Energy, auras, crystals, chakras—far from the domain of conventional healing modalities, these terms have existed for centuries but have often been dismissed as ‘New Age fluff.’ Nevertheless, dedicated practitioners and an increasing number of spa clients are making chakra therapies a growing segment of the alternative health care spectrum. A number of avant-garde day and destination spas have added chakra therapies to their menu and have become well-educated on the many benefits of the practice.
Chakras are the spherical energy centers of the human body. In Sanskrit, chakra means circular motion, or wheel. The seven primary chakras are centrally and vertically aligned from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Invisible to the untrained eye, each chakra spins at a different frequency, governing specific elements of an individual’s physical and mental well-being. These energy centers can actually be detected with a PIP scanner (an instrument that measures sound and light frequencies), which shows oscillating spheres of energy aligned down the center of the body.
These spheres are interconnected and are affected by everything in and around them. Their purpose is to monitor and provide feedback about our overall well-being, hence when one or more is out of balance, the entire system is affected and we become ill, discontent, stressed, or ‘out of sorts.’ On the other hand, when the chakras are spinning at their perfect frequencies we experience optimum health and well-being. The intent of chakra-based therapies is to restore balance to the chakras and in turn, promote the health of the individual. Depending on the technique and the practitioner, chakras can be balanced using crystals, essential oils, colors, sound tones, and even physical exercise.
Chakra 1—The Root Chakra
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the color red. It governs the material world, physical structure, and relationship issues; it also provides a sense of grounding, connection, place, and presence. It is the source of our passion and motivation. When balanced, this chakra promotes good health, high energy, and a feeling of security, both physically and financially. When our base chakra is deficient, we may become disorganized or unfocused; feel disconnected; or experience anxiety, restlessness, or fear. When this chakra is overactive, it can cause greed, fear of change, sluggishness, decreased energy, or laziness. Exercise, yoga, and massage are particularly successful in restoring balance to one’s base chakra. Complimentary gem stones include flame agate, ruby, red tiger’s eye, and garnet.
Chakra 2—The Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra is located between the lower abdomen and the navel. Its color is orange. Relating to issues of sexuality, sensuality, creativity, intuition, and emotions—particularly fear and anger—this chakra governs intimacy and helps remove inhibitions. Characteristics of a balanced sacral chakra include graceful movements, kindness to self and others, balanced emotions, and the ability to enjoy pleasure without guilt. When deficient, we may be rigid in body or mind, exhibit poor social skills, or experience a general lack of desire. An excessive sacral chakra can result in extreme emotions, an addiction to pleasure or sex, over-sensitivity, or a propensity for crises. Dance, bodywork, and emotional release techniques can help restore balance. Carnelian, pietersite, fire agate, moonstone, and opal are a few gems that resonate with this chakra.
Chakra 3—The Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is located between the sternum and the navel and is associated with the color yellow. Governing self-esteem, will, and vital energy, this chakra encourages clarity of thought and helps break old thought patterns. When balanced, it imparts a warm disposition, a healthy self-esteem, and a good sense of humor. It is also known for fostering responsibility and reliability. Deficiency in this chakra can lead to decreased physical and emotional energy and lack of self-discipline. Excessive solar plexus chakra causes aggression, manipulation, and deceit, often leading to controlling, competitive, stubborn, and overly ambitious behavior. Physically, we may experience digestive or eating disorders, ulcers, or chronic fatigue. Core-strengthening exercises and Pilates help bring this chakra into balance. Its gem stones include calcite, golden citrine, amber, tiger’s eye, and labradorite.
Chakra 4—The Heart Chakra
Affiliated with the color green and located in the heart and chest, the heart chakra connects us to unconditional love and governs relationship issues. When revolving at its optimum frequency, this chakra brings peace, altruism, sincerity, and compassion. A weakened heart chakra can cause us to be anti-social and withdrawn, to be critical and judgmental, or to feel lonely and depressed. If excessive, we may be demanding or dependant, jealous or overly self-sacrificing. Physical effects of imbalance are centered in the heart and chest and include poor circulation, asthma, and tension between the shoulder blades. Yoga, breathing exercises, and journal writing can be effective in healing and balancing this chakra as can wearing aventurine, jade, plume agate, or rutilated quartz near your heart.
