First, I’d like to walk you through the chakra system as I learned it to give you some background for the session demonstration you’ll see later.
- The chakra system dates back about 3,000 years to India and China and relates to the essential life force that moves through and surrounds our bodies.
- In India this force is called prana, in China, chi. Pythagoreans called it luminous body light and in the Middle Ages, Paracelsus spoke of illaster, the vital force. Today it’s known to us generically as energy.
- The word chakra is sanskrit for ‘spinning wheel’, and indeed, the chakras are seven spinning centres located at specific points along the body.
- As you can see from the image here, the first chakra or root sits at the perineum, next to the genitals. The second or sacral chakra is located at the pubic bone, just below the belly button. The third or solar plexus chakra is found in the soft tissue at the apex of the rib cage. The fourth or heart chakra you’ll find at the heart, the fifth or throat chakra at the throat, the sixth or brow chakra at the forehead or location of the third eye, and the seventh or crown chakra is located at the top of the head or cerebral cortex.
- Physically, each is associated to certain nerve ganglia and internal organs, thus damage to their functioning through injury, diet or lifestyle can cause a blockage in the chakra and vice versa.
- Mentally, each chakra is associated with a certain level of consciousness, and as it’s widely accepted in our Western world, our levels of consciousness increase with each new level of chakra awakening – we can liken this to Jung’s process of individuation or to the alchemist’s quest of turning putrid matter into gold. Blocks in our development as individuals will result in blocks in the bio-field, and vice versa.
- Each chakra is also associated with an emotional plane, each with a related demon that if given space to permeate our being, will also cause havoc with our chakras. For the root chakra, this demon is fear. For the sacral chakra, it’s guilt. For the solar plexus, it’s shame; for the heart, it’s grief; for the throat, it’s lies; for the brow, it’s illusion, and for the crown, it’s attachment.
I’ve been interested in the relationship between these two concepts for some time – chakra therapy as a form of bio-energetic healing and the imaginal as a realm in which we can locate symbolic images that also have the potential to transform and heal us.
The source of this interest lies in my role as a qualified practitioner of chakra therapy or bio-energetics, as it’s also known, which I have practiced as much as my corporate London career has allowed for the last five years or so.
And while the term ‘chakra therapy’ might evoke for some of you an idea of a highly spiritual and esoteric healing modality, for me as a student of the practice and later as a practitioner, my learning and application of chakra therapy were founded almost entirely on science and on the observable, empirically proven, apollonian elements of the human energy system.