What Are Chakras & What Do They Do?

Learn why chakras matter for you - in your actual, daily life. 

by Sarah Petruno, Shamana

The chakras are the backbone of the energetic body. The central nervous system of our energetic life.

To understand what a chakra is, we must first understand that we, as living beings, are made up of energetic particles.

We are energetic beings. Our physical body thrives on energy to metabolize food and carry out vital life functions. Our spiritual body, that which is intangible and makes us who we are, is also comprised of energy. Our thoughts, emotions, and feelings are all comprised of energy. (Learn more about this here).

We are made of energy. And rather than that energy being an amorphous blob, it’s organized. There’s structure. Our energetic body, which comprises the energy of our physical and spiritual selves, has a system.

That system is the chakra system.

Chakras are swirling, circulating centers of concentrated energy located throughout our bodies, and some would argue, above and below our bodies as well.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of chakras, energy centers, throughout your body.  You can think of them as pockets of swirling energy, vortices, where the energy in one area combines and centralizes.

They’re like organs for the energy body.

And get this, each chakra, like an organ, controls, regulates, and maintains energy for specific functions and areas throughout the body - both physical functions and emotional/spiritual functions as well.

In their optimal state, chakras, energy centers, are always circular in shape, like a vortex. They can be as tiny as a pin prick or a quarter, to as large, or larger than, the circumference of a basketball or large serving platter.

Each one is responsible for governing the energy of a certain area or areas of the body.  

They’re centralized areas of communication within our body. Their functioning, the functioning of the energy within them, is what determines our health to a large degree.

Let’s consider an example.

The center of circulating energy located in the stomach, otherwise known as the 3rd or the solar plexus chakra, is responsible physically for digestive functions and emotionally, for self-confidence and courage (I’m diluting it here for the example).

This means, the energy used by your digestive system in large part is meted or doled out by the circulating energy center responsible for it, the solar plexus chakra.

If the energy here is less than awesome, for example, because you’ve been eating poorly or you have low self esteem, then, you guessed it, the energy this chakra delivers to your digestive system is also less than awesome.

Meaning, you might see a physical problem in your digestion.

That’s why chakras matter. Because they can have real, tangible effects on your health and well being.

If the energy within a chakra is less than optimal, you can expect that the physical and emotional functioning related to that chakra to be less than optimal. Physical and emotional function will be weakened, struggling, or challenged, often leading to disease and illness.

There are 7 major chakras known as the 7 primary chakras.

Going from your feet, to the top of and above your head, they are:  

  • the root chakra  - aka the base chakra, the first chakra

  • the sacral chakra - aka the creativity chakra, the second chakra

  • the solar plexus chakra - aka the stomach chakra, the third chakra

  • the heart chakra - aka the fourth chakra

  • the throat chakra - aka the fifth chakra

  • the third eye chakra - aka the psychic chakra, the sixth chakra

  • the crown chakra - aka the seventh chakra

In and of themselves, each of these chakras is responsible for governing not only one area of the body - but also dedicated emotions, physiological systems, such as reproductive system, endocrine system, and the circulatory system, internal structures, body parts, and behaviors.  

Because of this, if one of your 7 major chakras is blocked, you can experience physical and emotional manifestations of this energetic blockage, which can and often do appear as physical illness, emotional, and spiritual challenges.

And remember, it’s not a system in isolation. Often times, just like in the physical body, a problem in one area can cause cascading problems in related systems.


How can you tell if you have a blockage?

This is could be an entire book, but here are a few examples:

Do you experience frequent stomach aches and nausea? Have low self-confidence and feelings of low self-worth? You may want to examine the status of your solar plexus.  

Are you feeling as though you are constantly giving and not receiving? Have you been having respiratory problems? Take a look at your heart chakra.  

Is there something you need to say but you are having trouble finding the confidence and the words to say it? This is likely due to a throat chakra blockage.

Do you have a history of migraines or otherwise severe headaches? This may be due to a third eye blockage.  

These are all examples of physical, emotional, or mental manifestations of chakras that are not functioning at their fullest capacity. By uncovering these issues in yourself, and working towards removing them and healing your chakras, you will likely see a relief of physical and emotional symptoms of a system in distress.



LAST UPDATED: February 5, 2016

Disclaimer: By law, we are required to state that we are not a medical doctors, the information presented here is for education purposes only, and our advice is not meant to be replaced for medical diagnosis and/or treatment by your doctor. This website is run by a shaman and an herbalist. The statements made on this blog and website represent our view of the world given our unique set of life experiences. These are truths as we see and understand the world at the time the words were written. Statements here have not been evaluated by the FDA and are meant for educational purposes only. We cannot guarantee successful outcomes. Your health is your responsibility. Please view our full terms & conditions and site disclaimers, located in the webpage footer.

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