Follow your leader
ALLA SVIRINSKAYA energy healer. Clearer of clogged chakras
Over dinner, a friend of a friend au fait with all things alternative whispered to me the number for Alla, a W11-based Russian energy healer who's the talk of three coasts: Hollywood-ites fly her out to revive their coke-addled carcasses; frazzled New Yorkers ask her to patch up their auras; London professionals check in for chakra tune-ups before important meetings. Needless to say, a slot in Alla's schedule is as difficult to come by as a black-croc Kelly bag.
Who is this mystic mistress of Notting Hill? A twenty-something blonde with an engagingly straightforward manner, a degree in medicine from a Russian university, and a maternal line that's been in the aura-healing business for three generations. Alla's the first in her family to charge for services, and this was only after her new English friends insisted that she must, or risk not being taken seriously by Western capitalists.
My first appointment was on a dark, wintry Friday afternoon. I lay down (fully clothed, no jewellery, arms and legs uncrossed, eyes shut) and waited for her soft touch. Save for a few brushes, however, it never happened. Alla's hands simply hovered over my torso, and this felt stranger and more intimate than any form of massage ever could. After an hour of this air-caressing, when a peculiar prickling warmth registered what seemed like a low-voltage trickle of electricity between us, I received her diagnosis: "Energy is not flowing well. Your chakras are depleted... and I'm not happy about your neck." Alla then proceeded to enumerate the ailments from which I had suffered in my life, and was uncannily spot-on. Shaken and stirred, I rose to leave. "You may experience side effects from my treatment: fatigue, brighter than usual menstrual blood", she'd divined my upcoming time of the month, "and smelly urine." Suffice to say, Saturday found me flat out on the sofa.