Chakra Shortcuts to Stress Relief

By Cyndi Dale
[Energy Work]

During the holiday season, our lists of cleaning, cooking, and shopping chores seem to grow exponentially. As the to-dos increase, so do clients’ stressors—as well as the negative impact this stress has on their bodies.

One of the most important functions of serving as a professional healer is relieving stress. On the surface, stress and strain might present as sore shoulders, a torn ligament, or a raging headache. While a client’s therapeutic request might be housed within words requesting physical relief, the nature of energy is such that what is unsaid is often as important as what is said.

Energetic healing recognizes that there is a holistic approach to helping people, and that with each presenting issue, there is often an underlying net of “stuff” attached to it. While a bad day at the office can certainly result in an overwhelming migraine, there can be subterranean layers that need to be excavated to guarantee a true or permanent shift toward relief. I often work with the chakras (bodily based subtle energy centers) to track, uncover, and alleviate the underground causes of the obvious problems. The holidays are an ideal time to engage in this process, as they often trigger an individual’s deeply held issues.

Holiday Flare-Ups

I once worked with a client who suffered from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. She employed allopathic care and also a shiatsu expert, but exhaustion and pain continued to debilitate her, especially at the holidays. In fact, for eight years, every November and December, she had experienced flare-ups that didn’t respond to treatment of any sort.

Sometime before her conditions began, my client had lost her mother around the holidays. This event could easily explain her predisposition to an inflammatory disease; studies show that trauma inclines us to illness, as it triggers about 1,500 biochemical reactions. These responses include the activation of stress-response pathways; a change in the hippocampus, the part of our brain that creates memories; and an increase in blood sugar, cortisol, platelet levels, and more. When one thing after another hits us—or when a stressor is long-term—these biological responses don’t return to normal. Our bodies literally become too exhausted to fight off germs, tension, or emotional suffering. In addition, our sense of reality often topples, making it difficult for us to trust others or believe that we are safe. The definition of stress now expands from the experience of threat to the perception of the same. 

Although I expected my client’s severe inflammation to get better after we discussed her mother’s death, it didn’t. I knew we had to dig deeper, and I employed my chakra knowledge to do so. I will reveal the ending to this cliff-hanger at the conclusion of this article, but first ...

Working with Chakras

Chakras are one of three parts of the subtle energetic anatomy, the invisible structure that composes all living beings. They are spinning energy centers located at nerve plexuses and endocrine glands. The other two structures are the meridians and energetic fields, which we will address in subsequent columns. Chakras are uniquely useful for tracing and relieving the original causes of presenting issues, mainly because through them, we can transform physical energy to subtle energy and back again, thus effecting change at every level. To work with a chakra is often called “energy healing.”

It’s noteworthy to mention that anything we do as professional bodyworkers or therapists is energy healing. Energy is the fundamental ingredient in everything, including disease, healing, thoughts, and even our morning coffee. It is, quite simply, vibrating information. Subtle energy is the energy that moves faster than the speed of light, in contrast with physical or sensory energy, which is slower than the speed of light. In fact, compared to subtle energy, sensory energy practically dawdles, taking its sweet time to accomplish what subtle energy finished yesterday.

There are many reasons that chakras are of particular use in alleviating stress, besides their ability to morph solid energy to ethereal energy and vice versa. Primary is the fact that chakras store memories. In fact, each chakra holds a certain portion of emotional, mental, physical, relational, and spiritual data according to where it is located in the body. This data can tell us why a certain issue appears in our life and what we can do to heal it. 

For instance, the sacral chakra located in the hip area contains information related to that bodily area, as well as safety and security issues. The subtle energy within that chakra will shape our relationships with finances, sexuality, and our perception of being worthy regarding our primal needs. When working with a client with hip flexor problems—or money issues, severe abandonment issues, or intense bodily inflammation or tension—we might automatically consider focusing on this chakra.

Every chakra activates at a certain time as well. Chakras are active all of the time, but when they are predominant, they are downloading energy from the environment and deciding how to function. Emotions, beliefs, and personality traits become locked in at this point. By knowing the chakra’s developmental time period, we can help clients track their symptoms back to certain ages, recall memories or bodily sensations pertaining to that time, and clear the issues causing challenges. 

Once you have tracked symptoms to a chakra area, if your client is willing, you can ask questions about how they feel in that general area of the body: what comes up for them, what lies in that bodily area that is causing the stress. You can also ask about stressors that occurred at the related chakric age. If the challenges cover several bodily areas, it can be beneficial to ask the client to pay attention to the individual areas of the body as you work on them, evaluating for memories, feelings, or experiences.

Clients, if inclined, might feel more comfortable talking about issues with a friend or therapist—or no one. You must also understand your boundary as a therapist, and not be a counselor. Because energy is everything, however, this doesn’t preclude you from operating as a subtle energy practitioner. Simply asking that a higher source of grace soothe your client or corresponding chakra, especially while your hands are close to a certain chakra area, is enough to begin or continue an inner healing process. I always ask higher guidance—or the client’s higher self—to provide the client with energy. This assures that your own life energy isn’t drained and helps prevent a common caretaker malady— taking on our clients’ issues.  

It’s helpful to know that if the drama or trauma lies within one or more chakras, so does the antidote. Let’s say we figure out that the chakra in a client’s abdomen is causing tension in her sacral muscles. This chakra regulates creativity and feelings, in addition to other matters. Once we’ve uncovered the causal event or situation, we can also use our creative and emotional faculties to help transform and heal the original wound—thereby letting the client figure out how to best proceed in life.


What happened to my holiday client suffering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia? She eventually relayed a story her mother had told her. While her mother was pregnant with her, my client’s grandfather died—on Christmas Day. Apparently, my client’s mother became depressed for months, to the point of contemplating suicide, and was too sad even to take care of her newborn—my client. I believe this memory and her mother’s sorrow had remained stored in my client’s body and was retriggered during her mother’s death, which was, coincidentally, at the holidays. The time period of my client’s original trauma matched the first chakra activation period, the womb to six months, as did her overall body symptoms of inflammation. After surfacing these long-held feelings, my client’s symptoms began to improve. Her shiatsu treatments especially became more effective. 

As Hippocrates said thousands of years ago, “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.” Using chakra shortcuts is a certain way to better know our clients—and help them better know our work.  

Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and intuitive consultant. Her books include The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Sounds True, 2009), The Complete Book of Chakra Healing (Llewellyn Publications, 2009), and Advanced Chakra Healing (Crossing Press, 2005). To learn more about Dale and her products, services, and classes, visit

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