A Beginners Guide to Chakras
Chances are you’re reading this beginners guide to chakras because you have encountered them at a yoga class or healing spa. You may have even noticed speciality candles, jewelry or essential oils that referenced the chakras. In any case, you are reading this post because you want to learn more about what the chakras are and how to balance them.
I am going to give you the 411 on everything chakra related. Understanding the chakra system opens up a vast world of healing possibilities. This post will focus on using reiki to bring your chakras back into balance. If you are interested in learning more about different modes of chakra balancing I recommend you checkout Chakra Yoga, Healing Crystals and Music.
The History of Chakras
Chakras have long been recognized as essential to healthy living. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to wheel or disk. In holistic healing, chakra refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. In a healthy, balanced person, the seven chakras provide the right balance of energy to every part of your body, mind, and spirit. Around 1,500 B.C. discussions about chakras originated in India. There is also mention of them in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali all the way back in 200 B.C.
Sir John Woodroffe, is often credited with educating the West about chakras in the early 20th century. He was a British man and the Chief Justice for the High Court in Calcutta. Under his pseudonym Arthur Avalon, he translated twenty original Sanskrit texts into English. Later, author Christopher Hills, published a book entitled “Nuclear Evolution” in 1968. He developed his own personal version of the rainbow colors for the chakra system which is commonly used by modern healers. His book further popularized the concept of chakras to readers in Western countries.
Symptoms of Imbalanced Chakras
Chakras can become blocked, balanced or overactive. The quality of your chakras are affected by your surrounding, thoughts, emotions, and health. Many healers will focus on blocked chakras and offer tools to get energy flowing freely again. However, an overactive chakra is equally problematic to one that is blocked.
So what the heck does this all mean? Each one of your chakras is linked to a specific energy center. In the West, we commonly recognise seven chakras. There is a general consensus about the state wellbeing that is associated with each of those energy centers. When looking at your seven chakras a healer will assess whether they are spinning in balance, too fast, or slow. Depending upon what the healer uncovers they will send energy to get your chakra spinning faster or slower, bring them back into balance.
To appreciate this, you must accept that energy is flowing through the universe and into your body. You must also believe that this energy is affecting your body, mind and spirit. Energy healing and chakra balancing can be done on an individual who does not accept these concepts. However, it is extremely beneficial for both the recipient and energy healer to be on the same page when receiving treatment.
The Seven Chakras and Their Meanings
Below is a description of the seven chakras most commonly used in Western energy healing. There is so much to unpack when it comes to the chakras! The list below is intended to give you the basics. This includes a description of the embodiment energy takes when each chakra is balanced, blocked or overactive. It should be noted that some traditions identify as many as twelve chakras. The chakras are also believed to be connected to spiritual symbols, sounds, crystals, astrological signs and more. Let’s start with the fundmentials.
The Root or Base Chakra (Red)
Balanced: Healthy sex drive. Adequate physical strength and energy. Grounded.
Blocked: Jealousy and anger. Unhealthy focus on sex and pleasure.
Overactive: Greedy, lust for power, aggressive, materialistic, cynical.
The Sacral or Spleen Chakra (Orange)
Balanced: Healthy emotional energy. Passionate while being able to let go.
Blocked: Fear and anxiety. Unhealthy attachments. Additions.
Overactive: Over-emotional, fixated on sex, hedonistic, manipulative.
The Solar Plexus Chakra (Yellow)
Balanced: Clear thinking. Calm. Confident and able to be flexible.
Blocked: Excessive worry. Unhealthy controlling. Several complaints and irritable thoughts.
Overactive: Power hungry, domineering, perfectionist, critical.
The Heart Chakra (Green)
Balanced: Lovingly centered. Healthy balance between giving and receiving. Calm and trusting.
Blocked: Distrust and closed off from receiving love. Resentful.
Overactive: Jealous, codependent, self-sacrificing, gives too much.
The Throat Chakra (Blue)
Balanced: Able to speak easily and clearly. Creative.
Blocked: Hesitant to speak. Self-expression is easy shut down. Frustrated.
