The chakras are energy vortices that conduct energy though our energy field and into our bodies. Each of the seven major chakras is associated with a particular gland, and the functioning of the glands is a reflection of the functioning of the chakras. The chakras also affect the organs near them. Each chakra is also associated with a particular set of emotions and with a level of our aura, or energy field. An understanding of our energy and the chakra system informs my work with clients in my therapy practice in Bryn Mawr.

Energy moves through our chakras and into our bodies via nadis, which are etheric or energetic patterns of our nervous system. They also send energy into the governing and central vessels, which run our meridian system; from there, energy is distributed throughout the entire meridian system. It is not an overstatement to say that the function of our chakras is foundational to our overall health and wellbeing. Here are some basic ways the chakras affect our health:

1st chakra: Imbalances in the first, or root chakra affect our “will to live” and ability to get along on the physical plane. When we have a block or sluggishness in our root chakra, we may be “spacey”, or unable to manifest the best life we are meant to live. Over-activity of the root chakras is associated with over-activity of the adrenals, so we feel stressed.

2nd chakra: Imbalances in the second or sacral center are common, as this is the center related to our emotional life. The sacral chakra is related to the gonads, so imbalances lead to sexual problems and problems with the sex glands. Sacral imbalances also lead to emotional problems, and problems with money and relationships. This is an area of creative expression, so a block or over-activity will also affect our ability to create.

3rd chakra: The third or solar plexus chakra is related to the pancreas and its neighbor, the spleen. The spleen is responsible for circulating prana, or energy, throughout our body; it actually has its own mini-chakra, but is closely related to the solar plexus center. The pancreas, of course, is responsible for fueling our body by regulating blood sugar levels. Dysfunction in the solar plexus can lead to blood sugar problems (hypoglycemia or diabetes), lethargy or over-energy, and stomach and digestive complaints.

4th chakra: The fourth or heart chakra is related to the thymus gland, which runs our immune system and is critical for our overall health. Heart chakra imbalances can lead to problems with the thymus and also to heart and circulatory problems. These problems are most always because the heart chakra is blocked or drained.

5th chakra: The fifth or throat center is associated with the thyroid, which regulates our metabolism. Thyroid problems are linked to dysfunction in the throat chakra. This center is also involved in many throat problems and respiratory complaints.

6th chakra: The sixth chakra, the forehead or “ajna” chakra, is associated with the pituitary body, which is responsible for running our entire glandular system. Blocks in the ajna center are related to endocrine imbalances and some sinus and head complaints, as well as vision and hearing problems.

7th chakra: The seventh or crown chakra is related to the pineal gland, which is responsible for producing melatonin, the sleep hormone; it regulates the body clock. Dysregulation of the crown chakra (and its polar opposite, the root chakra) can lead to sleep problems as well as migraines and other brain issues.