The chakras ("wheels" in Sanskrit) are basically spinning vortices of energy, which can be likened to areas of computer storage and receptivity that extend from the physical body out into the energy field (aura). Chakras have the ability to delete and modify the content they contain at any given time if the owner is willing. You can work to optimise the functioning of your chakras via a variety of methods including meditation, many forms of spiritual practice including yoga, qigong and tai chi, eating a healthy diet and visiting an energy healer (such as myself). Chakras work on multiple levels - the physical, psychological and etheric (spiritual) and have many layers to them. They are therefore one of the most comprehensive systems gifted to humans and can reveal the depths of a person's health and attitude to life.
There are many chakras, the first seven are of primary importance to physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, so it is these that we must focus our attentions on in day to day life. It is vital for good health physically, mentally and spiritually to keep the chakra system harmonised. Quite often people can have "overactive" or "underactive" chakras, which can also be understood as working with the "shadow" side of that energy centre. For instance an adult who is still caught up in his or her family belief systems and parental control rather than stepping fully into their own individuality, will have a dysfunction of the root chakra.
Below is a brief summary of the first seven chakras, you can find a little more detail in my book The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit and there are many more comprehensive published works on the chakras. In my Chakra Sessions I offer a full assessment of your individual system and offer guidance on healing where there are imbalances.
It is important to note that a baby is born with the entire chakra system intact but that the first five chakras are affected by the developmental stages we go through as children and young adults. Chakras 6, 7 and beyond are not connected with a developmental stage. The chakras always work as a team and the functionality of each with affect the others.
Root (Mulhadara) - 1st chakra
This is the first chakra to develop when we incarnate as humans between (0-3/5 years) and therefore holds much responsibility including supporting our immune and skeletal systems, gonads and general physical wellbeing. It is also our centre of security, survival, family and tribal traditions both local and global. The root chakra is at the base of the spine with superficial activation points in the uterus of a woman and perineum in men. It resonates with the colours red, black and other "earthy" tones.
Sacral (Svadisthana) - 2nd chakra
The second chakra develops between the ages of 3/5-8 years and supports our reproductive organs, lower back, urinary tract, large intestine, hips and the lymphatics. It governs our one to one relationships with people and our attitude to power in these areas. The sacral chakra is also our creative and pleasure zone and deals with our relationship with money. This chakra is our true seat of power and intuition (see also the 6th chakra). It is located just below the navel area through to the sacrum bone and resonates with the colour orange.
Solar Plexus (Manipura) - 3rd chakra
Our third chakra develops between the ages of 8-12 years and supports our stomach, upper intestines, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, middle spine and adrenals. It is the centre associated with our self-will, self-esteem and ability to facilitate transformation. The solar plexus chakra is the home of ego and is located just above the navel area and resonates with the colours yellow and gold.
Heart (Anahata) - 4th chakra
The fourth chakra develops between the ages of 12-15 years and supports our heart, cardiovascular system and the thymus. It is the centre associated with unconditional love and compassion. The heart chakra is located in the centre of the chest area and resonates with the colours green and pink.
Throat (Visuddha) - 5th chakra
The fifth chakra develops between the ages of 15-21 years and supports the throat, oesophagus, neck, mouth, teeth, ears, thyroid and parathyroids. This chakra is where we make all our choices and where we express ourselves and listen to others, it governs our sense of taste. The throat chakra has the important role of connecting the body with the head. It is located in the centre of the throat and resonates with the colours sky blue, aqua and turquoise.
Brow (Ajna) - 6th chakra
The sixth chakra links us to the mental body and supports the brain, neurological system, the eyes, nose and pituitary and pineal glands. The brow is our psychic centre of intuition, wisdom and insight. It is located above and in between the eyes and resonates with the colours dark blue and indigo.
Crown (Sahasrara) -7th chakra
The crown chakra supports the skin, muscular and central nervous systems. It is our connection to the divine, all that is and our gateway to "life-force" which nourishes our mind, body and spirit. This chakra is located at the top of the head and resonates with the colours violet, white and clear quartz.