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How do the Chakras relate to our Endocrine System? And what is the Endocrine System?
First of all, the Endocrine System is one of the major control systems in the human body. The Nervous System is the first and fastest through our large nerve network connected to the brain. But the Endocrine System is also a major player via the use of hormones in our bloodstream. Hormones are the language for cellular communication. There are two types of glands within the body - exocrine and endocrine glands. Exocrine glands have ducts that carry their secretions to specific locations - think sweat glands that carry from the gland itself to the outside of the body. Endocrine glands are ductless glands that release their secretions directly into the bloodstream. It is the Endocrine glands that relate to our Chakras.
To understand their relationship to the Chakras you need to understand some of the general functions of the Endocrine System. They are as follows:
Root Chakra - Adrenal Gland - this gland is situated directly above/on each of our kidneys, just above the level of the Root chakra and is a major player in our fight or flight stress reactions. It also has a small role in the male and female sex hormones.
Sacral Chakra - Ovaries/Testes - these glands are the ones responsible for reproduction and are therefore directly related to the functions of the Sacral Chakra and our need to procreate.
Solar Plexus Chakra - Pancreas - since the Solar Plexus is directly over the stomach/intestine area and has much to do with digestion it is only appropriate that its' gland is the pancreas which has a direct effect on and is affected by what we eat.
Heart Chakra - Thymus - this gland is situated between the lungs behind the heart and is responsible for promoting the development of special immune system cells called T-ymphoctyes which help to fight infection. As such it is also a part of the Lymphatic System in the body, much as the Heart Chakra balances the lower three chakras with the upper three.
Throat Chakra - Thyroid Gland - this gland is in control of our metabolism rate and essential for normal growth and nerve development. It is situated in the throat just below the Adam's apple.
Third Eye Chakra - Pituitary Gland - this gland is two distinct lobes and has a link to the Nervous System through another gland called the Hypothalmus. It is sometimes referred to as the Master Gland since much of the information sent from here in the form of hormones regulates other glands. It sits deep in the brain at a location directly in line with the Third Eye.
Crown Chakra - Pineal Gland - This gland is located near the center of the brain and controls the hormone melatonin which is responsible for sexual development and circadian rhythms such as sleep patterns, hibernation and metabolism. Some shamanic beliefs associate this gland with the connection between the earthly realm and the spirit world.
The Sacral Chakra
The Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana) is located in the abdomen in the area of the reproductive organs in the low back or hip area and is associated with sexuality. The Scaral Chakra's color is orange and it is represented by a lotus with 6 petals. This chakra is related to our urge to procreate and become partnered with a mate. This is where our emotions and desires reside.
Swadhisthana governs pleasure, sexuality and feelings. It is this chakra that takes us to the next step after we are grounded in the root chakra. With this chakra, which translates as "one's own place" we are then able to procreate and care for others. This chakra emanates out from our body both front and back.
The Sacral Chakra contains our instincts to pro-create and receive pleasure. It's power is in our emotions, desires and sexuality. It is represented by the element of water and has the goals of fluidity, pleasure, healthy sexuality and feeling. This Chakra identifies with anything emotional in life. This is the chakra that is in charge when we are trying to find a mate and procreate so as to keep a part of ourselves going. The fear with this chakra is guilt. The guilt of improper emotions or the guilt of doing something emotionally or sexually that may be taboo within our group or society.
When this chakra is deficient the person will have guilt over things that may or may not involve a guilty feeling. Frigidity, impotence rigidity and emotional numbness may be characteristics seen in individuals with a weak Sacral chakra. Fear of pleasure in all forms may also manifest here with deficiencies. They may also experience rigidity in the form of overly rigid boundaries. They may have no emotional response or an inappropriate lack of response in a given situation.
When this chakra is excessive the person will experience an overly emotional state. They may have poor boundaries or sex addictions and obsessive attachments to people or things that they are emotionally attached too. Their emotional responses may be way out of line for the actual situation.
First of all, what is Kundalini? Wikipedia describes Kundalini as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human body. It is a component of what is described by many as the "subtle body", that energetic component of who we are outside of the physical. The subtle body consist of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic energy centers), prana (subtle cosmic or Universal energy), and bindu(drops of essence or consciousness). The Bindi is a small ornamental dot applied to the forehead of females in Hinduism.
Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine and is said to reside in the triangular shaped sacrum bone in three and a half coils.
The Sanskrit adjective kundalin means "circular" and also occurs as a noun for "a snake" meaning that it is coiled and forms circles. As this sleeping or dormant "snake" it resides in all of us as our potential that can be awakened by a Guru or teacher or by spiritual practices like yoga or meditation. As it is awoken it progresses through the different chakras leading to different levels of awakening. This is how they Chakras are related to Kundalini in Hindu tradition.
From the Wikipedia entry for Kundalini I found the following:
In some Hindu traditions, the Kundalini is perceived as the Goddess Shakti (the feminine, creative power), which when awakened will unite with Shiva, the supreme Hindu God, The Destroyer of Evil. The Kundalini, when awakened, will rise up through the central nadi (energy channel) coiling through the individual chakras awakening different levels of consciousness and mystical experience until it reaches Sahasrara (Crown Chakra). This will result in self-actualization or enlightenment. It is said to be the awakening of inner knowledge and brings with it pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.
The Root Chakra
So this will be my interpretation of the Root Chakra.
The Root Chakra (Muladhara) is located at the base of the spine and is associated with survival. Our Fight or Flight response is under this chakra's control. The Root Chakra's color is red and it is represented by a lotus with four petals. This chakra is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security. It is this chakra that grounds us and gives us stability to stand on our own. It is the chakra that is in control when we go out into the world to make our own way.
The Root Chakra contains our survival instincts and how we relate to our physical body. It's power is primal in nature since it contains our will to survive. Our sexual and aggressive urges including anger, pain and desire are held here. The Kundalini Force resides here. Vitality and regeneration are part of this chakra. It is represented by fire and earth and our ability to be grounded. This chakra emanates down to the earth rather than out from the body. It's element is earth because of the grounding nature of "roots".
Survival and grounding are the root chakra's central issues and it relates to our self preservation with stability, grounding, physical health, prosperity and trust as it's goals. The identity is with self and the physical. It is this chakra that is in charge when we are trying to make a name for ourselves in our chosen field of endeavor or when we first become individuals as children or adolescents. The main adversary of this chakra is fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown or fear of being able to succeed.
When this chakra is deficient the person will have fear of things that have no basis for fear, a lack of discipline, be restless, possibly underweight and have a "spaciness" about that. They may be unable to commit or lack the ability to stay focused on one thing for the period of time needed to complete the task.
When this chakra is excessive the person will experience a heaviness or sluggishness. They tend to be obese and may also have hoarding tendencies. They may be obsessive in their materialism and greed since they are overly concerned about having what they need to be stable in their environment.
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!