Chakras are powerful energy vortexes and entry points that allow an energy exchange between the subtle body and the physical body. Just like wheels, these energy centers spin in various and everchanging speeds and directions.
While we have hundreds of chakras located all over the body, the common chakra system, as we may know it from yoga philosophy or other teachings, concentrates on seven main chakras. For a Reiki Master or an energy healer, the chakras and their frequencies, which are often "viewed" intuitively - even remotely - play an important diagnostic role. However, not only their autonomous movement (or lack thereof) is worth looking at: rather their correlation to one another becomes the healing force within us. When energy flows unobstructed in the nadis (energy channels), we flow as well. Even minor disruptions in one chakra are naturally balanced out by neighboring chakras, as a temporary solution. But life can become complicated, when these disruptions persist, and longer term imbalances threaten to become chronic blocks.
As of late, I have noticed a lot of clients coming in for energy work with misaligned or under-performing throat chakras. While physical manifestations, like for instance, laryngitis, can be experienced as a seasonal imbalance, more and more people are showing up with these symptoms all year round.
What is the common thread regarding these throat issues?
My theory is that many people find themselves in linear settings. e.g. that work in an office space from 9-5. They often have to make adjustments that affect their constitution and energy flow in a way that is or feels natural and organic to them.
Let's face it: our work environments, as well as our personal habitats, often make us hold in our views, thoughts, and body language. We are limited in that we cannot express ourselves freely. We have to censor what we have to say to our co-workers, bosses, employees, clients, but also perhaps to your neighbor, friend, family member or even partner - for whatever reason.
Maybe the very honest truth would be too blunt and easily misunderstood. Maybe some bad news would severely impact the already low work morale. Perhaps the new love interest is too fresh and vulnerable for the actual reality. Or, we feel insecure and vulnerable about a possibility to not be fully embraced when disclosing in all honesty - so instead, we go for the little white lie.
No judgement, whatsoever.
But what are the consequences here?
Vishuddhi (the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra) governs the mouth and throat, and with it the voice box - that, which was given to us to fully say what we mean. While the throat is all about expression, this chakra is also linking down to the heart and gut: Anahata - the heart chakra - and, Manipura - the solar plexus. The link to the heart facilitates us to speak the truth, and with the connection further down to the solar plexus, we will find the courage to do that. If the channel is open and the link to the third eye (Ajna) and crown chakras (Svahasrara) unobstructed, we will be guided by our intuition and connection to the divine - our guiding source. All in all, the throat is a wonderful element of inter-connectivity - a bridge - between higher and lower chakras. But once this channels is clogged, we can feel quite disconnected:
We start struggling to speak up, speak for ourselves and our truth.
Maybe we ramble, and go on and on, overdominating conversations - not knowing when to step back.
Extreme shyness, dishonesty, even compulsion and addiction can be manifestations of throat chakra imbalances.
The throat chakra includes the jaw and the ears. Grinding teeth at night and having a tight jaw, often leads to TMD (temporomandibular disorders) - also commonly abbreviated and known as TMJ.
So how do we clear up the throat?
I am a big fan of salty gargles, and numerous tincture remedies taken orally, when we talk about manifestations in the physical throat.
But energetically speaking, some of my most cherished healing modalities really come to help and shine when we are working to balance the throat chakra:
Reciting Sanskrit mantras - sacred sounds derived from vedic texts - are great for blocked or silenced Vishuddhi chakras (as well as all other chakras and pranic channels of the subtle body). Chanting the Apavitra mantra (Mantra for Purification) works like an energetic floss. I also highly recommend Maha-Mrytun-Jaya mantra (Great Mantra for Victory over Death), which instantly changes vibrations to a higher frequency. It is also extremely powerful when recited during times and circumstances that seem hopeless.
Backbends in yoga asana practice, like Ustrasana (Camel pose) or Matsyasana (Fish pose) are extremely beneficial for opening the throat chakra (as well as the chest = heart chakra): they are said to stimulate the thyroid, help with respiratory issues, stimulate the thymus (and therefore the immune system), and are great for people dealing with anxiety or panic attacks. Contraindications: do not practice if you are dealing with serious head, neck or low back issues, high or low blood pressure.
Pranayama, yogic breathing techniques, offer a whole variety of options: Ujjayi, the victorious breath, or often called ocean breath, purifies, oxygenates, and balances the body, by slightly restricting the glottal opening in the throat - stimulating Vishuddhi in return.
Practicing Jalandhara Bandha (throat lock) is another favorite of mine. Generally speaking, Bandhas are internal flexions. They are tantric and yogic techniques, where we control and exercise the involuntary organs.
During throat lock, we are sealing in prana (life-force energy) by retaining the breath and physically restricting the throat by tucking the chin to the chest. In return, the thyroid gland in the throat is massaged, the nervous system is down-regulated, and the heart is slowed down, which, over time, helps the mental plane achieve a new sense of equilibrium. Cultivating a daily routine together with the other three bandhas, creates a powerful practice that can achieve remarkable results physically, mentally, but also psychically.
Last but not least, Reiki, an energy healing practice rediscovered and cultivated by Dr. Mikao Usui, offers tremendous therapeutic value, when directly applied to the chakras, especially the throat.
In this ancient technique, universal life-force energy is channeled from practitioner to recipient by applying light touch or hovering of hands a few inches above the body, whether in-person, or remotely, as a Distant Healing Intention (DHI) therapy.
Reiki gently guides the energy vortexes into the direction of realignment - never being forceful or invasive - it always works with the intention to be of the client's highest good.
On many occasions, Reiki offers an opportunity for an emotional release - blocks and barriers are lifted, tension is set free. Especially when dealing with an affected throat chakra, expressive meltdowns are not uncommon. But the relief felt afterwards can be experienced as freeing and rewarding. Crystals and aromatherapy can assist the client post-session during the healing process.
I highly suggest to learn, practice and experience the modalities and examples mentioned above under supervision of an experienced yoga teacher, yoga therapist or Reiki practitioner.
And, as always, please note that the holistic examples & approaches mentioned in this article are only suggestions and not a substitute for traditional medical treatment. Please check with your medical provider first before engaging in any of the aforementioned practices.
Photography by Berette Macaulay/SeBiArt.