Chakras and Stress

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

The chakras, the body’s energy centers, have fascinated me for years. Early on, my studies were mostly via book learning. I had several fantastic books on the subject, including some hard-to-find ones, but unfortunately, I lent every one of them out and never saw them again.

Flying By Night novelThat’s a lesson for one of my chakras, though I’m not sure which. In 2005, I loaned about $800 worth of expensive, hard-to-find research books to friends, circle-mates, and colleagues, all of whom promised to discuss the books with me after they’d read them or at least let me what they’d thought of them. Some were still wrapped in plastic—the books, not the colleagues. Though it’s not a bad idea…. Some were favorite scholarly books with a bazillion photos and others had not yet made it to the top of my to-be-read shelf. But nary a one came home to me, which is why I no longer make my extensive personal library available to anyone not living under my roof unless I point-blank say, “Happy birthday.”

So without any of my scholarly books on the subject or even my more accessible books on energy centers, I’ve focused on personal experience with the chakras as well as in-depth discussions with various metaphysical teachers, scientists, medical professionals, and counselors.

One clergy member explained to me his theory that chakras develop in a human over a course of years. Yes, you have the energy centers, but that they’re not fully developed until a certain cycle has been completed.

Here’s the breakdown:

1st Chakra (root) – Age birth to 7 — Survival, instincts, safety

2nd Chakra (sacrum) – Age 7 to 14 – Emotions, sexuality, creativity

3rd Chakra (solar plexus) Age 14 to 21 – power, control, trust issues

4th Chakra (heart) Age 21 to 28 – love, healing, compassion

5th Chakra (throat) Age 28 to 35 – speech, self-expression

6th Chakra (brow) Age 35 to 42 – vision, intuition

7th Chakra (crown) Age 42 to 49 – spirituality, faith, connection to Divinity

One metaphysical practitioner indicated that my third chakra is particularly well developed. I don’t know about all of them, but he spoke of only a few and his rationale. Extremely strong third and very weak fifth. Enough so for both that he was intrigued.

In thinking more on this, I agree. My third chakra’s always had a strong “gut instinct,” one that’s usually completely inexplicable and that I should have learned long ago to listen to every single time. The third chakra has to do with knowing who you are, and I really did know that quite well between 14 and 21, unlike many of my contemporaries. Of course, the down side to a powerful third chakra is the need to be in control and to control outcomes, hence all those co-dependent years of trying to fix everything for everyone and make sure they got a happy ending even if I didn’t. I try now to concentrate more on the instinct and power features of the third chakra rather than the control factor.

But a weak fifth? Yes. Always. I’ve always had a very soft voice and an hour of “speaking up” will render me raspy. But looking to the era of 28 to 35, it was definitely a time when I felt my self-expression squelched, and though I actively went after my dream, this was the phase where I willingly compromised and gave away so much (I fought not to compromise in the phase because my vision became so incredibly strong then).

How does the average person know which chakras are weak? Without specific guidance from teachers and practitioners, is it possible to know?

A man who was advising on some book research told me he was overly stressed by his job and finances. The result? Lots of stomach ailments. He mentioned more than once feeling “kicked in the stomach” by a situation with his boss. He talked about how he physically reacts to being upset or stressed…all directly related to his third chakra. He also had interesting tales of adolescence and dealing with an overbearing parent.

When he was done with an over-illustrated description of his tummy troubles, he said, “Don’t you?”

Really? No. My stress manifests elsewhere.

Hmmm….what if? I asked a woman I work with how she manifests stress and life’s big upsets. Urinary tract infections mostly, she confesses. Every time she’s stressed, she’s susceptible. Not her twin sister, though. Her twin gets chest pains and a racing pulse.

Me? The one with the weak fifth? Where do I feel stress the most? In my throat and mouth.

Stress me out and I’ll grind my teeth. Wear me down and I’ll get a throat infection that lingers for months. Let me announce that I’ve had it and I’m divorcing your ass, and I’ll run throw up…and then I’ll get a fever blister the next day. Ironic that when I was a kid, I was attacked by a dog that bit me in the jaw and neck in a literal attempt to go for my jugular. Allergens, dogs, vampires…they all love to get caught in my throat chakra.

Maybe my sixth chakra’s a little off, too, because I never would have considered the correlation between stress and weak chakras if I’d had the foresight to keep my library of books safely locked away.