In recent years, there has been a lot of talk around alternate ways of healing the mind and the body. Among those, the use of "Chakras" has caused a significant stir in the western world.
As the debate around the validity of Chakras and the actual science behind it continues, people like you and me, who want to investigate everything before accepting them, are in a fix.
For instance, if you are a "Type A" person, who is skeptical about everything, you are probably thinking, "Ah! Chakras may be just another way to fool people".
If this sounds like you, you are not alone!
There are thousands of people who want evidence of anything that is in a different dimension to what they have known to exist.
So, the big question is, are Chakras real?
More curious minds may even go further to ask, are Chakras proven?
- If they are, how do they work?
- If they aren't, then why such a hue and cry about them?
This is exactly what this blog post is all about. Like you, I was skeptical about the existence of Chakras.
And so, I dug a little deeper. Read on to know more about my findings, which delve into the origin of Chakras and its validity as per spiritual beliefs, science, and the mind-body connection.
To begin with, let us understand whether Chakras are real or conceptual.
Well, there is no easy way to answer this, but let's just say that if you believe in the existence of energy, then you must believe in the reality of Chakras.
The only thing to note here is, although there is a lack of direct scientific evidence, the presence of energy elements within our body has been proven time and again, courtesy yoga and meditation.
Origin of Chakras
So, where did the concept of Chakras come from? You probably have heard of Chakras being epitomized by Buddhist monks of China and Hindu tantriks of India and you are wondering:
- Are Chakras Hindu?
- Are Chakras Buddhist?
- Who invented Chakras, after all?
Well, history suggests that Hindus and Buddhists both had a role to play in understanding the usage of Chakras.
Let's dive a little further.
The earliest evidence of any text that dwells on the existence of Chakras was found in the Hindu scripture of the Vedas, which are dated around 600 BC.
Yes, it is hard to believe that this system is that old!
This text was intertwined with the teachings of yoga, which, no doubt, has created a significant impact all over the world, especially in the last few decades.
Not much later, as Buddhism evolved as a separate religion, we began to see variations in the Chakra system.
Now, it is not quite clear whether the Buddhist monks "borrowed" the teachings from the Vedas, but the intermingling of the definitions and the types of Chakras suggest that there may have been a connection.
Just to be clear, there is no evidence that Lord Buddha himself taught the benefits of Chakras to his disciples.
The teachings seem to have come into being through hand-me-down wisdom by word-of-mouth or through scriptures.
And then, of course, there are differences in opinion among the Buddhists, too.
While in Tibetan Buddhism, Chakras play a pivotal role in their spiritualistic journey, Chinese Buddhism incorporates a mix of Qi-Gong and Tai-Chi, which are well-researched mindfulness practices.
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Chakras and Energy Existence
I know what you are thinking.
All of this sounds familiar to all the astral projections that Dr. Strange produces in the fictitious universe of Marvel Comics.
Guess what, you are partially correct!
When Dr. Strange travels to Asia to learn about astral projections from the "Ancient One", she shows him a book referring to the ancient wisdom of the Chakra philosophy.
The rest of the story is, of course, fantasy, but one true thing is that Chakras represent the various energy points in our body, which are subtle, but when controlled properly, can produce effective results.
Now, you need to understand that Chakras are not supernatural.
They are, in fact, as earthly as the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Let me now guess your next question:
If Chakras are earthly and are just about energy points, then why can't we measure them?
After all, energy, in its various forms, can be quantified and measured by various scientific units.
Then why not the Chakras?
The answer is, Chakras cannot be measured because they are more to do with emotions and feelings, rather than with physical touch.
It is the job of these feelings to be projected as energy within our physical state of being.
When you focus your attention on these energy points, they work in synchronization with our physical being to bring about the effect that we desire.
Most commonly, this flow of energy rouses our parasympathetic nervous system, which is designed to let our body cool down and relax.
And so, even though these energy points cannot be seen or measured, they exist in the realm of our mind, and when evoked through our emotions, cause sufficient power for healing our ailments.
We talked about the mind and we talked about the body. We also talked about the mental construct of the energy points underneath our physical being.
