It’s likely that at some point in your life, you have heard someone speaking of the importance of aligning or balancing your body’s energy or chakras. The term often comes up in yoga and meditation classes. However, many Westerners do not actually understand what is meant by the Eastern word chakra, and they are not aware of the significant role that chakra healing can play in their health and spiritual well-being. If chakras are a mystery to you, read on.
What Is a Chakra?
A chakra is an energy center, and the human body has seven main chakras or energy centers, each with its own focus. The word chakra comes from the ancient Sanskrit word for wheel. Think of your chakras as virtual wheels spinning as they continuously receive and emit energy. Or, you can think of them as fans spinning as they force air (energy) through a tunnel (your body). So long as the flow of energy is consistent, your chakras are said to be in balance, and this will result in positive physical and spiritual health.
However, if your chakras are not balanced (metaphorically, the blades of the fan slow or stop), the flow of energy will be inhibited, and this frequently results in illness, depression, or just plain “feeling low or tired.” The negative results will vary according to the chakra that has been affected. Often, when clients come to me for help, I can detect a chakra imbalance. By getting your energy back in alignment (getting the fan to spin once again at its capacity), I am best able to treat the physical problem that has developed.
What Are the Seven Main Chakras?
Seven main chakras most affect your health and well-being. I will be going into greater detail about each of them in future articles, but for now, here is a brief synopsis:
- The first chakra: Also known as the root chakra or muladhara. This energy center is located at the base of the spine and is responsible for your feelings of safety and stability.
- The second chakra: Also known as the sacral chakra or svadhisthana. This energy center is located between the navel and the pubic bone and is responsible for your creativity, sense of well-being and sexuality.
- The third chakra: Also known as the solar plexus chakra or manipura. This energy center is located between your navel and your breastbone and is responsible for providing you with self-worth and confidence.
- The fourth chakra: Also known as the heart chakra or anahata. This energy center is located in the center of your chest and is responsible for both your ability to love and to feel inner joy and peace.
- The fifth chakra: Also known as the throat chakra or vishuddha. This energy center is located in the area of the throat and is responsible for maintaining the wellness of your thyroid and parathyroid glands, as well as your neck, jaw, and mouth. It also aids in communication.
- The sixth chakra: Also known as the third-eye chakra or ajna. This energy center is located directly between your eyebrows. It is responsible for energizing your sense of intuition, as well as your ability to think clearly and make decisions.
- The seventh chakra: Also known as the crown chakra or sahaswara. This energy center is located at the top of your head. It is responsible for your ability to reach enlightenment, connect to a high power, and experience the feeling of bliss.
What Causes a Chakra Imbalance?
A chakra imbalance can result in lower energy levels and illnesses. There are a number of ways that a particular chakra may become misaligned, or imbalanced. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Physical injuries
- Emotional upsets including grief and sorrow
- Excessive feelings of guilt and/or anger
- Negativity, pessimism, and a bad attitude, whether your own or in those around you
- Stress due to environmental toxins, lifestyle choices, or genetic predisposition
Anything that negatively impacts your life has the potential to affect one or more of your chakras, inhibiting the flow of energy. This makes you more susceptible to illnesses and injury. Therefore, any blockage, no matter how small, should be remedied as soon as possible.
Scientific Studies Have Proven the Validity of Chakras
Western science and traditional medical doctors have generally been quick to dismiss the existence of chakra healing; however, there are a number of studies that back up their legitimacy within the sphere of holistic healing.
For example, Dr. Candace Pert, a neuroscientist, conducted a study on the effects of people’s vibrational states (as measured by the transfer of neurotransmitters) on their health and well-being. During the course of her study, she was surprised to discover that these neurotransmitters were concentrated in the parts of the body that corresponded with the locations of the seven main chakras.
At the close of her study, Dr. Pert concluded that “when emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to be whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behavior.”
In addition, Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, a scientist who is recognized as a leader in his field of parapsychology by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), has gone so far as to design and build a Chakra Healing Instrument, which enables him to detect changes and imbalances in the flow of energy in each of the seven chakras.
The existence of chakras was also argued effectively in the 2005 book The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine, written by Leonard A. Wisneski, MP, FACP and Lucy Anderson, MSW. These authors maintain that comprehensive health care needs to include attention to a patient’s mind and spirit in order to be most effective.
Keep Your Energy Centers Aligned and in Balance
There are ways that you can work toward aligning your chakras and keeping them in balance. These include meditation and yoga. In fact, there is an emerging specialty directed toward chakra meditation. For people who are new to both practices, there are usually good beginners classes available, depending on location.
For those inexperienced in the realm of chakras, it is a good idea to seek the guidance of a medical intuitive, spiritual guide, or properly trained and aware wellness coach who can help you identify imbalances and remedy them.