There are lots of healers 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.
Our well diviner (see previous blog) had already explained to me that my cancer was most likely due to geopathic stress (our bed was in the wrong position), or that bad spirits were attached to me, so as I’d already dealt with the energy lines in the house I guess I needed to cover all my bases to make sure there wasn’t anything evil attached to my body. 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 safe, and was grateful for any help she had given me.
Following on from this, she then asked if my breast area was still hot from the radiation. Had I received the Fire Prayer? I explained that I had, but she told me it hadn’t been done properly. She then held her hand just above the breast area, and recounted a prayer over and over. Occasionally she would make a sharp movement with her hand as if she was shaking something off.
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 by-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“.
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.
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….’
When I first learned I had breast cancer, I was shocked. I was lucky that I’d found it relatively early, but I wasn’t to be spared surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was too frightened and didn’t have the confidence to question what was being offered, so I decided I would complement conventional medicine with alternative healing whenever possible. My lovely husband, family and friends were always there for me throughout my journey, but something else was happening which made it more remarkable. People came into my life to give me advice and information at what always felt to be the right moment – some plain common sense, some pretty ‘out there’ – but I listened and considered everything. Little did I know that alternative healing is deep rooted in rural South West France, where we have a house, so some of my experiences touch on this local knowledge. I hope this blog helps other people who are confronted with illness – I certainly think it will help me, to get through this terrifying but remarkable experience.
The first person who helped me on my path was Dr Criscuolo, an extraordinary doctor who treated me from a rather non-descript hospital in Mont de Marsan, South West France. His consulting room was in sharp contrast to the bland hospital corridors – on entering the room there was a large Buddha with an offering of fresh flowers at its feet, together with angels and various deities on the shelves and walls. This gave me faith that a doctor working in conventional modern medicine clearly believed that there was much more to healing than simply treating the body like a machine. So I began my journey, combining physical, mental and spiritual challenges – always with help along the way, which I am forever grateful for.
After being operated on by Dr Criscuolo, I found out one month later that he had died in a diving accident. I, like many others will never forget his open smiling face, his kindness, along with his skill and knowledge. He was an exceptional man.