Week 27 | Is There Scientific Proof for the Existence of Chakras? A Brief Introduction to Chakras and The Compelling Science Behind The Energy Found Within Us All

July 5, 2018

 

 

--Audio Guide--

 

What is a Chakra?

 

Chakras are, “centers in our bodies in which energy flows through” (Mind Body Green). If you have a hard time believing that there is energy in our bodies, you should know that our hearts and brains are run by electrical impulses; “The flow of charged ions [is what] causes your heart to beat and your muscles to contract. But nowhere in the body is electrical activity better documented than in the brain, which contains roughly a hundred billion electrically conductive, biological wires” (Gizmodo).  

 

You are energy.

 

Because we see flesh and bones, “this idea may seem far-fetched for some to consider that our body is made of energy, [but] we are a field of energy. Our bodies are electromagnetic and scientists have measured these frequencies with machines, such as ECG and MRI" (Quora); Psychology Today, puts it well: "All living beings are energy fields manifesting through their physical form" (Psychology Today).  

 

Chakras are thought to be, “energy centers within the human body that help to regulate all its processes from organ function to to the immune system and emotions. All living things are created by and comprised of energy. The ability of your energy centers to function optimally is what keeps you psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually balanced” (Chakra.info and Wikipedia).

 

 

Where Are Chakras Located?

 

Seven major chakras or energy points run up and down different points along the spinal cord from,  “the base of the spine to the top of the head” (Wikipedia).

 

 

Photo courtesy of Chakra.info 

 

 

 

How Chakras Function

 

Many cultures reference chakras including Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese teachings; “The function of the chakras is to spin and draw in energy to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health of the body in balance” (Wikipedia).  

 

It is thought that if one or more chakras are blocked, this can lead to illness mentally, emotionally and in the physical body and so through breathing, yoga, visualization, mantras, tantra and more, energy flow is encouraged throughout the chakras and thus the body.  Although much of this understanding is based on Eastern knowledge, “some of its aspects sometimes seem to correspond with the circulatory, lymphatic, nervous or muscular systems that we are familiar with” here in the west (Quora).

 

Proof of the Connection Between Mind and Body

 

Your mental and emotional state can affect your physical body.

 

For example, stress and relaxation are mental and emotional states, but they can transcend to affect our physical well being. Stress can be defined as, “the absence of homeostasis or an imbalance in the harmonious workings of the organism, which results in the body's concerted effort to re-establish that balance. The stress response triggers the release of powerful hormones that generate arousal and anxiety” (NIH). Being stressed is an, ”underlying factor in much illness, costing millions of dollars in health care” - there is much scientific discussion, “with regard to its impact on a patient's physical health” (NIH). “It's an absolute truth: Our body and mind needs balance. A balanced flow or energy, not too much or not too little, is conducive to good health” (Quora).

 

The connection between mind and body is so strong some argue that, “comprehensive health care must involve thorough attention to the mind and spirit—not just the body.  Most books currently addressing emotional or spiritual components of health care tend to be inspirational or religious in nature—an area generally considered ‘hands-off’ to physicians - but, in order for Western medicine to have a cohesive physiological system, it must account for the existence of energy fields within as well as outside of the human body. ” (NIH) .

 

 

The Science

 

In 1975, Dr. Robert Ader presented explanation of an experiment that, “provided the first scientific evidence that our thoughts actually alter our immune system. Over a hundred years ago, Sir William Osler wrote about a patient who had an asthma attack after smelling an artificial rose” (NIH). In the mid-1970s Dr. Ader, “provided the scientific explanation for Osler's curious observation when he demonstrated that mammals are capable of conditioned (Pavlovian) immune responses” - that is, Ader’s scientific studies, “effectively used thoughts and emotions to mediate changes in the immune system” or physical body (NIH).  

 

His findings were profound as, “until recently each body system was considered to function in a pristinely independent manner” - he revealed that everything is connected and “emotional stress indisputably and negatively impacts our physical health” (NIH).

 

 

So How Is All This Connected To Chakras?

 

While many Western doctors, “are finally starting to understand that many ailments stem from an emotional disruption first and then manifest into a physical illness”, Eastern medicine has known it all along (Quora). Eastern thought purports life, “to be made of bio-electricity and vibratory energy and logically our health would therefore be basically made of energy balancing by various means” (Quora).

 

In Eastern medical systems it is thought that there is a vital energy that flows within our bodies and between our chakras; It is, “an invisible but nutritive energy called chi, loosely translated to mean vital energy or life force” (NIH). Chakras can be thought of as wheels of energy, “at specific areas in the body which control the circulation of life force energy. Each chakra is a switch which turns on or opens up specific areas of the brain.

