Chakra Healing: What Is It And How Does It Work?

In Eastern philosophies, the chakras, or energy centers, have long been an accepted concept within the healing arts and spiritual practice. Each living being has seven chakras. Each chakra has a specific location within the subtle body. While in the West, the practice of chakra healing is a more recent introduction, the benefits have made it a welcome addition to what we know today about the healing of body, mind, and spirit.

There are different terms that refer to chakra healing. You may hear a practitioner or patient refer to “chakra balancing,” “chakra re-balancing,” “chakra alignment,” and other similar terms. All point to a common goal – the re-establishment of a person's ability to remain centered, calm, and healthy while pursuing day-to-day life.

Each of the seven chakras has a specific location. While the location of each chakra is actually within the subtle body, their locations are referred to by each chakra's proximity to its physical counterpart.

Here is a simple list you can use to locate your own chakras:

  • The first chakra – Called the “root” chakra, it is located at the base of your spine. This chakra relates to the health of your rectum, large intestine, and kidneys. When balanced, you feel grounded and well-equipped to survive any challenge life hands you.
  • The second chakra – Called the “emotion” chakra, it is located just below your belly button. This chakra oversees the health of your reproductive organs (male and female), bladder, and some kidney functions. When balanced, you feel emotionally stable and centered – and very in tune with your creativity.
  • The third chakra – Called the “self-esteem” chakra, this chakra is located in the center of your solar plexus. This chakra governs the health of your small intestine, gall bladder, liver, spleen, and stomach. When balanced, you feel good about yourself and in tune with your own desires.
  • The fourth chakra – Called the “heart” chakra, the fourth chakra oversees the heart and the health and function of your arms. When balanced, you feel loving and in harmony with yourself and the world around you.
  • The fifth chakra – The fifth chakra is called the “voice” chakra, and it is responsible for keeping your lungs and throat healthy. When balanced, you feel able to communicate confidently, clearly and truthfully.
  • The sixth chakra – The sixth chakra is often referred to as the “third eye” chakra because it is located just between your two physical eyes. This chakra is responsible for the health of your brain, eyes, nose, and face. When balanced, you are able to see clearly and feel in tune with your own intuition.
  • The seventh chakra – The seventh chakra is called the “crown” chakra. Rather than corresponding to specific organs or systems, this chakra oversees the health and wellbeing of your whole self. When balanced, you feel tuned in to the divinity or “higher aspect” of all.

How do Chakras Work?

The traditional Sanskrit term for “chakra” means “wheel” or “disk”. If you have ever felt like you had low energy or were just tired, you already know what a blocked or unbalanced chakra feels like. Chakras at full function are spinning continuously as they channel the energy through your subtle body. Some healing practitioners refer to chakras as “energy vortexes” – in a way that is similar to some of the vortex sites identified by scientists on our planet (Sedona, AZ is one you are likely familiar with). These vortexes are places within your subtle body where energy can become particularly concentrated…and sometimes blocked.

What does a Blocked Versus an Open Chakra Feel Like?

From time to time, you may notice that you feel depressed, angry, sad, stressed out, unwell. Sometimes you may feel like your digestion isn't working properly, or that your head won't stop aching, or that you feel achy and feverish. These can all be signs you are experiencing a blocked or unbalanced chakra. Because your chakras are located in your subtle body, they communicate first through manifesting physical signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms let you know where the blockage is located and which chakra needs healing.

In contrast, when your chakras are open and balanced, you feel calm, centered, much less anxious or stressed, and able to take in and hold joy. You get good sleep and your head doesn't ache. You feel energetic and in good health overall, and your whole body feels well. As well, you may notice you naturally attract the attention of others, and projects you take on go smoothly. This is because all of your chakras are balanced and smoothly connecting to keep your overall energy positive and welcoming. People are naturally attracted to individuals whose chakras are balanced and open – even though they may not know that is the reason!

How Will I Know I Need Chakra Healing?

It is not necessary to be experiencing a full-blown physical illness in order to need or benefit from chakra healing. Any person of any age can benefit from chakra balancing and healing sessions, and one of the main reasons many patients cite for seeking chakra healing is simply to reduce stress! Reduction of anxiety and stress, lifting of depression or ennui (a feeling of “emptiness”), better digestion, better sleep – all of these are common reasons why people seek out chakra healing.

So What is Chakra Healing Actually Like?

Unlike much of physical medicine today, chakra healing takes place where your chakras are located, in the subtle body, so it is not invasive or painful. There are different healing techniques to rebalance the chakras, including focused meditation, crystal or stone rebalancing, reiki energy healing, chakra energy readings, foot baths, detox work, reflexology, essential oils, massage, psychic work, and many other effective approaches.

Often the initial healing session can be a bit longer, as your practitioner needs to assess the overall state of your chakra system, where any unbalanced areas or blockages may reside, and which approaches will best suit to restore you to health and wholeness most effectively. You may be asked for your medical and health history and any goals you have for the healing session. There will also be a time for questions and answers before the session begins.

While different practitioners may take different approaches, you will often be lying down for your chakra healing sessions. The room will be a comfortable temperature, and there may be soft and soothing music playing. You may notice candles, incense, or essential oils used in parts of your session. The lights will provide visibility but will not be harsh. Your practitioner may invite you to close your eyes and relax as the session begins.

Your practitioner will then begin to connect to your chakras through what is often called the Universal Healing Energy, or “white healing light.” This will coincide with your practitioner doing your chakra reading to identify areas of unbalance or blockage.

Sometimes, your practitioner will position their hands a few inches above your body and run their hands along the chakra path from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. They may lightly touch your chakra centers or not as needed. Throughout, you will be invited to participate in your own healing through guided meditation.

Your practitioner will be your guide during this meditation, taking you on a subtle tour of your chakra system, engaging you through meditation, color imagery, and other visualizations to tune in to your own chakra system as it heals.

How Will it Feel After a Session is Complete?

For patients who have experienced massage or reflexology work, you may notice you feel similar – lighter, more balanced, more relaxed, peaceful. Depending on your specific healing needs during the session, you may emerge feeling energized or you may want to take some extra rest.

It will be important to do everything you can to maintain the gains you achieved during your chakra healing session, and also to drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated and flush out any toxins. The best advice is simply to listen to your own body – it will give you direction on what it needs.

How Long Will I Have to Wait to Feel Results?

Often people who have had only one chakra healing session report feeling results! You may want to continue for a few weeks with one session per week. Your practitioner may also give you at home tools you can use to maintain your healing progress, such as meditation, guided visualizations, staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet.

How Can I Find a Local Chakra Healing Practitioner?

One of the easiest ways to find a local practitioner is simply to do an internet search. You can also ask other health practitioners for a referral. If your community has a local magazine geared towards health and wellness, this is also a great place to look for a local practitioner. You may also want to ask at local holistic health centers and natural foods stores. Finally, books are another good way to find referrals (check the index sections in the back!)

Once you have become aware that you may benefit from chakra healing, the process has already begun. It is then simply a matter of finding a local practitioner, setting your personal goals for the healing session, and experiencing the stress reduction, peace, health, and wholeness chakra healing can offer you!