What are chakras anyway?

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  • #26
Ivan Seeking
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I think chakras have something to do with the way electricity flows through the human body, but I’m not sure. I'm surprised that this thread is full of people who are insensitive to historical viewpoints of science and medicine. I think this is an area of biology and anatomy that merges with other disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, quantum physics, and religion.
That is certainly not a point of view that will be discussed here. Please read the posting guidelines.
 
  • #27


Are you saying that modern medicine already has modern names for the "energies" claimed to be associated with chakras, or are you saying there is more?
DaveC426913 sums it up very well and leaves an opening for discussion (elsewhere ; D) concerning the bigger picture. Safe to say we have much more research to do on human consciousness and its relationship to the myriad of biological systems.

I think he's saying that the chakras are metaphors for biological systems we are already aware of, but that we reduce to their most simple components (hormones, blood flow, skin conductivity, etc.) and thus miss the bigger picture.
DaveC426913 also raises a great point on the danger of mis-diagnosis due to incompelete understanding that should be kept squarely in mind when doing qualitative science.

through empirical observation but without deeper understanding, the practioners think they've got a handle on cause and effect when, in fact, they are being led down dead-end paths, risking mis-diagnosis.
 
  • #28
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...

Let us take a very obvious example. There is a chakra associated to the genitals. Most of us can admit that without mythology or placebo effect that some sort of "energy" builds up in the groin. Without knowing about gonads or hormones we sense the tension build up over time and we seek release naturally. This would be the first observation to base the research on.

.......
The next observation I would offer is that in the process of releasing this tension we often seek a partner. When his energy is released with another person another sort of energy arises that seems to emanate from the heart. This energy is similar but not the same as the energy that build up in the genitals. We would call it love and it has formed the basis for human relationships forever. In the 21st century we understand a little about electro-chemical reactions of nervous tissue (George W. Crile, a kook, did much of this research in the '30's using animal experiments and modern scientific method in the lab) but in ancient times they were limited to empirical research.

The stumbling block is language...metaphorical language that is interpreted as being the objective truth. What is described as a colored wheel of spritual energy is a metaphorical way of describing the hormonal electro-chemical reactions of nervous tissue.

I would suggest that taken simply there is sufficient empirical research to suggest that there is an energy associated with various organs/structures of the body.
...
This is a Physics fprum. Energy is the capability to do work. Are you saying that the "energy" from your genitals can lift a rock?
 
  • #29


This is a Physics fprum. Energy is the capability to do work. Are you saying that the "energy" from your genitals can lift a rock?
Yes, biological energy does work.

I am not a biologist but the "energy" i.e electricity is most likely involved in signaling the nervous system engage the reproductive activities. I really do not have all the facts about what makes the genitals do the work they do.

The off-topic question that arises in my mind is can this "energy" be increased by the methods of Yoga?
 
  • #30
CEL
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Yes, biological energy does work.

I am not a biologist but the "energy" i.e electricity is most likely involved in signaling the nervous system engage the reproductive activities. I really do not have all the facts about what makes the genitals do the work they do.

The off-topic question that arises in my mind is can this "energy" be increased by the methods of Yoga?
The electric signals between neurons are very low energy. You need to use electrodes in contact with the skin and high gain amplifiers to detect them. There is no need of high energy, since the neurons are very close to each other.
I don't think Yoga can increase that energy. And if it did, this increase would be useless.
But Yoga can supposedly increase what new agers call "energy", a transcendental entity not known by physics.
 
  • #31


The electric signals between neurons are very low energy. You need to use electrodes in contact with the skin and high gain amplifiers to detect them. There is no need of high energy, since the neurons are very close to each other.
I don't think Yoga can increase that energy. And if it did, this increase would be useless.
But Yoga can supposedly increase what new agers call "energy", a transcendental entity not known by physics.
The question is does the energy do work? Even very low energy does perform work.

Its not a question here to support the new age language describing "shifts in consciousness" as "Energy" which discussion is contrary to the posting guidelines, I believe.

Language is tricky. I am speculating about real energy based on real biological structures and not about the new age use of "energy" as a metaphor.

Yoga (Hatha Yoga) may involve structural changes to the body that increases the ability of this "physical" energy to do work. We see that it takes only very low amounts of energy for biological functions. I speculate that even the smallest increase may have an impact on health or consciousness.

It has been suggested in an article written for the alternative medicine community based on the work of George Crile that physically stressing the various glands of the body with various stretches will cause them to become stronger. In the same way that a muscle is built up by exertion it may be possible that the tissues of the glands may also be strengthened.
 