 

In most people these centers lie dormant, inactive or even blocked; “Disease is considered as a blockage of the flow of energy in these chakras or channels. Many medicinal traditions, including acupuncture, acupressure, massage and yoga, are based on the principle of the existence of these energy channels” (Quora).

 

 

Signs Your Chakras Maybe Blocked

 

Well being is reliant on the proper flow of energy throughout the chakras or points found along the spine; If, “equilibrium is disturbed, then disease may occur” (Quora). Further, the mind and body are connected - where what we think affects our physical health, inversely “when we have a physical issue, it creates weaknesses in our emotional behavior” (Mind Body Green). As a result, it is important to nurture, “the energy that radiates from your chakras” as it, “ sets your thoughts and feelings into action” (Quora).

 

 

Chakra by Chakra, Let’s Examine Signs That You Maybe Misaligned

 

 

1st Chakra - Root Chakra

 

Color: Red

 

Location: On your tailbone, at the base of your spine

 

Signs you are in balance:

The first chakra has to do with family, ancestors, and a sense of being ground.  “When this chakra is balanced, you feel supported, a sense of connection and safety to the physical world, and grounded” (Mind Body Green)

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

“Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation” (Mind Body Green)

 

Signs of emotional imbalance:

“The first chakra acts as a pump at the base of the chakra system that helps energy rise and flow” (Finer Minds).  If your energy is imbalanced here, you will maybe experience,  “money issues and general financial instability. Moving homes often. If you move from one home to another, typically staying less than two years. The degree to which you move is related to how weak your root is. If you tend to move every six months, for example, that would be a big deficiency, and every two years would be a deficiency too, but a lesser one. Have trouble being consistent and staying in routines. You are not very connected to your family. You feel like the “black sheep” or an outsider, or your family is dispersed and not very cohesive. You have a lot of general anxiety and you usually wake up with it” (Chakra Booster).

 

 

2nd Chakra - Sacral Chakra

 

Color: Orange

 

Location: Found about two inches below your belly button in your lower abdomen

 

Signs you are in balance:

 

Your second chakra, “governs your ability to relate to other people and the world around you” (Chakras.info). “When this chakra is balanced, we have an ability to take risks, we are creative, we are committed. We are passionate, sexual and outgoing” (Mind Body Green)

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

 

Experiences of imbalance within the second chakra include, “sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, hip, pelvic and low back pain” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Emotional Imbalance:

 

“When sacral energy flow is blocked, you can become unemotional and experience uncertainty, insecurity, and an inability to cope with life’s changes” (Chakras.info). You will have issues with commitment, expressing emotion and creativity, and problems embracing desires, pleasure and sexuality (Mind Body Green).

 

 

3rd Chakra - Solar Plexus Chakra

 

Color: Yellow

 

Location: Along your spine about three inches above your belly button

 

Signs You Are In Balance: We experience self acceptance, “when this chakra is balanced, we feel self-respect and self-compassion. We feel in control, assertive, confident” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

 

Signs of imbalance may include, “digestive problems, ulcers, liver problems, gallstones, pancreas disorders such as diabetes or hypoglycemia” (Finerminds).

 

Signs of Emotional Imbalance:

 

“You see yourself as powerless, you have lots of different ways of shaming yourself and frequently feel embarrassed by imagining what other people think about you. You see the future as full of danger and you also see change as a threat, so you play it safe and try to protect what you think you have. You are highly goal oriented and get your sense of meaning and purpose by your list of accomplishments. If you are not accomplishing something bigger and better, you feel like a failure. You are generally highly stressed and often comment to others how stressed and busy you are as a badge of honor” (Finerminds). You experience, “issues of personal power and self-esteem, our inner critic comes out. Fears of rejection, criticism, physical appearances” (Mind Body Green).

 

 

4th Chakra - Heart Chakra

 

Color: Green

 

Location: At the center of the chest near the heart

 

Signs You Are In Balance:

“When this chakra is balanced we feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely, trust is gained”(Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

“It is where the physical and spiritual come together. Located at the exact center of the chest, it corresponds not only to the heart but your lungs, thymus gland, and your cardiac plexus” (Mind Valley). Signs of imbalance may include, “asthma, heart disease, lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems, arm and wrist pain” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Emotional Imbalance:

“Emotional imbalances include issues of the heart; over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness” (Mind Body Green). “Signs your heart chakra may be blocked include feelings of shyness and loneliness. If you have an inability to forgive or a tendency to lack empathy, then you may be leading with your head more often than your heart. An overpowering chakra can include feelings of codependency, and looking outward for acceptance or fulfillment. Intense jealousy or harsh judgment of others is also a red flag” (Mind Body Green).

