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What’s the Deal with Chakras (and How Do I Know If Mine Are Blocked)?

You’ve probably come across chakras in your weekly yoga class or favorite meditation app, but you’re not actually sure what they are (or why they matter). Enter our handy guide to these energy centers, including what to do if you suspect that yours are blocked (you know, if you decide you're kind of into this sort of thing).

So, what are chakras? The word “chakra” comes from Sanskrit and translates to “wheel” or “disk,” referring to the shape of these whirling energy centers that unite mind, body, and spirit. “Everyone has seven main centers of energy, also known as chakras, throughout the body, beginning at the top of the head and going straight down to the bottom of your spine,” spa director Sharla Martin tells us. And each one of these energy centers has a specific function. The third eye chakra (or “Ajna” in Sanskrit), for example, is located in the middle of your forehead and is responsible for intuition and trust. The crown chakra (aka “Sahasrara”) sits at the top of your head and focuses on your spiritual connectivity.

And why are chakras important? “Chakras process and distribute energy that is needed for our health, well-being, and vitality,” healing practitioner Jissel Ravelo of Vibra Wellness explains. And according to yoga tradition, when your chakras are open, energy flows effortlessly throughout your body. But when your chakras are blocked, internal energy builds up, which throws the mind, body and spirit connection into disharmony.

How can you tell if a chakra is blocked? “Good indications that one or more of your chakras are blocked are if you are struggling with a pattern that you can't seem to change, you feel heaviness or depletion for no obvious reason, or if there is physical discomfort or stiffness,” says Ravelo.

And how can you unblock a blocked chakra? First, identify the issue and match it up with one (or more) of the chakras, Ravelo tells us. Find out more about each chakra here or enlist the help of a Reiki or healing practitioner to figure out which one is troubling you. Then, depending on where the blockage is, there are different courses of action that practitioners will recommend including crystalsessential oilsyogameditation, and writing. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some vinyasa to get to.


Ways To Fight Back Pain 

Living with back pains is not easy. The following advice is going to help anyone struggling with back pain and need to find better ways to cope. Read through this article thoroughly and find the tips that work for you.

Find a quality mattress that has enough firmness to prevent back pain. It is generally agreed that overly soft mattresses are bad for your spinal health. Firm mattresses are considered most suitable, so long as they are not hard, too. You might have to visit many stores and try different kinds of mattresses at each location before finding one that is suitable for you.

Never ignore or "get by" with back pain. Many people ignore the signals that their bodies. They sometimes even attempt to just try ignoring their back pain. Take a break and move around slower until the pain fades.

Good posture is key to reducing back pain. Many people believe that back injuries are solely caused by types of strenuous physical activities.

Lifting things that happen to be very far away is often due to time constraints and laziness. People take shortcuts that can lead to disaster. You should make sure that you move closer to objects that are too far away, and spend the time to lift correctly.

Stressing out about your back pain only worsens it. You need to learn to relax so that you don't increase your chances of having a muscle spasm.

Start with the fundamentals when you are hurting. You will benefit considerably from even a few days' worths of days. While you are waiting for your back to calm down, try taking some anti-inflammatory pain medicine, like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. You can further relieve the use of a heating pad and an ice pack.

Your doctor might recommend back surgery is the best way to reduce your back pain or disorder. Surgery should only be used as a last resort if no other treatment works for your pain.

Some conditions that result in paralysis can be corrected through surgery, which can only be treated with surgery. There are also other back problems that can improve through surgery.

Avoid back pain while breastfeeding by feeding your chair instead of a couch. The position you nurse in while breastfeeding could trigger back pain or spasms if you sit properly. A good tip here is to place a therapeutic pad should be placed behind you when feeding.

The tips you will find here have been used by many back pain sufferers to get themselves free of the pain and discomfort back pain can cause. Use this advice to get relief from your regular back pain.

Why Reiki Could Be the Best Non-Massage You’ll Ever Get

Alternative therapies like healing crystals, breathwork, and meditation have officially gone mainstream, with everyone from celebrities to your favorite yoga teacher to your Aunt Jeanine touting their benefits. And whether or not you subscribe to them, there’s no denying that we could all use a little help in the relaxation department. Here’s what you need to know about Reiki, the latest trending treatment that’s designed to soothe stresses away.

What it is? Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a type of energy therapy that was founded in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui in 1914 (although some argue that other forms of Reiki have been around for much longer than that). The practice aims to decrease stress and increase relaxation by transferring energy through the practitioner's palms to their client (hence why it’s also known as hands-on healing).

