The aura restorer
How do Kylie Minogue and Elizabeth Hurley get that elusive inner glow? It could well be due to the magic touch of healer Dr Alla Svirinskaya.
So zealous is healer Alla Svirinskaya in protecting client confidentiality that she won't meet me at her West London surgery for fear I might bump into one of her illustrious patients. 'I never speak about them,' she whispers in her thick Russian accent, as we settle into her favourite Lebanese restaurant.
Fortunately, one or two of her famous clients don't mind going public: Kylie Minogue drops in to see Alla, or Dr Alla as she likes to be called, whenever she is in London; Singaporean billionaire hotelier Christina Ong is a fan, and the Duchess of York claims her life was so transformed after visiting Alla that she now brings princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to see her and even persuaded her erstwhile husband to make an appointment. Cherie Blair and Elizabeth Hurley are also rumoured to have benefited from Dr Alla's talents.
Dr Alla, 32, has come a long way from the Moscow apartment block in which she was brought up. 'My mother was the fourth generation of women in our family to inherit healing hands,' she explains. 'I was about six when I realised I had the same powers as her. I would sit next to her, watching her move her hands over a sick patient without touching him, and I would feel my fingers start to tingle or throb rhythmically.' After Perestroika, Alla was awarded a scholarship to travel to India and Sri Lanka, where she was nurtured in an eastern philosophy founded on an understanding of energy fields around the body (known as the aura) and energy flows through the body (chi).
'I learned that each organ has its own energy field and frequency,' Alla explains, 'as does each illness.' According to Dr Alla, a person's aura has three layers: physical, emotional and mental. 'Bio-energy balancing is about harmonising all three,' she says. Patients report sensations such as 'sparks of electricity shooting from my head', migraines disappearing, increased stamina and a sense of wellbeing. Indeed, Dr Alla has many letters from orthodox doctors praising her skill at detecting a problem that would ordinarily require invasive surgery to diagnose. 'I can tell doctors where to look - and I am usually right.' But Alla is the first to tell a patient to go to see their GP if necessary. 'I am not a new-age fascist; I think that orthodox and complementary medicine work very well together.'
Alla also believes in teaching people the importance of looking after themselves. 'The wrong sort of food will not produce good energy,' she explains. She eats only organic nuts, pulses, grains and vegetables, and fasts one day a week, drinking just water to rid her body of toxins and make herself strong enough to deal with 'energy vampires'. My patients who are in the public eye are vulnerable to energy vampires, so it is my job to protect them,' she explains. 'Whether it is criticism from the press, a stressful schedule or a bullying boss, they all create a negative energy field which can have detrimental effects. Sometimes I recommend meditation and exercises to protect energy. And if I think someone's problem stems from a bullying partner, I suggest they focus on getting that person out of their lives.'
Though Dr Alla will not confirm the rumour that Cherie Blair visited her before conceiving Leo, she is confident in her ability to help women who are trying for a baby. 'If a patient of mine is having IVF, they will probably harvest better quality eggs and have a healthier uterus lining,' she says. 'Fertility experts have remarked on this to me and written about it.'
Dr Alla has a private practice in London and travels to New York to treat her A-list American stars. A single parent, she doesn't know yet whether her three-year-old daughter has inherited her magic touch, but she has christened her Raphaella - which means healer - just in case.
Jane Slade, You Magazine