The Chakras and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Many of you are familiar with the Chakras from your yoga classes and the Ayurveda. Well, they are also important in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Qigong for supporting a healthy flow of energy. Like in the Indian tradition, there are seven main chakras with each being a spinning vortex of energy connected to the centre core of the body. They are all connected together at this centre core in an energetic field of light called the Taiji Pole. Each chakra is number and located as follows: 1. The root chakra is located at the perineum at a point just in front of the anus called Huiyin (Meeting of Yin) 2. The sacral chakra is located between the Kidneys, which is called Mingmen (Gate of Destiny) and on the front of the body just beneath the navel called Spirit Palace Gate. 3. The solar plexus chakra is located in the soft space beneath the sternum called Spirit Storehouse and on the spine directly behind called Jinsuo (Sinew Contraction) 4. The heart chakra is located directly in front of the heart (Centre Altar) and on the spine at behind at a point called Shendao (Spirit Path). 5. The throat chakra is located lower part of the throat called Heaven’s chimney and at the base of the neck on the spine (C7) called Big Vertebra. 6. The third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows at a place called Yintang (Hall of Inspiration) and in the occiput area of the head called Wind Palace. 7. The crown chakra is located on the top of the head and slightly back at a place called Baihui (100 Meetings) The lower three chakras are considered the Earthly Chakras as they are centres of instinctual energies within the body and are associated with physical survival. The upper three chakras are considered the Heavenly Chakras as they are centres of higher spiritual development and are associated with spiritual development. The Heart chakra in the middle is the balance between the Heavenly and Earthly opposites. TCM works with the concept that all symptoms that one would experience are clues that can help you find the root cause. The Chakras are used as a part of that diagnosis. For example, a sign that the first chakra is out of balance is a pattern of chronic fear and victimization, where the person feels out of control and is unable to stand on his or her own. A doctor could use this information (along with other information) to help their patient move towards a more grounded way of being. We can take it one step further by looking at the organ systems and the chakras that are connected to them. Each organ systems has a Yin (feminine) and a Yang (masculine) part as well as an element.
1. The Spleen (Yin) and the Stomach (Yang) are represented by the Earth element and the 1st chakra. 2. The Kidneys (Yin) and the Bladder (Yang) are represented by the Water element and the 2nd chakra. 3. The Heart (Yin) and the Small Intestine (Yang) are represented by the Fire element and the 3rd chakra. 4. The Lungs (Yin) and the Large Intestine (Yang) are represented by the Metal element and the 4th chakra. 5. The Liver (Yin) and Gallbladder (Yang) are represented by the Wood element and the 5th chakra. Using this knowledge can help the TCM doctor know which organ to focus on based on the symptomatology. To continue with the previous example of the first chakra, we can see that it is associated with the Spleen and Stomach. The doctor could see if there are any symptoms in either of these organs or respective areas and offer solutions to help the patient. As you can see this is a very complex, but connected system of medicine and the chakras are a vital part of learning what is happening to a sick individual. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to learn more about this interesting topic. Blessings, John