flower essences

Alternative Healing Modalities for Cats

alternative-healing-modalities

More and more people are understanding that well-being encompasses body, mind and spirit, and as a result, are turning to alternative healing modalties. And, as they are experiencing the benefits of alternative therapies for themselves, they also look for alternative ways of caring for their cats.

Illness and even the normal aging process can manifest in signs of pain and reduced energy in cats as well as in humans. Your personal stress can be reflected in your cats and create illness for them. Conventional medical treatments often cause side effects that can be alleviated by alternative therapies.

Many alternative therapies are energy based. Since cats are naturally sensitive to energy, they tend to respond well to these modalities.Continue Reading

Book review: Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler

Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler

I was immediately intrigued when I first heard about Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery by Chrystle Fiedler. If the two cats on the cover hadn’t caught my eye, the subtitle surely would have. A mystery featuring a naturopathic doctor, flower essences, and a dog and two cats, penned by a writer specializing in alternative health topics? I knew this one had to be right up my alley.

Death Drops’ protagonist Dr. Willow McQuade gives up her practice in Los Angeles to run her beloved Aunt Claire’s Nature’s Way Market and Cafe on Long Island after her aunt is found murdered. Next to her aunt’s body lies a bottle of flower essences intended to provide stress relief. Did they contain the poison that killed her aunt? The police’s investigation focuses on Willow, who had motive since she inherited her aunt’s business and the rights to an anti-aging cream formula that her aunt had been working on. Continue Reading

An Introduction to Spirit Essences

Spirit Essences flower essences holistic remedies for pets

I have previously written about the gentle healing power of flower essences. Flower essences provide vibrational healing for body, mind and spirit. The most widely-known flower essence is probably Rescue Remedy, a blend of several Bach Flower Essences. Rescue Remedy helps with stressful situations, for both pets and people.

I’ve used flower essences for quite some time, both for my cats and for myself, with good success. I’ve found the essences to be particularly helpful with emotional and behavioral issues.

When Allegra first came to me, I used Green Hope Farm Essences to help with her play aggression and her fear of loud noises. I also used traditional behavior modification techniques and play therapy. I don’t believe that we would have made progress as quickly as we did with just the traditional therapies alone.

A couple of months ago, I was introduced to Spirit Essences. Spirit Essences is owned by nationally known feline behaviorist and star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson Galaxy. The company was founded in 1995 by Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veteriarian. Spirit Essences are the only veterinarian-formulated essences in the world.  Dr. Hofve  has more than a dozen years’ experience working with essences in a wide variety of species and settings. Jackson Galaxy has helped develop and refine the remedies based on his experience and the needs of his own clients.

Spirit Essences use only pure Eldorado Natural Spring Water from a cold-water artesian spring in Eldorado Canyon near Boulder, Colorado. This water is then enhanced with Full Color Spectrum Light, Reiki Energy (something that, as a Reiki Master Practitioner, appeals to me), and gem enhanced base water. They continuously review and update all their remedies as they add new essences to their inventory of over 300 essences. They also constantly fine-tune these formulas based on feedback from clients as well as clinical and personal experience.

Spirit Essences for cats Safe Space for Cats

I’ve used two of Spirit Essences’ formulas for Allegra over the past two months, and the results have been far more dramatic than any other essence line I’ve used.

Allegra came to me with a strong fear of outside noises – whether it was a trash truck going by, a neighbor mowing the lawn, heavy rain, or anything unusual and odd sounding outside. These sounds would send her into hiding into either her safe space in the downstairs shower stall, or inside the kitchen cabinets. When I started using Spirit Essences’s Safe Space for Cats for her, she became noticeably more confident. About a week after I started her on the remedy, she no longer ran to one of her hiding places when the trash trucks went by. In fact, she actually ran to the window to watch what! She hasn’t been inside the kitchen cabinets once since I started her on this remedy.

We’re still dealing with her fear of storms, especially those accompanied by heavy rain. For some reason, the sound of the rain hitting the house seems to scare her far more than the sound of thunder. For those times, I use Stress Stopper, Spirit Essences’ equivalent to Rescue Remedy. I’ve found it more effective for her than Rescue Remedy. She still hides during storms, but she comes out much quicker once the storm has passed, and she doesn’t look nearly as terrified as she used to.

Have you used flower essences for your cats? Please share your experience!

For more information about Spirit Essences, and to order, please visit SpiritEssences.com.

FTC full disclosure: I am an affiliate partner of Spirit Essences.

You may also enjoy reading:

Flower power for your cat: gentle healing from flower essences

Book review: The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care by Celeste Yarnall and Jean Hofve, DVM

Up close and purrsonal with Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell”

Allegra’s World: Help from Flower Essences

Allegra The Conscious Cat

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last wrote on here! Well, not exactly – Ruby and I told you about our tunnel adventure a week ago. That was really something! I’m happy to report that the evil tunnel has remained calm, and that we enjoy playing with it again.

