Chakras and yoga
The 7 chakras of traditional Indian medicine are placed along the spine and are associated with the different organs of the human body.
The chakras, based on the ancient writings of the Indian medical tradition, are the centers in which the energy of the body converges. The main chakras, a Sanskrit term meaning wheel, are seven and are located along the spine. According to tradition, they have the task of receiving and distributing vital energy, by ensuring the proper functioning of the body. Each chakra is in fact associated with particular organs and functions, now we’ll see better in detail!
The seven chakras
The first chakra is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the kidneys and intestine. Its color is red and represents our roots. It is believed that an unbalance of this chakra causes constipation, problems with the urinary tract or feelings of insecurity and fear. The second chakra, located just below the navel, is associated with the reproductive organs and creativity. Its color is orange. The third chakra, represented with a yellow color, is associated with the stomach, liver, pancreas and spleen and a block in this chakra could determine digestive problems but also low self-esteem and low self-confidence. The fourth chakra, green, is in the center of the chest and is connected to the heart and the lungs. It is the chakra that represents the ability to love and get in touch with others. The fifth chakra, blue, is the throat chakra connected to the pharynx, trachea, bronchi and the ability to communicate with words. The sixth chakra or third eye is located in the center of the forehead. The color of this chakra is indigo and is connected to sight and hearing, a block of it can lead to concentration problems, but also to the poor ability to listen to intuitions. In addition, headaches or problems with sight and ears may occur. The last chakra, the crown chakra, is placed on the top of the head, is associated with the purple or white color and is connected to the brain and nervous system. In addition to this, according to tradition, the other 6 chakras depend on the crown chakra. For this reason, it is able to influence also all the organs of the body.
Chakra, what science says
The body, as well as everything that surrounds us, is also energy. Energy are the signals between neurons, energy is the sustenance of cells and energy are the emotions. Therefore, the idea of chakras as energy centers, from the scientific point of view, makes sense. In addition, the chakras are superimposed on the endocrine system of the human body composed by the glands that produce hormones and that can be considered the connection between the physical and emotional body. We are therefore talking about the pineal gland (seventh chakra), an endocrine gland of the brain useful to regulate the sleep wake cycle, the pituitary gland (sixth chakra), an endocrine gland located at the base of the head connecting the brain with the hormonal production, the thyroid (fifth chakra), the thymus (the fourth chakra), a gland located in the chest and with a pivotal role for the immune system, pancreas (third chakra), glands of the reproductive system (second chakra), the adrenal glands (first chakra). For several years, science has been interested in yoga to understand its benefits for body and mind, but it is also starting to evaluate that for a complete therapeutic approach it is not enough to take into consideration the biology and chemistry of the body but also the mental and energetic aspect. For example, a question that scientists have begun to ask (Ross, Glob Adv Health Med, Feb 2019) is whether through yoga, acupuncture or acupressure with an action on energy channels and chakras it is possible to treat endocrine problems like thyroid malfunctions, bone metabolism disorders or even problems of the reproduction glands like ovaries, just to name a few. Further studies will be needed to understand this influence, but in the meantime, we can cite a study published by Swedish researchers in the journal Quality of life research (Fernros et al, 2008) in which it was possible to observe that mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises and chakra work on people with pre-existing health problems have led to a general improvement in health conditions, emotional well-being, an improvement in sleep but also a reduction in pain. Not only that, alternative approaches that include attention to the chakras are being applied along with traditional therapies in case of cancer patients with beneficial results in terms of attenuation of pain, anxiety but also an increased sense of well-being (Potter et al, J Adv Pract Oncol, May 2013). Therefore, this research, even if partial, helps us to understand that the chakras are part of a holistic vision of the human body and that they can coexist with Western medicine to guarantee more health of body and mind.