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Yours in Health: Understanding chakras

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The world of energy medicine focuses on a basic understanding of your body’s energy centers—or chakras—and how our wellbeing is affected by and can influence those energies.

Chakras have been receiving a lot of publicity during the last decade; even the famous Dr. Oz has taken up the topic of energy medicine in his full television special dedicated to chakra healing modalities. Chakras can be a powerful tool in learning how to heal the body and figure out what sorts of ailments may be going on within.

The theory of chakras originated in early Hindu teachings that referred to chakras as energy wheels in the body. There are seven chakras in the body and each one is matched with a particular color, aromatherapy and sound vibration. These vortexes are linked to a certain part of the musculoskeletal system, organs and glands.

Dr. Christine Northrup, a well-known women’s health practitioner and “New York Times” best-selling author, describes chakras as “a link between your vibrational anatomy and your physical anatomy. Chakras act as transformers that take refined emotional, psychological and spiritual information and distribute it to your cells.”

Physical, emotional and mental stress can impact the chakras and cause these energetic wheels to shrink, expand or shut down. Here we will begin a series of columns exploring each of the seven chakras and how to balance their energies.

The first chakra is known as the root, base or muladhara. The root chakra settles at the base of the spine, and is associated with the color red. This chakra is related to the feet, knees, spinal column, coccyx, adrenals, bladder and kidneys. Basic survival needs, safety and security encompass this chakra.

Physicality is at the forefront of the first chakra’s health. If your basic needs aren’t being met, such as food, security, physicality and safety, this may lead to stress that can cause a health issue. Emotions connected to the root chakra include excessive fear, anxiety, paranoia and instability, and may manifest as knee and foot injuries, sciatica, low back pain and adrenal or kidney stress. The kidneys and adrenal glands are what generates our life force and vitality. If we are living in a constant state of fear or anxiety, there may be an imbalance within.

Self-healing methods to balance your root chakra include grounding techniques and yoga. Aromatherapy application of vetiver or cedarwood oils to the lower abdomen or bottom of the feet can create a sense of calm in the body. Eating protein is essential—if you are a meat eater, bison is one of the most grounding forms of food.

Getting outside in nature is vital for balancing the root chakra. Put your feet in the sand or dirt. Visualize red, especially if you do a meditation practice. Crystals that are beneficial for the root chakra include black tourmaline, hematite, onyx, shungite and red jasper.

Side effects of root-chakra balancing include feeling a strong sense of purpose in who you are and living comfortably day to day.

This article is the beginning of a series that will explore the seven chakras and how to balance them. Watch for the next edition of Yours in Health published in EBS on March 13 to learn more.

Dr. Andrea Wick is a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist. She graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia, and now practices at Healing Hands Chiropractic in Big Sky. She has a passion for holistic health care and being active in the outdoors.

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