A Beginners Guide to Chakras

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There are seven major chakras. They are located at the base of the spine, at the reproductive centre, at the solar plexus, the heart, the throat, the brow and at the crown of the head. These sites in turn represent the body’s major systems: excretion, reproduction, digestion, circulation, respiration and the complex functions of cognition. The crown chakra is sometimes regarded as a unique centre of consciousness and not counted with the first six chakras. It is important to note that there are other minor centres also in the hands, feet and behind the knees.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ and denotes a point of intersection where mind and body meet. Chakras can also be called lotus flowers, symbolising the unfolding of flower petals, which metaphorically describe the opening of a chakra. Lotus flowers are sacred in India. Growing from mud, they symbolise a path of development from a primitive being to a fully blossoming consciousness, mirroring the base chakra rooted in Earth, which evolves into a lotus flower with a thousand petals at the crown of the head. Like lotuses, chakras have ‘petals’ which vary in number from chakra to chakra. Beginning at the bottom with the first chakra, the petals number four, six, ten, twelve, sixteen, two, and a thousand petals. Like flowers, chakras can be open or closed, dying or budding, depending on the state of consciousness within.

The chakras are traditionally represented through symbols. Their functions and nature are described not through words but through symbolic images. This is the traditional approach of all esoteric traditions, for the symbol is richer in meaning than the word.

The chakras carry the colours of the rainbow spectrum, and a shape also represents each. The first five chakras also have animal symbols that express the nature of the chakra, and an elemental symbol. There are also common associations between the chakras and the glands of the endocrine system, so when we are ‘balancing the chakras’ we are, at a physical level, balancing the glands of the endocrine system. This is of course a very simplistic explanation of the chakra system of energy.

Root Chakra

Location: Perineum (the area mid-way between the anus and the genitals). The chakra face downwards, between the legs, the stem faces upwards into the central.

Key words: Survival

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Sense: Smell

Endocrine gland: Adrenals

Imbalance: An imbalance in the base chakra can make a person feel as if they are underground and unfocused, they may feel weak, lack of confidence and be unable to achieve their goals.

Sacral Chakra

Location: The chakra is approximately two fingers below the navel,

Key words: Reproduction

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Sense: Taste

Endocrine gland: Ovaries and testes, it energies also effects the urino-genital organs, the uterus, the kidneys, the lower digestive organs and the lower back.

Imbalance: A person with an imbalance in this chakra may bury their emotions and be over sensitive, an imbalance may also lead to sexual difficulties, infertility problems and blocks of creativity

Solar Plexus Chakra

Location: Just below the sternum, extending down the navel. The stem is in a corresponding position at the back.

Key words: Personal power, will, self-esteem

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Sense: Sight

Endocrine gland: Pancreas

Imbalance: People who are under a lot of stress will show imbalances in this chakra. It is in this chakra that negative energies relating to thoughts and feelings are processed. Imbalances may result in depression, insecurity, lack of confidence and worries about what others think.

Heart Chakra

Location: On the same level as the physical heart but in the centre of the body. Stem is at the back.

Key word: Love (unconditional)

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Sense: Touch

Endocrine gland: Thymus

Imbalance: If the energy does not flow freely between the solar plexus and the heart, or between the heart and the throat, it can lead to energy withdrawal into the body; a person with an imbalance in this chakra may feel unloved, be afraid of loving, feel unworthy of love or be afraid of rejection. This chakra represents ‘unconditional’ love.

Throat Chakra

Location: The neck, with petals at the front and stem at the back.

Key word: Communication

Colour: Blue

Element: Ether

Sense: Hearing

Endocrine gland: Thyroid and parathyroid

Imbalance: Imbalances in this chakra will have an impact on speaking one’s mind. It also deals with issues of truth and expression of the soul. As well as speech, an imbalance in this chakra may affect one’s willingness to hear.

Third Eye Chakra

Location: Above and between the eyes. The stem is at the back of the head.

