Updated: May 31, 2018
We are all aware of our physical body and modern biology has mapped out almost every inch of its workings. What modern science has yet to delve deeper into is the concept of a non-physical body. This body has been known by the ancients for millennia before the onset of science and can be seen in every tradition in some form. This is often termed as the subtle/energy body (or astral double). Composed of Chakras and Meridians (Nadis), we shall discuss the structure and workings of this system and its relation to the physical body. This is the body that energy healers, reiki masters, Chi gong practitioners and Yoga masters work with in order to stay young, healthy, happy and perform miraculous feats of healing that defy scientific laws.
The Energy/Subtle body
Non-physical in nature, the energy body is composed of chakras (energy centers) and meridians/nadis (energy channels) these chakras and meridians are enclosed in a bio-energetic field known as an aura and this body is made out of subtle etheric matter. Science has discovered this subtle body with the aid of "Kirlian photography". The energy body has many roles but in this article we shall be focussing on its absorption of prana to energise the various organs of the physical body. What we shall refer to as "Prana" is a life-giving force or energy known in every tradition in the world. Sometimes called life-force, Chi, Ki, Orgone, Mana etc. is present in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and can be absorbed from the earth or the sun and is a vital force which is required for life and a healthy body and mind.
The Human Aura
What is commonly referred to as the aura is a bio-electric field of energy around the body of an individual. Oval-shaped in nature it is a non-physical energy field that is an aspect of the energy body. This Bio-energetic field is composed of the different frequencies emitted by various organs (i.e brain, heart, liver etc.).
There Aura is composed of:-
1) Inner Aura
2) Health Rays
3) Outer Aura
Bio-energetic field that extends about 4 to 5 inches beyond the visible body almost like an energetic skin taking the shape of the visible body. When an individual is sick this bio-energetic field may shrink in size to less that 2 inches beyond the visible body due to the general or localised depletion of prana (known as pranic depletion) from a given area. In cases where the bio-energetic field has expanded beyond 7 inches sickness is caused due to the general or localised congestion of prana (known as pranic congestion). When pranic depletion or congestion is present, the nearby meridians (nadis or bio-energetic channels) will be blocked thereby preventing the smooth flow of prana which may cause the aura to take on a light or dark gray in colour when perceived.
Health rays are described as bio-energetic rays that interpenetrate the inner aura from the surface of the visible body. These Health rays act as a protective shield that defends the whole body from germs and harmful bio-energetic matter present in the surrounding environment. Various energetic toxins, wastes and bio-energetic matter are expelled through these health rays. These rays may be damaged or entangled due to sickness or built up negative energy that has been accumulated overtime. This may result in the protective qualities of the rays becoming greatly diminished thereby increasing the susceptibility of the body to the risk of infection.
Interpenetrating the inner aura and the health rays is a luminous bio-energetic field known as the Outer aura that extends approximately one meter beyond the visible body. It is described as an inverted-egg and is multi-coloured, the colours are influenced by the individual's mental, emotional and physical states. The Outer aura serves an important function as an energetic field that contain the subtle energies within it on the energy body. In a unhealthy individual, holes are commonly present in the outer aura which can lead to prana leaking out.
The word "Chakra" is a Sanskrit word that means "wheel". Chakras are whirling centers of energy and are an important component of the energy body. Just as the physical body has vital organs and minor organs, the energy body is composed of major, minor and mini chakras.
There are 114 chakras in the energy body but in this article we shall only briefly discuss the workings of the 7 major chakras as a comprehensive description on the workings of the chakras will take a volume of books by itself.
Structure of a Chakra
The major chakras in general are about three to four inches in diameter. They are mainly involved in the control and flow of energy in order to energise the vital organs of the physical body.
The chakras are described as a lotus protruding in front of the body, just like the act of breathing air in and breathing air out which is done by our physical lungs, the chakras rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise, absorbing prana and releasing prana in a "breathing-like" fashion.
The chakral web which is present towards the base of the chakral stem is a thin bio-electrical mesh which serves to filter out any harmful or unwanted energetic waste which is present in the environment. Damaged chakral webbing can lead to these harmful energetic toxins being absorbed by the energy body which could lead to psychological problems.
The physical body and the energy body and linked, a change in the energy body will lead to a change in the physical body and vice-versa.
