When it comes to most wellness treatments and trends, I maintain a healthy balance of both skepticism and curiosity. In other words, I’ll try that superfood smoothie or meditation regimen—but I don't necessarily think any of it will become a regular habit. Still, my mind is always open. I like trying and learning about new things. When it comes to getting my chakras balanced, I figure: Why not? So, when the Four Seasons Philadelphia Spa offered me a chance to experience their Seasons of Chakra treatment, I gave it a whirl.
Balancing Your Chakras
The treatment, which features singing crystal bowls and herbaceous aromatherapy uses massage techniques that focus on different areas of the body, each of which correspond with a specific chakra. Don’t know what a chakra is? Let’s get into it.
What Is a Chakra?
Chakras are energy systems throughout your body. They control physical, psychological, and spiritual functions.
According to medical aesthetician and spiritual healer Mashell Tabe, chakras are energy systems throughout your body. "There are three major functions they control: physical, psychological and spiritual," Tabe says. Though there’s said to be tens of thousands of chakras within the body, the major chakras form a straight line in your body, from the tip of your head (crown chakra) to your stomach and lower back (sacral and root chakra). Historically, chakras first appeared in Hinduism, but they’re also found in ancient Buddhist texts as well, as Britannica points out.
As a Healthline article points out, the word ‘chakra’ means ‘disc’ or ‘wheel’ in Sanskrit. These discs or wheels all correspond with "nerve bundles and organs," and therefore are energy centers for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. When it explained this way, it’s easier to understand why a blocked or unbalanced chakra would then lead to negative effects in the body. Tabe explains it this way: "The world you actively exist in is created by your thoughts and your beliefs around these thoughts. Chakras transform energy, giving you the ability to manifest your thoughts, beliefs and desires (subtle, psychic energy) into physical existence (sensory energy)."
The Chakra Treatment
So how do you tap into these chakras and make sure they’re healthy and working to your advantage? If you Google how to balance your chakras, you’ll find a variety of suggestions, from meditation to yoga to breathing. The bottom line with each technique is pretty clear, though: Balancing chakras requires focus, a clear mind, and intention.
When I first entered the treatment room for my Seasons of Chakra massage, I was curious to learn about the small details that would supposedly balance my chakra (or at least help me be more in touch with them). There were crystals embedded in the wall, for example, each one aligned with a different chakra. The treatment itself began with a mini sound bath (another thing that’s supposed to help chakra-balancing). The massage itself was glorious, but it was the focus on different areas of the body/different chakras that was so interesting to me.
- The leg and foot massage (root chakra)
- The lower back massage (sacral chakra)
- The stomach massage (solar plexus chakra)
- The chest massage (heart chakra)
- The forehead and scalp massage (third eye chakra)
- The aromatherapy details "open the inactive throat chakra."
How I Felt During the Treatment
Throughout the massage, I was thinking not only about how relaxing it felt, but how I felt emotionally, too. Unlike other treatments I’ve had in the past where I usually drift into a half-sleep, I was instead completely tuned into how I was holding tension in different areas of my body—were they tight, sore, filled with tension? What was behind this tension? Stress, anxiety? It wasn’t that my mind was racing or I wasn’t relaxed, but rather that I felt completely, peacefully present.
How I Felt After the Treatment
This sense of calm and focused intention to discover how I was feeling in my body, not only physically but emotionally, was the real benefit of this treatment for me. It made me realize that this, and not some magical sense of transcendence, is perhaps the purpose of striving for chakra alignment in the first place.
The Bottom Line
People use massages or other "treat yourself" moments to escape a bit, but maybe the real secret to keeping that sense of relaxation going for longer is actually the opposite. Maybe the real key is to try to be more present, more in tune with your physical body.