Everything is good here. I really like having Ruby around and I hardly ever get annoyed with her anymore. I still wish she’d tone it down a little when Mom gets our food ready. You wouldn’t believe the screaming that’s going on then! Like Mom isn’t getting our meals ready as fast as she can. Ruby really needs to cut her a break. But, I guess that’s why I’m the big sister. I’m the patient one. It’s good to be me.

Speaking of food. A pet food company sent Mom some cans of food that Mom says they want her to write a review about. We mostly eat raw food, but about once a week, Mom gives us canned food, too. I like both kinds. I think Ruby does, too, although with her, you’d probably never know, I think she’d eat anything Mom puts in front of her. She’s also very interested in whatever Mom is eating.

But I digress. So these cans of food have been sitting on the counter for a couple of days, but neither Ruby nor I can figure out how to open them. I wish Mom would hurry up already and let us try them. I told Mom I should probably be the one to write the review, but she obviously hasn’t made up her mind about that. But one way or the other, you’ll see a review soon. (Or else, you’ll see a news report titled “Cat Figures Out How to Open Can” because it’s just too tantalizing to have these cans sitting on the kitchen counter, right where we can see them!)

The only thing that’s been happening that I’m not too crazy about is the frequent storms we’ve been having. They haven’t been bad ones, but I hate any kind of storm, even just a rainstorm. The sound of the rain hitting the house really scares me. I run downstairs and hide in the shower stall behind the curtain. It’s dark and quiet in there, and it makes me feel a little safer.

Mom has been giving me magic water twice a day (Ingrid’s note: I give her Safe Space for Cats by Spirit Essences), and when a storm is coming, she gives me even more magic water (Ingrid’s note: I either give her Stress Stopper by Spirit Essences, or a blend of Anxiety and  Animal Emergency Care by Green Hope Farm Flower Essences), and it helps make me less afraid, but during storms, I’m still not comfortable being anywhere else in the house except in my safe shower stall. Mom comes and checks on me frequently to make sure I’m okay and tries to coax me out, but I’d rather stay in my safe space.

What I don’t understand is why Mom can’t just make the bad weather go away. She can do everything else to make my life nice, why not this? I mean, come on, she can even open cans of food! Changing the weather should be a breeze compared to that!

Are you afraid of storms? What does your Mom or Dad do to help you not be afraid?

Flower power for your cat: gentle healing from flower essences

flower essences for cats

Flower essences have been used since ancient times to provide vibrational healing for mind, body and spirit for people. Hildegard von Bingen (12th century) and Paracelsus (15th century) both wrote about the use of flowering plants to treat health imbalances. The healing method became better know in the 1930’s when Dr. Edward Bach, a British practitioner of homeopathy and bacteriology, developed his range of 38 essences known as the Bach Flower Remedies. The most well-known of his remedies is probably Rescue Remedy®.

As interest in holistic modalities for animals increases, flower essences are being used as a gentle, yet effective tool to enhance and improve their overall well-being.

Cats seem to be particularly responsive to these essences. They can help with a wide range of feline problems, from stress to litter box aversion to territorial issues.

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are obtained by extracting the vibrational healing properties of the blossoms after leaving them in sunlight and pure water for several hours. The resulting essence is then diluted out even more, and preserved with alcohol, usually brandy. Some flower essence manufacturers use alternate preservatives such as vinegar. The preservatives do not alter the vibrational quality of the essence.*

How do flower essences work?

Emotional and mental imbalances, if left untreated, will eventually manifest as physical illness. This is no different for cats than it is for people. Flower essences are vibrational medicine. They work in the energy field, similar to homeopathic remedies. They are safe to use, and, unlike some herbal treatments, do not interfere with allopathic drug treatments.

What types of problems can flower essences help with?

Flower essences are particularly effective for behavioral problems and stressful situations, whether it’s a move, trip to the vet, or a new cat in the household. I’ve used Rescue Remedy® for may years for my cats prior to visits to the vet, or during thunderstorms. (I also use it for myself during stressful situations.) I’ve been using flower essences to help with some of the behavior challenges Allegra was dealing with when I first adopted her, and I credit the progress we’ve made in no small amount to the essences.

How are flower essences administered?

Flower essences can be given orally, mixed with food or water, rubbed on the inside of the ear, or rubbed into the fur at the top of the head or base of the tail. Since they’re energy medicine, the only thing that matters is that they get into the cat’s energy field – how that is achieved is of secondary importance.

The Bach Flower Essences are widely available in health food stores, including national chains like Whole Foods. There are many other lines of essences available. I use the Green Hope Farm essences for Allegra.

