By Arwa Lodhi
All material objects, including our bodies, are made up of electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies that correspond to sound, light and colour – all of this has been proven by modern science – but the ancients of what we now call India knew this long ago.
They believed that our bodies contained ‘chakras’, which literally translates to ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’, but in yoga, meditation, some Eastern religions and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body.
Though it is believed there are over 100 chakras at various points in the body, there are 7 main ones, beginning at the spine and running up to the crown of the head. To imagine what a chakra does in the body, just picture a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible, subtle energy is also referred to as ‘prana’, and it is the vital life force that keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive – but ‘prana’ may not flow well if your chakras are out of balance.
The Chinese were also aware of these energy centres and called them ‘meridians’, which they would open, if blocked, with fine needles in acupuncture, to release the energies, or ‘Chi’, the vital life force energy of the Universe present within every living thing. Western medical science is now beginning to take a serious look at ancient Far Eastern traditions that focus on releasing Chi/prana, but before you rush to your doctor, it may be worth investigating what you can do to help yourself.
How To Tell If Your Chakras Are Blocked
These swirling wheels of energy contain bundles of nerves and major organs that are also connected to our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. For energy to flow, it’s important that our main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. The best way to know if you have a blockage is to be aware of your mind and body. Since they are intimately related, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. For example, if you’re nervous about delivering a big presentation at work and you catch a cold that gives you a sore throat and cough, you’ll get over the virus much faster if you deal with your anxiety about the presentation – this could have been the root cause of the blockage of your throat chakra.
Here’s a bit about the ‘symptoms’ of chakra imbalances, and what to do to help them.
1. Blocks in the Root Chakra
If this chakra is blocked, you will feel insecure, afraid, nervous or anxious. You may suffer from stomach and digestive issues. To stop feeling these negative emotions and make your tummy feel better, you will need to deal with your fears, face them and let them go. To feel more grounded, try walking barefoot, dancing, and eating root vegetables.
2. Blocks of the Sacral Chakra
If this area is blocked, we feel guilty, numb, lack emotions and sexual satisfaction. To balance this chakra, think about what has been bothering you, and address any feelings you may have related to a lack of self-worth. Accept what you cannot change and fix that which you can. Surround yourself with beauty and give yourself pleasure by indulging in what you love the most.
3. Blocks of the Solar Plexus
You know this chakra is blocked when you feel insecure, frustrated, or rejected. To revive your self-confidence, spend time in the fresh air, treat yourself to a mani/pedi or massage, and get more active by doing sports, be they in a team or on your own.
4. Blocks of the Heart Chakra
This chakra becomes unbalanced after a heartbreak, and is thus a bit difficult to heal, but you can get yourself started by focusing hard on the more positive things in life. Be grateful for all you have; count your blessings and show gratitude for those who are kind to you. Try being kind to others, whether by volunteering, donating to charity, or simply engaging in more daily acts of kindess.
5. Blocks of the Throat Chakra
The throat chakra rules our freedom of speech. Blocks of this chakra are usually associated with problems of self-expression, deception, lying or manipulative communication. To cure it, just be more honest with yourself and others, but also keep a diary, sing, talk to yourself, get active on social media and generally stimulate yourself to communicate more with the world.
6. Blocks of the Third Eye
Trouble concentrating, remembering things, suffering from nightmares feeling a bit lost? You can help unblock this chakra through meditation, especially if you focus on the space between your eyebrows as you do so. Try to engage in mindful concentration on something tiny, like insects in the grass or grains of sand on the beach. Simply focus you concentration without overloading your mind.
7. Blocks of the Crown Chakra
If you feel like you cannot make decisions, fear that your life is meaningless and suffer from depression, your crown chakra needs unblocking. Also, this chakra is negatively affected when we get too attached to material things and lose the ability to let go. To start healing, meditate and do that which makes you feel the most peaceful. Don’t think of yourself as being trapped in your personality – instead, learn to think of yourself as what you truly are: an expression of all things that have been and ever will be; a part of the Universe who belongs right here, right now.
Other Ways to Heal the Chakras
As we just mentioned, self healing can be done through various methods. But if you feel you need a more effective and faster treatment, try Reiki Healing. This especially focuses on freeing blockages to create a smooth energy flow between all chakras, aiming to dispel negativity, emotional trauma and physical symptoms. Colour Therapy is also a popular chakra balancing treatment, also known as Chromotherapy. It helps to rebalance the energy by using the energetic vibrations of the colours related to each of the seven chakras (which you can see in the image, above).
You’re probably aware that these problems don’t usually emerge overnight, so you can’t expect them to disappear quickly. But don’t be disheartened – chakra blockages are a way of telling us that we are going through a complicated period, but learning more about that will help us grow wiser and healthier. Take some time to think about the people in your life and how they affect you, for good or for bad; about what you love in your life and what you would like to change; what you really need and what you should let go of.
Understanding how the chakras can affect us emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and physically is something many people are only beginning to learn about in the West. However, as those in the East have known for many centuries, chakra balancing can indeed change your life, especially if it heals past hurts that we may not think are affecting us right now. Recognising how deeply connected our minds are to our bodies is the first step in leading a more balanced, healthy and happy life.