How does it work? According to practitioners, physical or emotional pain can cause energy blockages in the body. Reiki helps to remove these blockages so that energy can flow more smoothly throughout your system (similar to the thinking behind acupuncture). The idea is that by improving your energy flow, you’ll feel more relaxed, experience less pain and boost your well-being.

So, what happens during a Reiki session? Think massage, minus the rubbing. “Clothing is worn during all reiki sessions, and you usually lie on a massage table with a blanket or light sheet on top of you,” Lisa Levine, reiki master and founder of holistic healing center Maha Rose tells us. Soothing music or a guided meditation may be played. (So far, so relaxing.) Then, the practitioner will commence the session—either by lightly placing their hands on specific areas of the body, or holding their hands a few inches above the body. They’ll continue to do this for several minutes on each area, transferring healing energy to the spots that need it the most. Sessions usually last around 60 to 90 minutes.

Anything else? The International Association of Reiki Professionals wants you to know that “Reiki is not a cure for a disease or illness.” But many people say that it helps them feel less stressed and calmer. “Most people feel very relaxed after a session, with some saying they felt warmth or waves of energy,” Levine says. But having someone rest their hands on (or hover them above) your body for over an hour isn’t for everyone. Into alternative healing, not squeamish about being touched and curious about a new way to de-stress? Hey, give it a go. But if just the thought of a crowd is enough to make your skin crawl, then maybe this isn’t the treatment for you. Don’t worry—there are other ways to unwind if you’re so inclined.

Health and the Rule of Seven

Your body was designed with the innate ability to recognize the pure nutrition that nature provides!  Whole foods are the purest form of nutrition available  - they are alive. They carry bio-electric energy and other complex nutritional messages that vibrate with frequencies that energize the body. Our cells recognize the bio-electric messages found only in foods that absorb sunlight and grow naturally from the earth.

All life has electric properties. The ion channels in cell membranes cause a voltage difference across the membrane of nearly 1/10th of a volt. If you line up 20 neuron cells properly, you get about a 1.5-volt charge - enough to run a small flashlight. We react to electrical sunspots 93 million miles away, just like receivers of energy measurements do.

The most basic building blocks in our bodies are the cells. Cells group together to make tissues, which in turn make our organs. Our organs work together to form body systems - seven in all - and all related. In nature we find the seven primary colors - every picture, every painting, and every living creation are arrayed in the various tones that begin with the seven colors of the rainbow. In music, we have seven notes. Every piece of music, every song, and every melody are created from these seven notes. But just like a piano needs to be in tune to produce beautiful music - the seven systems in our bodies need to be "in tune with nature"

The skeletal-muscular system is really our bones, cartilage, and ligaments. It supports our soft tissues, protects our vital organs, and serves as a "scaffold" for muscle attachment. The muscular system works from electrical impulses and through our muscles, tendons, and sheaths around muscles, including the lubricating sacs called bursae.

The nervous system collects information through our five senses. It is made up of the brain, spinal cord, the peripheral & central nervous system, even the autonomic nervous system which controls the automatic functions of our bodies such as the beating of the heart, breathing, even the blinking or our eyes.

The endocrine system uses circulating "chemical messengers" called hormones to help control other internal functions. The circulatory system consists of the heart and all the blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries) and is responsible for moving nutrients, waste and some special proteins (chemical messengers) and cells around the body.

The lymphatic system moves excess tissue fluid back to the veins and transports fat from the gut to the bloodstream. Its other important role is the defense of the body, and for this reason, some elements of the lymphatic system are referred to as the immune system.

The respiratory system is concerned with gas exchange and the intake of oxygen that is needed by all the body's tissues and cells.

The digestive system is concerned with the ingestion, processing, and absorption of nutrients, as well as the elimination of some types of waste. The urinary system controls fluid and salt balance in the body and excretes nitrogen waste.

The reproductive system is concerned with the production of the next generation and is linked during fetal development with the developing urinary system.

When all seven systems of your body are balanced and "in tune" you'll feel wonderful. Apart from responding to changes in the external environment, the body must also act to produce a relatively constant internal environment. This process is known as homeostasis or the maintenance of equilibrium like maintaining constant body temperature, relatively constant blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and blood calcium levels. This natural equilibrium that your body desires is achieved by the coordination and balance of your body's seven systems. Doesn't your body deserve a tune up?

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