 

 

5th Chakra - Throat Chakra

 

Location: Throat

 

Color: Lighter blue

 

Signs You are in Balance:

“When this chakra is balanced, we have free flowing of words, expression, communication. We are honest and truthful yet firm. We are good listeners” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

“Physical imbalances include thyroid issues, sore throats, laryngitis, TMJ, ear infections, ulcers, any facial problems (chin, cheek, lips, tongue problems) neck and shoulder pain” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Emotional Imbalance:

“A blocked throat chakra can significantly impact your ability to communicate effectively for fear of ridicule and judgement. A throat chakra blockage can also manifest as the inability to express and realize your truth in the world. You may find yourself unable to speak your truth when you need it the most, or holding back on expressing your needs and desires. Perhaps, you long for realizing your dreams and living with a strong and clear purpose” (Chakras.info). You may experience, “emotional imbalances include issues of self-expression through communication, both spoken or written. Fear of no power or choice. No willpower or being out of control” (Mind Body Green).

 

 

6th Chakra - Third Eye

 

Location: in the brain, behind the middle of your eyebrows or the center of your forehead

 

Color: Indigo or darker blue

 

Signs You Are In Balance:

“When this chakra is balanced we feel clear, focused, and can determine between truth and illusion. We are open to receiving wisdom and insight” (Mind Body Green). “An open and strong sixth chakra will enable you to spend most of your time in relaxed flow mode and to tap into inner wisdom and intuition which is really guidance from your own soul” (Finerminds).

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

Signs of imbalance include, “frequent headaches, upper/frontal sinus conditions, neurological disorders, disorders of the eyes or ears, disorders of the outer brain” (Finerminds).

 

Signs of Emotional Imbalance:

“A closed or blocked sixth chakra will keep you stuck in analytical, busy, churn mode, which is exhausting and stressful. You spend much of your day in analytical, churn mode, trying to figure everything out and getting frustrated when you can’t.  You are often highly attached to things turning out the way you want them to or think they should, so life is experienced as a constant emotional roller coaster. You feel up when things seem to be going your way and down when they don’t” (Finerminds). “Emotional imbalances include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection; An inability to look at ones own fears, and to learn from others. Day-dream often and live in a world with exaggerated imagination” (Mind Body Green).

 

 

7th Chakra - Crown Chakra

 

Location: The top of your head - "right where you had a, 'soft spot' as a little baby that eventually closed off when you were a toddler. Many people believe that little babies communicate directly with divine realms because their crown chakras are so open and strong” (Finerminds)

 

Color: Violet

 

Signs You Are In Balance:

“The crown chakra deals with your connection to the divine within you and all around you, and it is weakened by all forms of earthly attachments” (Finerminds). “We live in the present moment. We have an unshakeable trust in our inner guidance” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Physical Imbalance:

“Physical imbalance include depression, inability to learn, sensitivity to light, sound, environment” (Mind Body Green).

 

Signs of Emotional Imbalance:

“You feel disconnected to the divine in you and around you. You only believe what you can sense with your five physical senses to be real. You have a condescending  skepticism towards the spiritual and metaphysical. You have an “everyone for themselves” attitude toward life. You see everything and everyone as separate and distinct from you; You have a strong attachment to possessions and relationships, and define yourself by what you have and who you are in a relationship with. By attachment I mean that your sense of purpose and well being is attached to your property and your relationships with others” (Finerminds). 

 

 

How to Balance the Body, Move Energy or Unblock a Chakra

 

According to Eastern medicine there are, “energetic ways of healing the body” (Quora).  For example, “practices like yoga and meditation on these subtle channels of energy, support the flow of energy through the body.  Yoga postures were created to increase electrical conductivity” and “concentration on the chakras while performing yoga stimulates the flow of energy through the chakras and helps to activate them" (Quora and Sadhana Yoga).

 

Tantra, acupuncture, reiki massage and Pranayama and Kundalini yoga are more ways to maintain proper energy flow within the body. Even dancing to yourself helps to encourage energy flow. In general, “the energy that radiates from your chakras sets your thoughts and feelings into action” (Sadhana Yoga).

 

“The best way to start balancing them is to start at the root chakra and work your way up to the crown chakra” (Mind Body Green). I listed the locations and colors of each chakra in the descriptions above - whilst in meditation if you focus on the color and location of a chakra you are trying to unblock, it helps to unlock and bring energy flow there.

 

If you are looking for guidance or an energy healer, I highly recommend Lauren Harkness. She uses the power of tantra and sexual energy to help your body and mind better flow. If you are looking for a great kundalini yoga teacher I suggest Matisse Mulliez.  For in general information on all of this, Shaunda Brown is a great resource. 

 

xNana

 

 

 

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January 1, 2018

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Well, There's This

Disclosure: Always consult your doctor or qualified medical provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any suggested diets, exercises or other health related programs, especially if you have a medical condition. All materials on Well, There's This are intended for educational purposes only and are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or illness - speak to your doctor.