1. Root chakra (associated color: red; related parts of the body: adrenal glands, kidneys, spinal column, leg bones)
The root chakra grounds us in physical existence (our bodies and the material world). Balanced root chakras result in a healthy desire for the basics of life (food, warmth, shelter, etc.) When this chakra is imbalanced, we may be afraid of life, withdraw from physical reality, feel victimized, operate in a highly selfish mode, or be prone to violence. Dysfunction of this chakra also can lead to problems of the feet, legs and lower back.
2. Sacral chakra (associated color: orange; related parts of the body: gonads, prostrate gland, reproductive system, spleen, bladder)
When properly functioning, this chakra fuels our emotions, creativity and sexuality. We feel vital and spontaneous, ready to seize the moment. Imbalance of this chakra can result in over-indulgence in sex or food, sexual or reproductive disorders, and feelings of jealousy and confusion.
3. Solar plexus chakra (associated color: yellow; related parts of the body: pancreas, liver, digestive tract, stomach, spleen, gall bladder, autonomic nervous system)
Strongly associated with intellect, the solar plexus chakra is also the seat of our personal power. When this chakra is open and balanced, its energy helps us transform our hopes and aspirations (especially material ones) into reality. We feel self-confident and have a clear sense of purpose. Dysfunction of this chakra can result in insecurity about physical and financial matters and the need to dominate others. Physical problems associated with its imbalance often include digestive disorders.
4. Heart chakra (associated color: green (secondary color: pink); related parts of the body: thymus gland, heart, lower lungs, circulatory system, skin, hands)
Acting as the bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds, the heart chakra is the center of love and emotional well being. When this chakra is functioning optimally, our ability to give and receive unconditional love is well developed. We are compassionate. Dysfunction of this chakra often results in feelings of sadness, fear and anger and can lead to heart disease.
5. Throat chakra (associated color: sky blue; related parts of the body: thyroid gland, throat and jaw areas, lungs, vocal cords, digestive tract)
The throat chakra governs communication and mental creativity. When this chakra is at its best, we speak and listen in the spirit of truth and constructively express anger and other emotions. Energizing this chakra can improve our psychic hearing ability called clairaudience. Naturally, communication suffers when this chakra is blocked. We may overindulge in eating and drinking to keep a non-communicative throat busy and suffer from respiratory diseases, dental disorders, and low self-esteem. Feelings of anger, hostility and resentment also are associated with the imbalance of this chakra.
6. Third-eye chakra (associated color: indigo; related parts of the body: pituitary gland, lower brain, left eye, ears, nose, central nervous system)
An open third-eye chakra is the source of our intuition and clairvoyance (vision beyond ordinary sight) as well as our ability to visualize and manifest. Blockages of this chakra abound, resulting in fear of the imagination, dreams and our “irrational” intuitive insights. Physical symptoms of third-eye imbalance may include persistent headaches (especially in the center of the forehead), insomnia, anxiety and depression.
7. Crown chakra (associated color: violet (also white); related parts of the body: pineal gland, upper brain, right eye)
The crown chakra is our direct connection to spirit. When it is highly developed, we fully understand the “oneness” of universal existence and experience true inner peace. The illusion of separation between ourselves and other beings dissolves. Expansion of the crown chakra enables us to tap into the highest sources of spiritual wisdom and enhance our claircognizance (psychic knowing). Blockages can result in feeling lonely, fearing death, and needing to compare ourselves (often unfavorably) to others.
The word “Reiki” means “mysterious atmosphere, miraculous sign.” It comes from the Japanese words “rei” (universal) and “ki” (life energy). Reiki is a type of energy healing.
Energy healing targets the energy fields around the body.
According to practitioners, energy can stagnate in the body where there has been physical injury or possibly emotional pain. In time, these energy blocks can cause illness.
Energy medicine aims to help the flow of energy and remove blocks in a similar way to acupunctureor acupressure. Improving the flow of energy around the body, say practitioners, can enable relaxation, reduce pain, speed healing, and reduce other symptoms of illness.
Reiki has been around for thousands of years. Its current form was first developed in 1922 by a Japanese Buddhist called Mikao Usui, who reportedly taught 2,000 people the Reiki method during his lifetime. The practice spread to the U.S. through Hawaii in the 1940s, and then to Europe in the 1980s.
It is commonly referred to as palm healing or hands-on healing.