Chakras are vortex’s or spiraling discs of energy found at seven points along the spine from the base to the crown. They carry fresh energy into the body and stagnant energy out.
They correspond to specific nerve bundles, internal organs and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical wellbeing. They also help regulate specific hormones, influencing thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Each chakra has 7 layers which travel in independent directions to the others (either clockwise or anticlockwise). The layers furthermost from the body hold information about what’s happening in your life today. The middle few layers are information that has imbedded itself in your memory. The inner layers hold information from past lives and DNA.
In energy healing, each chakra is often associated with a color and each layer has a different spectrum of colours within them too. An energetic imprint of every emotionally significant event in your life is recorded in your chakras.
To function optimally the chakra’s need to stay open or balanced. If they get blocked, you may experience emotional or physical symptoms associated to the particular chakra.
What are the Seven Chakras?
The seven major chakras run from the base of the spine to the top of your head and each chakra has influence and affects over different body parts of the body.
Located at the base of your spine. Responsible for fight or flight, safety; drive for survival, primal sexual energies and the tribal aspect of connection to one another. It helps you feel grounded and able to withstand challenges and certain health conditions. It is responsible for sense of security and stability.
Genitals – these serve as a conduit for sexual energy and for the creation of new life
Birth passage/vagina – connect the sexual and reproductive centres.
Anus/rectum – store and release waste from the body
Prostate – means ‘the protector’, excretes alkaline fluid that makes up 10-30% of seminal fluid in men.
Cervix – protects the womb and provides communication between the uterus and vagina.
Legs and feet – Provide support, locomotion, and connection to the Earth for the rest of the body
Base of the spine – The ‘seat’ of the Root chakra
When the Base Chakra is blocked, a person often feels ungrounded or uncentred and the other chakras won’t be adequately fueled. The more civilised a culture, the more disconnected and compromised the Base chakra energies of its people tend to become.
It is the homes of our visceral drives such as eat, drink, acquire, connect sexually, stay safe, protect family and preserve our lineage or our tribe.
Our earliest life experiences are imprinted in the Base Chakra and can affect us throughout our lives. If the world was not a safe place for growing up, the resulting tension and contradictions may be carried as lifelong issues in your Base Chakra. Having been abused by a family member who you would expect to protect you for example, may cause a deep wound in your base chakra.
Sexual energy has it’s foundations in the base chakra and supports the sacral chakra sexual energy. The base chakra can be dense or open and free flowing. If it is too dense it can leave you feeling sluggish and in your thinking and movement and can sometimes lead to depression.
When someone feeling enthused, motivated and sexually attracted to someone, the base chakra literally lights up. It has a cleansing effect and helps maintain mental clarity. You feel grounded and filled with dynamic moving energy feeling empowered.
Physical imbalances in the root chakra include: problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation, depression.
If you’re experiencing emotional symptoms like depression, resentment, anger, fear, jealousy, or guilt, your base chakra is probably out of balance.
How to unblock the base chakra
• Connect with the earth: go for a hike, walk in the sand, or garden.
• Eat vegetables and fruit—food from the earth.
• Practice grounding pranayama like sama vritti and alternate nostril breathing.
• Wear the color red.
• Stretch and strengthen your legs.
Located along the pubic line. Responsible for the joy of life, intuition, creativity; sexual and creative energy. It is also related to your emotions and the emotions of others. Seat of natural innocence, faith and trust, pure delight and passion, intuition, psychic abilities and natural healing.
Organs and major body parts that fit in this sphere
Female reproductive organs (womb, uterus/fallopian tubes and ovaries) – all supporting the creation of new life, the ultimate seat of creation.
Bladder – holds liquid waste and toxins filtered from the blood.
Small intestine – assimilation of nutrients, breaking down and drawing nourishment out of food.
Large intestine – absorbs vitamins and water and compacts waste moving it towards discharge. Many neurotransmitters are created in the large and small intestine, providing communication among the immune system, nervous system and the brain.