  • #32
Moonbear
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Yes, biological energy does work.

I am not a biologist...
Herein lies the problem. You are not a biologist, but want to make claims about biology, which are simply wrong.

but the "energy" i.e electricity is most likely involved in signaling the nervous system engage the reproductive activities. I really do not have all the facts about what makes the genitals do the work they do.
No, the nervous system functions through ion gradients...it's chemical, not electrical. And arousal of the genitals is due to a shift in blood flow. There is nothing special about the genitals compared to other parts of the body in terms of how they function.
 
  • #33
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Hello all.

I have a personal experience with all this, so i hope that a personal experience conforms to the guidelines. If not, please let me know and I will refrain...

Anyway, I'm 49 now, but when I was about 15 I was into Yoga very much(as my mother taught yoga and classical dance)
Getting to the point, I decided one day to experiment with "awakening the chakras" in a secluded field next to a church.
Whatever I did(can't fully remember) caused a dramatic sensation within my naval area. What I do remember is that the sensation kept growing and eventually(a couple of minutes) felt so powerful that I got scared and stopped, even though I would describe it as "pleasant"
Never did it again.

Ever since, I've had an ability to do something weird, even though it doesn't seem to do anything(to my knowledge)...

What happens is that I can, at will and at any time, briefly concentrate in a way that I can't describe, and the result is that my entire body feels like it being hit with electricity.
Not a lot, probably about 1/4th that one experiences when touching a standard 9-volt battery to their tongue. But I feel it all over, and its not unpleasant.

I do not know what is happening, but I do know that there are no external effects(that I've been able to tell anyway).

My "gut" feeling is that I am simply somehow activating either my nervous system, a hormone "dump", or both. As opposed to some actual paranormal phenomenon.
Because of this I do not do this often. I'm concerned that I might adversely affect my nervous/hormonal system.

Anyway, it's weird and if I had the money I would go to a doctor and get hooked-up to whatever monitoring electronics to find out what it is and, especially, if it's harmful for me to do.

OK, enough of my rant. Thanks.
 
  • #34


Herein lies the problem. You are not a biologist, but want to make claims about biology, which are simply wrong.


No, the nervous system functions through ion gradients...it's chemical, not electrical. And arousal of the genitals is due to a shift in blood flow. There is nothing special about the genitals compared to other parts of the body in terms of how they function.

Moonbear,

I would not, for the sake of this arguement, admit to being simply wrong.

Ion gradiants? A quick google search shows that an ion gradiant is a electro-chemical reaction. I am only technically wrong in that I did not refer to the activity as electro-chemical and my speculation can hardly be discounted on that point.

"An ion gradient is a concentration gradient of ions, it can be called an electrochemical potential gradient of ions across membranes. "
http://www.bio-medicine.org/biology-definition/Ion_gradient/

I never refered to "arousal of the genitals" in terms of erection or erectile tissues but to the experience of an sensation that is localized in the genital region. I am going to speculate without doing research on the electro-chemical triggers to erection that "something" must signal the heart to pump blood to the gentials and that this "something" has to do with a electro-chemical charge that is associated with a hormonal response caused by some sort of reaction caused by a sexual stimuli.

The special thing about the genitals for the sake of this discussion, that has more to do with empirical observations than it does actual biological function, is that most of us are more aware of localized subtle changes in our genitals than in the adrenaline glands. We all understand that fight and flight are related to these glands but it does not manifest in the area of the glands the same way as the genitals.
 
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  • #35
CRGreathouse
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AltScience, I think you need to find some evidence before continuing with your theories here. Speculation that things might just line up with your beliefs, without something backing it up, isn't special enough to merit discussion.
 
  • #36
DaveC426913
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...I decided one day to experiment with "awakening the chakras" in a secluded field next to a church.
Whatever I did(can't fully remember) caused a dramatic sensation within my naval area. What I do remember is that the sensation kept growing and eventually(a couple of minutes) felt so powerful that I got scared and stopped, even though I would describe it as "pleasant"
Never did it again.
At the very least, this will get you arrested. More likely, you will go blind. But doing it near a church is a free ticket to hell.
 
  • #37
Ivan Seeking
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AltScience, I think you need to find some evidence before continuing with your theories here. Speculation that things might just line up with your beliefs, without something backing it up, isn't special enough to merit discussion.
Correct. Describing personal experiences is perfectly acceptable, but the posting of personal theories that seek to explain those or other experiences is specifically forbidden. Explanations are limited to those that have either been published in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal, and/or those already considered to be common [scientific] knowledge.
 
