In our mainstream culture filled with modern day hippie's - I am referring to myself here... and other like minded individual's! In essence these are soul's, much like myself, who are just trying to find their place in this world.
What I have found is that the word chakra gets thrown out into the universe a lot but is this subtle energy system properly understood? Especially, those who hear the word because it is trendy but have never delved into understanding its meaning. I am just scratching the surface here and have been for the last year when it comes to energy, how to understand and heal yourself... yet I have so much left to learn.
What does this word mean? Well, it is a Sanskrit word that means wheel or disc depending on the text you are referring to. Chakra's are energy points within the body, seven of these wheels are the most influential and therefore the most popular. Each chakra is assigned to a region within the body (specific organs in the vicinity), has a specific gland within the endocrine system and are located within the spine.
In turn, these organs influence the chakras, and our emotions, and these emotions influence the chakras and these organs... It is a synergistic relationship that relies heavily on balance. Imbalance can lead to blockages which can cause intense emotional and physical symptoms and or ailments.
When I first went to Bali (where I went to yoga school) this topic of energy systems made me uncomfortable. Why? Well because I have been science based for so long that I questioned the reliability and credibility of this phenomenon. However, I was open to learning because these systems pop up in various cultures independently across the world.
Other cultures or belief system's that have these energy systems/wheels that are similar to Hinduism/Yogic philosophy include the Cherokee indigenous communities. Additionally, you can see energy systems comparable in Tibetan Buddhism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Japanese Shiatsu, Reiki healers, and in Hermetic traditions seen in Egypt, Persia and India.
Parallel beliefs have sprouted up over the past 5,000 years, so who am I to discredit that because western medicine is young and could for all I know be behind in this understanding?
So to challenge myself I have spent this past year observing, noticing, listening, sensing and feeling. Truthfully, there is an uncanny correlation between emotional distress, physical distress/symptoms and how/why they are manifesting. In turn, I have seen a trend among these energy channels within us leading to ailments and illness.
In the western world we call it the nervous system. The part of the nervous system referred to as the autonomic nervous system. There are two components of this nervous system. One side of this coin is our fight or flight state, known as the sympathetic nervous system. The flip side to that coin is rest or digest state, known as the parasympathetic nervous system. These two portions are in constant fight for dominance. Our stress induced culture means most of us spend most of our time in the stress state of fight or flight, versus the more calming state. What does this mean? Well I wont go on a side rant, at least not this time, on the rapid increase of cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental illness diagnosis's but the two (stress and disease) are correlated.
Perhaps addressing these specific energy area's could allow for a release, helping the energy within us to flow freely. What could this mean? It means more balance and less disease. It allows us to be our own self reliant healing system. I notice characteristics tied to specific chakra's that could very well mean I have blockages.
When I was 17 I injured my lower back, really close to the muladhara (root chakra) and Swadisthana (sacral chakra), its a chronic injury that I live with. These chakra's are tied to love, fear, financial security and distress and self acceptance and rejection. Perhaps the issues in my lower back are related to a blockage in these chakra's? Perhaps my insecurity that is tired to finances and stability are tied to this energy wheel being blocked?
When I am stressed out, physiologically I become ill in the area's around my pelvis. This leads to infections and upset's that I don't really feel the need to label or write here. However, I think you get the point... Additionally, when I get stressed I feel like my mind spins out of control and snowballs down feeling a complete disconnect with my body. I no longer feel as grounded or secure, causing me to pause and question whether I trust myself... It is as if an internal spider web is completely filled with kinks. But it all connects doesn't it?
The difficulty is seeing what came first the chicken or the egg... or perhaps that doesn't even matter?
These energy wheels are tied to the endocrine system which has specific glands that secrete various hormones within the body. These are our messenger glands responsible for communicating and sending vital information throughout our body. if these glands are in dysfunction, what the hell is going on with our body?
This week I challenge you to check in with your body and see if there is a connection between the physical and the emotional self. Start questioning your emotions and seeing if you have an ailment in some part of the body. It is a starting point, a road map to self discovery and understanding.
Image from the Andes in Cuzco, Peru