Do you experience anxiety, anger, resentment, or depression?
Are you pessimistic, insecure, or feel ungrounded?
Do you have problems with your back, muscles or digestion?
If so, your root chakra may need a little love.
In today’s episode we’re going to learn about how an imbalanced root chakra manifests as physical, emotional, and spiritual dysfunction, and set you up with some solid self care tools.
Welcome to the podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I'm Crystal McLain, Licensed Clinical Massage Therapist, and Self-Care Coach and I'm exploring ways to unlock our wellness barriers so we can create Self Care Independence, because we find our freedom when we’re living well.
Hello my friend, I hope you’re doing well, and if you’re not then I hope you find this episode helpful. AND, if you’d like to read along while you listen, I offer that feature at my website: crystalmclaincreative.com. You can find a direct link to this episode in the show notes below. And, if you want to make sure you never miss an episode, you can either sign up for my newsletter, or subscribe to my podcast wherever you like to listen most.
Also, if you’d like to support my mission to provide practical and affordable self care resources that empower people for a lifetime, you can join my friends over at Patreon and score some sweet perks to help you create Self Care Independence. Memberships start at just $5/month.
So, if you’re into it, I’ll leave links to all this stuff below in the show notes.
Alright, let’s get to it.
So, in my last episode, Bring Back Your Energy With Science & Chakra Balancing, we learned quite a bit about how the body is arranged scientifically (ie, energetically). We also learned what chakras are, and how they work with the body’s energy.
But just to recap, chakras are zones that are located along the mid-line of the body, starting at the base of the pelvis, and ending at the crown of the head. These chakras are connected with the nervous system which is in charge of managing the body's functions, thoughts and behaviors through electrical impulses.
So, in short, chakras are kind of like stations where the body's energy get's processed.
And when this energy gets blocked (much like a clogged drain or pinched garden hose), the total mind-body unit has a harder time functioning properly. Therein lies the reason for our physical, emotional, and spiritual dysfunction.
So, today, we’re gonna start at the beginning and learn about the first, foundational chakra, the ROOT chakra.
But first, a bit of primal science…
Ever since our knuckle-dragging primitive days, we’ve had the same BASIC needs for our survival; food, water, shelter. And our bodies are designed to make sure that we meet those needs. Hunger tells us we need food, thirst tells us we need water, and our sensitivity to the elements tells us that we need shelter. The sensory receptors throughout the body tell the brain when we need something. The brain then devises a plan to ensure that you follow through on meeting your needs. Once you’ve met your needs, you experience satisfaction. This is a basic example of a motivation cycle.
Detect the need, fulfill the need, feel good about fulfilling the need, repeat.
Simply put, we keep our motivation by rewarding ourselves with positive outcomes.
But c’mon, it’s 2021, and your needs are not that simple, and your rewards aren’t always so rewarding.
You are a multidimensional organism whose needs are far greater than the basics. We need to feel like we belong, to feel supported, to feel financially secure, to have access to medical resources, and a whole bunch of other things.
And our needs don’t start when we become conscious, observant adults with things like jobs and mortgages. No, that’s just when we start slinging around terms like “self care”. Our needs actually start before we even officially enter into this world.
I was recently reading an article by CNN that discussed the affects of toxic levels of stress a mother experiences, and how this biochemistry affects the development of the baby’s brain. The child can be born with neurobehavioral deficits such as problems with learning, language, and emotions.
So, why am I telling you this?
Well, I’m telling you to demonstrate how sensitive the human-organism is. Our delicate systems are affected by life’s stressors. Old trauma, chronic stress, toxic relationships, abandonment, embarrassment, bullying, gas-lighting…these things program how we take care of ourselves in this world. …and it’s not always for the better.
But, luckily, as adults, we have the power to choose. Which means we have the power to change.
We have the power to reprogram our brains and take care of ourselves much more effectively.
And you’ve gotta admit, that’s a pretty empowering concept.