  • #38
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At the very least, this will get you arrested. More likely, you will go blind. But doing it near a church is a free ticket to hell.
Dave, that(what you are alluding to) is not even what I was talking about. But that's OK. I can see how that can be misinterpreted.

Get serious. This is no joke.
 
  • #39
DaveC426913
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Dave, that(what you are alluding to) is not even what I was talking about. But that's OK. I can see how that can be misinterpreted.

Get serious. This is no joke.
I was only half-joking.

Sexual arousal is 90% mental, 10% physical. I see no reason why it is not possible to generate feelings that are much like arousal purely with the power of thought.

While you may not have interpreted what you felt in the way I am interpreting it, that doesn't mean it wasn't virtually the same process.

P.S. Regarding getting serious, perhaps a science forum isn't the place to discuss chakras, hm? This thread is flirting with getting locked.
 
  • #40
lisab
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P.S. Regarding getting serious, perhaps a science forum isn't the place to discuss chakras, hm? This thread is flirting with getting locked.
Oh that was my first thought too, Dave...and second, and third, haha! But I hope it doesn't get locked, it's pure entertainment.
 
  • #41
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At the very least, this will get you arrested. More likely, you will go blind. But doing it near a church is a free ticket to hell.
:rofl::rofl: Top form, Dave.
 
  • #42
Ivan Seeking
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Now now, I won't lock the thread but I will delete off-topic comments. We really can't allow even good-natured teasing. Members are specifically invited to share their experiences, so please be respectful of those who do.

Even if we assume that all exotic claims have prosaic explanations, I think we would all agree that the brain can play some very impressive tricks on the mind.
 
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  • #43
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What are the seven Chakras?

In Indian Medicine, Ayurveda, there are seven major chakras.

The body has seven major chakras and a great many lesser chakras or energy centers.
The major chakras recognized as focal points of the life-force.
Ayurveda teaches the prevention of disease, the rejuvenation of the body’s systems, and the extension of one’s life span. Through faithful practices, Ayurveda promises the prevention of heart disease and the freedom from pain. It is an integrated approach which relies upon lifestyle changes and natural therapies.
http://www.neurosurgical.com/neuro_medical_info/alternative_care/ayurveda.htm

According to Ayerveda Medicine the Chakras are:
  1. Root Chakra
  2. Navel Chakra
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra
  4. Heart Chakra
  5. Throat Chakra
  6. Crown Chakra
  7. Brow Chakra

The Chakras are in the same location as glandular structures recognized by Western Medicine:

  1. Gonads
  2. Leydig Gland
  3. Adrenal Glands
  4. Thymus Gland
  5. Thyroid Gland
  6. Pituitary Gland
  7. Pineal Gland

The only out of place items are the Crown Chakra/Pituitary Gland.
The Pituitary Gland, at the base of the skull, is a direct connection between the endocrine system and the nervous sytem through the Hypothalamus.

An educated guess is the Pituitary (indirectly) stimulates nerves (via the Hypothalamus) at the top of the head leading to the incorrect location. Also, 5000 years ago they most likely didn't have imaging equipment to determine absolutely precise locations.

@pallidin

Progressive relaxation will yield better results then trying to stimulate one Chakra/Gland.
You help all the energetic/glandular systems in this way.
 
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  • #44
Moonbear
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According to Ayerveda Medicine the Chakras are:
  1. Root Chakra
  2. Navel Chakra
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra
  4. Heart Chakra
  5. Throat Chakra
  6. Crown Chakra
  7. Brow Chakra

The Chakras are in the same location as glandular structures recognized by Western Medicine:

  1. Gonads
  2. Leydig Gland
  3. Adrenal Glands
  4. Thymus Gland
  5. Thyroid Gland
  6. Pituitary Gland
  7. Pineal Gland

The only out of place items are the Crown Chakra/Pituitary Gland.
The Pituitary Gland, at the base of the skull, is a direct connection between the endocrine system and the nervous sytem through the Hypothalamus.

An educated guess is the Pituitary stimulates nerves at the top of the head leading to the incorrect location. Also, 5000 years ago they most likely didn't have imaging equipment to determine absolutely precise locations.
Nope. The pituitary controls the glands of the entire body. Endocrine glands aren't neural, they are ENDOCRINE, which means the hormones are released into the BLOOD to circulate around the entire body until they reach their targets, which in the case of the pituitary are all of the other endocrine organs of the body.

