A motto of the New Age crowd, the word "chakra" actually has ancient roots. First written about in Vedas, a B.C.-era Indian text, chakra is Sanskrit for "wheel," a hint to their reputation for keeping things running smoothly.
There are seven chakras that run down the body's midline from the base of the spine to the tippy top of the head. As energy moves through us, these chakras are thought to act as gatekeepers for their respective areas. When these ingrained traffic lights, so to speak, are running smoothly, our energy and vitality can flow freely to where it is most needed. When a chakra is blocked, though, energy can get stuck and manifests as discomfort.
For instance, if the solar plexus chakra, thought to control the stomach, is blocked, you might experience indigestion. If the throat chakra is closed, maybe you have a cough that just won't go away.
If you ask any spiritual clientele, they'll tell you that the chakras are a testament to the mind-body connection and the physical manifestation of unseen energy. Even if chakras are a bit too woo-woo for you, it's easy to see the merit of tuning in to the different areas of the body to best give them what they need.
There are many ways to harness the power of breathwork, visualizations, and meditation to bring each of the body's energy centers back into balance. Here are a few that spiritual sages swear by: