Chakras: Their purpose and impact on our life and health
Maria Teresa De Donato, Ph.D. in Holistic Health
In order to understand how the physical body is made according to the different levels of waves of energy frequency and energy systems composing it, we can visualize as superimposing all of them in the same framework of space. By overlapping them we will increase the energy frequency and end up seen matter, that is, the physical body, and since as Traditional Chinese Medicine states, physical illness is the result of an invisible one we can state that illness originates first in the etheric body.
If we superimpose the images of the body’s circulatory system, lymphatic system and the acupuncture meridian system – which according to TCM indicates the path followed by the invisible energy called chi (or qi, prana or life force) we will observe that the three do follow the same path (or almost the same) – this leading to the probability that connections are indeed possible and that therefore the action and path of one may in fact impact the others.
The concept of energy running through the body through the meridians reminds us of the energy system related to the Chakras (from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning”) and the Nadis (channels through which the qi flows), with the Chakras being represented, according to Hinduism and Buddhism, as a subtle-energy wheel-like vortices and acting as centers or special points in which subtle-energies connect with each other.
Chakras are classified according to their location, physiological and endocrine systems and organs they are linked and inner aspects they are related to as follows:
1) Root Chakra, also known as the first chakra, which is located at the base of the spine, and corresponds to the sacral-coccygeal area. It represents the reproductive system (Gonads), the sense of grounding, hence is associated with our ability to connect to the earth energies and to strengthen our life force as well as to the sense of deep connection existing between mother and child and among family members. Lack of ability to focus, sense of confusion and/or disconnection, depression and autoimmune deficiencies as well as health issues affecting legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, and immune system are all indication that this chakra is out of balance. Root chakra is also considered the center of Kundalini energy.
Well known for its effectiveness in the treatment of depression, gallbladder or high blood pressure Dandelion root tea is particularly indicated to restore root chakra balance. Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, parsnips, radishes, onions and garlic as well as pretty much all other sorts of roots may also benefit this chakra.
The first chakra is associated with the color red.
2) Sacral Chakra, or second chakra, is located in the sacral area below the umbilicus, corresponding to the genitourinary system (which includes Leydig cells) and is related to emotions and sexuality, as well as to the area of relationship, and to prana activity. This chakra is also linked to our creativity and to the ability of making personal choices and changing our life for the better.
Eating disorders, urinary tract problems, reproductive disorders, occasional headache, fever and emotional imbalances all indicate that this of chakra is out of balance. Calendula, Gardenia roots and Sandalwood can help restore balance in these areas, with the latter being able also to treat different kinds of infections. Among the many herbs and spices that can also be beneficial to restore a healthy Sacral chakra we find licorice, cinnamon, sweet paprika, and fennel.
The second chakra is associated with the color orange.
3) Solar Plexus Chakra, identified as the third chakra, corresponds to the upper abdomen level, and consequently to the digestive system and the adrenal glands (endocrine system) and relates to personal power.
Depression, anxiety and a doubtful and mistrusting attitude towards others might lead to a great variety of health issues, thus including digestive problems, ulcers, diabetes, liver and/or kidney problems, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and even intestinal tumors. A balanced solar plexus chakra, on the other hand, promotes intuition, a sense of self-esteem and personal power.
Lavender, bergamot or rosemary oil are among the most effective in all these areas, with Bergamot being particularly helpful for the digestive system due to its ability to speed up digestion. Rosemary, which is widely used in the Mediterranean cuisine is also very beneficial for its properties which positively affect stomach and intestines. Among the other herbs and spices that also play in important role and be effective to help this chakra to go back to its state of balance, we find mint, ginger, turmeric and cumin.
The third chakra is associated with the color yellow.
4) Heart Chakra, or fourth chakra, corresponds to the heart plexus located in the mid chest, relates to the circulatory system and to the thymus, and is linked to love, hence to our human energy system and to all kinds of intense emotions, thus including love as well as pain, fear, anger, hatred, resentment, jealousy, sense of betrayal, of loneliness, and sorrow. Being aware of the role that this chakra plays in our life is fundamental to make sure we maintain optimum health and wellness.
Basil, cayenne, cilantro, hawthorn berries, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, parsley, rose, sage, and thyme can all be beneficial and help this chakra to find a new state of equilibrium.
The fourth chakra is associated with the color green.
5) Throat Chakra, or fifth chakra, is located in the neck, corresponds to the Cervical Ganglia Medulla and to the respiratory system and thyroid and is linked to communications, will and lower mental activity. The way we talk and express ourselves affects this chakra. Hence the more genuine, honest and frank we are the less the chances to negatively impact this chakra energetically, which in the end will manifest as symptoms affecting the area.
Red clover, eucalyptus, along with lemon grass, peppermint, sage, and salt are natural remedies that can all help to restore this chakra health and balance.
The fifth chakra is associated with the color blue.
6) Brow Chakra, also called sixth chakra or third eye, is located in the forehead, corresponds to the hypothalamus, automatic nervous system and to the pituitary gland, and relates to intuition, inner vision, higher spiritual forces, clairvoyance and to the ability of distinguish reality from fantasy.
Jasmine, juniper, lavender, mint, and rosemary are among the natural remedies that can help Brow chakra regain its balance.
The sixth is associated with the color indigo.
7) Crown Chakra, or seventh chakra, is located on the top of the head and corresponds to the cerebral cortex pineal gland, Central Nervous System (CNS) central control and relates to spiritual seeking and higher spiritual forces. While the first chakra (Root chakra) connects us to the earth, this chakra acts as a gate through which the universal life force enters our body and has access to all other chakras. The crown chakra is usually represented by a lotus flower and symbolizes spiritual awakening and is the very source of intuitive knowledge. While imbalance in this area may lead to experience depression, migraines, amnesia and even, in the worst-case scenario, mental illnesses, a balanced Crown chakra allows us to experience cosmic love and divine union.
Lavender seems to be the most helpful remedy for a realignment with the cosmos since it has a very positive effect on all chakras.
The seventh chakra is associated with the color violet.
The examination of the chakras, as seen in Ayurvedic medicine, and of the
Kundalini energy (which we will deal with in one of the next
articles), as considered by psychoanalyst Carl Jung in his
study of the structure and functioning of the unconscious, can to help us
better understand, according to a Western perspective, the problems
related to psychosomatics and to the processes of somatization.