So, throughout our entire lives we will consistently have these needs. But, because of our programming, and because life continues to throw so many complications at us, it’s not always clear if our needs are truly being met or not.
What do I mean by this?
Remember that motivation cycle? Detect the need, fulfill the need, feel good about fulfilling the need, and repeat?
Well, one of the tricky things about being a human is that we create all sorts of bullshit needs, that aren’t actually needs at all. Not only that, but we also create a false sense of fulfillment which is nothing more than our clever subconscious brain manipulating our actions in order to initiate hormone production.
What the fuck…?
Yeah…so, fundamentally, the goal is to feel safe and secure. Right? That’s our main objective in life, forever and always. Safety and security. But because life’s circumstances and experiences have possibly proven to your easily influenced subconscious that you are NOT so safe and secure, and you may POSSIBLY have a skewed sense of what your needs really are, and you MAY not have been taught healthy life skills, you may find yourself stuck in a cycle of creating a false sense of control, connection, love, and satisfaction through unhealthy coping tools.
And here’s the kicker, these unhealthy coping tools will indeed produce things like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Which, by the way, are your ‘feel good’ hormones. They’re the ones’ that make you FEEL safe and secure.
But when we keep misleading ourselves with the production of these hormones, and reinforcing the importance of our FALSE needs, we create a disturbance in our energy.
That’s because it’s not real or authentic, and your actions are not aligning with your core values and desires. And you’re not fulfilling those basic primal needs of feeling safe and secure.
Let’s talk about that root chakra now.
Alright, so, the root chakra is ALL about safety and security. And when we’re feeling safe and secure we feel grounded and centered, and able to rise to life’s more challenging occasions. We feel more in control of ourselves, but don’t have the need to control everything around us. It’s more of a “roll with the punches” kinda vibe. We trust in nature and natural law, making life feel less forced.
So, there’s lots of signs that your root chakra may be off kilter, and it can affect your energy, mood, thoughts, behaviors, and physical wellbeing.
- You might feel restless, insecure, angry, aggressive, impatient, greedy, obsessive, mistrusting, depressed, anxious, fearful or worried.
- You may have a hard time standing up for yourself, or providing for yourself. You may feel uncomfortable around groups of people, or have family dysfunction.
- You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue, body aches, sciatica or low back pain.
- You may have problems with your bones, legs, feet or teeth.
- You may have issues revolving around your bladder, kidneys, large intestine, rectum, immune system, or trouble managing your weight.
- You may be a narrow-thinking, negative pessimist who struggles with focus, frustration, or organization.
- Maybe you feel threatened all the time. Perhaps you have panic attacks.
Any, and all of these are possible side effects of a root chakra that needs a bit of love and attention.
So, if you identify with any of these things, I’m so glad you’re here. Stick with me…
We can start bringing balance back into our chakras in so many ways. But before we dive into these remedies, let’s refresh ourselves with the keys to creating Self Care Independence, because honestly, that’s how any of this self care stuff actually works.
First things first, let’s be open to all of this. If you go into ANY self care routine with a narrow, rigid mind, it’s not going to work out for you. You’re going to resist it. So practice letting go of your expectations and judgement and approach these routines with an open and curious mind.
Secondly, be patient. You have arrived here, in this moment, after YEARS of programming and conditioning. You cannot expect to do a few routines, and whiz-bang-boom, be fine. That’s not how this works. All of self care needs practice, persistence, tweaking, and consistent revisiting.
And spoiler alert, you’re never done. Self Care is a life-long gig so you might as well embrace the process.
Take the time to really tap into how you’re feeling, emotionally, mentally, physically, energetically, spiritually…all the things. Think about how these sensations may be connected, and how they’re affecting your life.
When you’re practicing these routines, keep in mind the REASON you’re adding them to your life. What’s the purpose to realigning your root chakra? What can you gain by following through with these actions?
Speaking of actions…
I’m going to give you a whole bunch of tools to experiment with. But it’s up to YOU to discover the routines that you jibe with. It’s up to YOU to tweak them and make them your own.
