Balance & Chakras: Psychology of Meditation

chakra

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology once said: “I believe psychology has done very well in working out how to understand and treat disease. But I think that is literally half-baked. If all you do is work to fix problems, to alleviate suffering, then by definition you are working to get people to zero, to neutral.” He sounds like he’s referring to the chakra system.

Throughout the body there are nerves. The nerves receive information and send electrical signals to the spine to reach the brain. At each point there is a chakra. What is this exactly? It’s energy from certain places of the body. There are seven that work together to help the body stay balanced or “neutral” as Seligman said.

Here is a quick breakdown:

  1. The Root Chakra
    • Located at the base of the spine
    • Used to stimulate the body and increase circulation
    • Connected to physiological needs (food) in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
    • Associated color is red
  2. The Sacral Chakra
    • Located in the pelvis area
    • Used for the lungs and energy levels
    • Connected to safety (belonging)
    • Associated color is orange
  3. The Solar Plexus Chakra
    • Located in the bellybutton
    • Used for nerves and rid of toxins
    • Connected to love needs (relationships)
    • Associated color is yellow
  4. The Heart Chakra
    • Located in the chest
    • Used for growth and balancing emotions
    • Connected to esteem needs (achievement)
    • Associated color is green
  5. The Fifth Chakra
    • Located in the throat
    • Used for calming illness and pain
    • Connected to the connection (self-expression) aspect of self actualization
    • Associated color is blue
  6. The Third Eye
    • Located at the center of the forehead
    • Connected to the reflection (awareness) aspect of self-fulfillment
    • Used for the skin
    • Associated color is indigo
  7. The Crown Chakra
    • Located at the top of the head
    • Used for mental problems
    • Connected to the understanding (will to live) aspect of self-realization
    • Associated color is purple

Each chakra also has a sound or a mantra used for concentration meditation to heal a certain part. This is caused by the vibration of the sound. In a study done in India this type of meditation significantly reduced blood pressure and stress. Meditation improves awareness of the body and increases activity in the sensory cortex. Attention is also improved since the meditator learns to focus on their body.

What do you think about chakras? Do you believe this? Will you meditate for the upcoming school year to relax? Is there really a link like this between the mind and the body?


References

Carlstedt, R. A. (2009). Handbook of integrative clinical psychology, psychiatry, and behavioral medicine [Google Books].

Hussain, D., & Bhushan, B. (2010). Psychology of meditation and health: Present status and future directions. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 10(3), 439-451. Retrieved from http://www.ijpsy.com/

Judith, A. (2004). Eastern body, Western mind: Psychology and the chakra system as a path to the self. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.

McLeod, S. (2014). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Tomasulo, D. (2011, February 6). Maslow revisited: The hierarchy of chakras? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/02/06/maslow-revisited-the-hierarchy-of-chakras/

Edited by: Zoe

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