You know you are more than your body, that you are an energy being, timeless and expansive. How does that energy become the “we” that we see? Part of the explanation comes from an understanding of the energy body. Basically, our physical bodies are the concrete reservoir of energy pouring into us from the biofield, the energy body that surrounds and interpenetrates us. Within that biofield are seven major (and many minor) energy centers, or chakras. This blog provides an introduction to the chakras, or the seven major energy centers within a human body.

Chakra is the Sanskrit word for “wheel” and the name is apt, because each of these centers spins, allowing energy to flow in and out of our bodies. The energy centers also correspond to a layer of our biofield. And inside our bodies, they correspond to a gland. Moreover, each chakra relates to some basic physical and emotional issues, both positive and negative. In this introduction to the chakras, we will use the terms “energy centers” and “charkas” interchangeably.

Introduction to the chakras

Energy flows into our system from the crown chakra and circulates through all of the other chakras, into the back and out the front. Energy steps down, layer by layer, as it circulates through the biofield or aura. It eventually makes its way into the etheric sheath, the layer of energy that envelops the physical body. From there, it enters the physical body itself.

Energy is everything, and therefore nothing exists in the physical that doesn’t first exist in the etheric or energy body. The health of our body is directly related to the flow of energy through our etheric body, and the health of the etheric body is directly related to the flow of energy through the six other chakras and their respective layers of the aura. Here’s a framework to understand how it all works.

The root center.

The first or root chakra corresponds to the etheric sheath. The root chakra is located just below the perineum. It is associated with the adrenal glands, which are the masters of the “fight or flight” response. Root chakra imbalances, then, often involve either chronic stress or “flightiness.” This shows up as a lack of grounding — aka, a poor functioning of the root center.

The issues typically associated with the root chakra include survival issues and the will to live, inherited beliefs, some sleep problems, and being grounded. Physical issues can include autoimmune disorders, kidney problems, and issues like chronic fatigue. When the root chakra is fully functioning, we are grounded. We feel fully alive and present in our physical plane lives, and have a sense of belonging here on earth.

The sacral center.

The second or sacral chakra is located at the top or the sacrum, about two inches below the navel. This energy center is related to the astral or emotional body, what we often think of as the inner child. The astral body forms the second layer of the aura. The glands associated with the sacral center are the reproductive glands.

Not surprisingly, then, issues associated with the sacral center include sexual issues, emotionalism, relationships, and even money issues. Physical issues related to the sacral center may include certain digestive complaints and issues related to the reproductive system. This center has a lot to do with relationships, as well as harmony or disharmony. When the sacral center is clear and fully functioning, we will experience emotional equilibrium, peaceful relationships, and an end to victim consciousness.

The solar plexus

The third chakra is the solar plexus center. It is located in the area of the diaphragm. This center is related to the ego or lower mental body which forms the third layer of the aura. In terms of the glands, the solar plexus corresponds to the pancreas.

The issues associated with the solar plexus center include judgments and criticisms, separativeness, and an “us vs. them” mentality. Health issues related to solar plexus dysfunction include diabetes and many digestive complaints. The solar plexus is also the seat of stress, and an overactive solar plexus can drain the heart center. Thus, heart issues often involve the solar plexus. When the solar plexus is fully functioning and clear, our little egos are under control and we are aligned with the Higher Self.

The heart center.

The fourth chakra is the heart center and is located right at the middle of the chest. This energy center connects the energy of the fourth layer of the aura. It corresponds to the thymus gland, which is important in regulating immune function. When the heart chakra is open and fully functioning, we are connected to our Higher Self and open to group consciousness. We embrace and live the understanding that what is good for one is good for all.

Low energy in the heart chakra is analogous to an overactive solar plexus: anger, criticism, and separativeness. Physical heart chakra issues can include immune deficiencies as well as heart and lung issues. Opening the heart chakra includes self-forgiveness, self-love, and releasing past hurts.  Again, the third and fourth chakras are directly related to one another. An overactive third drains the fourth, and vice versa. Interestingly, some experts say that the next step forward for humanity is in opening the collective heart center. It is interesting to consider what that will mean for us, isn’t it?

The throat center.

The fifth chakra or throat center is located at the base of the throat. It is associated with the thyroid gland which runs our metabolism. This chakra is all about communication: speaking our truth, connecting to our Higher Self, and manifesting. The fifth and second chakras are directly related. This seems reasonable when we consider how emotions affect communication! An overactive sacral center (emotional body) drains the throat center (unable to communicate or connect to the Higher Self).

Unsurprisingly, throat center problems arise when it is over-active (angry outbursts, for example) or under-active (unable to speak up for ourselves). Moreover, when we are not clear about what to do or how to move forward, we can guess there is an imbalance in the throat center. Illnesses associated with the throat center include many thyroid issues and some voice problems. When the throat is fully functioning and open, we can effectively and harmlessly speak the truth. Moreover, we connect to our Higher Self and we can create or manifest.

The ajna center, soon to be your third eye.

The sixth chakra is called the ajna center. It is located at the middle of the forehead. It corresponds to the pituitary body, which runs the endocrine system. When this center is fully open, it functions as the Third Eye, opening our awareness to the Buddhic plane, the center of intuition and the sixth layer of the aura.

For now, the ajna center contains the recapitulation of all the energy from the lower centers. In fact, problems with the entire glandular system may stem from problems with the ajna center. Imbalances in the sixth chakra typically happen when we are too much “in our heads”.

The crown center.

Finally, the seventh or crown chakra is located above the top of the head. Energy pours into our system via the crown chakra and circulates through the other chakras. This chakra is associated with the pineal gland and the seventh layer of the aura.

Problems in the head center may lead to migraines. It connects us with the Monad or Spirit and opens us to what is sometimes called “Christ” or “Krishna” consciousness. Sometimes people refer to this as universal consciousness. For most of us, we can only hope to connect to such high vibrations of love and wisdom! In the meantime, the crown center sows energy into our entire system.

Now, what will you do with your introduction to the chakras? 

Now that you have this basic understanding of the chakras, what will you do with your knowledge? If you are intrigued, it may be worth studying a little more! ACEP’s upcoming Comprehensive Energy Psychology course will provide you with more information to help you deepen your understanding. To understand how to use the chakras for developing your intuition, read Lori Hops’s blog here. If you are still a little skeptical (or know someone who is), read this report on a study focusing on the evidence for the chakras.

Author bio:

Sarah Murphy, LPC, ACP-EFT, is an ACEP Board member and chair of its communications committee. She has a private practice where she specializes in helping people with serious or chronic illness.