The ancient Hindu chakra symbols represent circular centers of energy. Each corresponds with glands and the six nerve plexuses that maintain chemical homeostasis, balances the body’s physical energy, and stabilizes mental and emotional functioning. By learning more about these energy centers, and understanding the function of each, we are able to appreciate that keeping our mind, body, and spirt in balance is a potential we have access to. When our energetic system is not in balance, our bodies will show us signs (in the form of disease, body discomfort, ect.) that our spirt and mind are in need of some focused attention. The purpose of this paper is to explore how literature and psychology have looked at the chakra system, and explore how we are able to heal the the imbalance in each of energy centers called, Chakras.
Chakras are energy vortices that were originally spoke aboprana. Yoga, a Sanskrit word that literally means “union” or “joining together,” has the purpose of unifying of body, emotion and mind by activating the chakras system (Judith, 2009)
“A chakra or force centre, is a junction on the surface of the etheric double where many strands of energy meet and pass one another – like major railway junctions. They receive and transmit energy and appear as dull, scarcely moving discs in the undeveloped person, but as rapidly whirling suns in the developed person. These centres are not physical things. They are whirlpools of force that swirl etheric, astral and mental matter into activity. The action being rotary, the result as seen clairvoyantly, us a circular effect, like a fiery wheel (Mollon, 2008).”
Alice Bailey who suggested that the word “ether” is a generic term covering the ocean of energy body which are all interrelatedand which constitute that one synthetic energy of our planet, the etheric or energy body, therefore, of every human being is an integral part of the etheric body of the planet itself (Laszlo 2008). This etheric body regulates and organizes the energetic body’s mechanisms. It represents a blueprint of the physical body; it assists in maintaining it and therefore the etheric body is the most important from the healing point of view. Hungarian holistic healer Maria Sagi, PhD explains “Chakras belong to the unseen part of the body, the ‘etheric body’, or better the bio-energy field that governs and regulates the visible biochemical, bio-molecular and cellular body” (Szabo, 2016).
Between each chakra, energy flows. Energetic threads, or nadis, are the connecting forces that interlock charkas to each other. The chakra-nadi models originated in India, and is a models that describe the flow of universal energy within the body. Part of the chakra-nadi model uis the meridian system, comprising of a network of conduits through which energy and blood circulate, connecting the internal organs with the external environment and transmitting energy between them (Hsiung, et al., 2015). The universal energy flows through the subtle layers surrounding the dense physical body and enters into the physical body via the chakra, nadi, and meridian systems and outward to the cells, tissues and organs, and the rest of the physical body. The chakra system corresponds to the endocrine glands and the six nerve plexuses that maintain chemical homeostasis (Nelson, 1994), balances the body’s physical energy, and stabilizes mental and emotional functioning (Judith, 2004, 2009; Nelson, 1994). Meridians are conduit systems through which the prana/chi or life force flows throughout the body to the nerves, blood vessels, and organs (Stein, 1995).
Chakras, not being physical entities, can be looked at in the same way that feelings and ideas are not physical entities, yet exist. A comfortable way to look at the charka system is to think of it as bioenergetic centers located along the spine into the skull. Dr. Richard Gerber, author of the classic text
, detailed in especially great depth the features of “the human bioenergetic system” (Gerber, 1988). He mapped out the many interconnections among the human subtle-energy bodies, the chakras and nadis, the meridian system, the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, the body’s major physiological systems, and the “bioelectronic” and “crystalline energy” systems that mediate communication among these elements. He concluded, “The total balance and health of the human organism is a product of a balanced and coordinated functioning of both physical and higher dimensional homeostatic regulatory systems” (Gerber, 1988).
Chakra patterns are thought to be programmed deep in the core of the mind, body, connection; Nelson (1994) describes the seven chakras as way of integrate body, mind, and spirit. Just as our emotions can, and do, effect our breathing, the flow of energy into our chakras can effect our glandular processes, chronic physical aliments, emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Anandamurti. (1990) Yoga Psychology. Translated by Vijayananda Avadhuta and Jayanta Kumar. Calcutta: Ananda Marga Publications.
Best, C.K. (2010) A Chakra system Model of Lifespan Development. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. 29(2), pp. 11-27.
Gerber R. (1988) Vibrational Medicine: New Choices for Healing Ourselves. Bear & Co: Santa Fe, NM.
Hsiung, W.T.; Chang, Y.C.; Yeh, M.L.; Chang, Y.H. (2015) Acupressure improves the postoperative comfort of gastric cancer patients: randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 23(3), 339-346.
Judith, A. (2009) Wheels of life: A user’s guide to the chakra system. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn.
Judith, A. (2004) Eastern body, western mind: Psychology and the chakra system as a path to self. New York, NY: Celestial Arts.
Lazar, S. W., Kerr, C. E., Wasserman, R. H., Gray, J. R., Greve, D. N., Teadway, M. T., . . . Fischl, B. (2005). Meditation expereince is associated with increased cortical thickness. Neurorport, 16(17), 1893-1897.
Leadbeater, C. W. (1927). The Chakras: An Authoritive Edition of the Groundbreaking Classic (2 ed.). Wheaton, Illinios: Theosophical Pulblishing House
Mollon, P. (2008). Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy. London, United Kingdom: Karnac Books.
Nelson, J. E. (1994). Healing the split: Integrating spirit into our understanding of the mentally ill. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Szabo, G. (2016) The Subtle Body in Eastern and Western Traditions. Accessed on March 8, 2016 from academia.edu.
Stein, D. (1995). Essential Reiki: A complete guide to an ancient healing art. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press Inc.
White, David Gordon (2012). Yoga in Practice. Princeton University Press 2012, pp.14.