If you’ve ever taken a yoga or meditation class, had an energy healing session like reiki, or just watched online videos about those subjects, you’ve no doubt heard about chakras and the role they play in the flow of energy in your body. You may have also learned that it’s important to keep your chakras open, or unblocked.
But what exactly are chakras and how do they affect your physical and emotional well-being? And what role does Reiki play in our chakra system and for re-alignment? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at your main chakras. We’ll also help explain the impact these energy centres may have on your mind and body, plus how to keep them “open” in order to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being and how Reiki helps with that.
What are chakras?
In Sanskrit, the word “chakra” means “disk” or “wheel” and refers to the energy centres in your body. These wheels or disks of spinning energy each correspond to certain nerve bundles and major organs. To function at their best, your chakras need to stay open, or balanced. If they get blocked, you may experience physical or emotional symptoms related to a particular chakra.
The seven main chakras
There are seven main chakras that run along the centre of your body – along the spine as well as on your front. They start at the root, or base, of your spine and extend to the crown of your head. That said, some people believe you have at least 114 different chakras in the body. The chakras most often referred to are the seven main ones that we’ll explore in more detail below.
The root chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of your spine. It provides you with a base or foundation for life, and it helps you feel grounded and able to withstand challenges. Your root chakra is responsible for your sense of security and stability.
The sacral chakra, or Svadhisthana, is located just below your belly button. This chakra is responsible for your sexual and creative energy. It’s also linked to how you relate to your emotions as well as the emotions of others.
Solar plexus chakra
The solar plexus chakra, or Manipura, is located in your stomach area. It’s responsible for confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping you feel in control of your life.
The heart chakra, or Anahata, is located near your heart, in the centre of your chest. It comes as no surprise that the heart chakra is all about our ability to love and show compassion. It’s about giving and receiving. It’s about opening up to receiving life.
The throat chakra, or Vishuddha, is located in your throat. This chakra has to do with our ability to communicate verbally but also with any other way of expressing our Self: by speaking our truth, creativity, talents, etc.
Third eye chakra
The third eye chakra, or Ajna, is located between your eyes. You can thank this chakra for a strong gut instinct. That’s because the third eye is responsible for intuition. It’s also linked to imagination.
The crown chakra, or Sahasrara, is located at the top of your head. Your Sahasrara represents your spiritual connection to yourself, others, and the universe. It also plays a role in your life’s purpose.
What does it mean if a chakra is blocked or unbalanced?
I prefer to think of chakras as out of balance versus blocked.
There can be a depletion of energy flow or too much energetic activity in a chakra and each will manifest into different outcomes. When a chakra is low in energy, you’ll have difficulty expressing the particular qualities associated with that chakra.
When a chakra is overactive, the qualities are a dominant force in the person’s life. This can have both physical and emotional effects. For example, the first chakra is about security, survival, and the foundation of our life.
If it’s underactive it can show up as depression and insecurity. If there’s too much energy it can show up as fearlessness without precaution or hoarding because you need more to feel secure.
We feel best – physically, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually – when our chakras are in harmony, i. e., when they are all vibrating along the same energy level. This is what we are working towards in energy work.
Can a blocked chakra affect your health?
In general, the location of the chakra that’s out of balance may affect the parts of your body in close proximity to that chakra. This includes your organs, bones, joints, and tissues near that area. Psychologically, imbalances in the chakras may cause an emotional imbalance. This may lead to increased anger, sadness, fear, or indecisiveness.
It’s important to pay attention to both the psychological and physiological sensations because they can inform each other and uncover the root cause of the experience.
Experiencing too much stress — physically or mentally — may cause one or more chakras to be out of balance. Personal habits such as poor physical alignment or posture, eating unhealthy food, or self-destructive behaviour may cause a chakra to be imbalanced. Prolonged imbalance may lead to physical disease and illness, musculoskeletal issues, and mental health challenges like depression or anxiety.
How can you unblock a chakra?
A great way to promote balance in a chakra is to create alignment in your physical body through:
- yoga postures
- breathing practices to encourage the flow of energy
- meditation to bring about clarity of mind
Chakras and Reiki
However, the best way I know to bring chakras back into balance is Reiki. There are certain techniques I use during my Reiki sessions to bring the chakras back into alignment, and I don’t even have to know which ones are low in energy and which ones have too much energy. Like so much else with Reiki, it is more a process of facilitation: I as the Reiki practitioner offer the space and the time and the intention for the body’s innate wisdom to work and to rebalance itself.
I would encourage you, if you feel in some way out of sync, not quite right, like something is not as it should be, to seek out an energy healer like myself and to let them work on your chakra system.