Key words: Inspiration, insight, completeness

Colour: Indigo

Element: Light

Sense: There is no sense for this chakra

Endocrine gland: Pineal

Imbalance: The third eye chakra is central to ‘seeing’ past, present and future events. It is the storehouse of memories and imagination and is associated with intellect, understanding and intuition. Imbalances in this chakra may indicate someone afraid to look into the future, afraid of success, unassertive and undisciplined.

Crown Chakra

Location: At the top of the head with petals facing upwards and the stem going down into the central column.

Key words: Knowledge, understanding, release

Colour: Diamond, white, gold or violet

Element: Thought

Sense: There is no sense for this chakra

Endocrine gland: Pituitary

Imbalance: An imbalance in this chakra may be reflected in an unwillingness to open up to our spiritual potential.

Rachel x

 

A Basic Guide to Meridians.

Following on from one of my previous posts talking about Acupuncture I wanted to share with you a little bit about Meridians and Meridian points as these are what Acupuncturists work with and talk about.

Qi-and-Meridians

Meridians

The Chinese discovered the meridian system approximately 3000 years ago. Meridians are an energy force that can be felt but not seen. They can be described as channels of energy, or pathways through which energy moves through the body. They have been described as containing a free-flowing, colourless, non-cellular liquid that may be partly actuated by the heart.

These meridians have been measured and mapped using modern technological methods, electronically, thematically and radioactively. With practice, they can also be felt. There are specific acupuncture points along the meridians, upon which the practices of acupuncture,acupressure and reflexology are founded. In all these techniques, pressure is applied to specific points to clear blockages from the energy channels. These points are electromagnetic in character and consist of small, oval cells called Bonham corpuscles, which surround the capillaries in the skin, the blood vessels, and the organs throughout the body. There are some 500 points that are most frequently used by acupuncturists and therapists practising acupressure and reflexology; each point is worked upon in a definite sequence depending on the action desired.

Meridians are named by the life function with which they are associated. In most cases this name is similar to the name of a body organ with which we are familiar, for example, the liver meridian and the stomach meridian. Chinese physicians can detect imbalances in meridians by feeling the pulses, but this is a sensitive touch and it can take 10 to 20 years to develop proficiency with it.

Meridians are classified yin or yang on the basis of the direction in which they flow on the surface of the body. Meridians interconnect deep within the torso, but therapists work with the part that is on the surface and is accessible to touch techniques. Yang energy flows from the sun, and yang meridians run from the fingers to the face or from the face to the feet. Yin energy from the earth flows from the feet to the torso, and from the torso along the inside of the arms to the fingertips.

Since the meridian flow is actually one continuous unbroken flow, the energy flows in one definite direction, and from one meridian to another in a well-determined order. Since there is no beginning or end to this flow, the order of the meridians can be represented as a wheel. A blockage in any of the meridians will have a knock-on effect on all the other meridians.

When this energy flow in unrestricted, the body harmonises the flow to optimise body functioning. Sometimes, however, the life we lead and the abuses we heap upon our bodies cause stress, and sometimes the stress is so intense or so constant that, in effect, it overloads the circuit, and a blockage occurs this has an effect on all the other meridians.

The six main Meridians  are those that actually penetrate major body organs

  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Gall Bladder
  • Bladder
  • Kidney

The other six meridians are situated in the arms and do not actually penetrate specific organs 

  • Lung
  • Large Intestine
  • Pericardium / Circulation
  • Triple  Warmer / Endocrine
  • Small intestine
  • Heart

These 12 meridians can be subdivided into six main meridians that actually penetrate the major body organs and six other meridians that are situated in the arms and do not actually penetrate specific organs.

Closer study of the meridians reveals that the six main meridians are found in the feet, specifically the toes. Thus, massaging the feet is, in actual fact, stimulating and clearing congestion in the meridians. When congestion is cleared, energy is able to flow freely and the body is able to achieve a state of balance.

Rachel x