I first met Prue Jeffries when she was surfing on the Women’s World Championship Tour and I was working at Surfing Girl Magazine. As you can imagine, many pro surfers came through our doors, but Prue immediately stood out from the rest. Soft-spoken and sweet (Prue convinced me to surf Honolua Bay one year, and did not leave my side–even though she needed to be getting ready for her surf contest) in nature, she was always teaching others about “alternative” healings and believed in such things as astrology. She used to travel with crystals, tarot cards, astrology/numerology books and runes and was the author of the horoscopes page we used to run in Surfing Girl. Holistic healing seems to be quite the buzz these days, but I had no idea exactly what it was. When Breezy Mama found out that Prue was now a healer, I immediately turned to her to help break it all down. I also got her answers on how it can apply to the common aches and pains associated with being a mom. –Alex
What exactly is holistic healing?
Holistic healing works with the “whole” parts of an individual’s being. A person is not just helped in only a physical aspect. If a person is in discomfort, pain or disease, the holistic approach would be to look at and address (through various means and lifestyle modifications) the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of such imbalances. This allows the person the opportunity to journey to a place of being more balanced, healthy, alive and thriving.
Does holistic healing cure common aches and pains, such as PMS?
I personally have seen some of my own pains and suffering lift away from me. If that is considered “cured,” then great. I just know they are gone or lightened up considerably, giving me better present quality of life.
While I was surfing professionally, I put my body through a lot and I was the first to run in doctor’s doors, therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, bodyworkers, demanding them to “fix it now!” “I don’t have time for this…inconvenient, bulged disc, ligament tear, broken neck, pneumonia, chronic fatigue stuff”. I was not very caring or loving towards myself. Consequently I rarely found relief. No surgery or pills helped entirely. I needed to slow down and start my own journey within. I had to address what exactly it was–what I was doing–to myself.
I had horrible menstrual cramps, where I would think nothing of “eating” 8-10 Advil a day, for three days every month, for 15 years of my life! I no longer have any cramps. I went from eight Advil to none.
Many new moms experience lower back pain–does it help this?
I firmly believe the answer is yes and would help out beyond the back pain.
A lot of moms, after having a baby, find that they can’t sleep when their baby is finally sleeping through the night (they are so used to waking up throughout the night). Can holistic healing help?
I believe moms need support and nurturing on many levels: the pregnancy period, the actual birthing process and then the support they need from being a new mom. Moms are very precious and are bringing new lives to this planet. We are creating our future humanity. New moms go through many emotions and challenges–holistics can help them grow, meet and overcome these challenges. If there is anything a mom could do for herself and therefore, her child, is to take care of herself. A healthy, supported, thriving mom for a healthy, happy baby.
Is holistic healing something that’s covered by insurance?
As far as I know, insurance does not cover holistic modalities, unfortunately. But that is a whole other discussion.
What does a healer do?
For myself, I do not consider myself a healer of others. The term healer is used to apply to the individual self of all creatures in reference/context to themselves only. I am merely a conduit or source of “information” for the individual to “heal” themselves. No outside authority can “heal” someone. The healing journey is up to the individual alone, the individual alone has all the “power” to realize their own potentiality and their own true nature. People in the healing field just provide assistance on the journey. If that means, myself or another person within the “holistic” field or other health fields are present to witness a person move out of discomfort, disease or dysfunction into a healthy, loving , thriving life… then great.
Is it the same ideas as acupuncture?
I believe acupuncture could be considered a form of holistic healing, but is not the only form. There are so many areas. Some holistics take care of diet and herbs. Some do energetic healing. Some do prayer. Some do massage and bodywork. Within those contexts, the whole system usually is looked at. The “holistic” field is a very broad and wide term used to encompass many modalities that allow a person to take a very natural and “holistic” approach to their healing.
The work we do, personally, starts in the person’s “tissue”, as in musculature, fascia, nerves, organs, bones, etc, as well as running and working with chi in the various energetic systems and portals of the body, and also the various layers of the energetic bodies comprising the individual. It could be considered along the lines of soma-emotional release (but not limited to that alone).
How do you find a holistic healer in your area?
Word of mouth, I believe is the best way to find someone. If you have had friends or loved ones that have had positive experiences with a holistic practitioner, then check it out. Another person has gone and felt and experienced and wants you to know about it, because it has impacted them so much. It doesn’t get any clearer than this means. Failing that, there are publications like “Awareness” or “Light Connection” and “The Natural Health Guide”. You can also do an internet search and find resources.
How do you make sure they aren’t a “fake”?
“Fake” is a bit of a loaded term. I cannot really make a judgment call on that, from my end. Obviously certifications and licenses and degrees offer up “proof” that a person has gone through a developed training program. But on the other end are the traditional healers that have had many hours beyond certification on a personal “apprentice” level. Many people are very, very gifted and this can be outside the box. Something like shamanic studies is usually handed down, like an apprenticeship. Intent is most important to me and then the skills and education. I will leave open how that “education” can take place.
