What are Chakras?
In Eastern Medicine there is a recognition that as well as our physical body we have an energy body, sometimes referred to as the “subtle body”. This energy body is made up of a number of channels through which flows our life force or chi. This energy body is not separate from the physical body but connected to it through energy centres or Chakras.
These centres are not something that can be identified physically, but are areas in the body where there is a concentration of energy, or electromagnetic force. The location of the chakras is usually associated with a concentration, or plexus, of the nervous system, which in turn is associated with the major organs of the body and the glandular system. There is a recognised association between the chakra system and the body’s health and many alternative healing systems focus on bringing the body into balance and health through the chakra system.
The word Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means wheel and the chakras are often likened to a wheel which turns within the body. When the wheel is turning freely then energy is flowing well and the body is healthy and when the wheel is stuck and not turning well then this can be observed in ill health.
The Chakra System
There are generally recognised to be seven chakras within the body, although some people also identify others beyond the body, in the body’s energy field. The seven centres are in a vertical line down the centre of the body. They are, in descending order from the crown:
Crown Centre – at the top of the head, approximately where the fontanelles were when you were a baby. Associated with the Pituitary gland which controls the whole endocrine system. Spiritual connection, knowledge and understanding.
Third Eye / Brow Centre – behind the eyes, although the front of the chakra is often said to be a vertical eye in the centre of the forehead. Associated with the Pineal gland. Centre of intuition, insight and imagination.
Throat centre – right in the centre of the throat. Associated with the thyroid gland. Centre of communication and creativity.
Heart Centre – in the centre of the body behind the sternum. Associated with the Thymus gland. Balance between the physical and spiritual parts of our being.
Solar Plexus centre – in the space underneath the rib cage. Associated with the digestive system and pancreas. Centre of emotions.
Sacral Centre – about three fingers width below the navel in the centre of the body. Associated with the adrenal glands. Centre of physical vitality.
Base / Root centre – in the perineum near the sexual organs. Associated with the sexual glands. Centre of basic instincts and desires.