Well then, what exactly is this mind-body connection, and how are Chakras linked to it?
This brings us back to the connection between the Chakras and yoga.
According to experts, practicing yoga is more than just bending and stretching. It deals with releasing your stress and tensions by working up your body.
Your body comprises millions of cells that trap negative emotions that are set free when you exercise those cells.
So, that is about yoga.
But what is the mind-body connection with Chakras?
Here's the deal.
Chakras are supposed to give you life-force. What that means is that the energy within the Chakras (all symbolic, of course) deliver a certain degree of fluidity through your body and allow it to function correctly.
However, we experience negative emotions as humans. These emotions often tend to block the free-flowing energy of the Chakras.
Stress, anxiety, trauma, and so on. These negativities not only affect the mind but also the body and there is enough research around the effect of stress on a person's physical well-being.
Now, if you already practice yoga, does that mean you are also unknowingly healing yourself through the Chakra system?
Well, there are two ways to look at it:
- One is, you may be connecting your mind and your body through yoga, but it may not be using the full power of the Chakras, because the knowledge of Chakras gives you specific regions of the body to focus on, which you may or may not be doing with yoga.
- Another way to look at it is that you are already well-connected with your mind and inadvertently know the points you need to focus on through yoga to feel better.
More often than not, you may find that these points directly relate to the 7 Chakras that most the literature talks about.
Chakra Scientific Tests and Evidence
Okay, so now you may ask, all of this information is fine, yet, where is the evidence that the Chakra process of healing genuinely works?
Well, while it is true that traditional ways of research have not found enough evidence behind the functioning of Chakras, there have been studies that have proven that mind-body medicine is the real deal.
Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation are also backed by research.
When it comes to Chakras, one significant study is from a paper by Richard William Maxwell, which states that there are intercellular gap junction mechanisms within the body that come into existence while a person is still in their mother's womb.
These gap junction connections manage the process of the subtle energy systems that cannot be seen, aka, the Chakras.
Another book looks into the theory of how the pineal gland is an energy transducer and is affected by the five senses.
This energy is then carried through the body in the form of subtle energy by our, yes, you guessed it right, Chakras!
This theory forms the basis of holistic medicine, in which the cohesive functioning of the mind and the body is explored for healing.
All said and done, the skeptic in you may still refuse to believe that Chakras work.
Well, the evidence is lacking, there is no doubt about that, but it is also true that something hard to measure is also hard to test for existence.
- Can you measure your emotions?
- Can you measure your thoughts, your feelings?
No. You can't. You just know that they are there. You just know that they are valid.
In short, you believe!
All of us, at some point or another, have been in situations where our feelings have been invalidated, neglected, or ignored.
We've had people that did not believe in our emotions. Well, didn't you think it was pointless to argue with such people?
When it comes to the evidence around Chakras, it is the same kind of deal. It may be eons before the existence of this subtle energy field is scientifically proven.
But just because something cannot be quantified, does not mean it is non-existent.
Proving something as subtle as the system of Chakras is a hard task. There is, and will always be, a conflict between the believers and the non-believers.
But the bottom line is, there is a strong energy force present within our physical beings, which may or may not be measured, but has a significant hold over our well-being.
Whether you believe in the Chakras, whether you are convinced that they provide a path to healing, is totally up to you.
But to connect with your mind and body at another level, you do not have to know whether Chakras are real or just a made-up theory.
The idea is to give your mind and body that extra space to heal by focusing on your unexplained feelings.
These feelings, in time, as you continue to focus on, will result in positive energies that flow synergistically through your body, letting your mind be at peace, and accentuate healing.
So, what do think? Are chakras are real?
Do you consider yourself a believer or are you waiting for more scientific evidence?
Let us know in the comments below!
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1. Root Chakra Healing Guide | Muladhara.
2. Sacral Chakra Healing Guide | Svadhisthana.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra Healing Guide | Manipura.
4. Heart Chakra Healing Guide | Anahata.
5. Throat Chakra Healing Guide | Vishuddha.
6. Third Eye Chakra Healing Guide | Ajna.
7. Crown Chakra Healing Guide | Sahasrara.