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Chakras are centers of energy in the body, identified by Hindu practices and used in activities such as meditation, spiritual healing, and yoga. Each chakra corresponds with an area of the body, an area of the spirit, and a color. The red chakra, also called the root or base chakra, is said to be located at the base of the spine. Its functions are aiding movement and grounding the body and spirit.
In chakra theory, each of the seven chakras controls certain areas of the body and mind. A disruption or imbalance in a chakra can cause physical or mental ailments in those areas. Practitioners believe that meditating on that area can help heal those issues, and such meditation sessions often include focusing on the color associated with the chakra in question.
Spiritual healers may recommend a course of focused meditation on the red chakra for a number of physical ailments. These include problems relating to the spinal column, rectum, feet, kidneys, legs, and immune system. Common disorders include sciatica, varicose veins, and immune disorders. Mental problems related to an imbalance in the red chakra include depression, social insecurities, and issues related to family and self esteem.
Red is the color of the root chakra, so meditation sessions to help balance this chakra will likely include focus on the color red. This might involve closing the eyes and focusing on either the color itself, or on the mental picture of an item of the right color. Alternatively, such a session might involve focusing on an actual red item with the eyes open. For the red chakra, this could be a cherry Popsicle™ or a red cup, but would most often involve a natural object, such as an apple or a red flower. Crystal or stone meditations also are thought to affect the root chakra when focus is on hematite or onyx.
Such meditations are also thought to be useful in situations wherein the mind and body become distant from one another, such as when a person drifts off into a daydream when she really needs to be focused on a work project. Focusing on the color red and on the base of the spine where the red chakra is located is thought to help refocus energy and bring it back into alignment with the physical body. This may help the worker refocus on her project.
Certain foods are thought to stimulate the red chakra as well. This naturally includes root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and garlic, but also includes proteins, such as peanut butter and meats, as well as hot spices, such as cayenne pepper, horseradish, and paprika. Flowers said to stimulate the root chakra include clematis and rosemary.