By Jann Garitty
|Anne Pera is a Registered Nurse with a certification in holistic nursing from the American Holistic Nurses’ Association. She has worked with patients in a variety of clinical settings, and also maintains a private healing-arts practice in San Rafael, California. Anne has used flower essences personally and professionally for over 20 years, researching and documenting the effects of flower essences in clinical practice.|
of Anne’s personal goals is to educate her colleagues in the healthcare
fields about the creative art of “self care,” emphasizing the
gentleness of transition and healing that flower essence therapy can bring
to an increasingly stressful world and workplace.
become nurses because they have an innate desire to relieve the suffering
of others,” she says. “What has happened is that nurses don’t
have enough time to care these days – not for their patients, and
certainly not for themselves.”
professional nursing specialty has been in home hospice care. She uses a
wide range of healing modalities in her hospice work, using flower essence
therapy as a supportive, transformative bridge to healing for both the critically
ill and the people who care for them. Please read summaries of case notes
on four of Anne’s patients here.
her private practice, Anne uses Reiki, Lightbody Healing (another hands-on
form of Reiki), Metamorphosis, and massage therapy. With these activational
therapies, deep issues are often brought to conscious awareness. Since
flower essences have been shown to accelerate the release of tension and
the relief of painful physical and emotional symptoms, as well as being
extremely useful in stabilizing the body on many levels, they work well
with these other therapies.
Theapeutic garden designs are intended to be a collaborative effort by all concerned; the designer, institutional/facility staff, and patients. The garden is seen as “medicine” from a holistic nurse’s perspective. A garden is built selectively according to what a particular institution’s needs are. It’s a whole process whereby the staff is drawn into the understanding of the garden’s healing qualities, the medicine of the plants, including flower essences, which can actually be made from it. This concept is modeled after Anthroposophical clinics in Europe.
Martha’s designs are person-centered, providing opportunities conducive to meditative healing experiences in nature. In 1998, she authored a book, The Healing Landscape: Therapeutic Outdoor Environments, that documents her research in this field. In one of Martha’s more recent gardens, at the Doylestown Health and Wellness Center in Warrington, Pennsylvania, she incorporated common healing plants used in flower essences and gave a lecture there on the integration of plants and their uses in enhancing the environment. She has since been commissioned by the National Forest Service to work on the Living Memorials Project in New York, and will also be designing a garden for the Chestnut Hill Cancer and Imaging Center in Philadelphia. She plans to continue to incorporate the use of flowers used as essences in garden designs, furthering the opportunities for education and utilization of this healing modality.
In April 2002, the pair had the extraordinary opportunity to present to designers of healthcare facilities and others at the annual conference for the Symposium on Healthcare Design in San Francisco. In a workshop entitled “Healing Landscapes: Planning, Designing, Building and Evaluating Outdoor Environments,” Anne used Yarrow Special Formula to illustrate the healing properties of commonly identified plants—Yarrow, Echinacea, and Arnica—and the indications of this particular formulation for environmental healing.
Anne’s lecture focused not only on the design of spaces, but also on the assessment of “internal space” – the “inner landscape” required in order to create a truly healing space between practitioner and patient. A guided visualization experience was provided as part of the workshop, providing a practical, personal way for participants to develop a relationship to plants, explore their own “inner landscapes,” and look at nature in a new way.Beautiful paintings of flowers used in essences by healing artist Prudence Tiarks (at left; Pink Yarrow) were on display during the workshop, and the space was enhanced by live, flowering plants. Slides of individual flowers from the FES slide collection were shown, illustrating the “doctrine of signatures,” the messages of the plants, and their uses in healing.
“Our intention was to transform the hotel meeting room into a healing environment,” says Anne. “We misted the air with essences and took time to prepare the room energetically. The enthusiastic response from participants was beyond our expectations – they were really moved by the art, and felt relaxed. It was not a typical experience for this type of conference, and we wanted to demonstrate the need for spaces that are conducive to healing experiences.”
|Anne Pera is
currently the Director of Health Services, Aegis of San Rafael and a healing
arts practitioner in San Rafael, CA.
Martha Tyson is a landscape architect with Design Consulting in Bailey’s Harbor, WI.
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