The base chakra, also known as the root, is one of the seven primary energy centres of the human body and is situated around the perineum at the bottom of the spine with its direction facing downwards, between the legs. The Sanskrit word ‘Muladahara’ is another term for this chakra, which translates into ‘root support’.
In eastern teachings the base chakra is said to have four petals and vibrates at the lowest frequency of the seven primary energy centres. Within the colour spectrum, red is the lowest vibrational rate, which is the colour of this chakra.
While each chakra has a specific focus and role in the running of the body’s energy system, and in terms of one’s development in life, they all interact together through sharing information.
After we come into the world, as this chakra develops it becomes the foundation for our mental and emotional health. The base chakra relates directly to human instructional behaviour and the primary matters of life, such as physical safety, sex and security. The power we have over others also ties into this, as well as control of the material world. Our ability to feel connected to the Earth strongly relates to this chakra — a person who feels very peaceful and centred while they spend time in their garden, will likely have a very good flow of energy coming through this energy centre.
In Wheels of Light, Rosalyn L. Bruyere says, ‘In the first chakra, to be aware is to be tactile. Nothing happens until it happens in the first charka; and nothing has happened until we sense it, until we feel it in a tactile way, until it touches us… Our interaction with our environment is dependent upon our own body’s ability to simultaneously record and make us aware of the occurrence of some event or experience.’
The strongest development period for the base chakra, is from when we are born, until about the age of five. It is crucial that we have a balanced and healthy upbringing during these years, otherwise we can manifest a number of energetic based issues within our emotional and psychological state, which can turn into physical health problems later on in life. The simple things, such as how much love we receive, the availability of food, our shelter, and if we are looked after well, can greatly impact the growth of this chakra.
Within Working with your Chakras, Ruth White notes, ‘A child for example, needs a rich variety of play opportunities. Play is in fact ‘work’ for a young child. Children of this age must climb, touch, feel, squeeze, hear, taste, smell and observe their surroundings. These experiences are not only necessary for the development of understanding about life, but also to rooting into and accepting incarnation.’
Caroline Myss teaches that the first chakra is associated with the group consciousness surrounding not only the family we grow up with, but the local culture as well, as there are laws within society that directly affect our development. Family beliefs and traditions therefore form and support the formation of our identity, as well as our emotional and mental stability. Many illnesses can manifest based on a dysfunctional family, such as patterns of alcoholism, multiple personalities and obsessive compulsive disorders. Myss also states that viral and other epidemics are a reflection of social and cultural group issues, including the health of such groups, and we can pick up on these illnesses if our base chakras personal fears and general attitude, is similar to those held by the larger group or culture. If we are able to move beyond the teachings of our culture, those of which are not accurate to how things really are, and move on to find the real truths, our spiritual power will grow along with an improvement in our health.
Fear plays a big role in relation to our health. A person who develops a very strong and intense fear, based on a specific situation, can end up becoming more vulnerable to disease. A person who lives in a regular state of fear, and who generally feels unsafe in the world, may develop energetic imbalances in the base chakra. As an example, those who have experienced the turmoils of war, including the emotional suffering as a result, could also have an imbalance manifest in this centre.
There are specific fears and insecurities that correspond to the health of the base chakra, such as not being able to support oneself or family, the feeling you are on your own and unsupported, and the sense of not belonging anywhere.
Energetic imbalances can reflect the overall strength to support your body, the health of your legs, as well as the hip joints and base of your spine, which includes the pelvic area. A few common issues that can arise are: rectal difficulties, cancer, sciatica and lower back pain.
Having a healthy base chakra can support a person with manifesting their goals and dreams, which ties into our state of being grounded in life. Through healing this energy centre, a need for greater self-nourishment and changing attitudes can emerge, as well as the return of sexual desire, if that was lacking. A healthier base chakra supports and enhances the health of the next chakra above, that being the sacral.
