The Principle of Chi, Unbalance and Illness
Chi also known as prana or life energy is the driving force behind our thoughts, creativity and growth. Everything has this subtle energy including inanimate objects, it can be identified as electromagnetic fields in physics and seen in Kirlian photography. It is that sense that you feel people giving off energetically, which gives us sayings such as; “You could cut the atmosphere with a knife.”, “I don't know what it is about them, they just give me a bad vibe."
The energy system correlates to the endocrine and nervous systems. (The former is the body’s functions that run on autopilot. That latter links us to the physical world, via the five senses). Any imbalance in the flow of energy manifests itself as illness. Physically, mentally or emotionally. There are seven major energy points that I will outline in the context of the pandemic, which we are currently living through. The insights can be used as a basis for you to examine how other life events can cause dis-order and dis-ease.
Found between the genitals and naval, the sacral energy centre is our connection to self. We protect and nurture ourselves from here. It has three aspects; emotions, creativity and sensuality. It governs the lower back, genitals, testes, womb, ovaries, bladder and kidneys. So we may experience issues in these areas when imbalanced. As well as severe fluctuations in emotions, low self-esteem and depression.
EMOTIONS: We live in a world of duality; the dark and the light. Surrounded by an abundance of stimuli we have developed preferences and evolved to prefer nice, pleasurable experiences to painful and bad ones. In general the human condition pursues what feels good, thinking that it will make us happy. At its most basic this can look like, ‘I will be happy when…I fall in love, get a promotion, buy a new car, have a chocolate bar.’ However nothing is constant. Happiness doesn’t last, neither does sorrow. But in our current mindset when experiencing good experiences we forget that they are fleeting, embrace them and are sad when they pass. On the flip side when in the midst of a bad experience we can feel overwhelmed because we can’t envisage that it will ever end. When our sacral energy centre is in balance we embrace the good and the bad and fully understand the quote “This too shall pass.” Rather than limiting its use as a feel good factor to negative circumstances.
If one energy centre is out of balance it can have an effect on one or more of the others. This is particularly true of the relationship between the base and sacral centres. In the context of how the pandemic may have undermined our sense of security and instinctively kick started our survival instinct. Emotions will have surfaced. And likely you will have experienced them in ebbs and flows. If your sacral energy point is centred, you will have had the ability to be fluid and embrace the changes that may have been asked of you; restrictions, working from home, having to pivot within your business, being flexible in this new way of life.
If you have lost your centre, accepting change may have been hard. In a sacral sense this would be a loss of sense of self. Some examples; a person who has an active social life would have found isolation more difficult to bear than an introvert, if not viewed as an opportunity to have some downtime. Zoom calls may have triggered the need to constantly seek validation and approval by rearranging your bookshelves, strategically placing art or wearing a full face of make up and best outfit for a five minute conversation. A normally vivacious person may draw within themselves, lacking the energy to even change from night time pyjama’s into daytime ones.
Guilt and shame. These feelings could come about due to the inequalities that the pandemic has highlighted; from someone that hadn’t realised they are in a privileged situation, or from someone that has to visit a food bank because ends are no longer meeting.
Anger. I would be very surprised for someone to say that living in a pandemic hasn’t brought on a wave of anger, as there have been plenty of reasons for this emotion to surface. So we won’t discuss them here, instead think of something that has made you feel angry of late. Where do you feel it radiating from? The pit of your stomach? Radiating upwards, until your jaw clenches and you feel like your head will explode? (I love the emoji icon of this…so apt). That feeling is your sacral centre igniting and rising up through the others.
Sorry to bring back that infuriating memory but getting you to tap into that feeling demonstrates perfectly how chi flows.
So how do you deal with anger? Do you suppress your emotions and can’t express how you feel about a situation? Push people away when really you want support? Allow people to gas light you and make you feel like you can’t express your anger? Or become more aggressive and defensive to enforce personal boundaries? Anger is a valid emotion just like happiness and we have a right to express it.
When we are centred, rather than a knee jerk reaction to conflict we can resolve it whilst maintaining personal boundaries.
Jealousy. Again a myriad of reasons for this emotion to surface. To touch on a few; having to self isolate vs wanting to self isolate. Having to go to work vs wanting to go to work. Having too much peace and quiet vs wanting some peace and quiet. What is triggering these feelings of jealousy and how can you circumvent them? Are your circumstances comparable? Probably not, so try not to compare yourself to others. Hard I know.
CREATIVITY: The sacral centre is the dwelling place for new life both literally…the creation of a baby and metaphorically…the creation of new ideas. In relation to the latter, when we have balance and are grounded (refer back to the base centre) we feel confident to explore, expand out of ourselves and be creative. An innate human trait is the desire to learn. As babies we develop through the sensory exploration of our world; auditory, taste, smell, sight and touch. This is also the way we ‘grow’ as adults. During the pandemic you may have found that your creativity has been hampered.
If you are worrying about security and survival, this is were you are focussing your energy, so may not have reserves for creative pursuit. Hence the term ‘writers block’, you are stuck. Alternatively, to distract from worrying about things that you may not be able to control, you could have a driving urge to be creative; making banana bread, overhauling the garden, learning a new language. However be conscious that you are not just using projects as distraction techniques but are actually deriving joy from your pursuits whilst addressing any worries that you may have.
SENSUALITY: as with creativity if your energy is focussed on survival you may have zero libido and not have the oomph for exploring your sensual side, it could be the last thing on your mind. Again the opposite could apply; more time at home with your partner away from every day distractions could give you the space to rekindle heady times. Or be a source of comfort away from the ‘madness of the world’. Alternatively, being a singleton, government restrictions on households mixing could be a source of frustration with regards to your love life. Which ever way a pause or extra time could be an opportunity to explore how you feel about your sexual desires and intimacy. When in balance sensually we are at a place wherein we can give and receive pleasure.
The sacral energy energy centre is the one from wherein we protect and nurture ourselves, key words are self-care and self love.
You may find the following suggestions helpful:
- Bathing/showering: not for cleanliness but for pleasure. Take time to soak/let the droplets rain over you. Lather/exfoliate, feel the water washing away the days ills. Immersing yourself within natures water is best; bathe in a lake, shower in a waterfall. The English climate and water temperature is not for me but if you are hardy or live in a better climate, go for it.
- Dance: clubbing (actually not this during a pandemic), ballet, belly dancing, hula hooping, twirl around in your kitchen, shake those hips.
- Yoga: the practice of Kundalini yoga is advocated to help balance your sacral centre. I have not tried this style but an experienced yoga teacher would be able to advise you on asanas that will be most beneficial.
- Get creative: disregard your art teachers disparaging comments; we are innately creative, think cavemen drawings not fine art. Get out paper, pens, clay, plasticine, camera, cookbook, gardening trowel, screw driver, guitar…the list goes on.
- Get sensual: pop on your sexy undies simply for yourself.
- Self pleasure.
- Take naked selfies of yourself, no need to put them in the public sphere (of course you can if you wish). See the full ‘picture’ of who you are.
- Essential oils: bergamot, clary sage, geranium, jasmine, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang.
Note of interest: the sacral energy centre has an affinity to the moon. This celestial body affects the oceans and tides, plus has a similar pull on the watery aspects of ourselves. Its phases causing fluctuations in water and the emotions. The term ‘lunacy’ - derives from lunaticus; meaning moonstruck.
NEXT WEEK: sacral energy self-care and exploring the senses
8 NOV: solar plexus energy centre
"Just for today do not worry” - Dr Usui.