There are seven energy centers along the spine known as Chakras. Activating these is the key to opening awareness and entering higher consciousness states. It’s also a source of energy for enhancing our health and wellness. Learn how to use them to enrich your life.
What Affects Your Spiritual Health
Our spiritual, mental, and physical health are all intertwined. If you affect one of these, you also affect the others. Some believe we overlook the spiritual aspect, which is the cause of many mental and physical health issues. Many ancient cultures understood the connection between these three.
The link between mind, body, and spirit is a scientific fact. The sciences of psychology and physiological medicine (1) prove the link between what you think and what affects your spiritual health.
One way to affect all three is through the energy conduit that is our spinal column. The spine holds seven essential energy connections. The Indian culture calls these chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means ‘wheel or circle.’ It also has an Indo-European base meaning “to turn.” These are junction points that send energy throughout the body.
Our spiritual well-being affects our physical and mental health. Our spiritual mindset is the product of our thinking. If we change our thinking, it affects our attitude. Both are energy, and it’s the dynamic energy that can facilitate healing of mind, body, and soul.
Diagnosing Your Spiritual Health
We can measure the electric current of our bodies. This energy runs through the principal conductor of the spine. Along our vertebrae, there are seven main junction points or centers. These are crucial physical energy junctions.
The only things that limit us are the boundaries of our thinking. So, remove the elements that program harmful thought scripts. These things are easy to spot. They are any religion that promotes sectarianism, racial, ethnic, gender, or religious discrimination. Eliminating these from your life is the beginning of spiritual freedom. When people ask how to improve your spiritual health, this is where you start.
You’ll find many spiritual practices use these centers, either directly or indirectly. Most spiritual practices start with grounding. When you are grounded, you are ready to begin. Grounding takes place when our energy is in alignment.
Therefore, it is practical to start with the center closest to the Earth and work our way up the spine. You’ll find this theory in almost every form of natural healing. But it is also the practice with other technologies such as Tai Chi and the Enneagram Personality Profile. And the reason for this is simple. Everything works better when it has a foundation. These chakra energy centers respond to the body’s needs sending where needed.
Even if you’re not engaging in advanced spiritual practices, you can still benefit. You can learn to activate them. This knowledge helps us to manage our overall health and wellness. But, first, we need to realize our consciousness is spiritual energy.
Learn How to Improve Your Spiritual Health
We will start at the bottom and work our way up the spine.
1st Chakra “Muladhara.”
Muladhara’s first energy center, “I am,” or the “base,” is the lowest in the body in the perineum. It is common to associate this center with the color red. Muladhara is the home of our instinct for self-preservation, survival, and stability. This center nurtures our most basic needs and desires, first and foremost the desire to live.
“I am” is a starting point that correlates well as the first step with many spiritual practices. For example, many meditative practices start with grounding and centering. It’s also the first step in studying philosophical approaches like The Enneagram. Muladhara is the root of the tree. It is one of the main chakra energy centers, and it roots the body and the soul to the Earth. We are part of nature, and ultimately, we draw our energy from the Earth. It’s our connection to our physical vitality and endurance. For this reason, it’s also the key to our physical wellness.
Eastern health practitioners understand how to improve your spiritual health. They know many of our health problems are because of misalignment with this center. Kundalini Yoga is a practice that helps to restore this alignment. It focuses on promoting the flow of energy up the spine. It begins with aligning and releasing the energy from this junction.
2nd Chakra “Svadhisthana.”
Second, “I feel,” most associate it with orange. This center is located below the navel; it is the seat of our emotions and passions. Our dreams, ambitions, and fantasies originate from this center. Here is where we cultivate emotional attachments that can range from healthy to unhealthy. Sages teach it controls your experience of higher emotions and creative expressions.
Many people confuse this bond with the heart. However, this is different. So, think of it more like the protective “love instinct” bees have for their queen bee. But this is also why this is one of the spiritual energy centers keys to the Shamanic Journey practice. Our imagination and dreams derive their power here.
3rd Chakra “Manipura.”
The third center is associated with the term “I do.” This chakra is the tender spot just below the rib cage’s junction, the solar plexus. If we strike you in this center from the front, it will deflate your lungs. Its color is yellow. It houses our willpower, personal strength, learning, and comprehension. It is the center of our social instinct.