The energy field of the base chakra is imprinted with some of the information around our soul contract — the reasons why we are here on Earth, and the plan we made before being born. Through becoming aware, as well as open to this information, including the possibility of reincarnation, we can not only improve the health of the base chakra, but as a result we can begin to lose that feeling which we may have, around life being a burden — as our difficulties can take on a new perspective that gives us a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
The sacral chakra, located between the genitals and the navel, emits a orange coloured energy and contains six petals, based on eastern teachings. In Sanskrit this energy centre is known as, Svadhisthana, which translates to, “one’s own abode”. “Svad”, refers to root, which means “to taste sweet”, or, “to taste with pleasure, to enjoy or take delight.”
The sacral chakra is about choice, controlling our lives through making decisions and also covers our basic survival instincts and intuitions. It is the centre for our creativity, feelings and emotions. It holds a focus around our financial situations, sexuality, power in relationship dynamics and social interactions. This chakra can be particularly important to females, as a lot of their life energy is stored within. The areas of the body which this centre is more closely linked to, are the female reproductive system, abdominal organs, lower vertebrae, hips, pelvis, bladder, appendix and sexual organs.
When using our intuition in connection to this chakra, we can find creative solutions to spiritual, mental and physical problems. This chakra also contains the energy around the development and ongoing functioning of our individual ethics and morals.
The health issues that arise as a result of imbalances are based on fears we may have in relation to losing control and can create problems such as prostate or ovarian cancer, arthritis, chronic pain in the lower back and hips, menopause problems, kidney problems, candida, fertility issues, appendix disorders and sexual diseases.
If we are out of balance and in an unhealthy state of mind with regards to our sexuality, health issues can also arise. Sexually traumatic events of the past can play a big role within this chakra’s development.
With our financial situation, if we feel we are not earning what we are worth or have anxiety and problems around financial difficulties, then imbalances can manifest and in turn create disease.
With relationships, those who feed our security, or betray it, can negatively affect this chakra. The theory of cause and effect plays a big role here — we attract into our lives what we need to learn and overcome in connection to relationships with others. Caroline Myss states that, “We can more easily see the symbolic value of our relationships when we release our compulsion to judge what and who has value and instead focus on honouring the person and the task which we are involved.”
From around the age of five, up until about eight years old, this chakra starts to develop more strongly. This is around the time children start interacting more with others, as they become independent and form relationships, based on their ability to make their own choices.
During these years it’s important for children to learn to share and respect others and learn self-worth. Caroline Myss says, “When self-worth becomes attached to external objects, such as money or power, a person’s self-worth is then determined solely by how much material gain is acquired.” Having positive and loving recognition from those supporting the child is important for developing healthy mature relationships later on in life.
With regards to sexuality when growing up, based on transpersonal psychology, anything which is condemned, suppressed, or surrounded by guilt, may manifest into shadow based psychological issues. As a result, this later controls us in a very negative way and can impact the growth and health of this chakra.
Because of how we live in a society where so many are forced into a ‘norm’, such as in the class room setting, children — especially gifted individuals — can suffer. Those who don’t fit into the ‘system’ when growing up, can develop imbalances within the sacral chakra and this can heavily influence their creativity. If strong imbalances develop in connection to having our creativity, there is the possibility that later on in life a person can end up in a mental institution, or even prison.
When the energy of the sacral chakra is in a healthy state, this allows us to have a strong sense of identity and personal boundaries.
The solar plexus chakra is located over the adrenal glands, just below the sternum and extends down to the navel. The Sanskrit name associated with this energy centre is, ‘Manipura’, which translates to “lustrous gem”. Based on eastern teachings, it has ten petals.
The energetic focus is that of identity in connection to the ego — it holds our personal power. A strong and healthy solar plexus helps us to ‘stand up’ for ourselves when interacting with others. Our secrets, fears, personal ambitions, sense of responsibility and respect for our own strengths and weaknesses are all tied into the energy of this chakra. Cyndi Dale states, “…it functions as the storage house for the judgements, opinions, and beliefs we have gathered about ourselves and the world. These judgements in turn effect our self-esteem and self-confidence.”