Unless you’re doing something like flying a plane or performing surgery, there are no set rules on how you do most of the stuff in life. It’s YOUR life, you get to customize it however you want.
Nobody’s judging you. And if they are, feck’em.
Having motivators and rituals that you dig is how you’re going to follow through and take action. If you think something sucks and is pointless and boring, you’re not gonna do it. I mean, why would you?
So, once again, whatever it is you decide to do, make it your own and be sure to find some pleasure in it.
YES, make it pleasurable.
The only thing I will say is, keep your intention front and center. Every now and then, check back in with your mindset, awareness and direction, and it will help you keep your momentum.
Creating support systems will help you thrive in your endeavors. Support means having structures, resources, and people that bolster you along your way.
Following through with the first four keys will help YOU to support yourself with your goals. Finding resources and tools like this podcast, is another form of support. Joining groups or following social media accounts that align with your journey also help keep you motivated and feel less alone.
Here at CMC it’s my mission to provide self care resources and a community that will empower, inspire, and support you with your wellness.
But more about that later.
REMEMBER, the human organism is a sensitive, easily influenced creature. And our brains react to lots of different stimuli detected by our sensory organs. We’re also a complex concoction of chemistry and electricity, and what we do to and put into our bodies can change how we function. So keep all of that in mind when exploring these chakra balancers. Some of them may seem a little crazy, but if you keep an open mind, and remember your intentions, your brain will welcome these tools a lot more easily, which will further enhance their benefits.
Alright, so, the first thing you should know is where the root chakra is located. If you haven’t guessed already, it resides at the base of your spine, to the bottom of your pelvis, hence why it’s associated with things like digestion, low back pain, adrenals, etc. So, when you start practicing these routines, this is the area of the body you’re going to want to focus on.
Alright, alright, alright, let’s do the damn thing already.
So, let’s start out with the most ridiculously simple tool, color.
Chromotherapy, or color therapy, is based on the idea that different colors stimulate our brain, causing electrical impulses that affect biochemical processes in the body.
And the color that’s associated with the root chakra is the color red.
Red demands our attention. That’s why stop signs are red. It also represents courage, change, and fire. Red is a powerful color, and in order to feel safe and secure, we need to feel empowered.
So, a cute place to start is by throwing some red around in your life. Maybe wear a red shirt, or a pair of red shoes (since we ground through the feet, and the feet are associated with the root chakra).
Maybe get yourself a bouquet of red roses or carnations. Try a little red lipstick if that’s your thing. Just start adding splashes of red into your life, so you can start introducing the IDEA of the root chakra to your brain.
And you know what, I’ll add a root chakra wallpaper for your smart phone at my FREEBIES page, that way you’ll have a reminder every time you reach for your phone.
Once you start warming up to the idea of this whole chakra thing, you can start getting a little more mindful about things, and start adding mantras, body sensations, and visualizations to this color red.
Are you ready for it?
Let’s practice for just a minute…
Alright… Start by getting into a comfortable position, and close your eyes if that feels good for you. (Don’t do this if you’re driving) With the power of your conscious mind (yes, that’s where your focus and imagination live), notice your root chakra, how does it feel? Are you holding any tension there? Is there any discomfort? What sensations or thoughts do you notice when you think about this part of your body?
Go ahead and place your hands on your hip creases and feel the weight and the heat of your hands there. On an inhale, imagine your root chakra space filling with a warm, powerful, loving red light. As you exhale, let this light spill into the rest of your body, carrying it’s power all the way down to your toes and out through the top of your head.
If this is weird for you, hang in there, we’re just getting started. And don’t worry, I have other tools coming later if this isn’t your jam.
Anyway, as you inhale, imagine directing the light to the chakra. And then, as you exhale, let it spill throughout the rest of the body.
Go ahead and try that a couple times on your own.
Okay, next, we’re gonna add a little mantra that supports the root.
So, let’s use something simple like, ‘I’m safe and secure’, As you inhale, think or say “I am”, and when you exhale say or think, “safe and secure”. Bonus points if you can still manage to imagine the red light flowing through your body.
