When you hear the word healthcare, what do you think of? Doctors, medical testing, clinics, and hospitals, correct? Conventional Western medicine equates healthcare with disease screening or early diagnosis. This kind of healthcare exists in a culture of fear that, for most, can be summarized as follows: “We haven’t found anything wrong yet, but we will. Come back every year, and we’ll keep looking until we find something. As long as we don’t find anything, you can rest assured that you’re healthy!” The truth is that instead of actually preventing anything, modern Western medicine is ingenious and miraculous at saving lives and treating emergencies. And that’s a good thing if you’re having a heart attack.
But this mindset, which works so well at solving acute problems, is singularly ill-suited at helping us live vibrantly healthy, disease-free lives—or helping us return to health after an “enemy” has been cut, burned, or poisoned out of us. It’s also mystified when a patient’s symptoms persist after that patient is put through a battery of tests that all come back “normal.” As a patient, and as a unique person, you know when you’re healthy. You also know when your healthcare provider hasn’t gotten to the root of your problem and is simply prescribing drugs to mask your symptoms. Thankfully, you can own and operate your own state of health completely and fully by understanding the energy systems known as chakras.
Chakras are the primary organs of your body’s subtle energy system, and they correspond with and affect seven specific energy centers in your physical body. These energy centers connect your nerves, hormones, and emotions. Their locations run parallel to the body’s neuroendocrine-immune system and form a link between your vibrational anatomy and your physical anatomy. Chakras also act as transformers that take refined emotional, psychological, and spiritual information and distribute it to your cells. Each of the seven chakras of the human body are the same for women and men, and are associated with specific organ systems as well as your life’s circumstances. Here’s an overview of each of the chakras:1 2
1. Your first chakra health is related to your upbringing and early life. This includes your immediate and extended family, race, social status, education, family legacy, and family expectations. Organs: Physical body support, hip joints, spine, blood, immune system.
2. Your second chakra health is related to your beliefs around money, sex, and power, as well as how balanced your personal relationships are. Organs: Reproductive organs, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, appendix, bladder.
3. Your third chakra health is associated with self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, and sense of responsibility. Organs: Abdomen, upper intestines, liver, gall bladder, lower esophagus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, adrenals, spleen, middle spine.
4. Your fourth chakra health is related to your capacity to feel, express your emotions, and participate in true partnerships. Organs: heart, lungs, blood vessels, shoulders, ribs, breasts, diaphragm, upper esophagus.
5. Your fifth chakra health is related to how well you communicate, timing and will, and also whether you feel pressured to do too much—like there’s never enough time. Organs: Thyroid, trachea, neck vertebrae, throat, mouth, teeth and gums.
6. Your sixth chakra health is associated with perception, thought, and morality. It is often referred to as the third eye, because it’s located between, but slightly above, the eyes. Organs: Brain, eyes, ears, nose, pineal gland.
7. Your seventh chakra is related to seeing the larger purpose in your life. It’s also related to your attitudes, faith, values, conscience, courage, and humanitarianism. Organs: Can involve any organ system.
If you look at the chakras as the key areas in which emotions manifest in the physical body, you can begin to grasp how cultural experiences of wounding or affirmation may have psychological and emotional consequences that are a set up for either health or for health problems. Whether you perceive chakras as literal places in the body or as metaphoric ones, they can help you activate the mind-body connections your body needs to help you heal.
1 The location and naming of the chakras and their functioning varies somewhat in different texts and different traditions.
2 These descriptions are adapted with permission from Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Bantam, revised 2010.