The morning after Paco had his way with me.

What Happened When I Went to Have My Chakras Healed

By a guy named Paco.

I once had my chakras balanced by a holistic chakra professional named Paco. I found him on Yelp. He was highly recommended. I had heard about chakras, but didn’t know much about what they were. I still don’t know. Bad chakra plumbing, I read, can give rise to many ailments and general anxieties and so I decided, one February morning several years ago, that I needed a tune up.

Paco was gentle and kind. He made me feel right at home in his office, a large sun umbrella on the sidewalk in Venice Beach, next to some medical marijuana guys, and a troupe of street puppeteers. When I found Paco, he was sitting on a lawn chair, underneath the umbrella, naked except for his pink underwear, which was a size too small. Maybe even two sizes. His eyes were closed and he was in a deep trance. I waited for a break in the chanting.

“Excuse me, Mr. Paco?” I said. “How much for a cleanse? I don’t have an appointment or anything.”

So there I was, sitting on the lawn chair, tourists streaming by, staring at us, taking pictures of Paco. I was in sweatpants and a winter jacket. It was LA, but trust me, it was cold. I had on all these layers. There was this freezing air, blowing in from the ocean. It was overcast and gloomy and drizzling a little. Paco began by breathing on me, and making me stick my tongue out as far as it would go.

“Say AAAH,” he ordered, and when I did, he told me I was healthy. His hands hovered over my body as he investigated my various energies. He told me I had trust issues. He told me I had been abandoned. He told me I needed to let go.

“Are you sure it isn’t just my thyroid?” I said.

The tune-up began and at his instruction I sat, palms facing up, eyes shut.

“It’s not working, Paco,” I said, five minutes in. “I don’t feel anything.”

Paco ignored me. His hands stopped above my hips, and my breathing slowed. I was thinking about what I should have for lunch, when it began to happen. I began sweating. A lot. Like, embarrassing amounts of sweat came pouring out of my body very quickly. My hair stuck to my forehead in clumps. I could feel drips of cold running down the length of my spine, soaking the elastic of my sweatpants.

My eyelids began twitching and fluttering and I finally understood that saying, the one about seeing stars. I took my coat off. I took my sweater off, and my t-shirt under that and was left, sitting on that lawn chair, in a camisole, drenched in sweat. The tourists had formed a semi-circle around Paco’s umbrella by now. More people were taking pictures, using their flash. I closed my eyes tighter, and tried to concentrate, tried not to listen to them. They were speaking in German.

It was over relatively quickly, and after it ended, Paco gave me his business card, and we hugged each other. I felt light-headed and very, very strange. Very relaxed. People were cheering. I high fived a row of Germans. I bought a tempeh wrap and ate it on the sand. That was the month I began doing yoga in earnest.