Overactive: Opinionated, loud, critical, gossipy, yells or talks over others, harsh words.
The Third Eye or Brow Chakra (Indigo)
Balanced: Easy manifesting. Insightful.
Blocked: Lots of mind-chatter. Lack of mental peace.
Overactive: Nightmares, delusions, hallucinations, obsessive, sees too many spirits.
The Crown Chakra (Violet)
Balanced: Connected to one’s intuition. Inner serenity with the universe.
Blocked: Lack of caring and compassion. Unable to see the big picture and connect to intuition.
Overactive: Dogmatic, judgemental, spiritual addiction, ungrounded.
How to Balance your Chakras
Reiki, meditation, yoga, nutrition, essential oils and colors are just a few ways you can get your chakras back imbalance. If you are intune with your body you will feel when a chakra moves out of balance. For instance, you might find yourself having a difficult time expressing yourself if your throat chakra is spinning too slowly. In that case you could try wearing an increased amount of blue clothing and carrying around a turquoise gemstone. If those remedies don’t work, you may want to consult a practitioner trained to assess and balance your chakras as you might have a deeper issue.
When balancing your chakras it is important to connect with the protocol that meets your unique needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to chakra balancing. While I highly recommend working with a trained energy healer, you can certainly find balance with a bit of self discovery. Experiment with sound baths, crystals, nutrition and more while keeping a journal of your experiences. You will be shocked by the insight you can gain by listening to your body and referring back to the chakra system.
For specific conditions it is advised that you consult with a trained professional. For example, in my massage practice I often see clients who are struggling with infertility. My work with a client who is struggling to conceive integrates both massage and Reiki techniques. I am able to discuss the energy centers with my client using the chakra system. My client is also able to describe the current quality of her chakra energy. Then keep me updated as we progress through our treatments as to how her energy is shifting throughout her chakra centers.
Interestingly, your chakras can swing into and out of balance in unexpected ways. I often think about a client I once saw whose heart chakra suddenly became extremely overactive. I sent this client reiki and she continued to have issues specifically with her heart chakra. So I recommended another course of action, that she spend time meditating in nature. Still, her heart chakra did not find a healthy balance. She went on to try specialized yoga poses and used a special blend of essential oils daily. But, unfortunately she found no long term relief.
Finally, on wim this client mentioned that she was very stressed due to the recent flood that forced her to completely remodel her bedroom. She showed me a photo of her room and I instantly had clarity as to why her heart chakra was spinning at a high speed. Her entire bedroom was green. Everything including the curtains, wall color, bedspread, rug and side tables were all a various shade of green. It looked beautiful but I suspected her sleeping in a room that was so promeditly green every night was messing with her heart chakra. Once she moved things around and diversity the color scheme of her bedroom, she found long term relief.
How are Chakras and Reiki Related?
Many holistic praticitones, including myself, use reiki to cleanse and/or balance the seven chakras. Reiki energy healing was discovered by a Buddhist monk named Mikao Usui and originated in Japan. Usui learned to channel energy which he called the Universal Life Force by guiding it with his hands. The word reiki comes from “Rei” (universal) and “Ki” (life energy). In China this energy is referred to as “Chi” or “Qi” and in Sanskrit it is called “Prana”
Chakra balancing requires energy shifting take place. Reiki shifts this energy, as a practitioner channels Ki through meditation and harnessing the power of the Reiki symbols that were passed down to them through an attunement ceremony. Energy healing takes many forms and is derived from several traditions. Including yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, and ayurvedic medicine. So, chakra energy can be balanced in a number of ways. Additionally, Reiki healing can be performed without chakra balancing not being the goal, rather a beneficial side effect.
Understanding the chakra centers is a huge advantage for Reiki healers. It gives us a vocabulary to use when describing the healing that is taking place. This vocabulary also allows the client to actively participate in the healing process along with the practitioner. A crystal pendulum is used to assess the quality of a client’s chakras in a Reiki healing session. The Reiki Healer then guides Ki into the chakra system to clear out any stagnant energy and recharge blocked chakras.