The Seven Major Chakras
There are many functions of the chakras including:-
1) Absorption, digestion and distribution of prana to various parts of the body.
2) Control and nourishment of the endocrine glands of the physical body.
3)Certain chakras can be awakened through meditation and various practice to obtain higher states of awareness.
eg: palm chakras (although a minor chakra) can be activated to become sensitive to feeling subtle energies.
We can see that the chakras have a very important role in maintaining proper functioning of the whole physical body, when these stations of power malfunction the vital organs may become diseased because the physical organ will not be supplied with enough vital energy (prana) to allow it to function normally.
Brief overview of the chakras:-
1) Root Chakra (Muladhara) - located at the base of the spine (coccyx), this chakra energises, controls and strengthens the whole physical muscular and skeletal system. It also energises the spine, controls blood production, the adrenal gland, the tissues of the internal organs/body and the sexual organs. General vitality, growth and body heat is also controlled by this chakra. This is known as the root chakra because it is the foundation like the root of the tree, if this chakra is malfunctioning it can lead to arthritis, spinal problems, blood ailments, cancer, allergy, growth problems and low vitality. Those who have highly activated root chakras are healthy, robust and filled with vitality.
2) Navel Chakra (Svadhistana) - located on the navel, this chakra energises and controls the small/large intestines and the appendix. Like the root chakra the navel too affects the general vitality of an individual. Imbalances involving the navel chakra can lead to constipation, appendicitis, low vitality, intestinal problems and difficulty in giving birth. A strong navel chakra results in a healthy digestive system and high vitality.
3) Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) - located between the hollow area of the ribs, this chakra controls and energises the pancreas, liver, diaphragm, stomach and to a lesser degree the small/large intestines, appendix, lungs and heart. Since this chakra is involved in energising the liver it affects the quality of the blood due to the role of the liver in blood detoxification and regulating cholesterol levels. The solar plexus is a clearing center and allows energies from the lower and higher chakras to pass through it. This chakra has also a part to play in the heating and cooling system of the body. Defects in this chakra can manifest as diabetes, ulcers, heart ailments, hepatitis and various other ailments relating to the organs it governs.
4) Heart Chakra (Anahata) - located at the center of the chest, it energises and controls the heart, the thymus gland and the circulatory system. When the heart chakra malfunctions, issues can manifest as circulatory and heart ailments.
5) Throat Chakra (Visuddha) - located at the center of the throat, it energises and controls the thyroid gland, parathyroid, lymphatic system and the throat. Imbalances involving this chakra leads to the manifestation of throat- related illnesses such as goiters, sore throats, asthma, loss of voice etc.
6) Third eye Chakra (Ajna) - located between the eyebrows, it energises and controls the endocrine glands, pituitary gland and to an extent the brain. Since this chakra controls and directs the endocrine glands corresponding to various other chakras it is often referred to as the master chakra. Endocrine issues, memory loss and epilepsy are the result of a malfunctioning forehead chakra.
7) Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) - located on the crown of the head, it energises and controls the brain, pineal gland and the entire body. The crown is one of the main entry points of pranic energy. Crown chakra imbalances may manifest as physical or psychological ailments relating to diseases of the brain or pineal gland. The crown chakra is involved in the harmonising and normalising of the other chakras.
How pranic healing works.
As described above, these various chakras are linked to organs of the physical body, we shall use a heart ailment as an example. When an individual has some form of heart ailment this may be due to an imbalanced heart chakra. The heart chakra may either be congested (is absorbing too much prana than is needed) or depleted ( is absorbing too little prana than is needed), the pranic healer can deduct which is the case through a technique known as "scanning". Once this is done the pranic healer may "cleanse" or clean the chakra and re-balance the chakra by "energising" the chakra with new energy so that the chakra is balanced. Now since any change made in the energy body is transferred onto the physical body this means that since the heart chakra on the energy body is now working healthily and normally, the symptoms of the heart problem begin to disappear on the physical body.
The human body is able to heal itself without the use of medication. As human beings we are powerful batteries of energy and are able to heal one another. If we learn the inner workings of our energy body and the hidden sciences of natural medicine, miracles can be performed and diseases unknown to conventional medicine can be and have been cured using such methods as described above. That is the true healing power that lies within all of us.