There are literally thousands of ways you can “heal” and “balance” your chakras. Meditation and visualization are both very popular choices, sound is another good method, sight is yet another (using yantras or mandalas), and smell works really well too – it’s called aromatherapy. Yoga is another very popular way to work on your chakras, and I could go as the list is too long to recite.
But do each of these modalities work equally well? The answer is yes, and no. Or the proverbial, “it depends.”
First of all, I think it’s important to realize that each healing modality is actually more closely associated with each one of the chakras. This means that one method may work better for a particular chakra than another. Let me explain.
The 6th and 7th chakras balance well with visualization and meditation and pure energy work, because they are in the higher frequency realm. The seventh chakra isn’t even truly “physical” – it’s our spiritual connection to everything. It resides off the body, above the crown of our head.The sixth chakra is at the third eye – in the middle of the forehead – and it is the least “physical” of the sixth bodily-related chakras.
Think of your bodily chakras stacked up like a sort of pyramid – with the lowest one, your first chakra creating the wide and heavy base of the pyramid, and the highest one in your body, your sixth chakra, representing the highest tip of the pyramid. It’s light and airy and easily mutable, while the first chakra is dense and heavy and more difficult to change (in fact, the first chakra represents and strengthens stability, so it’s very nature is the opposite of change.
(Here is an amazing 7 minute chakra tune-up.)
Each chakra also relates to a sense and an element, like this:
First chakra = smell/earth
Second chakra = taste/water
Third chakra = sight/fire
Fourth chakra = touch/air
Fifth chakra = hearing/sound
Sixth chakra = “sixth sense”/light
Seventh chakra is off the body and unrelated to the sensory world, so it has no associations, except to pure consciousness.
So, for the first chakra, the best, long term healing comes from very physical activities – like hatha yoga, because the first chakra is the most dense and most related to the physical body. Smell-oriented treatments, like aromatherapy, work well too because this chakra is related to your sense of smell. Gemstones are great for first chakra healing as well, because stones are from the earth, the element of this chakra.
For the second chakra – which is still very dense and physical – hatha yoga is good – especially tantrically-oriented yoga that plays with intimacy. Healing with chakra foods is good for this chakra since it’s related to taste, and doing aquatic bodywork – like watsu (pictured) – is really good too, because the second chakra is related to the water element.
For the third chakra – Visual therapy like working with yantras is very good here, as areaffirmations and Byron Katie’s “The Work,” because our conscious, mental reasoning ability and our self-image are both associated with the third chakra. Sun bathing is good, because the third chakra is related to the fire element, and it’s located in the solar plexus. And if you’re up for it, fire walking will stoke your third chakra in a major way.
For the fourth chakra – the bridge between the lower (more “physical” chakras) and the upper (more “spiritual” chakras), touch is good. Studies show that babies thrive when nurses and nanny’s hold them, and so do adults. Humans need hugging. Hugging –even self-hugging (do it now!) is one of the simplest ways to boost and balance heart chakra energy. EFT – the process of tapping – is great for this chakra too, as is breath work, because we breath in and out of this chakra and the element here is air.
For the fifth chakra – sound healing takes the cake. You can use this technique two simple ways – putting sound out, in the form of mantras, chanting, and seed sounds (or even just singing a favorite song that makes you feel good) and taking sound in, in the form of crystal bowls, mantras or again, a favorite song.
The seed sounds (shortest mantras) for each of the chakras are:
1st – Lam
2nd – Vam
3rd – Ram
4th – Yam
5th – Ham
6th – Om
7th – Silence (again, pure consciousness
For the sixth chakra – visualization is the best tool, since our third eye is ground zero for all our dreams and visualizations. This is the place where we spin our visions.
For the seventh chakra, meditation – pure, silent, thoughtless openness is the best. Just opening to the space that we are, with nothing added.
The general rule of thumb is: Use more meditative-type techniques for the upper chakras, and do more physically-oriented techniques to best effect the lower chakras.