Chakra is the most common term for the energy centers that occur along the midline of the body, within the auric field. Sometimes visualized as spinning wheels or vortices of light and colour, chakras are centers of energy that relate to each of our body’s systems and organs. According to ancient vedic tradition, there are seven primary chakras, although modern healers and new age systems may discuss more or less than seven. Each chakra corresponds to a different area of the body and an aspect of the psyche. Physical and psychological problems are thought to show up in a person’s chakras and energy field long before symptoms are noticeable.
Chakras have no physical structure. They are part of the body’s subtle energy system and do not have a physical representation or a fixed location - they can shift around within the body. A chakra may relocate by several inches or more as a result of surgery, trauma, or mental or emotional abuse. It might simply be a difference in their "energy anatomy” that places the chakras in slightly different locations in different people. The usual locations are within the body, in a straight line which runs from the “root chakra,” at the base of the spine/between the legs, to the “crown chakra” at the top of your head.
Chakras are often listed by their colour and frequency or energy vibration, although these, too, are generalizations rather than hard and fast rules. The colour of a chakra will vary with the health, awareness, and character of an individual. Chakras are sensitive to energy work and to healing “ingredients” like essential oils, crystals, sound healing, energy work and homeopathic remedies.
The lower chakras (root, sacral and solar plexus) correspond to our physical body and our “lower impulses,” while the upper chakras (throat, brow, and crown) relate to communication, vision and foresight, our intuition, and the connection with spirituality and divinity. The heart chakra is the symbolic bridge between the two. It is believed that past life memories and the impact of our past lives can lodge in any of these energy centers, and affect the health of the chakra and the health of our bodies.
Some healers teach that the lower chakras along the spine are “less spiritual.” In this approach, the higher chakras are thought to be more worthy and are more highly esteemed. Placing a value judgment on parts of the energy field, however, seems to push us away from full integration with who we are as human beings: living, breathing, spiritual and physical beings with bodies as well as hearts and minds. All of these aspects of our existence are equally important to our health and to completely knowing ourselves. The upper chakras are no more important than the lower ones. Is your arm worth more than your foot? Both are valuable; they’re simply different.
For more on emotional clearing, see Feelings and the Chakras.