Sacral Chakra: Experiencing Connection
What is the sacral chakra?
The sacral chakra, also known as Svadhishana which relates to “sweetness.”
It is located in the pelvic region of our bodies around our sacral nerve plexus, and its color is a brilliant orange. This chakra is the second of our 7 chakra system responsible for our feelings of emotional connection, pleasure, and gratification, as well as creativity.
Our sacral chakra is our second chakra, just about our root chakra. The root chakra is responsible for stability, physical nourishment, being comfortable in the body, and feeling secure in the physical world. The sacral chakra is much less about our physical bodies and being stable, and more about transition, movement, feeling, and change. It is through the sacral chakra that we experience a connection to our emotions and feelings, which allows us to experience joy and fulfillment in our day to day activities, foster relationships with others (along with the heart chakra), and expression of ourselves through art, creativity, and sexuality.
The sacral chakra is governed by desire, your appetite to explore, experience, and engage in your own life. It fuels your fire to pursue pleasurable activities, and a healthy sacral chakra allows you to enjoy and be present in each moment. With a healthy sacral chakra, you are able to both enforce and respect healthy boundaries with other people and yourself. This means that you recognize the nature of your relationships with others and can identify how much is appropriate to share and can open up emotionally to those that are close to you.
When the sacral chakra is out of balance, we often see issues in the:
- Reproductive organs, such as menstrual issues, PMS, endometriosis, fibroids
- A decrease in the ability to form stable, healthy connections with others
- The ability to feel, understand and interpret our feelings and emotions
- Sexual dysfunction or issues within one’s own expression of sexuality (excessive or deficiency)
- Guilt and shame surrounding pleasurable activities (Thoughts of “I should…”)
- Issues “letting people in” or being an “over-sharer” with lack of boundaries
- Lack of joy or zest for life
Excessive Sacral Chakra
An excessive sacral chakra may lead to neediness and cause a person to overshare with others. A lack of firm boundaries characterizes an excessive sacral chakra. A person with an excessive sacral chakra may continually crave attention from others and need frequent validation. They may not have a solid sense of self, and their personality may seem to take on what they think others around them, such as their boyfriend or girlfriend, wants. Sexuality may be over-expressed and used as a means to connect deeply with others and move relationships forward quicker than what is appropriate.
Deficient Sacral Chakra
With a deficient, or closed off sacral chakra, a person may struggle to feel joy, passion, and intimacy. S/he may struggle to understand her/his own emotions as well as express them to others. In this case, boundaries are too rigid, and connection with others is a challenge. People with a deficient chakra often feel that life is monotonous, do not enjoy sexual intimacy, and lack the feeling of flow and freedom. A deficient sacral chakra leads to feelings of apathy and feeling stuck.
The Cause of Sacral Chakra Imbalances
The sacral chakra can become imbalanced in a number of ways. Developing a balanced sacral chakra and maintaining a harmonious sacral chakra can be challenging in today’s society. The sacral chakra first develops in response to the modeling we have as children regarding boundaries, emotions, and sexuality. As you may guess, it is common for parents to encourage their children to suppress their emotions by saying things like “You’re fine, stop” when a child becomes sad or angry. Sexuality and sexual expression are also taboo in many cultures, and exploring sexuality in a healthy way is almost impossible to navigate without some judgment. You are either a prude or too loose – is there ever any in-between?
Taking time to enjoy yourself and do things that are not necessarily productive but simply bring you joy is often met with guilt. Ah, capitalism, is productivity and working for the man all we are here to do?
Showing emotion can be seen as a sign of weakness if you are male, or if you are female, too much emotion or passion is seen as hysteria.
As you can see, the sacral chakra, for most people, could use some healing.
Healing the Sacral Chakra
Healing the sacral chakra is relevant to many, if not all, people. This is because from the moment we are born into adolescence and into adulthood, our society has put in place “rules” that demonize pleasure and reward “hard work” and suppressing our emotions.
Our society has taught us to deplete, ignore, and suppress many vital aspects of our sacral chakra.
As children, we are afforded more opportunities to play, have fun, and express ourselves. However, when a child cries, becomes angry, or becomes too excitable, it is not uncommon for parents to tell a child to “stop”, or say “you are fine, stop crying” or “calm down” etc. Instead of feeling his or her feelings of anger, sadness, or glee, are validated, a child is taught that emotional expression is not ok. This is especially true for male children. Being sad or crying breaks the unwritten rule that “boys don’t cry.”
