Science may not have been able to prove the existence of chakras and chakra healing, but we do know that there are energy systems that keep our bodies functioning.
These energy systems affect everything that goes on in our mind and body and understanding them and how chakra healing works can help us to find harmony and peace.
So what are chakras?
Chakras were first described in the Hindu Scriptures thousands of years ago. The word chakra means ‘wheel‘ and chakras are described as wheels or vortices of energy. They deal with the energy flow through the body and blockages are thought to cause physical and emotional disturbances.
There are many chakras in the body but the seven main ones follow the spine from the base of the backbone to just above the crown of the head. The chakras are connected by energy pathways called Nadis which is the Sanskrit word for rivers. So the flow of energy through the body is managed by the interaction of the chakras and nadis. In Hindu tradition, by focusing on the chakras, we can perform chakra healing and restore our physical and emotional health.
What does science say about energy?
Firstly, science agrees that everything is energy. There is no solid reality in the world around us. The chair you are sitting on right now is made of atoms, but these are not solid. In fact, they are made up of tiny particles, and even these particles aren’t solid static things.
Atoms have three different subatomic particles inside them: protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons and neutrons are packed together into the center of the atom, while the electrons whizz around the outside. The electrons move so quickly that we never know exactly where they are from one moment to the next.
In reality, the atoms that form the world that we call solid are actually made up of 99.99999% space.
And it isn’t just your chair that is made this way, you are too. Your body is a mass of energy that is constantly moving and changing. Everything in you and around you is a field of constantly changing energy.
What does spirituality say about this energy?
Many ancient religions have understood that the movement of this energy is an essential part of existence. Many spiritual traditions, such as Reiki, QiGong, Yoga, Tai Chi and Chakra Healing, focus on manipulating this energy in order to create harmony and wellbeing.
The biology of energy
When we move, rest, think, breathe, digest food, repair ourselves and even when we sleep, energy is flowing through our bodies via our neurones and nerve pathways among other ways. The way this happens is a little complicated, so bear with me while I explain it as simply as I can.
The nervous system
The nervous system is the part of our body that coordinates our actions, both voluntary and involuntary, and transmits signals to and from different parts of the body and brain. So when we move our arm, this is done through our nervous system. Our involuntary actions such as digesting food are also controlled by the nervous system.
The nervous system is composed of two main parts. The first is the Central Nervous System which lies within the brain and spinal cord. The second is the Peripheral Nervous System which connects the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.
Within the Peripheral Nervous System, there is a category of nerve bundles that deal with our involuntary responses such as our heart beating, the flow of blood through our veins, and our digestion. This is called the Autonomic Nervous System.
The Autonomic Nervous System is also divided into two parts the Sympathetic Nervous system, which is often known as the ‘flight or fight’ response and the Parasympathetic Nervous System which is sometimes called the ‘rest and digest’ response.
The flight or fight response prepares the body to react to danger and the rest and digest response signals that all is well and the body can resume normal functions.
The Vagus Nerve
Within the Autonomic System again is a nerve called the Vagus Nerve which connects the brainstem to the body. This nerve links the neck, heart, lungs, and the abdomen to the brain and connects to the spinal cord at three places. The Vagus Nerve is responsible for counteracting the fight or flight response and switching the body back into rest and digest mode.
This is key because when we are in fight or flight, our bodies are flooded with stimulating hormones that prepare us to fight or run away. Any functions that are not vital to life at that moment, such as digestion are shut down.
Being in the state of stress long term is very bad for us. We are not designed to be in this state for long periods of time, only for long enough for us to escape the imminent threat to our lives caused by something like a sabre-toothed tiger.
Unfortunately, our bodies are not always able to tell the difference between a real threat to life and something that makes us anxious but is not life-threatening, such as a job interview. This means that in our modern lives we can end up being in fight or flight mode for much of the time. So it is key that we are able to switch to rest and digest.
This is where the Vagus Nerve comes in. Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve may lead to some very positive health benefits such as reducing anxiety, stress and depression. This is because it switches us back into rest and digest mode allowing our bodies to return to essential functions such as digestion and repair.
Research has documented that Vagus Nerve Stimulation can assist in a multitude of illnesses, such as treatment-resistant depression and epilepsy.
So how does this relate to our chakras?
If we think of the nerve pathways as correlating to the nadis or energy rivers that run through our bodies, we can see that they may be two ways of describing the same thing. In addition, the position of the major chakras corresponds to the major nerve ‘bundles’.
In addition, the Vagus Nerve corresponds with something that the Hindu scriptures call kundalini. Kundalini is a description of the energy that flows through our body. It is described as a snake that begins at the base of the spine and winds up to the crown of the head coiling three times as it travels up the spine. ‘Kundalini awakening’ is said to result in enlightenment and a deep sense of bliss.
Luckily, there are many ways in the ancient Hindu tradition to stimulate the kundalini energy. Deep breathing, meditation and yoga are excellent ways to achieve this as are many chakra healing techniques.
And, if observation affects matter in the way that quantum mechanics suggests, then maybe just by observing our thoughts and placing our attention on our chakras and nadis, we may be able to affect the flow of energy and thus improve our sense of peace and well-being. In this way, we can achieve chakra healing and transform our lives.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on chakra healing. Please share them with us in the comments below.