Ileocecal and houston valves – help regulate the flow of waste from the intestine. They link to all the valves in the body in sympathetic rhythms
Pelvic girdle sacrum and lumbar vertebrae – these form the structural cradle to house the reproductive organs and energies.
The Sacral chakra holds our innocent essence – the energy of who we are before life’s trials and tribulations took hold of us. It’s energy is playful, non-judgemental and loving. People with a strong second chakra are authentic and unfettered and tend to be able to naturally put others at ease creating a feeling of safety and comfort.
It involves going with the flow and trusting. The insights are gut level rather than mental.
Symptoms when the solar sacral chakra is blocked
- Pain and stiffness in your low back and hips
- Feeling easily overwhelmed emotional
- Loss of imagination and no creativity
- Out of touch with emotions and closed off
- Sexual and reproductive issues
How to unblock the sacral chakra
- Connect with the element of water: drink water, swim, take a soothing bath.
- Get in touch with your feelings through journaling or therapy.
- Wear the color orange.
- Move and stretch your hips.
Solar Plexus chakra
Located just above the stomach, it is responsible for confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping your feel in control of your life. It affects ego, identity and power; ‘what do I want?’ ‘How do I get it?’ ‘Who am I?’ ‘What do others think of me?’.
A complex network of nerves located in the abdomen organs that sit in this sphere
Kidneys – filter toxins from the body
Liver – serves more than 500 functions. It breaks down many substances such as food, vitamins, hormones and medicines so they can ither be eliminated or utilised.
Adrenals – produce both stress hormones i.e. cortisol and adrenaline, and reproductive hormones i.e., DHE and some of the bodies oestrogen and progesterone. The adrenals mobilise the fight and flight hormones to get us over a crisis and are linked with the fight/flight/freeze functions of Triple Warmer.
Pancreas – produces insulin
Spleen – creates, stores and filters red blood cells, is important in metabolism and supports the immune system
Diaphragm – distributes oxygen and sends stale air out of the body
Stomach – holds and readies food for processing, breaking it down in preparation for assimilation
Gallbladder – aids digestion of fats by storing bile
Lower thoracic vertebrae and ribcage – provides structural support for organs in the third chakra.
The Solar Plexus chakra embodies rules, regulations and expectations, logic, structure, judgement and responsibility. When out of balance, this can present as anxiety, guilt, paranoia, suspicion, and anger. It is here that tensions between our authentic self and who the world sees us as, play out.
Symptoms when the solar plexus chakra is blocked
• Digestive issues and abdominal pain
• Low self-esteem
• Overinflated ego
• Inability to commit
• Inability to follow through with goals
How to unblock the solar plexus chakra
• Connect with the element of fire: meditate on a candle flame or bonfire.
• Eat foods that are easy to digest.
• Get out in the sunshine.
• Wear the color yellow.
• Strengthen your core and practice detoxifying twists.
Located near your heart, in the centre of your chest, it is responsible for unconditional giving and receiving, love and connection. The soul embraces the body at the heart chakra making it a bridge to ourselves, to others and to the universe. It also carries wounds and losses of broken love.
Organs and major body parts affected by the heart chakra
Heart – the heart is the major electrical centre of the body. The electrical wave produced by the heart has about 50 times the amplitude and 1000 times the strength of those produced by the brain. It’s sets the rhythmic pace and level of pressure for the body’s circulatory system.
Pericardium – a double walled sack that contains and protects the heart and the roots of the great vessels that carry the blood to and from the heart.
Thymus – sits between the lungs and plays a major part in the immune system by producing T-cells and other immune cells.
Lungs – essential for bringing in air, separating oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide from the system. Lungs filter clots and impurities from the blood and serve as cushions for the heart.
Upper Thoracic Vertebrae And Ribs – provides a protective structure for the heart and lungs
Shoulders and arms – energies from the heart chakra support and promote the health of the entire upper torso region, including the shoulders and arms.
Breasts – smaller cortices (chakras) sit over each breast and form a triangle with the heart chakra. Tracing figure 8’s over the chakras at each breast coordinates the energies amongst all three chakras, supporting the health of the heart, lungs, and breasts.
