THE MAJOR CHAKRAS: UNDERSTANDINGS WITHIN THE THERAPEUTIC TOUCH FRAMEWORK
By Barbara Janelle M.A.
In my practice of Therapeutic Touch, I find that assessment, unruffling, balancing and various forms of energy modulation applied to the major chakras are very effective for promoting better function and energy flow through the field. In this article, I will describe my understanding of chakra function and how I address the major chakras as both centres of consciousness and energy transformers.
DEFINITION AND FUNCTION
Chakra as Energy Transforming Centers. The word “chakra” means wheel in Sanskrit and refers to the rotating wheel of light seen at many of the major and secondary chakras. Many writers and healers have described chakras as energy transforming centers. Energy moves in and out of these centers, and the vital energy that supports physical existence comes into the field through the chakra system. The chakra system consists of interrelated energy transforming centers of various sizes: the major chakras, secondary centers of which the feet and hand chakras are of great importance in TT, and tertiary centers (there is a chakra at every joint in the body).
The major chakras can be fairly easily seen in the pattern of light around a person (observe from the front and the side) standing against a dark sheet in a darkened room. This is similar to seeing the energy field and requires that one be centered and “looking” through the 3rd eye chakra. In the case of the chakras, cones of light that broaden outward from the body are visible.
Chakras as Centers of Consciousness. Many writers/healers, Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger among them, also agree that the Major Chakras are centers of consciousness: that a person’s beliefs, thoughts and emotions control how the chakras function.
The direction of rotation and the amount of energy flow through them changes with emotions and thoughts. For example, when one is inwardly focused, the heart chakra will rotate in a counterclockwise direction. When one focuses outwards in a state of caring and trust, the direction will shift to clockwise. This change of rotation can occur very rapidly with changing thoughts and emotions. It is inappropriate, indeed Medical Astrologer Ingrid Naiman says very dangerous because it can undermine psychological health, for a healer to attempt to interfere with the direction of rotation through the application of some energetic technique. (1)
In a TT treatment, we do not address the direction of rotation of the chakras, nor do we attempt to change a recipient’s beliefs or emotions. However, the practitioner’s centered state and compassion for the recipient can provide a space where shift toward positive feelings can occur.
THE IDENTIFICATION AND NUMBER OF MAJOR CHAKRAS
I have studied the work of many healers and find that there is considerable debate over the identity, number, location, attributes, and effect of the major chakras. (2) What I present here is my own composite of the major chakras based on reading, training and experimentation. I believe that these understandings and energetic approaches fit well within the Therapeutic Touch framework. These ideas are also subject to change as experience, reading and learning from others bring new information.
Carolyn Myss, Dora Kunz, Dolores Krieger, Choa Kok Sui, Brugh Joy and Rosalyn Bruyere are some of the writers/healers whose work I draw on, some partially and others more fully.
The Major Chakras that I work with primarily are the Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, and Heart Chakras, and very gently with the Throat, 3rd Eye (Ajna) and Crown Chakras. I also work with the Splenic Chakra, which is a major energy intake center for the entire field.
I teach this simple scanning procedure for locating the chakras in my TT classes:
Use the chakras at the tips of the index and long fingers of one hand to scan the partner’s spine from the base of the skull to the tail end. Notice where you feel something and then check those locations against a map of the chakra system.
Function. Choa Kok Sui contends that the back and front of several of the major chakras control different organs. Through my own experience, I am aware that the back and front of the Heart Chakra function differently. (2) The back seems to have more control of the respiratory system, while the front has greater control of the heart and circulatory system and of the thymus; there is some sharing of function between the back and front as well. In addition, two or more chakras may control the functioning of an organ or part of the body. For example, the Root Chakra and the Sacral Chakra both have control over the lower spine.
Colour. Clairvoyants seem to agree that the chakras appear to be associated with colour, for example, the Throat Chakra is associated with blue. . Rosalyn Bruyere says that the colour of a chakra is the colour or frequency of light that the chakra will not absorb so it gets left in the field.
While colour is used as a means of modulating directed energy in TT, the sending of colour in whatever manner is a mute point for me because I find that no matter what is sent, the field will shift it to meet its needs. In addition, I seldom send energy into the field, preferring the subtler and more effective procedure of offering white or rainbow-coloured light instead (4) or just inviting the chakra to take from the sea of energy in which we live.
Size. I use a series of exercises to teach students to be aware of the size of the chakras. For example, it is possible to find the “edges” of the width of the solar plexus and most of the other chakras, by starting a scan with the hands far apart and coming in toward the chakra center until edges are felt.
The functioning and clarity of the back and front of the torso chakras may differ enough so that in assessment one hand may be “pushed” further out in the field than the other. I use unruffling procedures to bring greater balance to the chakras back and front.
Carolyn Myss contends that most physical problems originate in the lower three chakras, and while I work with this awareness, I find that paying attention to the Heart Chakra can create a major shift toward normalcy in the lower chakras.
ADDRESSING THE CHAKRAS IN A TT TREATMENT
Very early in the TT treatment, I check for and support the flow of energy out of the field through the feet chakras. If feasible, I will rub the bottom of the feet to augment this flow and connection with the Earth. In addition, I will check for and augment the flow of energy out through the hand chakras, rubbing these as well.
Once a fair sense of energetic flow through the field is established, I will assess and work briefly with most of the major chakras. In a healthy state, the chakras feel light and vibrant and are gently taking in energy.
