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Let There Be Breath!

And then there was Energy Therapy. Since that was both my housemates’ jobs, I couldn’t very well have avoided it all semester so towards the beginning, I went ahead and got it over with since, well, what is study abroad for but grand therapeutical adventures? I wasn’t sure what to expect and frankly, consented to it out of curiosity and a way to bond with my host family. It started with me laying under a sheet on my bed, belly up, palms up, eyes closed. Mora, my therapist for the day, asked me to remove all the bobby pins from my hair and take off any jewelry I was wearing. I did and stuck it in the drawer of my bedside table. Mora then transformed into Atracia, the name she used when performing Energy Therapy, although I didn’t notice any visible changes. She told me to be calm, close my eyes, and listen. I put my phone on recording mode as she requested so that she could translate for me later. First thing, she felt the air above my body, waving her hands through the space between my stomach and the ceiling. She said she was feeling out the energy fields of my body, something I’m guessing had to do with my chakras. She announced she’d be starting with my heart, so she leaned over me and pressed both hands against my chest. The shallow breathing didn’t bother me at first, but soon the weight of her hands was so heavy I couldn’t catch my breath and I started breathing more often, shorter breaths. Not daring to disturb her Arabic chanting, I kept the breathing up. She switched between Arabic and Indian chants, Castellano (Spanish), and incorporated messages she received from a Spanish goddess into the therapy experience. She said I had blockages in my heart chakra that wouldn’t let me function to my fullest extent. Maybe that’s true, maybe not. She told me to go back to when I was a child, take my old self’s hand and show her what the future held. She told me to forgive people who had hurt me and see the god in them, while seeing the god in myself. Between these stories and trying to breathe, I was entirely surprised by the abrupt lift of her hands. I gasped out of surprise and blinked my eyes open to see her hands above her head. I didn’t know if something had “happened” or I felt lighter because I could finally BREATHE. She was in the zone and didn’t notice I had opened my eyes, so I closed them again and waited. Chanting some more in Arabic, she said she was going to move to my head chakra. This worked out just fine since she’d scooted my bed to the middle of the room to have enough room to walk all the way around. She knelt by the left side of my head and I wondered if she was trying to look into my eyes like my eyes were trying to see through my lids to her. Humming and chanting, she blew a steamy breath into my ear. I don’t think she had brushed her teeth at all that week and I held my breath, trying for her not to notice. She said she was blowing light into my brain to let it soak up positive energy, but then she pulled it out of my right ear, extracting the bad breath with pulling motions from her hands. I wondered why she wasn’t letting the light stay in there if it was supposed to be positive, but really I was just thankful to breathe once again…seemed like she would inadvertently make me pass out. After my head chakra, she massaged my legs and chanted some more. The whole process took two and a half hours. I was very tired afterward and resigned myself to a siesta (nap), hoping that afternoon would satisfy every desire my hosts had of performing Energy Therapy on a girl who only wished to breathe.

Morgan McGill

Louisville, KY, USA

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