If the heart chakra is well developed we will be guided by a balance between the heart and it’s love and the head and it’s logic. We will see others through a loving filter which will guide and inform our thoughts.
In the modern culture the emphasis on developing self at the expense of the community and connection, often means the heart chakra is underdeveloped. This creates a disconnect between the energies of the first three chakras and the energies of the fifth, sixth and seventh chakras.
Over developed heart chakra can lead to over identification of someone’s pain or engaging in codependent behaviours which are the opposite of being completely cut of from others.
The lungs carry grief, the residue of lost love, or love gone wrong. For many people the lungs end up carrying not only their own grief, but the worlds grief as well.
Symptoms when the heart chakra Is out of balance
- Pain in your upper back or chest
- Tight shoulders or, alternatively, overly flexible shoulders
- Inability to receive love in any of its forms
- Lack of self-compassion
- Feeling a sense of lack or loss with regards to love
How to unblock the heart chakra
- Connect with the element of air: get outside in fresh air and breathe deeply.
- Practice loving-kindness/Metta meditation for yourself and others.
- Practice self-care, self-love, and express love to others.
- Wear the colors green or pink.
- Stretch your chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Located at your throat, it is responsible for communication, speaking your truth and listening. ‘Holy Grail’ of chakras as all chakras pass through the Throat chakra, which integrates this information for internal communication as well as expression to the world. The Throat chakra connects the Base, Sacral, Solar plexus and Heart chakras with the Third eye and Crown chakras.
The throat chakra also breaks down energies that pass through it and synthesises them to build and maintain the energy body. It is associated with communication, expression, using your voice, and knowing when to stay quiet. This chakra is related to your ability to speak from your heart and mind with clarity and to listen with compassion.
Organs and body parts that sit in this sphere
Thyroid – sits behind the adams apple. It controls how quickly the body burns energy, regulates metabolism and makes proteins.
Parathyroid glands – they sit behind the thyroid. They maintain calcium levels within a very narrow range so the muscular and nervous systems can function properly.
Tonsils – found at the back of the throat and responsible for part of the immune system protecting against infection.
Throat – allows in both food and air. It contains major blood vessels and nerves conducting nutrients and information between the brain and the body.
Vocal chords – the voice.
Tongue – assists in chewing, swallowing, in forming sounds for speech and is the primary organ for taste.
Mouth – Is the beginning of the digestive process. It is central to speech, breathing, kissing, drinking and forming facial expressions. It is the primary organ of touch and the suckling reflex that pulls nutrition int the body, for a baby.
Cervical vertebrae – protects essential blood vessels and nerves.
Occipital Bone – bone that protects the base of the skull.
Brain stem – connector between the body and the main part of the brain. It contains nerves relating to the motor and sensory systems. It helps regulate cardiac, respiratory, and central nervous system functions such as regulating the sleep cycle, and maintaining consciousness.
Ears – the external parts of the ears sits in the fifth chakra, but the hearing mechanism is in the sixth.
The two biggest imbalances in the throat chakra are a persons inability to speak up or their inability to be quiet and listen.
Symptoms that the throat chakra Is out of balance
• Sore throat or laryngitis
• Jaw pain or habit of grinding your teeth
• Pain or stiffness in your neck
• A habit of talking all the time/not knowing when to stay quiet
• Inability to speak up, set boundaries, or stand up for yourself
How to unblock the throat chakra
- Sing or chant the mantra.
- Drink soothing tea or lemon water.
- Practice silent meditation.
- Wear the color turquoise.
- Listen to beautiful music.
Third Eye Chakra
Located between the eyes, it is responsible for sensory and extrasensory perception and abstract thought or intuition and imagination; ‘gut feeling’. It gives us perspective on how everything within us, and everything in our environment, relates to everything else. Seeing, hearing and smelling come within the third eye chakra, as is abstract thought. We are able to transcend the world of thought.
Organs and major body parts that fit in this sphere are:
Eyes and visual apparatus – both physical vision and ‘third eye’ vision.
Ears and auditory system – the auditory mechanisms that allow us to hear sit in the sixth chakra.
