the rest of my life like that. I was only 34," recalls Heather, a warm and gentle woman who treats private patients as well as patients referred by free-thinking GPs under a new NHS scheme.

"Learning Reiki helped me greatly and I soon became strong enough to take up Reflexology, which was something I had always been interested in.

"They both helped me a great deal and then I became interested in Flower Remedies. The practice of using Flower Remedies looks at the whole person and their personality.

"It's the classic mind, body, spirit harmony. If you can keep them in tune you get health."

Heather was teaching English and two 'A' Level subjects at a tough Secondary school when she became ill.

She struggled with a heavy workload and shuttled between classrooms at the school's two sites before coming home to a mountain of marking.

Inevitably she became ill and was eventually sacked when she was unable to return to work after a lengthy absence.

"I was like a hamster on a wheel," says Heather, who also owes a lot to the support of her husband, Mike, a Chartered Surveyor.

"I liked teaching but the stresses were enormous. It started with Viral Meningitis and I never recovered, which I found very hard to deal with.

"I'd never had a sick note in my life before I got ill and although my GP was very supportive and sympathetic, she couldn't really help. She got me referred to the Hallamshire but there was nothing anyone could do."

Incredibly Heather, now 41, sees her illness as a blessing; saying it helped set her on a path to another career and another, completely different, life.

"Since I started my training in holistic healthcare, my whole attitude to my illness has shifted. I am now grateful that I got ill because I was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted and I had no time to think. It released all those negative feelings and now my life is very different."

Heather's illness left a legacy of negative feelings but she says Bach's Flower Remedies, 38 remedies each made from a different plant, healed her hurt.

"I had a lot of guilt because of the school children I had let down. I felt I had been unfairly treated by the school and these kind of emotions are very destructive and hinder recovery."

Heather used Olive for mental and physical burn out, combined with Mustard for deep gloom, Pine for guilt and Oak for pushing yourself beyond the limits of your endurance.

She is convinced the remedies work and now a large percentage of people visiting her cosy treatment room, above the garage of her red brick detached house, come for flower remedies.

There is an individual remedy for fear, despair, loneliness - in fact for a whole raft of emotions we feel on a regular basis.

Using these plant extracts, Heather makes up potions, combining no more than six remedies, to ease particular conditions.

She says they work wonders for menopausal women, those facing driving tests, people suffering skin conditions and even jet-lag.

Heather spends about 55 minutes of the hour-long consultation asking questions, determining the individual's personality type and getting to the nub of the problem.

"I treat the person not the condition, the cause not the symptom," says Heather, who concedes many patients just want to talk and off-load - something they can't so in the seven minute slot allocated by their GP.

"I don't think people pay enough attention to themselves. Life is tough but we can achieve a balance."

When she gets a feel for person's problems and background she mixes a remedy from the plant essence tinctures which are preserved in brandy and spring water. Drops are taken in a still drink such as tea, coffee, water or juice and doses can be increased, "if a patient is having a really bad time."

From the feedback Heather receives she's in no doubt Homeopath Dr. Bach - who discovered the form of healing in the 1930's - is a genius. "One man wrote to me thanking me for treating his wife. She was going through the menopause and by her own admittance was hell to live with. Her husband got in touch to say the remedies had worked wonders and to thank me."

Heather knows people are sceptical but is proud to be on an NHS list of alternative therapists.

More and more GPs are willing to give holistic healthcare a try. She says: "It's becoming more mainstream and at the end of the day if a remedy doesn't work it doesn't do any harm - it just doesn't do anything.

"Remedies can be taken alongside conventional medication and it's really nothing new. If you think back hundreds of years people didn't have prescriptions, they used herbs and plants."


  • "Health depends on being in harmony with our souls," wrote Dr Edward Bach, creator of the Bach Flower Remedies
  • Dr Bach spent his life searching for the purest methods of healing and believed, as many doctors do today, that our attitude plays a vital role in maintaining our health and ability to recover from illness.
  • He discovered 38 remedies to address a range of specific emotional states and these, often combined with each other, target our moods and emotions. The idea is negative moods are gently brought back into a positive state so we become balanced and happy.
  • To judge for yourself call Heather on 0114 289 1342.

Copyright: Jane Cartledge, Sheffield Newspapers, 31st October, 2005.