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The concept of the chakras stems from ancient origins including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. First mention of the chakras, describing them as a sort of "wheel", can be found in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu texts dating back to roughly 1700-1100 BCE.
Evidence in the historical records indicates that many cultures around the world have utilized an understanding of this sacred knowledge. The idea of the chakras being "energy centers" in the body appears in medieval Hindu and Buddhist texts. A multitude of traditional practices and new-age adaptations have persisted as a means to transform and balance the many facets of the human condition by tapping into the energy of the chakras.
Common methods to engage a deep level of healing through the chakras include yoga, breathing exercises, visualizations, guided meditations, and mantras. This concept of an energy body, distinct from but connected to the physical body, can be found in cultural beliefs and traditions through the world.
Western Science recognizes that at the core of everything (all matter) is in fact energy. Albert Einstein, amongst many others, supports this underlying principle stating “everything is energy”. Our body is receiving and experiencing this energy all the time.
Western medicine and scientific research is becoming more and more interested in understanding how energy moves in the body. Peer-reviewed scientific evidence of biophoton emissions (as demonstrated by Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp and his colleagues) supports the underlying precepts of energy healing.
“All living organisms, including humans, emit a low-intensity glow that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be measured by photomultipliers that amplify the signals. A dynamic web of light may connect cell organelles, cells, tissues, and organs within the body and serve as the organism’s main communication network and as the principal regulating instance for all life processes.” - Marco Bischoff - Biophotons: The Light Of Our Cells
While the 5 senses are typically not accustomed to perceiving this subtle life-force, both modern science and millennia-old traditional healing practices acknowledge its importance.
Traditional East Asian Medicine in fact, is built upon the premise of this life-force known as "qi" or "chi". This essential substance, believed to exist throughout the universe, is considered vital to proper physiological functioning within the body.
Different therapeutic modalities can affect this life-force to promote health and overcome disease. These include self-restoration practices such as meditation and qiqong; the direct channeling of qi to assist others in healing such as reiki or healing touch; and various hands-on techniques for moving, directing, or building the qi in the body (acupuncture, therapeutic massage, moxibustion, cupping, etc.)
A large number of western studies now support the effectiveness of acupuncture with the National Institute of Health and The World Health Organizations endorsing its use for a myriad of health conditions.