Nose and olfactory system – the nose is the primary entry way for the breath. It’s the entryway for the olfactory system containing specialised cells for smelling. It conditions, filters, and humidifies incoming air to prepare it for the lungs.
Pituitary – secretes hormones that regulate growth, sexual function, blood pressure, water usage, thyroid function and metabolism of food into energy. It sits at the bottom of the hypothalamus.
Hypothalamus – links the nervous system to to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. It manages thirst, fatigue, hunger, body temperature, anger and also governs the Triple Warmer.
Forebrain – the major brain lobes and the base of the brain.
Skull – protects the head from injury and provides a support structure for the face.
When the third eye chakra is open, you see the bigger picture and have a positive view of the future.
Symptoms that the third eye chakra is out of balance
- Brain fog
- Lack of intuitive guidance
- Lack of inspiration
- Overactive, overwhelming imagination
How to unblock the third eye chakra
- Listen to and honor the messages your body sends you.
- Keep a dream journal.
- Wear the color blue.
- Practice balancing postures like Tree Pose and Dancer’s Pose.
- Practice yoga with your eyes closed.
Located at the top of the head, it is responsible for soul and spirit connection to the universe and the bigger picture. It also plays a role in your life’s purpose. The crown chakra is also related to your sense of place in the universe.
Organs and body parts that sit within this sphere
Pineal Gland – influences metabolism and sexual development. It responds to light and makes melatonin which regulates sleep.
Top of the brain – sits within 6th and 7th chakras
Fontanel – On the top of the skull the fontanelle is an entry to the Neurovascular points of the heart, lung, liver, gallbladder and central meridians. It also connects to the pineal gland.
Top of the skull – the bony protector of the head
When the Crown chakra is open you feel absolute connection with the universe. If the crown chakra is open and a person is not grounded they can seem flighty and disconnected and can manifest as mental illness.
Symptoms that the crown chakra is out of balance
- Inability to concentrate or focus on the task at hand
- Seemingly constant drama in your life
- Inability to see beyond your own small corner of the world
- Inability to take on other’s perspectives or practice empathy
How to unblock the crown chakra
- Practice meditation.
- Get involved with volunteer work.
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Wear the color purple.
- Practice Headstand and other inverted yoga poses.
The chakra system is one way to understand the human body. Even minor disturbances in the “subtle body” can manifest as pain, disease, discomfort or general disharmony in your body, mind, heart, and spirit.
As you make your way on your journey toward balance, bliss, and happiness, consider checking in with your chakras regularly. Investigating the chakras can be a good temperature gauge for the entire system. Allow your journey to be intuitive and guided by your inner wisdom. Happy harmonizing!
How do you unblock a chakra energetically as an Energy Medicine Practitioner?
The top layer of a chakra usually spins in a clockwise direction, allowing fresh energy to enter and stabilise the chakra. The top layer reverses its direction when the chakra needs to release energy.
As an energy medicine practitioner, I move my hands over the chakra in an anti-clockwise direction. The chakra’s energy entrains itself in my hand because of the hands electromagnetic charge.
As the layers become stronger in the anti-clockwise spin, all the layers follow suit, releasing and pulling out stagnant energy from each of the seven layers. Once the stagnant energy has been released, the seven layers begin to make spontaneous adjustments in their internal flow and balance, and also come into a fresh balance with one another.
Then, to stabilise the change a clockwise spin will bring all the seven layers spinning in a clockwise direction, bringing in fresh new energy.
Once the chakras have become strong, they project more strongly out towards the aura and inward into the body creating a stable energy. The colours become less pastel and more primary. As more work is done on the chakras the colours become clearer and more solid, rather than many colours and layers.
Responses to chakra emotional energies
Since the chakras hold energetic and emotional energies, working with them can sometimes evoke emotion, sensations, memories or images for both the client and practitioner. The feelings released can range from excitement to distress.
However, as an experienced practitioner, a safe confidential environment allows for the client to express emotion, transform the energy and move forward at a higher frequency, leaving the session feeling calmer and more relaxed.