I’ve recently become interested in Spirit Essences, the only line of flower essences developed by a holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve. Spirit Essences is owned by nationally known feline behaviorist and star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson Galaxy. During my interview with Jackson for The Conscious Cat, he graciously offered to send me a couple of his essences for Allegra. I’ll let you know how she does with them.

If you haven’t used flower essences for your cat, I’d encourage you to give them a try. If you have used them, I’d love to hear your experience with them.

*Please note that flower essences are not to be confused with aromatherapy or essential oils. Essential oils are generally not safe to use around cats. This has become a hotly debated topic in holistic circles. Even though some practitioners or suppliers of essential oils will claim that their products or techniques are completely safe for cats, the fact remains that cats have a unique physiology and process these oils differently from other species. Some oils can even be deadly to cats. I do not recommend the use of any essential oils around cats.

Photo: morguefile.com

Up close and Purrsonal with Jackson Galaxy, Star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell”

If you haven’t watched Animal Planet’s new show “My Cat from Hell,” you don’t know what you’re missing. Jackson Galaxy, the star of the show, knows cats like no other. Cat behaviorist by day, musician by night, bald, bearded and covered in cat tattoos, he’s anything but your typical cat guy.

I had the opportunity to chat with Jackson yesterday while he was in between media appearances (since the launch of the show, Jackson has appeared on Access Hollywood, Fox and Friends, and taped a segment for The Daily Show, among others). It only took a few minutes of talking to him to realize that appearances are, indeed, deceiving: underneath the hip surface lies a sensitive, caring guy who genuinely loves cats.

Jackson is a cat behaviorist who has been called anything from a cat whisperer to a cat shrink to a cat trainer. He actually prefers to be called a “cat listener.” He doesn’t like the term cat whisperer, because, he says “it conotates exclusivity. It says I can do something you can’t.” His goal is to make everyone believe that they can do what he does. According to Jackson, what it really comes down to is a case of “slowing your head down long enough to listen to cats.”

Jackson’s mission is to reduce the number of cats in shelters. Based on Jackson’s experience, most behavior problems in shelter cats are not that tough to solve. He’s found that frequently, an hour spent with the cat and her human guardians can take care of the problem and prevent the cat from being returned to the shelter.

Jackson worked in shelters for many years, and later partnered with Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veterinarian. They called their business Big Little Cat, honoring domestic cats’ wild origins, and offered in-home mind body consults.

Jackson solves common and not so common behavior problems. He works with cats either during in-home consultations (in the Los Angeles area) or remotely. Consultations involve taking a detailed history, meeting the cat and her family, and watching the cat  interact with everyone and everything in her territory. For remote consultations, Jackson requests that the client provide a video showing the cat’s home, feeding station, and litter box locations. He says this way, he can pick up details that a client might not even think to provide by just filling out an intake form, no matter how detailed the questions may be.

He employs a variety of techniques, some traditional, some holistic, and some, according to Jackson “I’ve been told are completely off the wall.” His approach is all about giving the human guardians a deeper understanding of why cats act the way they do. “I always come down on the side of the cat,” says Jackson. Most feline behavior problems have very little to do with the cat, and everything to do with the fact that as humans, we ask cats to co-exist with us in environments that don’t always support their natural instincts.

“My Cat from Hell” features what most cat owners would consider hard core behavior issues. From spastic cats that threaten to break up relationships to aggressive felines that leave their owners bruised and bloody, these cats are not your average housecats. Each episode features two cases, showing the problem, Jackson’s initial visit with the cat and her guardians, and a follow up visit two weeks later. I asked Jackson whether it was really true that these cases are resolved in what seems like such a short period of time, or whether there was some artistic license to adapt what he does to fit the format of an hour long show. “The improvements really happened that fast,” said Jackson. He credits this to the fact that the cats’ guardians really did the homework he recommended after the initial session. Jackson has no doubt that being on TV provided added incentive for the cats’ guardians: “when you know you’re going to be on TV, you don’t want to look stupid!” In his real life cases, he usually tells clients that improvements may take 4-6 weeks, but much of that timeframe depends on how much the human guardians are willing to follow his recommendations.

Jackson also owns Spirit Esssences, a line of flower essences he developed with holistic veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve. Flower essences are dilute extracts of  flowers and plants that work on the body’s energy system to create emotional, spiritual and physical balance. He uses the essences in every case he works with.

If you’re not already watching the show, tune in tomorrow night. Jackson told me that one of the two cases that will be featured in tomorrow’s episode was the most dramatic he’s ever worked with: a completely feral cat who was adopted out by the shelter under false pretenses. The cat’s new guardians  were told the cat was 70% domesticated. You’ll have to watch to see what Jackson calls “miraculous results.”

For more information about Jackson Galaxy, please visit his website. You can also find Jackson on Facebook and Twitter