This is the area of the body where we sense the butterfly feeling when we are nervous and are not feeling confident or powerful.
Our intuition is closely connected to this centre as we develop more of a sense of self and start to take notice of that gut instinct. The state of this chakra does cause us to keep checking in to evaluate our sense of self-worth to the world. As we build upon our personal power, we step away from the authority laid down upon us from society and as we enhance this centre, our spirit and energy body becomes stronger. We can sometimes naturally leave behind attachments to negative situations, and people, as we step more into our power.
The parts of the body this centre corresponds to are the digestive system, sight, vision, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, middle-spine, adrenals, upper intestines, kidneys, liver, adrenal glands and the spleen. The illnesses which can form from imbalances relate to our issues around self-responsibility, fear of rejection, self-esteem (including one’s physical appearance), and being too sensitive to criticism.
People that end up feeling very overwhelmed with responsibility can manifest health related issues; common problems that can arise as a result are gastritis, esophagitis, indigestion, heart burn and abdominal pains caused by ulcers. Other health problems that can manifest because of a person’s fear and anger around their lack of personal power, are anorexia and bulimia, nauseas, flu, cancer, pancreatitis, diabetes, kidney difficulties, hepatitis and adrenal gland dysfunctions.
The initial development of this chakra takes place around the ages of eight to twelve, including the time we go through puberty. During these years we are forming a stronger ego, or ‘self’, as we strengthen our state as an individual. As a child, we also learn interpersonal relationships skills during this time and this is when a person starts trusting their own instincts in life. Caroline Myss states, “It’s crucial for a child to experience respect and validation for his or her expressions of individuality during this time, as this becomes the foundation for self-confidence, self-respect, and belief in oneself.”
Imbalances in this centre can also occur later on in life, if a child was pushed too hard or too soon with adult based responsibilities. Ruth White provides an example in her book, Working With Your Chakras, which goes on to say that a person who was sent to boarding school at an early age can hold a lot of unexpressed grief which needs to be explored and healed. She explains that children need subtle growing impendence with continued holding, softness and loving. The choices a child makes around this age can have long term implications, as bitterness and resentment can build over time, if there is not enough opportunity for choice.
The Sanskrit name, ‘Anahata’, describes the heart chakra, which is located around the level of the physical heart in the centre of the body. Anahata can mean, ‘clean’, ‘unhurt’, ‘fresh’, ‘unstuck’ and also ‘a sound that is made without any two things striking.’ This energy centre is said to have twelve petals.
Within the heart chakra, emotions are converted into feelings; this is our spiritual centre and a place of love, compassion and relationship energy. It is the meeting point for the energies that flow up and down, from the other energy centres; it has the role of integrating and balancing our being. The heart energy of this area, including the physical heart, works in combination to determine the health and strength of our spirit and body.
Spiritual teacher, the Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo, says, ‘Much of our transformation process, especially at the level of emotions, occurs through the lungs and the energy bridge or doorway behind the heart.’
The heart centre is closely connected into the thymus gland, which is known as the master immune gland of our body — broader based health issues can arise as a result of the thymus gland being in an unhealthy state.
The energy of this chakra is linked into the lungs, shoulders, arms, hands, diaphragm, ribs, heart and circulatory system. When this chakra has an imbalance in specific relation to the lungs, health conditions that can arise are asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. Some people may feel an absence of love in their lives; this can end up causing the flu, but if the absence is very strong, a life threatening illness may manifest. Bitterness, resentment and hatred towards others — the opposite of love — can lead to heart disease.
Ongoing grief and chronic depression, as a result of experiencing great loss, can be a cause for cancer to develop. Richard Gerber, M.D, says that loneliness is linked to an increased mortality rate with heart attacks. In his book, Vibrational Medicine, he goes on to say, ‘Individuals who feel loved and supported by friends and family or even by a loving pet (such as a dog or a cat) tend to have higher survival rates following heart attacks than other cardiac patients who experience loneliness and a sense of social isolation.’
