Chakras (the word means "wheel" in Sanskrit) are energy vortices in the body through which pass the meridians which carry the life-force (called Prana by Hindu Ayuvedics and Ch'i by the Chinese).
This life-force also flows all around us in an energy field called the aura. The force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When the flow of this force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body.
The Ch'i is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It is affected when we accept, either consciously or unconsciously, negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. These thought forms attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption of flow in the life force.
There are a number of ways to restore the flow of the life-force. For example, Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It clears and heals the energy pathways, allowing the Ch'i to flow unimpeded.
Similarly, certain stones and crystals are considered to be in tune with the chakras, and can be used to cleanse the chakra and restore balance.
The seven major chakras are:
First or root (muladhara) chakra -
at the base of the spine.
sacral (svadhisthana) chakra
- located about two inches below the navel.
Third or solar
plexus (manipura) chakra
- located in the solar plexus region.
heart (anahata) chakra
- located in the centre of the chest.
throat (vishuddha) chakra -
located in the throat.
Sixth or third
eye (ajna) chakra
- located in the forehead.
crown (sahasrara) chakra
- located at the top of the head.