We all want to be healthy and happy. It’s why we exercise, it’s why we go to the doctor, and why we do things we enjoy. But as Reiki healer Millana Snow reminded us, we tend to ignore a potentially hazardous problem that can affect anything from our mood to our physical body-- stagnant energy. This is where Reiki and other forms of energy healing come into play, in particular Reiki is a Japanese therapy method based on your auric field and your chakra system. But what are chakras? As Snow explained “a chakra is an energy center in your body, it’s a part of your being that is not just your physical body but it’s interconnected to all parts of your being. Emotional, mental, physical and spiritual and your chakras system is connected to those 4 basic foundational levels of who you are.” The word chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit based on the alignment of the chakras and the loops of energy that they create around the body. There are 7 main chakras that are associated with specific colors that reflect the different frequencies of each energy center: Root (red), Sacral chakra (orange), Solar Plexus (yellow), Heart (green), Throat (blue), Third Eye (indigo), Crown (violet). But why should we care about our chakras? Well, there are 3 main reasons as to why clearing and aligning your chakras is important.

1. Unbalanced chakras can cause physical, mental, spiritual and emotional problems

The energy we emit and reflect affects our relationships, our jobs, our bodies and the way we show up in the world. Blockages and overactive chakras manifest depending on which ailments are associated with that specific energy field. For example: the root chakra is associated with the physical body, basic survival/needs, and our connection to the Earth. if your root chakra is blocked you may experience feeling "stuck" and unable to move forward emotionally. It may also cause depression and anxiety as well as lower-back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal/anal problems, impotence, and water retention, among other things. Balancing your energy means you’ll be healing all the different areas of your life, and who doesn’t want to do that?

2. Low vibrations could be holding you back

Your chakras represent the flow of energy in your body so it’s literally the difference between going through life feeling exhausted and burnt out or being vibrant and present. Aligning and opening your body’s energy centers can improve all the areas of your life and it can also help you figure out what is going on with you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually on a more basic level. As Snow puts it “every tone has a certain frequency its demarcation of how fast it’s vibrating, just like every tone or every song has a vibration so do we as people.” When we vibrate higher we are more open and susceptible to positivity and light, whereas when we vibrate lower there is a tendency to be more sluggish and sad. A person vibrating higher is more likely to exude and attract positivity.

3. Working on your chakras promotes mindfulness

Essentially what we’re doing when we actively work on balancing our energy centers is dealing with the buildup caused by past experiences and emotions. Much in the same way we seek out therapists to break old patterns or heal old wounds, Snow reminds us that the basis of mindfulness is recognizing “how things have affected you and how those things affected you right now.” Introducing this kind of awareness into your self care routine may help put things into perspective and foster a different outlook. There are many other methods for removing stagnant energy besides Reiki too, there is crystal healing, meditation, reflexology, yoga, and acupuncture just to name a few.

For more on chakras, Reiki, and vibrations tune into episode 148: reiki 101 with Millana Snow