We have looked at bodywork that aids in releasing the physical restrictions on the first four major chakras in the body in previous articles, and now we will address the Throat, Third-Eye and Crown Chakras along with the bodywork techniques that will release physical restrictions in these areas. Traditional Chinese Medicine tells us that energy, or chi, flows with blood, lymph and breath, so freeing up the physical constrictions on blood flow and breath opens the channels for energy (chi) to flow more freely.
The fifth chakra, the Throat Chakra, is also called Visuddha, meaning “free from impurities.” This chakra’s element is Ether (sound), the sound is Ham, the color is blue, and the sense associated with this chakra is hearing. The throat chakra governs the thyroid, metabolism and immune system. It is the center of our ability to speak our truth, express ourselves and communicate with the world. Loughran (1999) suggests using Chamomile Roman, Geranium, or Sage when working with this chakra.
This chakra is associated with communication, speech, trust and expression. As such, physical symptoms of problems in this chakra may include thyroid issues, throat problems, mouth and jaw issues, blisters, herpes, or sores in the mouth and throat, or hiccups. Tonsillitis, toothaches, speech disorders and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ) are also associated with the Throat Chakra.
A key dysfunction in this chakra is the inability to say “no.” Speaking up for ourselves, at its most basic level, is the ability to refuse, to say no to the demands and requests of others. The inability to speak up for ourselves on this basic level is a key sign that there is unbalance in the Throat Chakra.
The sixth chakra, the Brow Chakra or Third-Eye Chakra, is named Ajna, or “infinite power.” This chakra resonates with light, the sound associated with it is Sham, and the color is indigo. The sense associated with the Third-Eye Chakra is the awareness – related to the brain stem and cerebellum, also called the reptilian brain. This chakra governs the brain, insight and intuition, inner knowingness and our teaching dreams, as well as our imagination and perception. Loughran (1999) recommends using Clary Sage, Juniper, Lemon, Neroli or Rosemary while working the Third-Eye Chakra.
The Third-Eye Chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, and so any type of hormone issue may be symptomatic of unbalance here. This chakra is also associated with difficulties in the eyes, nose, ears and sinuses, blindness and vision, headaches and migraine, sleep, depression, anxiety and equilibrium imbalances.
The seventh chakra, the Crown Chakra, is named Sahasrara, or “thousand-petal lotus flower.” The Crown Chakra resonates with consciousness and thought, the sound associated with it is Om, and the color is gold or violet. The sense associated with this chakra is awareness and consciousness. This chakra is located on the top of the head and the energy cone is directed upward. Loughran (1999) recommends Frankincense, Myrrh, Rose, Rosewood or Sandalwood to stimulate this chakra.
The Crown Chakra is associated with the pineal gland, the cerebral cortex, and the central nervous system as well as hair growth. Mental illness, confusion, senility and the circulatory system along with warts, skin rashes and eczema are also related to this chakra.
- Throat Chakra: Since the Throat Chakra is so closely related to the mouth, jaw and throat, treating for TMJ helps to release the physical structures around this area. Working the muscles involved in TMJ, including the masseter, lateral pterygoid and temporalis. Releasing the sternocleidomastoid and scalenes will also allow the head to return to a normal position, reducing tension in the jaw.
- Third-Eye Chakra: The Third-Eye Chakra is associated with sinus problems as well headaches and migraines. To open sinuses, apply gentle finger pressure to acupoints Bladder 2, Large Intestine 20 and Stomach 3. To relieve headaches, address upper trapezius, levator scapula, splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, sternocleidomastoid and the scalenes. Trigger points in these muscles are commonly physical causes of headaches and migraines, and releasing them increases the ability of energy to move throughout the head, neck and shoulders – and chakras.
- Crown Chakra: Although associated with the Crown Chakra, the pineal gland is located behind the physical “third-eye,” between the two hemispheres of the brain. Gently tapping the area between the eyebrows with either the index finger, middle finger, or both together stimulates this gland. Tapping should be gentle and last only a minute or two in order to stimulate the pineal. Among other things, the pineal gland produces serotonin, so stimulating the pineal gland may lead to better sleep and reduction of stress.
Healing Chakras: Beyond Massage
The chakras are the energy centers of the body and Reiki or Therapeutic Touch are certainly effective in balancing them, but releasing the physical constrictions surrounding each chakra allows the energy to flow freely. There are other things that have a positive impact on the energy centers and aura of the body such as meditation and yoga.
Mixing ½ cup of sea salt with ½ cup of Epson salt and adding it to a bath, perhaps with a few drops of the appropriate essential oils, is also a nice, relaxing way to clear the aura and energy centers. The heat of the bath, along with the natural tendency to take deep breaths when smelling a pleasant essential oil will increase circulation and breathing, while the sea salt acts to clear the energy.
Releasing restrictions in the physical body is a first step in supporting the proper function of the chakras, or energy centers of the body. Once energy is flowing freely via blood, lymph and breath, we can then use one of several systems of energy work to clear, move and encourage proper movement, flow and function of the subtle energies that flow into, out of, and throughout our bodies.