From around the age of 12–15, the heart chakra starts to more fully develop. Ruth White says, ‘If the young person is to develop maturity and self-assurance as an adult, permission and recognition must be given by the parents of the opposite sex from puberty onwards.’ As we grow though these ages, we need loving reinforcement from our parents to help us with building our sense of self-worth, otherwise we will have trouble expressing love for others, or feeling love for ourselves, during adulthood; too much love can impair our psychological development and health, based on imbalances manifesting within the heart chakra.
Trauma experienced during this developmental stage can be the cause of health problems later in life. Those who are abused and neglected can develop serious emotional problems and relationship difficulties — love can end up being associated with pain, as a result. Over anxious mothering can lead to illnesses such as eczemas and asthmas.
Caroline Myss states that if a child does not develop a balanced situation around learning how to give love, share love and be concerned about the well-being of others as the child steps away from being the ‘centre of the universe’, they can in-turn become self-centred, thoughtless and very demanding later on in life. In her book The Creation of Health, she says, ‘Without an adequate sense of personal power, for instance, it is not possible to learn to give love and trust others without manipulation or insecure behaviour. Emotional neglect can lead to a person becoming bitter, insensitive and perhaps even cruel.’
Through the development and healing of this chakra, we learn to not only forgive and provide compassion for others, as well as ourselves, we also come to understand that the energy of love is the most powerful energy there is. If we come to accept the possibility that there is a larger plan in place, and that we are playing a role within it — with freewill — this will go towards helping us detach and release the emotional pain from the past; for healing to take place, it is important to acknowledge and then let go of such attachments.
Acting as a gateway for choice, communication and transpersonal expression, the throat chakra is known as, ‘Visuddha’, in Sanskrit, which means ‘especially pure’. Its location is directly over the thyroid gland and larynx. In eastern based teachings it is said to have sixteen petals.
The emotional struggles around our power to make decisions is a very important aspect of this centre, as all illness has some form of connection to the throat chakra since choice is involved in everything that we do.
In Anodea Judith’s book, Wheels of Life, she describes this energy centre as being, ‘…the centre of dynamic creativity, of synthesizing old ideas into something new. Its attributes include listening, speaking, writing, chanting, telepathy, and any of the arts — especially those related to sound and language.”
Communication creates the future — in Hindu teachings it is said that everything is made up of sound. When we put something out there, we are not only taking action through choice, to create, but we are also sending out thoughts that are energy.
Part of the healing and development process of the throat chakra involves seeking fulfilment through having an outlet for one’s talents and finding our voice so that we can stand up fully and be heard.
From holding back and not expressing what we really want to say, blockages in this chakra may form, and eventually illness. Common health issues that can arise from imbalances are: teeth problems, gum difficulties, mouth and throat cancer, raspy throat and chronic sore throat problems, jaw misalignment, re-occurring cold sores, scoliosis, stiff neck, tension headaches formed at the base of the neck, swollen glands and thyroid conditions, tonsillitis and laryngitis.
While the fear of having no power of choice or authority over our lives can go towards creating energetic imbalances, Caroline Myss explains that if we also fear the situation of being part of a larger self, such as source/god or even some form of over-soul, our health and spirituality can be negatively impacted.
The throat centre is also the centre of our will, which can lead to substance abuse problems, including addictions to drugs, alcohol, excessive eating and even gambling. When we make conscious and morale choices — the right ones — we can bring this centre back into balance and improve its health. A healthy diet, exercise, regular meditation and positive thinking, can all help the health of the throat chakra.
The development age of this centre is from 15-21. This is when we begin to take on more responsibility and run into life’s pressures. If far-reaching choices are made too soon, which can sometimes relate to fulfilling the expectations of others, a person can end up going through a stronger mid-life crisis. If our personal willpower is interfered with during this period of time, a number of problems later on in life can arise. If one feels they have no voice, they will manifest fears around personal expression. If self-expression issues arise during a young age, the inability to communicate feelings will manifest and cause issues later on in life, specifically impacting heavily on intimate relationships.
