What are the Seven Chakras?

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What are the Seven Chakras?

The seven chakras all relate to different aspects of the human experience. Image © Getty Images; Licensed to About.com

In many metaphysical disciplines, such as energy work, Reiki, and other healing modalities, practitioners use chakras as a focal point for their intent. While chakra theory originated in Hindu mysticism, it has been adopted by the New Age and metaphysical community. There are seven chakras, or energy vortexes in the human body, and each is associated with various physical and emotional experiences. It is believed that if a particular chakra is blocked or imbalanced, then the individual may have trouble or issues with the corresponding physical or emotional experience. For example, someone whose heart chakra is blocked might be experiencing an inability to open themselves up to a relationship, or they may be suffering from physical ailments related to the chest – the heart and lungs, for instance.

With the use of tools such as Reiki and meditation, we can adjust imbalances in our chakras that may be negatively impacting our lives.

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The Root Chakra

The root chakra is related to security and stability issues, such as housing. Image by Patti Wigington 2008

The root chakra is located at the base of the spine, at that pointy little bone called the coccyx. This chakra is associated with the color red, and is connected to both our sense of stability, and how we related to the physical and material worlds. Issues related to the root chakra can include problems in finding suitable housing and/or employment, an inability to take charge of one’s own life, and lack of organization when it comes to tasks and jobs. Considering a home sale, a change in career, or even a venture to further your education? All of these things are connected to the root chakra. On a physical level, the root chakra is connected to lower back pain and sciatica, as well as disorders like anemia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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The Sacral Chakra

Problems with impotency and other sexual issues often relate to the sacral chakra. Image by Karen Moskowitz/Image Bank/Getty Images

The sacral chakra is located in the sacral area, around the spleen, and is connected to the color orange. It is related to both sexuality and emotion, specifically in our ability to establish emotional connections to other people. Issues connected to the sacral chakra, sometimes referred to as the spleen chakra, include problems with impotency, sexual disorders, reproductive problems, and an inability to maintain or establish intimate relationships. Sometimes, people who have problems at the sacral chakra level find it hard to allow themselves to feel for other people, and they may feel guilty about their own right to feel things. Eating disorders and certain addictions, such as drug abuse and alcoholism, are sometimes connected to the sacral chakra.

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The Solar Plexus Chakra

A positive attitude and sense of self-empowerment is related to the solar plexus chakra. Image by Neyya/E+/Getty Images

The solar plexus chakra is located just above the navel, near where your stomach is. It is connected to the color yellow, and is related to self-empowerment. Someone with a strong solar plexus chakra is a person who is well balanced in both their self-confidence and their levels of self-control. This chakra is connected to our sense of humor as well as our wit and intelligence. Physical issues can manifest in the solar plexus chakra in the form of digestive disorders – irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcers and so forth – as well as problems with diabetes.

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The Heart Chakra

Our ability to give and receive love is related to our heart chakra. Image by Anthony Saint James/Photodisc/Getty Images

The heart chakra is located in the chest, at the heart, and is associated with the color green. This is the chakra connected to our emotional center – our ability to love others, and to receive love in return. Forgiveness, romantic love, compassion, empathy, and platonic love – all of these are centered within the heart chakra. If you’re having trouble in your romantic life, or if you’re finding yourself unable to connect to others in a loving way, there may be an issue with the heart chakra. On a physical level, the heart chakra is tied to disorders of the chest – heart and lung problems, pulmonary disease, and even breast cancer.

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The Throat Chakra

Our ability to effectively communicate is tied to the throat chakra. Image by wdstock/E+/Getty Images

The throat chakra is located at the front of the throat, and is related to the color blue. This chakra is connected to relationships, but not in the same way as the heart chakra is. The throat chakra is related to our ability to communicate honestly and openly with the people in our lives. Our ability to trust, and be trustworthy, to speak truthfully and fairly, is all rooted within the throat chakra. If there’s something we need to tell someone, and yet we’re failing miserably at our communication skills, it could be related to a problem with the throat chakra. Physically speaking, the throat chakra is connected to problems with the mouth and neck, in addition to thyroid disorders and hyperactivity.

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The Brow Chakra

The brow chakra, or third eye, is related to our psychic abilities. Image (c) Imagebank/Getty Images; Licensed to About.com

The brow chakra is located in the center of the forehead, above the eyebrows, and is sometimes referred to as the Third Eye. Associated with the color indigo, the brow chakra is all about our intuitive gifts. Our ability to self-realize, to develop our psychic abilities and empathic skills, is connected to this chakra. The brow chakra is also related to our ability – and our willingness – to recognize, acknowledge, and then let go of emotional baggage. On a physical level, brow chakra blockages may appear as flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen glands, and infections.

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The Crown Chakra

The crown chakra is our connection the Divine, and to the universe itself. Image by John Lamb/Image Bank/Getty Images

The crown chakra is located at the top of the head, at the crown of the scalp. In most traditions, it is associated with the color violet, but in some it has no color at all. This chakra is centered on our connection to the Divine, to the Universe itself, and to our ability to know our place in the grand scheme of things. It is the highest level of the chakras, and closely ties into our spiritual growth and development. Having problems forming a bond with the deities of your tradition or path? It may be a blockage of the crown chakra. When it comes to physical manifestations, problems with the brow chakra sometimes appear as migraine headaches, visual impairments, and mental disorders.