Of all the spiritual energy centers, this one is where we find our sense of self and awareness of others. It helps us recognize and set healthy personal boundaries and self-esteem. “I do” is the source of our willpower. We need this kind of energy to achieve challenging objectives.
4th Chakra “Anahata.”
Fourth, “I love” is the heart center, many associate Anahata with the color Green. You find this energy portal in the middle of the chest, just above the physical heart. This center channels all our emotions. It channels anger, hate, vulnerability, anxiety, and dependency. But, it also channels unconditional love, compassion, friendliness, and healthy self-love. So, this center has a tremendous impact on your spiritual health.
If the 5th and 6th centers are open and functioning, this center can connect everything: mind, heart, soul, and body. The heart center is the home of our empathy and connection for other people, animals, and the environment.
5th Chakra “Visuddha.”
Fifth, “I Speak,” Visuddha, we find this center at the base of the throat. We associate this spiritual energy center with “The Adam’s apple” and the color blue. As the gateway of communication, it handles all internal and external messages.
What we think and say is essential. Our thoughts are like seeds. So, we want to make sure our thoughts are not harmful to ourselves or others. When we speak, these vibrations go out into the Universe. Then, they bounce back in the form of Karmic returns.
Some believe even the thoughts of the mind go through this center. We voice (think) our opinions, beliefs, and truths, express ourselves and try to make sense of this world through the throat. Speech can inspire others and add to the flow of mutual influence. It is also the voice that can make vehicles like Mantras and Sutras powerful.
6th Chakra “Ajna.”
Sixth, “I See,” Ajna, is the “third eye.” We find this energy center in the center of the forehead. The color indigo is its trademark. This center is responsible for what we refer to as “the sixth sense.” As such, it connects our intuition, mystical, and logical mind centers altogether. It is the center through which perception manifests.
Hence, we need to be mindful to clean this center regularly. It’s what protects us against subliminal social and cultural programming. When you want to find out how to improve your spiritual health, be mindful of all social media.
There are methods for opening the third eye of perception—however, these are not for the beginner. Be careful because once activated, it can not be closed.
7th Chakra “Sahasrara.”
Seventh, “I understand,” is Sahasrara, the crown. It’s not part of our physical body. Instead, we find this chakra just above the head. Many believe this to be the center of pure consciousness, wisdom, sacredness, and wholeness.
Through this portal, we are connecting our soul to the Universe. So, it’s the gateway enabling the expression of higher states of consciousness. This portal is key to diagnosing your spiritual health. If you reach a plateau with your practice, it’s often because of a blockage with this chakra.
People associate the color white with the crown chakra. Because of this, it’s not surprising to see a “halo” of white light in pictures of great spiritual teachers. Of the spiritual energy centers, this is the one that connects us to the Universe.
This connection makes several miraculous things possible. First, it gives us energy, making many healing modalities powerful. And it’s the gateway to higher states of consciousness. But, all the other chakra energy centers must open and function appropriately for these things to happen.
Integrative Medicine and Eastern Healing Practices
Research in the field of “subtle energy medicine” has been accelerating; it’s trying to figure out how many of the Eastern healing traditions actually work. In 2005 (3), a book was published showing the scientific link of the mind-body connection. This field is known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). That’s a very long word of the study involving the interactions of the endocrine, immune and nervous systems.
This research explores how and why many ancient practices can move and direct the subtle energy to specific points in the body. It provides some interesting evidence on the power of the conscious mind to direct functions in these internal systems.
This research tells us that techniques like Kundalini Yoga do work. They open up energy that provides healing. It tells us Japa meditation or Transcendental Meditation makes long-term changes in our health. Methods like Holotropic breathing can help us reveal and overcome suppressed trauma.
Most of the ancient processes for expanding awareness involve the health of our chakras. So, exploring consciousness not only fulfills our innate desire for the inner quest, but it also heals. Each aspect of our being affects the other.
We are mind, body, and spirit. Don’t ignore your mind or body if you want to improve your wellness. Learning how to improve your spiritual health will also improve your mental and physical health.
Many similar kinds of “subtle energy practices” are found in cultures around the world. They are often an essential part of the spiritual quest. Joseph Campbell describes this as the Hero’s Journey (3).
Do you want to learn more about these kinds of healing practices? We teach several integrative healing methods in our blended learning process. See how we can design a virtual learning event for you. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us.
(1) US National Library of Medicine, National Institue of Health, Positive Psychology and Physical Health: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124958/
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
(3) The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142191/