Chakras have become more well-known with the growth of alternative care therapies and philosophies gifted to the Western World by Eastern Medicine. They are a complex and ancient energy system that originated in India and were first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge dating from 1500 to 1000 BC.
Chakra (cakra in Sanskrit) means “wheel” and refers to energy points in your body. You can envision them as spinning disks of energy that are important to have opened and aligned, as they each correspond to specific bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical well-being. Although Eastern Medicine recognizes 114 chakra centers, most alternative care practitioners work with the seven main chakras that run along your spine.
Seven Main Chakras
Root Chakra (First Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Muladhara (Mula meaning “root” and Adhara meaning “support” or “base”).
Location: The base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae.
Signs of Balance: Feelings of security, safety, and stability.
Signs of Imbalance: Anxiety, nightmares, fear, pain in the feet and legs, weight gain (particularly in the bottom half of the body), feelings of disconnect or alienation.
Sacral Chakra (Second Chakra)
Sanskrit Name Svadhisthana (meaning the “dwelling place of the self”).
Location: The lower abdomen below the tailbone (includes lower pelvis, womb, and genitals).
Signs of Balance: Feelings of creativity, playfulness, and sensual and sexual pleasure.
Signs of Imbalance: Addictive/compulsive behaviors, sexual dysfunction, fear of change, emotional instability. In the body, the sacral chakra connects with reproductive issues (infertility, impotence, or menstrual issues) and lower back, kidney, or stomach disorders.
Solar Plexus Chakra (Third Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Manipura (meaning "lustrous gem").
Location: In the abdomen above the belly button up to the breastbone.
Signs of Balance: Confident, motivated, purposeful, reliable, responsible.
Signs of Imbalance: Aggression, overly dominating toward others, low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, control issues, fatigue, overeating, excessive weight around the stomach, and digestive system disorders such as IBS, ulcers, hypoglycemia, and diabetes.
Heart Chakra (Fourth Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Anahata (meaning "unhurt" or "unstruck").
Location: Center of the chest.
Signs of Balance: The ability to love and forgive yourself and others, feeling a free flow of love and compassion.
Signs of Imbalance: Hatred, selfishness, jealousy, fear of betrayal, fear, distrust of themselves and others.
Throat Chakra (Fifth Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Vishuddha (meaning “especially pure”).
Location: The region of the throat, jaw, neck, mouth, and thyroid.
Signs of Balance: Speaking, listening, and expressing ourselves openly and authentically.
Signs of Imbalance: Difficulty tuning into the true self, the urge to hide opinions and desires from yourself and others, gossiping, dominating conversations, difficulty listening to others, sore throat, neck pain, shoulder pain, hormone fluctuation (relating to the thyroid).
Third Eye Chakra (Sixth Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Ajna (meaning “beyond wisdom”).
Location: The space between the eyebrows.
Signs of Balance: Strong intuition and inner wisdom, the release of the ego.
Signs of Imbalance: Being cynical, overly attached to external circumstances, holding tension in the head, causing headaches or vision problems.
Crown Chakra (Seventh Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Sahaswara (meaning the "thousand petal lotus").
Location: The crown of the head.
Signs of Balance: Feelings of enlightenment and a spiritual connection to our higher selves.
Signs of Balance: When this chakra is open, it is thought to help keep all the other chakras open and to bring the person bliss and enlightenment.
Signs of Imbalance: Happiness depends on external conditions, existential depression, narrow mindedness, greed and materialism, excessive egoism. The imbalance of the crown chakra can also manifest physically through headaches, fatigue, and mental illness.