I’d always been fascinated by natural healers in this region. They generally don’t advertise and like most things around here tend to be word of mouth. I’d gleaned bits of information over the years, and then went it came to my own breast cancer 18 months ago, I went about experiencing their magical powers. The good thing is, you can coincide their treatments with conventional medicine, so you’re not completely diving into an alternative world.
I first heard about the Fire Prayer Healers in South West France when our builder told my husband a story about his nephew. He’d put his hand in scorching hot potato puree, and his mother had rushed him to the Fire Prayer Healer to stop the burning. The following day his hand was perfectly normal apparently. I was fascinated by this story, and I wanted to know more. I spoke to friends and neighbours, who told me that in emergencies sometimes hospitals in the area would call Fire Prayer Healers, who would come and work directly with the patient or on the phone. It never occurred to me that I would need their help too.
At the beginning of my cancer treatment, I asked the hospital nurse if there was anything I could do to help with my healing – expecting advice on diet or creams for example. The nurse produced a list of local healers, one of whom lived very close to my house. All the healers had a list of their specialities – mine was a Magnetiseur (energy healer) and Fire Prayer Healer. I was so surprised. Natural healing it was then.
After my chemotherapy treatment, I thought radiotherapy would be ‘a walk in the park’. I hadn’t really thought about what was in store, as I was just so relieved to be out of chemo. The radiologist told me that I might have some slight burning to the skin, but after three weeks, the burning was severe, with blisters appearing under my arm. I called the Fire Prayer Healer for an appointment. I arrived at her very simple cabin, next to a rural road, opposite a heating fuel supplier. The room had a simple massage bed, a chair, and the walls were covered in crucifixes and angels. I laid down on the bed, and she gently massaged my solar plexus, and then put her hand on the burnt area on my breast and underarm. From time to time she would shake her hand to remove the heat. She whispered a prayer and then made small signs on my skin with her finger.
I went to my radiology appointment the following day and the radiologist remarked that my skin looked much better. I told her I’d been to see a healer the previous day. She smiled and said ‘Aah, la magique….’
There are lots of people practising natural healing in South West France – it’s very rural and the traditional methods of healing are still very present. My neighbour Evelyn who has had terrible back problems had seen a healer in a nearby village, and the results had been pretty miraculous. I had a lot of tension in my upper back following my treatment, so I thought why not. But rather than a quick back rub, I ended up receiving what was akin to a full-on exorcism.
The healer lived in a farm house down a small back lane. When I arrived on a swelteringly hot August day, the men of the house were all taking their post lunch nap before going out into the fields again. I was welcomed into the house by the old lady and invited to sit down at a large table. I explained that I had had breast cancer, and I was concerned it would come back, plus I had lots of tension in my upper back. She picked up a pendulum lying on the table, blew on it, and then held it over my breast area. The pendulum began to move, and she announced everything was clear. She then stood behind me as I sat on the chair and began to massage my neck and shoulders for a few minutes. There was a silence and I wondered if it was all over. I hadn’t really felt anything, and was mentally preparing to leave. At that moment, as if she could read my thoughts she said: it’s not over yet. She picked up her crucifix and stood behind me as I sat on the chair.
The healer proceeded to say a prayer over me and asked me to take her hand and walk back and forth across the room in the holy spirit. What was remarkable was when I did this there was a cool breeze even though it was baking hot outside with zero wind. She then asked me to sit back down and called out for the cancer to be gone, and for any evil spirits to leave my body. This went on for around fifteen minutes with the crucifix at my chest. There were no dramatic moments, but I did feel perfectly fine.
I spent almost two hours with the lady. She told me to come back if I needed some more help, but that I was perfectly fine. The only thing she did suggest was to take Propolis a bi-product from bees with healing properties. She wrote the name of a farmer who lived in a village not far from me, but would only pick up the phone at 6pm when he’d finished on the farm. At the top of the note it said ‘Tell him Delphine sent you“. More natural healing …
Click here to can read more stories of my journey with breast cancer in this region
Images: Emma Quarrington and Shuttestock