What Are Chakras?
Chakras are referenced more and more in health and wellbeing these days, from yoga to meditation to direct energy work. So what exactly are they, and why are they relevant to health and life fulfillment?
What are the chakras?
Chakras are energy centres located up and down the front and back of the torso and head, that connect in to the spine. Each location in the spine has a front and a rear energy centre, which together act as a pair.
There are seven major chakras linking in to the spine, illustrated in the diagram:
- Base chakra: at the perineum, at the base of the spine, pointing downwards
- Sacral chakra: just below the navel, front and back
- Solar plexus chakra: in the upper abdomen, front and back
- Heart chakra: at the heart, front and back
- Throat chakra: at the throat, front and back
- Brow chakra: at the centre of the brow, front and back
- Crown chakra: at the crown of the head, pointing upwards
What do the chakras do?
The chakras have two main functions:
1. Metabolise energy
The chakras metabolise energy from the surrounding environment and use it to vitalise the body, in particular to vitalise the organs surrounding the chakra. This is analogous to the digestive system extracting nutrients from food intake to nourish and vitalise the body. The system needs a steady energy intake to stay healthy and vibrant.
2. Guide psychological development
The chakras also guide ongoing psychological and spiritual maturation.
What we experience as emotions and thoughts are energies. Each chakra metabolises a different wavelength spectrum of energy. Each of these wavelengths corresponds to a different range of emotional and psychological life experiences.
In a baby, the chakras are closed over with an energetic film. As the child matures, the film is released and the child’s intake of energy increases and expands. This process continues throughout life and ongoing maturity.
There is a natural progression up the energy spectrum covered by the chakras from the base to the crown. This progression also describes the logical developmental process of a child maturing, while learning about the world in ever-more sophisticated ways.
The smooth and clear functioning of each chakra increases as each life experience is completed and integrated, such that the chakra can absorb and transmit greater quantities of energy, and do so more clearly. The more energy travelling through a person’s chakras, and the more easily and clearly it does so, the stronger and broader the awareness of that person, and the healthier and more functional in the world.
What does each individual chakra do?
Each chakra governs a range of emotional and psychological functions that translate as life experiences. To deal harmoniously with those life experiences is to have clear and strong energy flow in that chakra, and a healthy and vitalised body in the surrounding area.
The maturation sequence builds from the base of the spine to the crown, corresponding to the energy wavelength spectrum of each chakra. Life experiences and energy wavelengths of each individual chakra are:
1. Base chakra
Experiences related to stability and safety in one’s personal world, and connection to one’s family are processed through the base chakra. The energy metabolised by the base chakra is of the slowest frequency, and corresponds to the visible spectrum of red.
2. Sacral chakra
The sacral chakra processes life experiences relating to creativity, pleasure, sexuality, abundance, and interpersonal relationships. The energy wavelength metabolised through the sacral corresponds to the orange colour spectrum.
3. Solar plexus chakra
Experiences of self-confidence, self-esteem and one’s relationship to the self are processed through the solar plexus centre. The energy taken in through this chakra is in the yellow spectrum.
4. Heart chakra
The heart chakra processes experiences of unconditional love, of all that exists in one’s world. The heart centre metabolises energy in the green wavelength spectrum.
5. Throat chakra
Life experiences relating to communication, self-expression and honouring one’s personal truth are processed through the throat centre. This chakra absorbs energy in the blue colour spectrum.
6. Brow chakra
The brow centre integrates experiences of insight, understanding, clarity of thought and intuition. The brow chakra metabolises energy in the spectrum of indigo – deep blue-purple.
7. Crown chakra
The crown chakra integrates experiences of spirituality, faith and trust in one’s unique place in the universe. The energy metabolised through the crown centre is in the violet spectrum – light purple to white.
A guide for psychological development
The developmental progression described by the life experiences of the chakras from base to crown holds many parallels in psychological and philosophical models. One example is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, describing the progressive attainment of higher achievements and levels of consciousness.
What happens when chakras are damaged?
Nobody gets a totally smooth ride through life. Challenges and traumas in life, starting as a baby, influence the chakras’ function. Emotional and belief patterns form in response, and the energy structure of the chakras is altered to accommodate them. This can slow down or block the energy intake, and it can also distort the energy flow.
This results in dysfunction in some way – emotional, psychological or physical, from minor quirks to strong dysfunction that can be debilitating.
How can chakras be repaired?
When dysfunction has occurred, the smooth flow of energy through the chakra needs to be restored, and the life experience from which the dysfunction formed needs to be normalised and a healthy way through it found.
The path to do this is unique to the individual, and the experience of doing so natural and normal – every person has challenges, and seeks a path from the impact of those challenges back to health and harmony. This is part of what life is for, as it draws us into new learning and awareness that we wouldn’t otherwise have encountered.
There are many ways to repair the energetic and psychological damage, and many supports available. Energetic Healing works directly on the chakras to repair damage and distortion on the energetic structures. Counselling and Life Coaching support the psychological healing required to integrate the challenging life experiences. The support relationship itself is also an important psychological factor. These are the therapies that I am most aligned with, and that I now specialise in supporting people through.
Where can I learn more?
Two exceptional books on the chakra system are:
The chakras provide a flexible, robust and unfailing guidance system through our personal journey through life. A deeper and more embodied awareness of their workings in your own system will guide your way to health, wellbeing and fulfillment.
If you’re seeking to heal personal chakra dysfunction, or challenges from life experiences, get in touch to discuss what will work best for you, with support available in person at the Bulimba wellness centre or via phone/Skype/distance.
Complimentary 15-minute Initial Consultation: available to talk further about your journey and current needs, and what holistic support will be most helpful for you.
About Elle Reynolds
Elle Reynolds is an Energy Therapist, Transpersonal Life Coach and Holistic Counsellor, specialising in life change and the deeper embodied experience of our energy systems. Her work merges cognitive learning and awareness with the felt sense of embodied inner knowing.
Elle works in private practice with personal appointments and workshops to support others in this journey. She lives in Brisbane, practicing in Bulimba and with phone-based appointments around Australia.
Contact Elle – she loves to connect.