In her book, Working With Your Chakras, Ruth White explains, ‘When the three upper chakras are open and developed, an increasing sense of the need to serve humanity, without living in isolation, is often experienced. Service to the collective becomes necessary and intrinsic part of self-growth and awareness.’
When more fully formed, expression via the throat chakra links directly into one’s spiritual qualities; interpreting and responding to our higher purpose becomes paramount — acting with strong intention and conviction helps this centre’s growth, all while our connection to soul and our higherself, heightens.
Understanding that our thoughts and feelings around choice create energy which gets put out into the world, can help us become more honest, which is very important; if you are not true to yourself, your health will be impacted. Letting go and coming to understand that we may have a planned path in life, including a soul contract, while gaining the power of voice through strengthening this chakra, we can not only enhance our personal power, but we can move more fully into our life’s purpose. This situation can be thought of as each of us acting out our roles in life’s grand play.
The Sanskrit word, ‘Ajna’, associated with the third eye chakra, means, ‘to perceive, to command.’ Located slightly above eye level, in the centre of the forehead, this is the energy centre of true wisdom. When we move beyond our thoughts and beliefs, we access not only our intuition, but our psychic senses as well.
This chakra is primarily involved with the processing of what goes on within our mind and has a strong connection to our intellect. It is linked into the pituitary gland, which regulates the endocrine and hormonal functions.
In his book, A practical guide to Vibrational Medicine, Richard Gerber, M.D, states, ‘The endocrine glands are part of a powerful master control system that affects… the body from the level of cellular gene activation on up to the function of the central nervous system. The chakras are thus able to affect our moods and behaviour through hormonal influences on brain activity.’
Belief plays an important role, in terms of further opening up our third eye chakra. Our beliefs are sometimes challenged with situations that can force us to re-revaluate our understandings. Such situations are part of our spiritual development, as the state of our energetic system, in combination with our higher self, form new experiences in life that act as a catalyst for change, specifically when it comes to belief — belief can hold us back. As we become more open minded and embrace additional ideas, we develop self-awareness and the energy of our third eye chakra expands.
Energy blocks can occur from ignoring, and not being able to see, specific aspects of our lives. Sometimes situations are too painful to approach. We might also have constraints based on our cultural values and family beliefs. Some people can become very selfish with their actions, while ignoring and/or being unaware of the impact that they have on others; through taking more notice of others, we can further help to develop and improve the energy of the third eye chakra. This situation also ties into our emotions and ego, as they are usually what lies behind our decisions; our emotions can override our intellect when we act out of anger, jealousy, or even lust.
Gerber says, ‘…as we start to mature spiritually and allow ourselves to become more open to new ideas and information about ourselves and the world we live in, we will also begin to make a spiritual shift in consciousness.’
Diseases that can manifest as a result of imbalances in this chakra, are: progressive blindness, deafness, neurological disorders, brain tumours, tension headaches and migraines, nightmares, brain haemorrhages, full spinal difficulties, eyestrain, anxiety , nervousness (including nervous breakdowns), comas, depression, schizophrenia, grand mal seizures, learning disabilities and blurred vision.
In childhood the energy of this centre is connected into our learning as well as the development of intelligence and reasoning skills. Caroline Myss says that parents who teach a child to think through their difficulties, can greatly assist the growth of this chakra. Children should be able to express their feelings and emotions, after an event, but the situation around how they feel should be discussed, and never disregarded. Myss explains that children should be taught to, ‘discern the significance these events might hold for them’, in addition to being taught how to think and react appropriately in such situations.
Sri Aurobindo, an Indian yogi, was once quoted as saying, ‘In order to see, you have to stop being in the middle of the picture.’ Detachment plays an important role in higher developmental stages of the third eye chakra. This is attained as one moves beyond ego, emotion and belief traps; as a result, external events are handled through the heart space — our consciousness becomes much more attuned to a greater picture beyond our physical reality.