And, since endocrinology is part of my specialization area, I'm really curious to hear your explanation of what a leydig gland is. There are leydig CELLS in the testes (gonads), but no leydig "gland" and nothing near the navel.

The thymus is nearly absent in adults, as its main function is in the developing immune system.

The pineal gland is not near the brow. It sits just posterior and superior to the hypothalamus of the brain, in a region called the epithalamus.

The solar plexus is more properly called the coeliac plexus, and is a bundle of nerves around the aorta at about the level of the stomach or pancreas. It is located close to the midline of the body. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, located laterally in the body, so these are not in the same place. The renal arteries, which also provide branches to the adrenal glands, branch off the aorta inferior (lower) than the celiac plexus, so one could not even claim the blood supply originates at that location.

Again, this is sounding like people trying to fit completely outdated ideas to modern knowledge of biology and medicine without actually having a solid understanding of biology and medicine. It's like trying to justify alchemy by trying to stretch the comparisons to modern chemistry.
 
  • #45
Moonbear
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I never refered to "arousal of the genitals" in terms of erection or erectile tissues but to the experience of an sensation that is localized in the genital region. I am going to speculate without doing research on the electro-chemical triggers to erection that "something" must signal the heart to pump blood to the gentials and that this "something" has to do with a electro-chemical charge that is associated with a hormonal response caused by some sort of reaction caused by a sexual stimuli.
Those perceived sensations happen in the brain, not the genitals. Look up "limbic system."
 
  • #46
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Moonbear said:
And, since endocrinology is part of my specialization area, I'm really curious to hear your explanation of what a leydig gland is. There are leydig CELLS in the testes (gonads), but no leydig "gland" and nothing near the navel.
The Leydig Gland is located in the mesonephros tissue. It is about the size of a pea and exists in all vertebrates. It was discovered in 1892 by Franz von Leydig, Professor of Comparative Anatomy, University of Tübingen in 1857 and University of Bonn in 1875.
If Endocrinology truly is your specialization, there may be a history book with your name as the person who discovered the functions of the Leydig Gland.

Moonbear said:
Nope. The pituitary controls the glands of the entire body. Endocrine glands aren't neural, they are ENDOCRINE, which means the hormones are released into the BLOOD to circulate around the entire body until they reach their targets, which in the case of the pituitary are all of the other endocrine organs of the body.
Simple10 said:
The Pituitary Gland, at the base of the skull, is a direct connection between the endocrine system and the nervous system through the Hypothalamus.
I don't see any contradiction comparing our statements. The Pituitary is linked to the Hypothalamus.

Are you trying to say that the Endocrine system has no effect on the Autonomic Nervous System and vice-versa?

Moonbear said:
The pineal gland is not near the brow. It sits just posterior and superior to the hypothalamus of the brain, in a region called the epithalamus.
Unfortunately I do not have access to imaging equipment.

Moonbear said:
The solar plexus is more properly called the coeliac plexus, and is a bundle of nerves around the aorta at about the level of the stomach or pancreas. It is located close to the midline of the body. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, located laterally in the body, so these are not in the same place. The renal arteries, which also provide branches to the adrenal glands, branch off the aorta inferior (lower) than the celiac plexus, so one could not even claim the blood supply originates at that location.
If the Adrenals turn the volume too loud, will it get on the coeliac plexus' nerves?
 
  • #47
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I'm amazed that whoever invented these chackras, forgot about the *** hole. I mean really, you lose about an atomic bomb worth of energy through there, everyday.
 
  • #48
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@ Simple 10

I remember now. What I was practising was Kundalini Awakening.
The pleasent but powerful energy I felt grew to about the size of a softball.
When I attempted to move it up, it moved, and it scared the heck out of me so I stopped.
Probably shouldn't have stopped, but it was seriously weird, and very powerful.

I found a web site referencing this. Not sure how accurate, but seems like what I was doing: http://www.swamij.com/kundalini-awakening.htm

pallidin
 
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  • #49
turbo
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No, the nervous system functions through ion gradients...it's chemical, not electrical. And arousal of the genitals is due to a shift in blood flow. There is nothing special about the genitals compared to other parts of the body in terms of how they function.
Yep! You can blush. Other things can happen, too.
 
  • #50
Math Is Hard
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I'm amazed that whoever invented these chackras, forgot about the *** hole. I mean really, you lose about an atomic bomb worth of energy through there, everyday.
The "base" or "root" chakra maps to that area.

(I live in California, so I know these things.)
 

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