Written by: Stephanie Minter, LMT
As our dependency on technology increases and the demand for production grows, we continue to distance our physical bodies from its connection to earth energies. More than ever, a life practice of self awareness, physical attunement and energy balance are essential for wellbeing.
As a follow up to Zen Garden Yoga’s recent Chakra Workshop lead by Maryanne Abdulhadi, RYT 200, this is supplemental information on the innate connections between human touch, massage, and chakra healing.
- Chakra – associated parts of the physical body
- Massage Technique/Application
- Oil/Blend suggestion
1st Chakra – Root/Base (Muladhara)
As the Root chakra implies, the spinal column and sacro-coccygeal nerve plexus are the root of your physical core. In addition, your legs and feet connect your root chakra to earth energy. Massaging the feet, legs, and gluteal muscles stimulate the flow of prana (energy) in this chakra region. Fun fact: 80% of your genetic material is dedicated to the formation of the olfactory organ (nose) and the (Muladhara) associated sense of smell.
Oils: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood , Vetiver, Myrrh, Frankincense, Galbanum, Benzoin, Angelica, St. John’s Wort, all root oils.
2nd Chakra – Sacral (Svadisthana)
Associated with the reproductive and pelvic organs, lower vertebrae and muscles of the hips; release of the lumbar fascia and massage of the gluteal attachments at the sacroiliac joint is recommended. Sitting for prolonged periods of time shortens your hip muscles and restricts the flow of blood, oxygen and energy in this area. Myofascial release of the hip flexors and release of the illiopsoas muscle assist in your need to ease tension on the hips and open them for better flow of energy in the sacral chakra.
Oil: Rosemary, Sandalwood, Juniper, Ylang-ylang, Jasmine, Rose, Clove, Gotu Kola, Neroli, Rose geranium, Orange.
3rd Chakra – Solar Plexus (Manipura)
The Vagus nerve, responsible for the “Rest/Digest” portion of your nervous system can be directly stimulated by massage of your abdomen. Massage oils are applied in a clockwise direction around the navel to stimulate elimination of waste and improve organ function by bringing conscious awareness to the belly, your “personal power center”.
Oil: Black Pepper, Ginger, Anise, Peppermint, Juniper, Vetivert, Rosemary, Yarrow, Petitgrain, Palmarosa, Marjoram, Lemon.
4th Chakra – Heart (Anahata)
Massage is good for your heart! Medical research indicates improved circulation and lower blood pressure during massage sessions. Massage of the upper back, gentle traction of your arm and shoulder joint, as well as myofascial release of your pectoral muscles will further assist in opening this chakra region. Not to mention, having your arms and hands massaged just feels so good.
Oil: Marjoram, Jasmine, Rose, Neroli, Basil, Bergamot, Melissa, Rosewood.
5th Chakra – Throat (Visuddha)
No massage is complete without a neck massage! This is the most requested focus area of my massage practice. Head Forward Posture is very common source of pain today. Gentle neck traction and release of the restricted fascia surrounding the front and back of your neck are usually followed by gentle massage of the muscles of the neck and attachments to the base of your head. In addition, ear pulls are great for releasing cranial tissue adhesions and are appropriate for the Visuddha associated sense of hearing.
Oil: Blue chamomile, Orange, Rosemary, Sage, Lemongrass, Hyssop.
6th Chakra – Brow/ Third Eye (Ajna)
Massage therapists will usually use the pads of their thumbs and fingers in a technique called “brow stripping”. This has a practical benefit of clearing the sinuses after you’ve been lying face down for some time. A complete massage for the Anja chakra includes the nasal sinuses, temples and muscles of the jaw.
Oil: Clary sage, Lavender, Lemon, Rose, Rosemary, Peppermint, Spruce, Frankincense, Elemi.
7th Chakra – Crown (Sahasrara)
Mmmmm scalp massage. Yes, please! Need I say more? Well yes. To further the connection with your crown chakra, cervical traction and gentle “hair pulls” help release cranial tissue adhesions. Consider finding a massage therapist certified in Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST) for a gentle yet effective Sahasrara healing protocol. An ayurvedic therapy known as shirodhara, streams a trance inducing warm oil over your third eye to the crown of your head. Now that’s AmaZEN!
Oil: Frankincense, Geranium, Sandalwood, Gotu Kola, Myrrh, Benzoin, Neroli, Lavender, Angelica, St. John’s Wort.
I do try to include each of the chakra regions in my massage sessions, but if you are interested in a massage focused on specific areas or use specific oil(s), please let me know. We have doTerra Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils at Zen Garden. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey.
Voigt, Anna. The Chakra Workbook, 2008. Metro Book, New York, NY.http://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/research02.html