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The human energetic body, also referred to as the pranic sheath or astral body, is an intricate network of 72,000 nadis that facilitate the movement of prana, the vital energy of the human body. The nadis, also referred to as astral tubes, astral nerves or meridians, come together in seven energy centers called the chakras which are located along the central canal, the Sushumna, which corresponds to the spine in the physical body. Understanding each energy center and having the ability to heal them can help you consciously control your physical body and hence aide physical and emotional well-being and assist in higher spiritual pursuits.
Tapping into the healing abilities of your chakras can be achieved through various means, such as changing your lifestyle and diet, establishing a meditation practice, taking time for personal exploration, and integrating physical practices such as yoga into your daily life. Below are some specific healing techniques to balance each chakra and help you establish equilibirum.
ROOT CHAKRA – MULADHARA – I AM
Location: The base of the spine in the tailbone area.
Purpose: Keeps you grounded and centered.
When imbalanced: Feeling unfocused; maneuvering through life without purpose; sense of drifting along; fear and uncertainty; frustration with life direction; lack of emotional and life independence.
When nurtured: Increased sense of security, confidence and satisfaction; increased sense of self-worth; strengthened connection with your intuition; ability to move forth to the creative nature of life; ability to fully love and enjoy life.
Healing techniques: Practice visualization of walking barefoot and growing roots to the Earth’s center; visualize molten lava or other objects that are bright red; perform walking meditation, if possible barefoot; resolve issues with family and close friends; re-establish your understanding of what you really need versus what you want in life.
What to eat: Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, beets, garlic, onion, etc; protein-rich foods such as nuts, eggs, beans and tofu; spices such as horseradish, cayenne pepper, hot paprika and chives.
SACRAL CHAKRA – SWADHISHTANA – I FEEL
Location: Along the spine in the genital area of the lower abdomen, about 2 inches below navel and 2 inches in.
Purpose: The dwelling place of the Self that affords us the ability to change and accept others.
When imbalanced: Resistance to change; emotional imbalance; becoming manipulative; sexual dysfunction; laziness and lack of motivation; hormonal imbalance.
When nurtured: Overall sense of feeling balanced; increased flow of creativity; ability to be easy going; easily getting along with others.
Healing techniques: Looks for a creative outlet that you enjoy and that allows you to align with who you really are; face any buried emotions from your childhood; become accepting of relationships versus trying to influence them.
What to eat: Water and mineral water; seafood, fish and other foods from the sea; sweet fruits such as melons, mangos, strawberries, passion fruit and coconut; honey; nuts such as almonds and walnuts; sweet spices such as cinnamon, vanilla, sesame seeds and sweet paprika.
SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA – MANIPURA – I DO
Location: In the upper abdomen at the naval, corresponding to the solar plexus in the physical body.
Purpose: The seat of intellect that is the center of our personal power.
When imbalanced: Low self-esteem or self-worth; being withdrawn; depression; lack of confidence in daily responsibilities; emotional issues are often coupled with weakness or illness of digestive system.
When nurtured: Clear sense of optimism; high self-respect; ability to fully express yourself; ability to confidently face challenges; strong sense of personal power; general satisfaction with daily life.
Healing techniques: Reassess personal choices and life path; meditate on uncovering and accepting the true Self; take the emotional steps to “grow up” and take responsibility for your own life path; take steps to make your dreams and aspirations real.
What to eat: Starches and grains such as granola, oatmeal, cereals, flax seed and sunflower seeds; dairy such as goat cheese and yogurt; spices such as ginger, mint, chamomile, turmeric, cumin and fennel.
HEART CHAKRA – ANAHATA – I LOVE
Location: Center of the chest, slightly above the heart.
Purpose: Governs love, compassion and spirituality.
When imbalanced: Feeling of self-pity; overwhelming feelings of sorrow for yourself; indecisiveness; anger; paranoia; fear of getting hurt; fear of close relationships; holding onto feelings or possessions that do not serve you; emotional issues can manifest themselves into cardiac problems.
When nurtured : ability to express love and compassion; ability to see good in other people; it is easy to forgive others and yourself; ability to show self love.
Healing techniques: Visualize a bright light at the heart center and imagine it expanding slowly; practice breath meditation focused on inhaling into the heart center and observing sensations at heart center on exhale; write in a journal; open up to and talk with a trusted friend.
What to eat: Leafy greens such as celery, cabbage, spinach, kale and dandelion greens. Air vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, squash and pumpkin; brown and white rice; green teas; leafy spices such as basil, sage, thyme, cilantro and parsley.