People should trust their intuition and be aware of any “personal” boundaries that should not be crossed. Can you ask questions? Does the person do their best to listen, guide you, and educate you about your process? Remember it is “your” process, your “path”. Most importantly, do they care?
Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got involved with holistic healing?
I was a professional surfer and competed on the ASP women’s world tour for over 15 years. It was definitely a learning experience and a lengthy catalyst that has allowed me to step into, what I feel is my true calling.
There is a dichotomy in surfing. There is the gentle cleansing, nurturing and also humbling that exists being in the ocean, mother earth’s womb. The surrender to something larger, to know you are not running the show, but are a part of it. Then there is the other side to surfing—the adrenaline, conquering, “look at me” mentality, act like the group identity, winner takes all side. And, just like in surfing, I found there were two sides to me.
The one side of me was always reading books on Zen, Tao, Krishnamurti, Carl Jung, Dalai Lama, Dan Millman, Celestine Prophecy, John O’Donohue, James Hillman, Laura Esquivel, Paulo Coelho, Richard Bach, Brian Weiss, Deepak Chopra, and Ramana. I was educating myself on healing in a variety of ways. For example, I was applying yogic approaches to my career. I would learn about the Alexander technique or Feldenkrais Method and apply it to my surfing. I would meditate to help with visualizing and calming nerves. I would also seek out healers: reiki, 6th generation Vietnamese healers, shamans, chiropractic, osteopathic, Bowen Technique, massage, even psychics–anything and everything.
Then there was the other side of my career and my surfing; the “look at what I can do,” “whoa this is an adrenaline rush” “I need to be the best or better than you” “I am an individual, I am different, but I still need to act and be like the rest of the group” side. While I was learning about the aforementioned healing, I would also find myself going to sports psychologists, physiologists and doctors–all to get a quick fix. I constantly demanded upon my body and pushed it to the brink. Constantly demanded upon myself to act more this way, it was insinuated I needed too “build” my fragile in a psychological sense ego, to get success. There was a lot of pressure to conform to this. Also, in doing that, wanting to get an edge–to get better and get results.
What I also learned co-jointly was to let go of all that stuff. And what would happen when I would not–which was not pretty. But, I was doing it to myself, ultimately. I wanted something deeper. I felt things were more interconnected and after much suffering and searching of my own, I turned a corner and started moving towards what felt like true to me, which was the holistics.
I soon realized that when I forgot the holistic approach in my life, everything would come undone. As soon as I retired [from surfing], I knew I wanted to help people, I just wasn’t sure how.
Then, one day, I walked in a somatic facilitator’s door, emotionally “done”, spiritually and mentally “done”. My body was hurting, but the crazy thing was, I was used to that, but the other stuff, was too much. Second session I just looked at him and said “where do I sign up?” There were no questions; it was just an absolute “must do this.” I must help others how I have been helped. I had been exposed to most healing modalities possible in my career, and then at the end of it, I had found a technique that resonated with me. I knew I wanted to “do” it more than I had even wanted to surf. That is BIG.
So here I am, I went through the certification process for a form of Soma-Emotional Release technique and it was wonderful. Had a lot of personal healing within that context also and I am eternally grateful for it. As I worked with the technique I was trained in, I found myself, by virtue of connecting with the people I was working with, a need to adapt and be more flexible to serve them best. I found I needed to work in a way that is grounded in the knowledge I was taught, yet sincere and comfortable for myself, that allows me to draw upon the wonderful and not so wonderful life experiences I have had. I have had to find my own path with the work I do, in order to stay true to myself, and part of that will be to, always be learning, to never arrive or be an expert. But more than happy to share anything I have learned so far. So now I am working doing the work and sharing it with others.
I am about to start a small non-profit that will focus on three things: 1. Professional training in healing techniques 2. Providing wellness information 3. Benevolent natural complementary wellness services for those who may need a hand in supporting their ability to heal. I am already doing this last one a small level, so I am just looking to expand it. It is my new way of surfing.
About Prue Jeffries:
When Prue was 14 years old she predicted her mother had cancer and exactly what type, six months before the doctors diagnosed her. This had a lasting impact on Prue, and caused her to want to help others “when she grew up.” However, predicting this diagnose freaked her until no end, so she turned to surfing. Helping others to heal took a backseat as she was a top 16 surfer on the women’s world tour for about 15 years. Prue’s life has come full circle, as she is now certified in a form of body work healing art that is similar to Soma-Emotional Release technique. She has since worked with various holistic therapists that had a focus on late stage cancers and other extreme health challenges such as Parkinson’s, MS, brain injuries and diabetes. Prue enjoys being in service and assisting people on all levels–physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Along with healing, Prue does holistic personal training and teaches surf lessons. Prue can be reached by calling 760-846-1819 or via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most healing sessions last about two hours and are done in comfortable clothing.