As this child grows up, he or she will be less likely to understand his or her emotions and what they are truly feeling and why. As a result, this causes emotional suppression. To encourage the healthy development of the sacral chakra, parents should instead help their child understand what feelings they are experiencing, validate them, and help them understand why. For instance, if a child is becoming upset and crying after a scary incident, a parent could say:
“That was pretty scary wasn’t it? You are feeling scared right now, and it is ok to feel scared.”
In the workplace, being productive, working long hours, showing no emotion, and being cut-throat are all characteristics that are typically associated with high-ranking CEOs and successful business people. Well, mostly with men, as when women exhibit these characteristics, they are commonly thought of as a “bitch”, cold, calculating, and other characteristics that seem to separate them from their femininity.
On the same note, taking the time to relax and take care of yourself, saying “no” to extra tasks and projects, answering emails only during business hours is essential for creating appropriate work-life boundaries and taking care of your own mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Unfortunately, in our society, these practices are not rewarded and are often frowned upon or judged as “lazy” or “selfish.”
Understanding what your needs truly are (and respecting them) is essential for a healthy sacral chakra. The first step is recognizing the signs and signals that your mind or body sends to you when they are in need of rest, downtime, laughter, relaxation etc. Once you have begun to pick up on these signs and signals, the next step in creating boundaries to enforce these needs. This can take work, and it does not always come easy. Working with a professional, like the doctors at Onyx can help you take steps in the right direction.
Our Naturopathic Doctors work with people both in-person at their Gilbert AZ office and via telemedicine. They help you uncover the underlying mental, emotional, physical, and energetic imbalances that are interfering with your health and happiness.
The most unhealthy aspect of our sacral chakra is related to sexuality and sexual expression. Really, we don’t have a clear understanding of what healthy sexual expression is. Almost every variation of sexual expression is demonized, shamed, and judged in some way. For instance, women who express their sexuality freely are quickly called “sluts,” “promiscuous,” “easy,” – the list goes on. Women who are more sexually reserved are seen as prudish. And let’s not forget that women as a whole are objectified as sexual objects…
Many religions reference virgins are pure, and in some religions, men are rewarded with virgins in the after-life. What does this tell us? That women who have not had sex are more valuable than women who have? This intrinsically implies that sexuality is dirty or shameful. This idea also implies that a woman’s worth is linked to her sexuality as well.
On the flip side, our society seems to glorify men who engage in sexual activity with numerous women. These men do not are typically seen as weak or less than. As you can see, there are very conflicting pressures for both men and women regarding their sexuality.
Understanding your own sexuality and exploring it in a free and honest way is needed for a healthy sacral chakra. This is going to mean something different for each and every person.
Another area of sexuality that is shamed in some aspects of our society is sexual preference. Overall, we live in a very heteronormative society. Those who prefer the same sex or are pan-sexual are often met with judgment and shame from others. Unlike people who are heterosexual where their sexual orientation is assumed, people who prefer the same sex must “come out” to their friends and families, typically after an internal struggle and pressure to be attracted to the opposite sex.
With all that goes on in terms of our sexual expression, it is tough even to know what a healthy sexual expression is. Healing the sacral chakra and finding balance is not always an easy task.
Healing the sacral chakra involves a combination of mind-body therapies and critically analyzing thoughts and beliefs that govern our behaviors.
In addition to the comments above, there are other practices and techniques to balance the sacral chakra. These include:
- Physical movement
- Engaging in creativity (painting, singing, poetry, dancing, art of any kind, cooking etc)
- Taking time to explore creative and self-expression activities that are not focused on productivity but rather feeling, being, and expressing
- Boundary work with yourself and others (not pushing past your thresholds)
- Self-reflection and journaling
- Letting loose and having fun
- Developing fulfilling and meaningful relationships
- Energy work such as gemstone therapy, acupuncture, reiki
For some people, it can be hard to know where to start. While many of these sacral chakra healing techniques like physical movement and engaging in creativity can be performed on your own without much guidance, the deeper emotional work as well as energy work requires collaboration with a skilled practitioner.
At Onyx Integrative Medicine, our Naturopathic Doctors can help you on your individual healing journey using a combination of all of these techniques to help you balance your sacral chakra and reclaim your health and happiness.