There are seven major chakras: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown.1 The seven are divided into two categories, Matter and Spirit. Chakras were first identified in the Vedic writings as long as 1500 years ago. Chakras are referred to as ‘spinning discs of energy’ found throughout the body. They are described as constantly moving in an attempt to balance the various energies in the body to reach homeostasis.
Although there is no scientific basis for understanding chakras, it appears to be associated with the endocrine system and the various glands therein. Chakras are found along the spine. Meditation, yoga, and reiki can manipulate the energy in chakras.2 Each Chakra is the central hub for the control of various energies. Not just energy but thoughts, feelings, memories, experiences, and actions.4
The Root Chakra
The Root Chakra sits at the base of your spine, between the anus and genitals, and is the center for grounded, balanced, and stabilizing energy. The Root influences primal drives such as sex, eating, sleeping, and self-preservation.3 This Chakra is in the category of Matter.
Physical symptoms of the Root being out of balance are constipation, arthritis, and bladder or colon problems.5 Other symptoms include insecure feelings surrounding finances and basic human needs.
In order to balance, this Chakra spend time in nature, ground or earth (bare feet connected to the earth) or eat root vegetables.
The Sacral Chakra
The Sacral Chakra sits in your pelvic cavity and is responsible for your emotional, sexual, pleasure, and passion energies. The Sacral regulates emotions and desires. This Chakra is also in the category of Matter.
Physical symptoms of the Sacral being out of balance are urinary tract infections, impotence, and lower back pain.5 Other symptoms include low self-worth, the poor experience of pleasure, and problems with sexuality.
In order to balance this, Chakra spend time in or near the water. Socialize and really connect with people or spend time on a creative project.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
The Solar Plexus Chakra sits between the abdomen and the chest and is responsible for the energy around self, will, commitment, and power. The Solar Plexus influences digestion and the processing of life experiences. This Chakra is in the category of Matter as well.
Physical symptoms of the Solar Plexus being out of balance are ulcers, eating disorders, and other digestive issues.5 Other symptoms include levels of confidence and self-assuredness.
In order to balance this Chakra, spend time near fire. Eat fermented foods such as ginger or turmeric.
The Heart Chakra
The Heart Chakra sits in the chest cavity and is where the physical and the spiritual meet.2 This is where your love and compassionate energies are centered. This Chakra helps reconnect with unconditional love. This Chakra is in the category of Spirit.
Physical symptoms of the Heart being out of balance are voice and throat issues. 5 Other symptoms include self-denial and putting others before themselves to the point where it is damaging.
To balance this Chakra, reach out to a friend, forgive someone, or do some prana meditation.
The Throat Chakra
The Throat Chakra sits in your throat in your vocal box and is responsible for translating your innermost nature and experiences to the external world. The throat influences the expression of our authentic selves. This Chakra is in the category of Spirit.
Physical symptoms of the Heart being out of balance voice, mouth, and throat problems.5 Other symptoms include dominating conversations, gossiping, speaking without thinking, or on the other hand, having trouble speaking your mind.
To balance this Chakra chant, sing or write. Eat some warm soup and explore your inner child.
The Third Eye Chakra
The Third Eye Chakra sits in between your eyebrows and is responsible for your intuitive and psychic energies. The Third Eye influences our inner knowledge and consciousness. This Chakra is also in the category of Spirit.
Physical symptoms of the Third Eye being out of balance are trouble concentrating, headaches, and issues with hearing.5 Other symptoms include feeling that you know it all or being out of alignment with your intuition.
To balance this Chakra, practice visualization and spend time in sunlight. Practice yoga or stargaze.
The Crown Chakra
The Crown Chakra sits at the literal crown of our heads and controls the energy related to our relationship with our highest self. This Chakra is in the category of Spirit as well.
Physical symptoms of the Crown being out of balance are issues with the nervous system or disruptions in some other mental faculty.5 Other symptoms include being narrow-minded, skeptical, or stubborn.
To balance this Chakra, consider your highest self and let go of what does not serve you. Find stillness in prayer or meditation.
The Other Chakras
The above are the big seven Chakras or the most well-known. However, there are more than 70,000 chakra-like areas in the body. The following deserve an honorable mention. The God’s Head Chakra sits approximately twelve inches above the Crown and is similar to what we consider a “halo.”6 When in balance, this chakra generates the energy of higher consciousness. When out of balance, a feeling of powerlessness or disconnection from one’s life.
The Soul Star Chakra is just above the Crown. It is responsible for what some experience as astral projection and the desire to explore the stars. When out of balance, manifestation proves difficult, and there is some lack of connection to the greater universe.
The Pineal Chakra is associated with the pineal gland located towards the middle of our brains behind the eyes. When in balance, we feel connected to our inner selves. When out of balance, we may feel cut off from intuition and lose the ability to think for ourselves.
The Cerebellum Chakra is at the base of the neck. It is associated with dreams and creative energy. When in touch with this Chakra, you may experience prophetic dreams and the ability to see things without judgments. When out of balance, you may be prone to negativity or a lack of intuition.
The Thymus Chakra is located between the throat and heart. This Chakra will allow you to access self and divine love when in balance. This experience is associated with gratitude. When out of balance, you may find yourself being narrowminded and not willing to accept others’ points of view.
The Sacred Heart Chakra lies just below the Heart Chakra. This Chakra helps us to expand unconditional love. In balance, this chakra allows the energy of confidence in the direction of one’s life. Out of balance, it may cause a lack of empathy and block the ability to be diplomatic.
The Core Star Chakra lies near the diaphragm. This chakra governs the study of obscure knowledge. When in balance, we understand our role in the world and experience our purpose. When out of balance, we feel disconnected from this.
The Earth Star Chakra is located about eleven inches below your feet. When in balance, we feel connected to our earthly journey and the earth itself. When out of balance, we may have a feeling of home-sickness or wanting to return to the source.