Our subtle anatomy is composed of many thousands of pathways through which energy, (or prana, in Sanskrit) flows, connecting seven main vortexes of energy (chakras in Sanskrit), which are positioned along a central energy current that runs along the physical spine.
Each chakra is associated with an endocrine gland. There are also numerous smaller chakras located all over the body in the joints, organs, hands and bottoms of the feet. Chakras act as energy transformers, either stepping up or stepping down energy. They serve to step down energy from the Universal Energy Field into our Human Energy Field and nourish a particular area of the body. Each chakra holds and is activated by a frequency, the highest frequencies in the seventh chakra, and the lowest in the first.
The first, or root chakra corresponds to the earth element and is located at the base of the spine. It governs the feet, legs and pelvic floor and controls the adrenal glands. Muladhara affects our relationship to the material world. When it is balanced, we feel grounded and safe wherever we find ourselves but when out of balance, we may become spacey, confused, unsafe, and even depressed. Physical symptoms may include constipation, anemia, fatigue, lumbar and sciatic pain, frequent colds and flu and a feeling of cold in the extremities.
The second chakra corresponds to the element of water. Located in the pelvic region, it governs the reproductive organs and sexuality. When Swadhisthana is in balance, there is a healthy relationship to one’s creativity and sexuality and when out of balance we may experience decreased libido, lack of sensuality, creative blocks and depression. Physical symptoms of an imbalanced second chakra may include dysmenorrhea, infertility, impotency and frigidity, substance abuse, eating disorders, yeast infections such as candida, and urinary tract infections.
The third chakra corresponds to the element of fire. It is located in the abdominal region and governs the digestive system and pancreas. When Manipura is balanced, we are confident, enjoy a healthy self-esteem and are at peace with our place in the world. Out of balance we experience low self-esteem, lack of will power, nervousness, anxiety and memory problems. On the physical level, symptoms of an imbalanced third chakra may include digestive issues, hypoglycemia, diabetes, ulcers, poor bowel function, toxicity, parasites and colitis.
The fourth chakra corresponds to the air element. Located in the area of the heart, it governs our emotional state and controls the heart and thymus gland When balanced, Anahata opens our capacity for love and compassion for others. When out of balance, lack of empathy, fear of intimacy, and a feeling of passivity may result. Physical symptoms of an imbalanced fourth chakra may include heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disorders, chest pain, breast cancer, and immune issues.
The fifth chakra corresponds with the element of ether. Located in the throat region, it governs our ability to communicate and controls the thyroid gland. When Vishuddha is balanced our feelings are expressed truthfully but when out of balance we may find that we cannot express our feelings, our heart and mind become disconnected, and we may suffer from hyperactivity and mood swings. Physical symptoms of an imbalanced fifth chakra may be experienced as hormonal disorders, thyroid imbalances, sore throat, fevers, viral and other infections, and mouth, neck and shoulder problems.
The sixth chakra, also corresponding to ether, is located in the center of the brow. It governs our intuition, our “sixth sense” and controls the pituitary gland. When in balance, we feel centered and connected to our deepest knowing. Out of balance, we may experience the feeling of being cut off from our own intuition and a sense of depression. Physical symptoms of imbalance in the sixth chakra may include headaches, issues with the eyes, neurological problems and hormonal imbalance.
The seventh chakra corresponds to consciousness itself. It is located at the crown of the head and governs the brain, hypothalamus, and pituitary glands. When Sahasrara is balanced, one may attain the highest levels of consciousness and enlightenment but when out of balance mental illness, delusion, senility and depression may ensue. Physical symptoms of an imbalanced Sahasrara include poor sleep, immune system disorders, headaches and neurological disorders.