What is a chakra? The word itself means ‘wheel’ in the Indian language sanskrit. It describes a place in the body where energy appears to be moving in a wheel-like way, or spinning. You can feel these places in your body and many people can locate without difficulty the Solar Plexus, where you may feel butterflies or knots when anxious, the front of the Brow where we instinctively rub if worried, or the middle of the chest, the location of the Heart chakra, which we tend to hunch and protect with our arms at times of emotional grief or sorrow.
In fact there are little swirls of energy at many points in and around the body, such as the knees, ankles and knuckles, and above the top of the head, but there are seven main ones identified for healing purposes.
Although we can experience these intensified energy points in our bodies, Indian philosophy attributes far more to the chakra system than simple physical locations. Indian and Chinese cultures traditionally see life from a very different perspective from the modern western view of mind and body. In these systems, there is no differentiation at all between the physical realm, the mental and the spiritual. Therefore, each chakra is also considered to manifest characteristics that relate to the entire spectrum of our life experience.
For instance, the Root chakra, which is situated at the base of the spine or at the perineum, is also associated with the colour red, a sense of foundation or security, a general ease at being in a physical body and on the physical plane, a connection to family and ancestry, and the ability to feel safe. The Heart chakra on the other hand, which is situated at the middle of the chest, is also associated with the colour green, the ability to love and also to be loved, the sense of touch, connection with others, balance between the male and female aspects of the self, security in relationships, and a sense of quiet and peaceful joy.
Therapies, including Bio-Energy Healing, which include balancing the chakras, therefore work to balance the whole of our life experience, including physical pain and stress, emotional issues, long-term, inherited or recent trauma issues, and spiritual issues, thought patterns and beliefs.