Root Chakra. Grounding through this chakra is critical to the functioning of the entire field. TT treatment of this chakra will affect all of the chakras, and most noticeably the crown. If there is a major health problem, this chakra will be “gummy” and unruffling and grounding visualizations are often very helpful. With a sitting receiver, I generally work with this chakra at the base of the spine in the back.
Connection with the Earth and good function is important because the root chakra draws energy upward from the Earth into the field. While we do not work directly with this in TT, our treatment will affect the intake of Earth energy and increase the overall energy in the field.
In animals, I offer energy to this primary chakra. In humans, I offer energy to the Sacral, Splenic, Solar Plexus, and back of the Heart Chakras.
Carolyn Myss says that the sacred truth of this chakra is “All is One.” I hold the awareness of our connection with all life and with this planet as I work with this Chakra.
Sacral Chakra. If the receiver is sitting, it is possible to assess the front and back of this chakra and use unruffling to bring a greater balance and uniformity to both. If the person is lying down, I only work with the front of the chakra. If the chakra is too quiet, I will unruffle it to augment the intake of energy. If it is sucking energy intensely, I will offer more and/or remind it that it exists in a sea of energy and can take freely from the surrounds. Unruffling movement from head to feet follows, to support the flow through the field and working interrelationship of the chakras.
If this chakra only partially responds to treatment, I will go to the Solar Plexus or Heart Chakra, knowing that work on another center will affect all of the centers.
Myss says the sacred truth of this chakra is “Honour One Another,” and so I hold a sense of the honour that it is to work with this person and the wish that we may both know the sacredness of all our relationships.
Splenic Chakra. In a healthy field this chakra is light, vibrant and dynamic, strongly taking energy into the field. This is the center, I work with primarily to increase overall energy in the field both through offering energy and reminding it as I do all of the chakras that there is so much available in the sea around us.
Solar Plexus. Assessment, balancing, energizing and connecting procedures similar to those used for the Sacral Chakra are used on this center. Myss says the sacred truth of this center is “Honour Yourself.” I hold the image of the receiver and myself as valuable and powerful spiritual beings.
Heart Chakra. Assessment, balancing, energizing (at the back) and connecting through unruffling procedures are used with this center as well. Support of the Heart Chakra (5) is critical within the TT treatment: the pause to center deeply and to truly acknowledge the magnificence of this being, and to hold the understanding that “Love is Divine Power” (Myss’ sacred truth of the Heart Chakra). The entire field will change dramatically with Heart Support.
Throat Chakra. Assessment, balancing through unruffling, and connecting through full field unruffling are used here too. I do not offer energy to this chakra, choosing instead to remind it to take from the sea around. The reason for this is that any energy coming through our hands is modulated by the heart chakra and will be of that chakra’s vibration. This is lighter than the vibration of the lower chakras and easy for them to accept. It is denser than the vibration of the Throat and other upper chakras and more difficult for them to accept and process.
This center deals with “Surrender to Divine Will” according to Myss; trust in a power and a plan beyond what we can conceive. I hold this understanding while I work with the Throat chakra.
Third Eye (Ajna) Chakra. In TT, we recognize that the head is a delicate electrical system and we have a general policy of not doing too much work around the head. This delicacy is one of the reasons (the other is that the head chakras are of such a light vibration) why I do very little work around the Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Sometimes it is simply enough to include the head in the overall unruffling. At other times I will use a light, momentary outward unruffling over the forehead, followed by general unruffling. Clarity, truth, discernment, intuition, and inspiration are strengths of this chakra.
Crown Chakra. Again when there is significant illness, this Crown Chakra along with the Root Chakra will be congested. I use very brief, light, outward drawing unruffling movements to help clear this chakra and enable more energy to be taken in. I do not direct energy into it, nor offer energy from my hands to it. Instead, in the general unruffling that follows, I invite a universal stream of light to enter and move downward through the field, brightening the entire field, and continuing to flow through it– a normal state.
FINISHING THE TREATMENT
When the work with the chakras is finished, I assess the field again, do any additional work that seems required and finish with a check on the grounding and integration of the entire field.
- From my notes in a course on Astroendrocrinology with Ingrid Naiman, Toronto, Ont. (May 18-19, 1996)
- As examples of the debate among healers over number and location of major chakras, Dolores Krieger identifies the Splenic Chakra as major and does not recognize the Sacral Chakra (Therapeutic Touch Inner Workbook, Bear & Co., Santa Fe, NM: 1997). Roslyn Bruyere says the Splenic Chakra is actually the Solar Plexus displaced to the side (Wheels of Light, Simon and Schuster, New York: 1989, 1991.) In assessment, I find both chakras, with the Splenic generally drawing a lot more energy than the Solar Plexus.
- Choa Kok Sui, Pranic Healing, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine: 1990. Philippine healer Choa Kok Sui identifies eleven major chakras: Crown, Forehead, Ajna, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Spleen, Naval, Meng Mein (back of Naval Chakra), Sex (pubic area), Basic (base of spine.) Choa Kok Sui also says that the back and front of the Sacral Chakra are so different in their functioning that he regards them as separate chakras.
- Barbara Janelle, “The Field Leads the Dance,” In Touch, Vol. X, No. 4, November 1998.
- Barbara Janelle, “Heart Support,” In Touch, Vol. XII, No. 3, August, 2000.