Chakra 5—The Throat Chakra
Located at the base of the throat and associated with the color blue, the throat chakra guides communication and creativity. A resonant voice, articulate speech, creativity, sense of timing and rhythm, and good listening skills are characteristics of a balanced throat chakra, while the inability to vocalize feelings, fear of speaking, and introversion are all signs of deficiency in this area. Singing, chanting, humming, or shouting can help restore balance to the throat chakra. Those with an excessive throat chakra may talk too much and not listen, have a loud, intrusive voice, and be prone to gossip. Observing silence and practicing active listening can help heal individuals experiencing too much throat chakra. Wear or carry turquoise, pearl, carnelian, sodalite, or aquamarine to promote balance in this chakra.
Chakra 6—The Brow or Third-Eye Chakra
The third-eye chakra, which governs imagination, intuition, dreams, thought, perception, and understanding, is located at the center of the forehead, above and between the eyes. Its color is a deep sea blue or indigo. When balanced, the brow chakra allows us to be perceptive, imaginative, and intuitive. When deficient, we can experience poor vision or memory, suffer from a lack of imagination, or have difficulty remembering dreams or envisioning the future. If this chakra is too strong, however, it can cause one to become detached from reality, suffer nightmares or delusions, or have difficulty concentrating. The physical effects of an imbalanced brow chakra include headaches and vision problems. Painting, drawing, meditating, and keeping a dream journal are all helpful in bringing balance to this chakra. Resonating gemstones include amethyst, sapphire, azurite, iolite, and lapis lazuli.
Chakra 7—The Crown Chakra
Located at the top of the head, the crown chakra is our energetic connection to spiritual consciousness, wisdom, and the Divine. It is here that we connect with the universe and experience understanding that is beyond words or intellect. The color associated with this chakra is violet, white, or gold. When functioning at optimum frequency, this chakra allows us to be open-minded, intelligent, thoughtful, and wise. It can enable us to understand and learn information easily and experience a sense of spiritual connection. If it is weak, however, it can cause us to ridicule spirituality, be cynical and rigid in our thoughts, or be apathetic and overly materialistic. Healing techniques include meditation and active open-mindedness. When the crown chakra is excessive, we tend to live ‘too much in the head,’ and out of touch with our own body. In this instance, activities that promote reconnecting the physical body with the earth, such as gardening, exercise, and massage, are most healing. Quartz crystal, topaz, alexandrite, danburite, and moldavite are the gemstones associated with this chakra.
Resources for Chakra Healing:
Chakra Matrix Work – Chakra Matrix work uses muscle testing, meditation, visualization, and crystals to relieve trauma-based emotional, physical, and spiritual symptoms. The technique helps create a conscious awareness of previously unconscious behavior patterns and beliefs, and can eliminate life-long repetitive traumatic patterns. Inward Bound Resources, Atlanta, Georgia (404) 881-1322, www.inwardboundresources.com
Chimerinage (Chakras, Meridians, Intuitive Massage) – Chimerinage is a one-of-a-kind treatment incorporating chakra/aura reading, meridian work, and intuitive massage to facilitate healing of the mental, emotional, and spiritual self. CopperWynd Resort, Fountain Hills, Arizona (877) 707-7767, www.copperwynd.com
Crystal Light Therapy – Crystal Light Therapy treats the individual as a whole by clearing, balancing, and aligning the chakras with the aura and the physical body through the use of crystal therapy. Benefits include increased energy, greater ability to cope with stress as well as the healing of chronic conditions and of long-standing emotional issues. Crystal Light Therapy, www.crystallighttherapy.com
Hot Stone Chakra Balancing – By utilizing hot stones placed on the chakras, Hot Stone Chakra Balancing stimulates an awakening in the body and mind. Avia Spa, Santa Barbara, California (805) 730-7303, www.aviaspa.com
Mii amo Spirit and Mii amo Crystal Bath – Mii amo offers two unique chakra balancing treatments both of which incorporate the use of crystals, essential oils, affirmations, and a crystal singing bowl to provide sound vibrations. Mii amo Spa, Sedona, Arizona (888) 749-2137, www.miiamo.com
Sea Change Sea Chakra Wrap – Sea Change’s Sea Chakra Wrap begins with a light exfoliation of your body, followed by a relaxing Swedish massage that focuses on areas of specific concern. You are then covered in aroma oils and wrapped in a soft linen cocoon. While wrapped, the oils penetrate your skin and seven semi-precious stones are placed along your body’s chakras. A Reiki energy session completes the treatment. Sea Change Healing Center, New York, New York (212) 889-7300, www.seachangehealing.com.
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