As a person becomes more in touch with their inner being, through spiritual advancement, which is greatly assisted through meditation, a healthier lifestyle and changing the way they think, they will naturally come to develop their third eye chakra through introspection, self-awareness and personal accountability — fear can greatly hold a person back, in this regard.
When the third eye is more fully opened, we can feel a sense of completeness and obtain a greater insight into our existence. As we come to understand that the power of the mind can create our own individual reality, through self-manifestation and strong intentions we can also self-heal.
The crown chakra is the energy centre which plays a more direct role in connecting us to our origin. In Sanskrit, ‘Sahasrara’, is associated with this chakra and means, ‘Thousandfold’, which refers to the number of petals it contains, based on observations made by those with the ability to sense the chakras. The top of our head, facing directly up, is the location and direction of this chakra.
As the relationship with ourselves strengthens, so does this chakra. In combination with resolving energy imbalances and the unhealthy states of our lower six chakras, we really start to truly come into our own power, in a much greater sense, as we connect further into our intuitive nature.
While journeying along the spiritual path, we will become aware of a world and greater consciousness outside of our five senses; this chakra provides a gateway into that world. As our understandings form through life’s experiences, this conduit to spirit can provide us with direct access to the database of knowledge containing all answers — we find further clarity through the healthy functioning of this energy centre.
From questioning our purpose in life and why we are here, we open doors in connection to this chakra, and those doors lead to higher aspects of our selves, including source — commonly referred to as god.
In Richard Gerber’s book, A practical guide to Vibrational Medicine, he says, ‘There is a part of us, our divine essence if you will, that at times seeks to be reunited with the energy of the creator. When we block that divine urge, we also block the natural flow of subtle energy through the crown chakra.’
Beyond our third dimensional relationship with ourselves, we begin to establish a relationship to our soul and higher self – with the crown chakra playing an important role — which leads us to the understanding that we are energetic conscious individuals, in a physical human body, part of a larger life force, farther behind our current focus.
Having a connection to our cerebral cortex and higher brain functions, this centre also links into our nervous and muscle systems, our skin and skeletal structure.
When the energy of the crown chakra is in an unhealthy state, issues that can arise are: depression, alienation, paralysis, genetic disorders, boredom, bone problems (including bone cancer), inability to learn, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Caroline Myss teaches that the following situations can all go towards creating energetic imbalances, which can manifest into health related problems:
A person’s primary profession can bring much discontent. Through changing what we do on a day to day basis, and finding our true life purpose, we can help to resolve crown chakra imbalances.
From refusing to take notice of the guidance coming to us, and ignoring our spiritual make-up including our ongoing pull to learn what exactly we are, we can negatively affect the state of our crown chakra — this can lead us to depression and ongoing fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia can be caused by a low level of energy activity in the crown chakra.
Through a healthy functioning crown chakra, guidance coming through — which may be from dreams, inspirational ideas, prophetic visions, psychic messages and connections to other beings — will be more noticeable.
As our seven primary chakras move into a more balanced and natural state, the common saying, ‘like attracts like’, becomes more apparent. What we put out, we get back, as our intentions in life add to our future experiences. Those challenging situations of the past become no longer necessary, as we progress ahead, along our path — life becomes less of a struggle —and we begin to shine brightly; more time and energy is made available, assisting us with making a real difference, a difference that involves helping others. As a consequence, based on attracting what we give out, positive situations and opportunities appear, some being rather unexpected.
A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine, Richard Gerber, M.D., Quill (2000)
Working With Your Chakras, Ruth White, Piatkus (1993)
The Creation of Health, Caroline Myss, PhD & C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Bantam Books (1988)
Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss, PhD, Bantam Books (1996)
Wheels of Life, Anodea Judith, PhD, Llewellyn (1987)
New Chakra Healing, Cyndi Dale, Llewllyn (1996)