Moving from the physical, emotional, and mental wellness into the energy system and some would say into the realm of spirituality, has always been difficult. Our western society likes to divide everything into its neat and tidy boxes. You see an orthopedic doctor for muscle and bone injuries, a cardiac doctor for your heart, a respiratory specialist when you’re having trouble breathing…and so on. Your primary care doctor is a generalist with the ability to refer to specialists like those mentioned above. Psychologists and licensed counselors/therapists take care of your mental health, as if those things were completely separate from your physical health. (Ask any chronically ill person and they’ll tell you just how untrue that really is.) Then there are eye doctors and dentists, whose visits aren’t covered under the American health care system. I could go on and talk about this at great length. But the bottom line is that in the western world we like to compartmentalize ourselves and our health.

Except, we’re all connected. From the trees and plants which produce the oxygen we breathe to the carbon dioxide we’re putting into the environment at rates too great for the natural world to absorb, to the wildlife populating our cities because it has no where else to go…we are all connected. We’re connect to the Earth and even when we look out at the night sky, to the very substance of the distant stars, planets, and galaxies.

It is this connectedness which sustains us. It nourishes us. And so it should come as no surprise that the wellness wheel can connect to our chakra system.

If you haven’t encountered chakras, they’re part of the body’s energy system. They’re described as being wheels of energy located at various points along the body. While there are many chakras, and the number differs depending on historical or modern systems, generally most people work with seven, starting at the base of the tailbone, the “root” chakra, and working along the spine at the pelvis, the abdomen, the heart, the throat, between the eyebrows, and finally the top of the head. Energy flows through these centers, moving throughout the body, connecting us to the ground (grounding us) and connecting us to the greater universe, however that feels right to you.

Subconsciously, we feel this energy and use it. Often our “gut feelings” or those instinctual, visceral reactions are often based on this energy. Psychology tells us those feelings come from our amygdala (lizard brain), which is deep in our brain’s anatomy. They’re also not wrong. But what is our amygdala sensing? Where is it getting those impressions? Science is starting to learn these answers, and our amygdala connects with our cortical brain to help make sense of what we’re seeing and experiencing and feeling. But it doesn’t always get it right.

That’s where the chakra and the energy system comes into play. When we use it to soothe our energy, to help us tap into our emotions and feelings, and even direct our thoughts, we help guide our amygdala, helping it to remember that we are (hopefully) safe in this moment. It calms anxiety and reduces overactive thinking.

So yes, the chakras connect with the wellness wheel because the energy of connection infuses all that we do. It helps us connect to one another, even subconsciously, and also help us connect to ourselves. I hope to share more about this in future blogs.

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