Updated: Jan 16, 2019
A strong foundation determines the stability of every aspect of life. A house can't be built before having a structurally sound foundation. The plant life all around us each has their own unique root system that nourishes and grounds them to the Earth. You lay groundwork, start at the base, establish a business and include a premise. Without foundations, everything around us would come tumbling down.
Muladhara, the root chakra, is our foundation; our roots grounding us to Earth, our sense of stability, our power center. A balanced root chakra paves the way for all of the other chakras to blossom, yet the vast majority of people have severe blockages, preventing their system from ever fully realizing a harmonious state. This is due in part to our experiences from childhood. There is a reason why difficult childhood experiences effect adulthood in such profound ways. When our needs are met as children, we are taught that there is stability in life, creating balance in this chakra. When they are not, or a traumatic event occurs, we are taught that the world is a dangerous place and blockages are placed in the root chakra from a very early age.
A person's ability to feel grounded and secure in their life is affected by physical needs (food, water, shelter, etc.). Their emotional state surrounding their external needs is really at the core of whether or not they feel security, though. The root chakra is comprised of both these factors. It controls the ability to match the reality with the emotional. To illustrate, a person who grows up with little to no food, or experiences some type of poverty as a young adult, moves into parenting their own children after achieving financial success. The food insecurity experienced is a thing of the past. Yet underlying this physical security is a brooding or severe fear of never having enough. The emotional state does not line up with the physical.
When exploring a root chakra imbalance or blockage, it's important to understand that there can be a deficiency or excess in the energy flow. When too much energy flows through, there is an overcompensation in daily activities whereas a deficiency leads to going inside one's self in a protective manner. Common signs that someone is dealing with a root chakra imbalance are as follows:
Deficient energy flow*:
Withdrawal from surroundings
Believe you can only rely on yourself
Can't or wont be yourself around others
Disconnect from people and nature
Lack of self-esteem
Excessive energy flow*:
Being a workaholic
Obsess over money/greediness
Hyper vigilant to perceived threats
Not eating at all or binge eating all the time
Inability to let go/feeling of being stuck
Physical symptoms of a root chakra imbalance are: lower back pain, dizziness, fatigue, constipation, issues with the legs and feet, and reproductive issues.*
The severity of the imbalance is directly linked to the best course of action to take in order to regain that balance. I don't think there is a single person who hasn't felt one or all of these signs at some point in time in their life. The nature of life is to experience ebbs and flows that change who we are, how we feel and how we perceive the world around us.
Deeply seeded, or long term imbalances, tend to need a deeper form of healing. The transformational benefits of Reiki healing, or healing using the universal life energy, has the ability to tap into and remove these long held blockages. The push and pull of universal energy by a skilled Reiki master balances not just the root chakra, but the entire system. Depending on the severeness and a person's desire to heal, multiple Reiki sessions are sometimes needed to "reset" the chakra system.
When dealing with life's natural roller coaster effect, or to maintain balance after receiving Reiki healing, there are several other options to maintain balance. The color red represents the root chakra. As such, red candles, visualizing the color red, or wearing red can have a huge impact on days when you are feeling slightly off or need grounding. A powerful visualization is that of a red lotus flower blooming over the tailbone.
Essential oils such as rosemary, sandalwood, black pepper, or clove assist in balancing the root chakra, as well. Dabbing a small amount diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut or sesame oil on the lower back or tailbone area helps remove blockages and increase energy flow. Alternatively, you can put the essential oil of your choice in a room diffuser or one worn around the neck. Combing essential oil use with any type of Yoga, guided or unguided, on a daily basis keeps you grounded, aware, and in control of the energies surrounding you. By focusing on maintaining balance, you are able to be in control of your situations rather than be in a reactive state of mind.
Daily affirmations, crystals, dance, exercise...the list goes on and on. There is no one way that works for everyone to remove blockages from the root chakra. When trying to figure out which route is best for you, think about activities that make you feel secure, safe, and grounded in your surroundings and do more of these things. Understanding the importance of a balanced root chakra is the first step. After that, the journey is up to you.
*Nothing written here should be a substitute for professional medical care. If you believe you are suffering from depression or anxiety please visit PsychGuides.com for a list of resources.