The term ‘Chakra’ has come to be defined and reinterpreted in Western cultures, losing much of its original meaning and the vast body of teachings that accompany this ancient meta-physical form. Based on Sanskrit, Chakra’s original definition is that of a wheel or rotation. In ancient Hindu works, Chakra came to represent ‘points’ within the human body with each point relating to a particular energy and regulating certain physical functions.
Though the modern known concept of Chakra finds its roots in India, similar concepts existed in other neighboring regions of Asia, including China, Tibet and Thailand. In China, ‘Chi’ refers to nearly identical points along the body with similar concepts of life energies that rule the physical and mental capacities. Chakra and Chi can be related to China’s studies and development of acupuncture and acupressure and India’s studies and development of Ayurvedic medicine. Throughout history and modern day, how many Chakras there are exactly have been a matter of great debate. It is generally accepted that there are seven Chakras within the physical body and a total of twelve with the addition of five spiritual chakras.
The 7 Physical Chakras:
- Muladhara Chakra– refers to the root energy point in the body around the feet, also known as Chakra 1 and Root Chakra.
- Swadisthana Chakra– refers to the energy point several inches below the navel and relates to the sexual organs, also known as Chakra 2 and Sacral Chakra.
- Manipura Chakra– refers to the energy point in the abdomen area, also known as Chakra 3 and Solar Plexus Chakra.
- Anahata Chakra– refers to the energy point in the heart, also known as Chakra 4 and Heart Chakra.
- Visuddha Chakra– refers to the energy point in the throat, also known as Chakra 5 and Throat Chakra.
- Ajna Chakra– refers to the energy point in the forehead area between the brows, also known as Chakra 6 and Third Eye Chakra.
- Sahasrara Chakra– refers to the energy point on the top of the head, also known as Chakra 7 and Crown Chakra.
The remaining Chakras (8 through 12) pertain to higher levels of divinity and are associated with Hinduism and Buddhism and their respective practices of Tantra, Tantric yoga, Vajrayana (Buddhist Tantra) and chi-gung.
Unlike Western medicine, all ancient Asian medical forms associate the well being of the physical body with far more than what the eyes can see and the hands can touch. It is this intangible presence of life energies that has fascinated and occupied millennia of Asian physicians throughout history. Massive doctrines and texts have been documented by well respected physicians from various Asian countries that display their absolute faith and certainty in the existence of these energy points in all life forms, whether they are referred to as Chakras or Chi.
Chakra is a metaphysical conglomeration of all that encompasses a life form, from the physical to the mental, emotional and divine.