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Chakras: a tuneup for the body

: Reiki master Joan Darlene helps clients unblock their chakras for optimum overall well-being

Posted: December 16, 2010 8:12 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2010 4:30 a.m.

(Above) Reiki master Joan Darlene performs a chakra clearing, which she says are popular with clients of all ages and professions. (Below)

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Feeling blocked? Stagnant? Lethargic? It could be your chakras.

While the term is well-known throughout Eastern medicine and spiritual practices, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, chakras are not so widely understood in Western culture.

That’s too bad, according to Joan Darlene, who practices out of Balance Point Spa in Canyon Country, offering chakra clearings in addition to angel card readings. Darlene is a master of reiki, a form of alternative medicine wherein a practitioner transfers healing energy through the palms.

“It’s my mission to make chakras common knowledge. They are the basis of everything and what you do in life,” Darlene said. “You lube, oil and tune up your car; it’s the same thing with your body. You have to keep everything open and moving. Otherwise, it’ll break down.”

What are chakras?
There are seven main chakras, or energy vortex points, in the body.

The base chakra is located at the base of the spine, the sacral chakra about 3 inches below the navel, the solar-plexus chakra just below the ribs, the heart chakra at the center of the chest, while the fifth chakra is located at the throat.

The sixth chakra, known as the third eye, can be found between and approximately one finger space below the brow, while last chakra is located at the crown of the head.

Each chakra is believed to govern different areas of the body, such as the heart, blood, skin, thyroid, bones, nails and central nervous system. They are also thought to be direct connections to a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.

“Chakras form the basis of our vehicle, the body. This is not New Age,” Darlene said. “I have a wide range of clients, from small babies with colic to little children who have nightmares to people that are 99 years old. Clients come to me from every type of profession. It’s not limited, it’s effective for everybody.”

Getting my chakras on
I was game. With a million things on my plate and a new year coming up, a little introspection and “me” time was in order.

This, I hoped, would help me to not only define my intentions for 2011, but keep me on track to take the necessary actions to make it happen.

Clearing one’s chakras is a good strategy to get started, according to Darlene, who gave up a corporate-training position seven years ago to pursue energy work.

“We all do New Year’s resolutions. You can make resolutions all you want, but if your body is not in harmony, they won’t stick,” she said.

Darlene’s office is colorful yet calming, with paintings of ethereal angels on the walls and a collection of jewellike stones and crystals that she uses during the chakra clearing. Soft music played in the background, with waves crashing and birds chirping as accompaniment.

I lay faceup and fully clothed on a warm, padded massage table while Darlene placed layers of blankets atop of me, creating a comfortable, cocoonlike effect.

Then she moved her hands a few inches above various parts of my body. My skin began to respond, with a pleasant, little hum connecting the two of us.

“I scan the body and it tells me what’s going on,” Darlene said. “What’s wrong with your left foot?”

Wow. I had developed a serious case of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the bottom of the foot, a few months before, but hadn’t revealed this to Darlene.

Unblocking
Afterward, Darlene unwound a little steel tool at the end of a string and held it over my chakra points. The first one was fine, and for the most part, I was remarkably unblocked.

Areas of concern included the second, or sacral chakra, which relates to passion and creativity. The former was definitely lacking in my life, so I laughed out loud when that was revealed.

I blamed it on my age, my hormones, my long-term relationship, but the truth is, it’s just not my top priority these days. (Sorry, honey).

Turns out the fourth, or heart chakra, is closely related to the second, while the fifth, or throat, can indicate an inability or difficulty speaking a truth.

Again, I was surprised at this revelation. I had found myself in some situations recently that required me to keep my mouth shut when my brain was screaming otherwise. No wonder it was showing up.

Next, Darlene began placing the flat, cool stones underneath or on top of the chakra points that showed concern.

Then I heard her hit something against the table. It was a tuning fork.

“I use the universal om vibration as key. We want your vibration to be as high as possible,” she said. “When your vibration is up, it won’t let lower energies in that suck up your energy. People can’t touch you.”

Soul journey
As if leading a guided mediation, Darlene said to me, “Just relax, and imagine yourself in a safe, beautiful place. You might fall asleep. You might start dreaming. You just never know. But if you start thinking too much, go back to the safe place.”

My safe place was Moonstone Beach in Cambria. I imagined myself there with my boyfriend, walking the beach on a cool day in a cable-knit sweater.

We sat on a large rock and tossed a ball to my dogs, Sam and Buster. All of us were bathed in a golden glow as if we were in a Ralph Lauren commercial. It was very peaceful.

A smile crossed my face, and I began to drift off to that luscious place somewhere between consciousness and sleep, all the while aware of the light, comforting energy flowing between Darlene’s hands and my skin.

In my safe place, I held imaginary talks explaining my intentions to those around me, feeling nothing but acceptance in return.

In real time, tears ran down my face crying at the beauty and serenity I felt.

After blessing me, Darlene left the room so I could get up. At first, I was reluctant, mellow and ready for a nice long nap.

Once I did, though, I felt a rare combination of relaxed and energetic.

Gone was what the chatter that constantly takes place in between my ears, replaced by a feeling of being fully present in the moment.

“When you’re open and in harmony, you don’t react,” Darlene explained. “You come from the heart and are ready to do the highest and best good.”

I’m ready, 2011. I’m ready.

For more information, visit www.handsofhealingreiki.com or call (805) 338-7040. Balance Point Spa is located at 18285 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. Gift certificates available.

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