Chronic Pain and the Chakras

In the podcast from February 22, 2021,  I discussed my philosophy on how chronic pain relates to the human biofield in the form of chakras. In this blog post I wanted explore this topic more in-depth, addressing some specific chronically painful disease and the relationship with the energy body.

Pain serves a purpose.   Pain is a protective mechanism that helps us remove ourselves from danger, stop some sort of assault be it real or imagined, or bring the mind’s attention to one particular part of the body.  Pain is the body’s way to speak to the mind to ask for help. 

When assessing pain, I feel that it is important to make every attempt to examine what other issues are coming along with the pain. Traditional Western medicine tends to focus completely on the mechanics of the chronic pain. I have found that shining a light on the emotional issues that occur with the chronic pain can speed up the recovery process.

“One in 10 adults in the general population report chronic widespread pain with possible sociocultural variation.”

Mansfield, K. E., Sim, J., Jordan, J. L., & Jordan, K. P. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of chronic widespread pain in the general population. Pain, 157(1), 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000314

Root Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The root chakra is associated with the ego, stability, and feeling rooted and connected. I’ve often noticed individuals develop back pain around the times that they feel threatened in career, home, or anything related to basic survival.  In my medical practice now I remain very aware that individuals presenting with back pain are often having stress and realized associated with basic survival and safety. 

Having the realization that lower back pain is likely occurring at a time where there is emotional stress related to survival doesn’t necessarily fix the problem but I do like to acknowledge this with my patients as their experiencing pain that at least muscle spasm in this area likely relates to emotional stress. While addressing the pain it is important for the patient or client to be aware of the emotional issues going along with them and to start addressing those.

Sacral Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The Sacral Chakra is associated with the reproductive organs in both sexes.  Chronic pelvic pain can be caused by a number of issues in both men and women. In women, chronic pelvic pain is often associated with reproductive diseases such as fibroids, endometriosis, or scarring from pelvic inflammatory disease.  Chronic pelvic pain in women can often be crippling and lead to extensive medical workups that often don’t produce a clear diagnosis or clear treatment. Chronic pelvic pain is emotionally taxing, and can be made worse when women must face undergoing frequent medical procedures.  

 I had been a practicing physician for many years before I studied Ayurveda and Yoga. I began to observe the association of chronic pelvic with a history of sexual trauma, sexual abuse or other sensitive issues.  Once I became aware of this, I found it much easier to gently ask my patients if they had a history of sexual abuse.  I’m saddened to find out that often it does. I highlight this issue because it is important to understand that buried emotional trauma related to sexual abuse maybe related to chronic pelvic pain

Men can often suffer from chronic pelvic pain in the form of prostate disorders. This is most impactful in men over the age of 50 or 60 with a history of prostate disease such as prostate cancer. Knowing that there is a strong association of sexual trauma and pelvic pain, men with pelvic pain need to be addressed in a sensitive manner concerning this topic.

Solar Plexus Block and Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain in the solar plexus frequently relates to digestive disorders.  Although irritable bowel syndrome is not classically diagnosed as a chronic pain syndrome there’s a strong component of abdominal discomfort or pain with this disorder.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be classified as either being constipated irritable bowel syndrome or IBC or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Irritable bowel syndrome is a poorly understood disorder which is characterized by dysfunction in the muscles, chemical receptors, hormones and overall motility of the digestive tract that leads to changes in elimination of waste, nausea, and generalize abdominal pain. Anyone can develop irritable bowel syndrome but to be properly diagnosed other disorders such as celiac disease, food allergies, or tumors need to be ruled out so often referral to a specialist is required.

I have noticed in my clinical practice a strong association of stress and anxiety with irritable bowel syndrome. Many of these individuals freely admit that their irritable bowel syndrome is made worse in times of stress or depressed mood. It is interesting to note that many of the medications used to treat depression or anxiety can often help irritable bowel syndrome. Medications that raise serotonin levels or dopamine levels may help some individuals. 

The solar plexus chakra is associated with personal will, freedom, and motivation. I suspect that an individual with IBS may feel that they don’t have the freedom that they need in life or that their personal drive is being suppressed. This isn’t a clear medical diagnosis that can be treated with a prescription but just like the other issues I do feel that it’s important to acknowledge this.

Heart Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The heart chakra is associated with the emotions of love, belonging, and gratitude.  Because of the vital organs in this area, we don’t typically think of chronic pain in this area.  It is possible to have chronic pain from angina, a recurring painful condition from blocked arteries around the heart that lead to pain from ischemia. 

A thorough work up is required since chest pain could be life threatening. Medical science does teach us there’s a strong association with heart attack and developing clinical depression in the months after a heart attack. Many individuals often have chronic angina related to blockages around the heart after a heart attack. Again, I do feel that it is important to acknowledge this relationship although fundamentally treatment would need to be aimed at keeping the arteries open in blood flowing to the heart as much as possible.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Throat Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

Individuals with blockages in the neck that leads to chronic pain will often develop neck pain along with tension headaches.  The muscles of the neck connect to the jaw. Clenching the jaw at night, also called bruxism, is a common response to stress.  This occurs during deep sleep.  Normal bodily sleep responses are disengaged, and muscles that should relax will begin to contract uncontrollably.  Individuals with bruxism often wake up with headache and neck pain.  

After a thorough physical exam and a diagnosis is made this is one area in the body or holistic remedies could be highly beneficial. Focusing treatments on stress relief, relieving muscle tension, and particularly using a regular meditation practice can help reduce the development of chronic tension in the neck.

3rd Eye Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The third eye is located in the head at the same place that the pituitary gland. Likely energetic blocks in the third eye will cause some sort of headache. The most common type of chronic headache most people think of as migraine headaches.  Other types of recurring headaches include tension headaches, cluster headaches, or chronic daily headache.

Migraines can be a crippling condition that deeply impact quality of life. Blockages in the third eye in my experience as a Reiki practitioner are also some of the most difficult to diagnose because for most of us without focused intention we simply are going to remain blocked in the 3rd eye.  When working with Reiki clients dealing with major blockages in the 3rd eye, I typically recommend a Mindfulness Meditation practice daily for at least 5 minutes.  

7th Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The 7th Chakra, or the Higher Self, is made of pure energy.  This energy center is located outside of the body.  This is the energy center that connects us to something bigger than ourselves, such as a deity or universal life force. I relate an energetic block in this area to chronic pain likely leading to diffuse painful syndromes such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome and maybe even acute pain syndromes related to kitchen a viral infection. In terms of these conditions I’ve noticed that when pain is severe it becomes an integral part of the person’s life. The pain that is experienced often shuts out other aspects of  life and becomes the whole of their existence.  Starting a personal healing practice of some kind often helps to open up energy flow in this area.  A good starting point is a personal meditation practice.

Chronic Pain is not fun to discuss, but is is important. If this topic has helped you, please share with your friends, family and loved ones.