“The chakra system offers a framework for understanding human energy in a way that integrates mind, body and spirit. “Chakra”, the Sanskrit word for “wheel”, refers to energy vortices in the human body first described over 4000 years ago in India. Chakras may be conceptualized as organizing center for the reception, assimilation, and transmission of life energies.” – Patricia Day Williams, M.D.
Prana circulates in five different forms through a complex system of 72,000 nadis. The sushumna is the central column of energy (or the “way to liberation”) while the ida and pingala channels, which are feminine and masculine in quality, originate to the left and right of the sushumna nadi and coil around it from the base of the spine to the third eye in a serpentine pattern that ends at the nostrils. The chakras exist in the subtle body but they also correspond to seven major nerve ganglia of the spinal column. Disturbances, imbalances and blocks in the flow can be restored to improve health and well-being.
I. The Root Chakra- ‘Seal of Approval’, physical survival, trust, prosperity, and groundedness; endorsement of something or someone, needs and wants. Associated with the perineum, coccyx, feet, legs, blood, nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, vagina and testes, large and small intestine, rectum, and skin.
II. The Sacral Chakra- ‘Personal Identity’, pleasure, sexuality, emotions, and movement; fear of loss of control or being controlled. Associated with the sacrum, pelvis/hips, mammary glands, male and female reproductive organs, bladder, prostrate, appendix, large and small intestine, nervous system, lymphatic system.
III. The Solar Plexus- Intention, will, trust, and self esteem. Associated with the lumbar vertebrae L1 to L5, large and small intestine, bladder, urethra, nervous system, lymphatic system.
IV. The Heart Chakra- Connection, love, and self acceptance. Law of Compassion – Awakening our Humanity- the Universe does not judge us; it only provides consequences and lessons and opportunities to balance and learn through the law of cause and effect. Compassion is the recognition that we are each doing the best we can within the limits of our current beliefs and capacities. Associated with the thoracic vertebrae T9 to T12, ribs, liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, duodenum, intestines, spleen, kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, diaphragm, lymphatic system, nervous system. The lower Heart Chakra- ‘Life Purpose’, self esteem and forgiveness. Associated with the thoracic vertebrae T6 – T9, ribs, lungs, liver, esophagus, diaphragm, heart, lymphatic system, nervous system. The middle Heart Chakra- Love, wisdom and forgiveness; ability to heal yourself and others. Associated with the thoracic vertebrae T3 to T6, ribs, heart, lungs, immune system, esophagus, breasts, nervous system, lymphatic system. The higher Heart Chakra- Congruency, engaging both the heart and mind. Associated with the thoracic vertebrae T1 to T3, ribs, esophagus, trachea, lungs, Thymus, lymphatic system, nervous system.
V. The Throat Chakra- Communication, voice, and self expression. Power and transformation; reveals where you most covertly resist change. Where a willingness to change will have the biggest impact on your life and will result in a realization of fearlessness. Associated with the cervical vertebrae C1 to C7, throat, thyroid, parathyroid, trachea, larynx, esophagus, tonsils, nervous system, lymphatic system. The Mouth Chakra- Personal belief system, knowing of abundance. Associated with the skull, chin, jaw, mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, nervous system, lymphatic system. The Sense Chakra- Power of will; ways of the teacher, wisdom and leadership. Associated with the skull, nose, brain, sinus, ears, nervous system, lymphatic system.
VI. The Third Eye Chakra- Intuition, imagination, and seeing. Addiction to change or the fear of change. Associated with the Pineal Gland, skull, brain, eyes, sinus’, hypothalamus, nervous system, lymphatic system.
VII. The Crown Chakra- Awareness and spiritual consciousness. Surrendering means accepting this moment. Associated with the Pituitary Gland, skull, brain, nervous system, lymphatic system, muscular system, skeletal system.
The Astral Chakra- Recognition of the power in all of creation. Other Documentation of Energy Systems Associated with the Meridians; within the Chinese model, the Meridians act as the transporters of energy through the body. In Chinese medical theory, these channels are unseen but thought to embody a kind of informational and energetic network that connect the interior of the body with the exterior.
In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which originated in the Pyramid Texts of the 3rd millennium BCE, Ka represents the energy body.
Heka, the god of magic whose name means “activating the Ka,” is depicted as holding two entwined snakes. The Hermetica, an early alchemical text that originated around 200 BCE from the ancient Egyptian texts, states that humans are the meeting place of spirit and matter. In the Hermetic tradition, spiritual awakening is symbolized by the caduceus which first appeared in Mesopotamia on a vase dated from approximately 2100 BCE. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the life force, or chi, begins its journey through the human body in the lungs and flows through a complex network of pathways, or meridians, designated as yin or yang. An imbalance in the flow of energy through one meridian often brings about imbalances in others and it is these points that form the basis of acupuncture and acupressure treatment. The central governor vessel meridian corresponds to the central sushumna nadi both in location and function. Taoist practice of shoshuten, or “Circulation of Light”, ki energy is raised from the tip of the coccyx to the top of the head. Native American culture is transmitted primarily through oral tradition so there are no ancient texts. Yet images from ancient tribes throughout the Americas indicate correspondences with the chakra system, such as the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl whose crown is a 1000-petaled sunburst of spiritual illumination and the serpent of the liberated spinal fire. In The Book of the Hopi: “The living body of man and the living body of the earth were constructed in the same way. Through each ran an axis… along this axis were several vibratory centers… The first of these in man lay at the top of the head … just below it lay the second center, the organ called the brain … The third center lay in the throat … The fourth center was the heart … The last of man’s important centers lay under his navel, the organ some people now call the solar plexus”The fifth center, the one under the navel was said to be “the one which directed all the functions of man.” Lakota and Iroquois tradition discuss our energetic “light bodies” and the phenomenon of “ascension”. Michael Drake, a ceremonial drummer of Cherokee descent, draws a direct correspondence between Native American energy centers and chakras: “The spiritual traditions of the Hopi, Cherokee, Tibetan, Hindu, and other cultures teach us that there are vibratory centers within the human body. All describe spinning wheels of energy called chakras, lying along the spine. There are seven major chakras situated along the vertical spinal axis from the genital region to the crown of the head that function much like electrical junction boxes, mediating spiritual energy throughout the entire mind-body system. They are the interface among the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of one’s being. Imbalances in chakras lead to imbalances in body, mind, and spirit.”