Surfing Your Chakra Waves

How to bring thought into physical form

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.


It’s very useful to have a basic understanding of your energetic anatomy, including how the energy centers — known as chakras — function in your mind and body. Different lands, people, and times, both ancient and modern, have given different names to different parts of our energy anatomy. Some of you may already be familiar with the astral, etheric, and causal bodies; and the Jewish sephirot. The chakras are defined slightly differently depending on the culture. For example, there’s the Hindu model, Tantric model, and Traditional Chinese Medicine model. The system I have used for years is the Western view described by Arthur Avalon, a Western authority on Tantric or Kundalini yoga. There is no right or wrong way for viewing the energy bodies, simply different ways of explaining how your vibrational or energy body corresponds to — and affects — specific areas of your physical body.

So what is a chakra? The word “chakra” derives from the Sanskrit “wheel of light.” Cyndi Dale, the author of The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy refers to chakras as the “power centers that run the ‘you inside of you.” These energy systems relate to the primary organs of your body’s subtle energy system, which act as transformers that convey refined emotional and spiritual information to the cells of the physical body. Chakras are also associated with major endocrine glands and major nervous system ganglia.

Basic Chakra Anatomy

Here’s a short description of each of the seven chakras and what they represent.

  • First chakra: Influenced by sense of safety and security in the world. Located at base of the spine and hips. Affects immunity, blood, the spine, and bones.
  • Second chakra: Pertains to one’s relationship to money, sex, and power. Located in the lower abdomen. Affects the pelvic organs, bladder, and appendix.
  • Third chakra: Concerns personal power, self-esteem, and responsibility to self or others. Located in between the belly button and the heart. Affects the digestive organs and solar plexus.
  • Fourth chakra: Relates to love, passion, and partnership, including the ability to give and receive. Also related to ability to feel fully and then release feelings as necessary, e.g., grief. Located in the center of the chest. Affects the heart, lungs, shoulders, upper spine, and breasts.
  • Fifth chakra: Involves self-expression, creativity, sense of time and timing, and one’s will. Located in the center of the neck. Affects the thyroid, throat, mouth, gums, and teeth.
  • Sixth chakra: Is about one’s perception, thoughts, and morality. Located slightly above the center of the eyebrows (and sometimes referred to as the third eye). Affects the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and pineal gland.
  • Seventh chakra: About connection with Spirit and one’s Higher Self. Located near the crown of the head, but a few inches above it. (It’s more of a metaphysical location). Can affect any organ system.

How Vibrational Energy Becomes Physical

The best way to explain how chakras function is to walk you through how spiritual energy manifests into physical form—or, if you will, how inspiration actually gets grounded enough to manifest into something you can touch and feel. Once you understand this, you’ll understand the role your chakras play in the creative process. This will help you decide whether or not you truly want to birth an idea into physical form—or just play with ideas in the ethers! Here we go!

  1. Seventh chakra: You become inspired to write a book about a topic that deeply interests you. Let’s call the book How to Live the Life of Your Dreams. The idea comes to you spontaneously from the connection with your spirit.
  2. Sixth chakra: Now that spiritual impulse goes into your brain and left hemisphere. You begin to think about your ideas. Your perception about your book begins to gestate. You find useful, practical ways to teach others to live the life of their dreams. Your book creation becomes more concrete.
  3. Fifth chakra: Timing, will, and self-expression. You need to find the words to write about your idea. And you need to find the time to do so. What is your relationship to time? Do you feel you’re always running out of time? Or do you know that you will find the time or make the time. Also, can you easily express your ideas in a creative way? Do you have enough will to write a bit every day until your book is finished? After it is finished, are you willing to polish and edit it?
  4. Fourth chakra: Are you passionate about your project? Do you feel strongly enough about it to stay enthusiastic—even when the going gets tough? Even when others don’t hold the belief that you do?
  5. Third chakra: Do you have enough self-esteem to feel good about what you’re writing? Do you believe in yourself and your vision? Do you constantly allow the needs of others to over-shadow your own? In other words, are you responsible to others, but not to yourself? Do you find yourself abdicating responsibility to your book project by overeating or drinking too much? (Addiction is always third chakra—this is one of the reasons why alcohol adversely affects the liver, pancreas, and the GI system.)
  6. Second chakra: How are you going to come up with the money to buy the office supplies, hire an agent, or pay a publisher to print the book? Do you have or need other people in your life who will support you in getting your project done? (Any birth requires midwives to help with the delivery!) Do you have enough energy to go after what you want? (We refer to this as ‘having balls’ in men. In women, going after what you want takes ovaries!) Second chakra is also related to negotiating contracts that delineate roles and responsibilities, what percentage a publishing house or agent will get, and so forth.
  7. First chakra: Where is your book going to be stored? All creations need a place where they will be safe, a place to keep them out of the rain. Is there an office building, computer, distribution system, vehicle, or mailbox required? Finally, what is the distribution system needed for your book? Do you have a publisher and marketing team set up to get it out into the world properly? Just like our immune system cells are made in our bone marrow—and our bones support our body—all our creations require a strong foundation.

So now you know the basic function of each chakra. May this assist you in sailing through the creative process of your life. And you can see where things go smoothly and where you might get stuck now and again. Bringing a pattern to consciousness is the first step to complete healing. And sometimes it’s all that’s necessary to create that “ah ha” moment for you and your creativity and health. May all your energy flow freely!

Learn More — Additional Resources

Last Updated: June 16, 2009

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. spring equinox
    9 years ago

    Prayer is speaking to God and meditation is listening to God.

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