Chakras are a common concept in several disciplines of alternative medicine and traditional Oriental medicine. A chakra is a centre of energy which has several functions. In addition to being 'representative' of a particular organ or group of organs, a chakra also controls our being on different levels and it links these two representative states.
The concept of chakra is very important in therapies such as reiki, meditation, yoga, therapeutic touch, aura, etc. Because of its wider application across a number of disciplines it is covered as a separate topic.
The word chakra is a Sanskrit word that means wheel. From a side view, a chakra looks like a cone with its point plugging into your spine to receive energy, and its opening about four inches from your body.
The body has seven basic body chakras and a number of minor chakras. These are from the lowest to the highest:
The number of major chakras does vary in some instances, e.g. Hindu yoga has six centers, but the greatest variation is in the minor chakras. In some regimes of therapy ten minor chakras are identified, and these are interconnected with the major chakras. A typical system could be:
Your style of running energy through these centers expresses your personality. This, in turn, determines how you survive, feel, respond, love, communicate, understand, perceive, trust, and create. You also have feet chakras and hand chakras. The best method of gaining understanding and control of your chakras is to meditate on them, one by one, placing your attention on each chakra for two or three minutes every day. Remember to both ground yourself and to run your energy while you meditate. The attached table, 'The Seven Body Chakras,' gives meaning and definitions to the seven basic body chakras and the physical and psychological imbalances connected with each chakra.
Brief summaries of the major chakras are given below:
The root chakra
This is the source of strength and is essential for proper development. The other centres of energy rely upon the root chakra to perform properly. Disorders within the root chakras may result in mental problems (e.g. aggression, confusion) or physical symptoms (e.g. of the intestines, excretory systems, or bones).
The sexual chakra
This is highly influential and governs sensual and sexual factors, the means whereby experiences are felt and registered. Blockages result in a variety of phobias or conditions such as a fear of being touched, a general incomprehension or an obsessive cleanliness. Physical manifestations may include being prone to infections, or problems with the kidneys/bladder or lymphatic system.
The personality chakra
This is also called the solar plexus chakra, this is the power centre and focus of personal freedom or, conversely, feelings of guilt. Mental consequences of a blockage might be anxiety about how others perceive you, envy or selfish greed. Physically there could be digestive disorders, liver and gall bladder problems or disorders of the pancreas.
The heart chakra
This effectively controls self-acceptance and by extension everyone else around us. Blockages may result in attitudes such as selfishness or emotional blackmail. Physical manifestations could be disorders of the lungs and heart, and circulatory problems.
The expressive chakra
The expressive chakra (or throat chakra) controls overall self-expression, whether it is language or gesture. An upset in this centre could well result in an individual who becomes dictatorial while the physical signs could be growth problems, or a muscular tension leading to a lack of vocal control.
The knowledge chakra
Otherwise known as the forehead chakra or Third Eye, this is the focus of intuition, the perception of truth which enables a person to find their own course through life. Accordingly, a blockage of this chakra will culminate in a haphazard approach to life, and probably an inability to settle down to any one task for any length of time.
The crown chakra
It is generally felt that the seventh, crown, chakra is appreciated only by experience and it depends upon the other six for its development.
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