Go ahead and pause this episode so you can practice for a few minutes, and then come back when you’re ready. I’ve got more ideas for you.
Alright, if that mantra doesn’t resonate with you, I have a whole list of other options that are included in my digital Root Chakra Balancing Kit. I’ll leave a link for that below in the show notes.
Okay, if you did indeed do this exercise, you just practiced some hardcore relaxation mindfulness just then, and by doing so, you practiced activating the parasympathetic response (which is the thing your body needs to repair and heal itself).
So, well done, you.
Alright, so that little routine we just did is probably the simplest way to practice chakra balancing, and it’s a great place for you to start. But, if you’re like me, you’ve got a little ADD thing going on, you might need to engage even MORE of your senses in order to truly focus.
Luckily for us, there are more popular chakra balancing tools such as crystals, essential oils, yoga poses, and several other creative activities.
But let’s start with the crystals.
Alright, let me just say, the irony of my name being Crystal and my OBSESSION with crystals right now is not lost on me. The whole thing feels a bit silly, but hey, we love what we love, right? Right.
So, some of the crystals that are widely known to be used with root chakra work are:
- Smoky Quartz
- Rainbow Obsidian
- Black Tourmaline
- Red Jasper
- Fire Agate
(And I actually offer some of these at my online shop). Anyway, if you want to level-up your visualization-meditation game, you can throw a crystal into the mix. You can either place the crystal at the chakra location, or, if you’re like me, hold it in your non-dominant hand while you do your meditation work. There’s something about touching it with my hand that I find really helpful.
You could also just keep it in your pocket, or have it near you throughout the day.
Anyway, in my previous episode we discussed how EVERYTHING is made of energy. That means everything has its own energetic frequency. And as a living organism you are susceptible to these frequencies. Well, the frequency of these wee little crystals can help realign your own energetic groove.
But, again, only if you’re open to it.
So many of us have learned to detach from environmental influences (and if I’m honest, we’ve learned to detach from our selves). We do this because we’re trying to protect ourselves. Personally, this is how I spent most of my life. In my attempt to not feel the bad stuff, I actually ended up cutting myself off from the good stuff, tool. But now…? Whoo! We got all the feels…and they’re SO helpful.
They really are.
If you don’t feel the effects of the crystals (or any of self care tool) at first, don’t worry, you’ve gotta crack open that mindset first. And that might take some time. Be patient, and persistent.
Anyway, another one of my self care go-tos are essential oils. And the ones used specifically for the root chakra are:
- Ho Wood
- Black Pepper
And there are different ways to use essential oils depending on which ones you choose. But please be aware that many oils need to be diluted before use, I’[l leave a guide on how to safely use these oils in my Root Chakra Balancing Kit. I’m also very excited to announce that I’m creating a line of therapeutic grade massage oils and aroma therapy candles that will be offered at my online shop.
I’m seriously so excited.
If you’d like to be updated on new scents and remedies as they’re launched, you can sign up for my newsletter and I will let you know!
Alright! Visualization, crystals, oils, and now… YOGA.
Nothing opens up energy like a good yoga pose. And, the poses that are great for the root chakra are:
- Warrior I & II
- Tree Chair
- Reclining Bound Angle
- Supported Corpse
- Supported Child’s
I’ll include images of these poses, along with some helpful notes, in that digital kit I was talking about earlier.
Alright, let’s give you a few more helpful tips to get that root a little more grounded.
1. TAKE A NATURE CALL
Get outside, and put your naked feet on the ground. Maybe make yourself a little garden. If nature isn’t something that’s accessible to you, maybe invest in a house plant or two. Spend time thoughtfully watering them and cleaning their leaves.
But, if you can, try to submerge yourself in nature for a couple of hours every week. There have been loads of studies that support the tremendous health benefits of surrounding yourself, and your senses, with the natural world. In fact, it’s believed that the aerosols in nature increase NK cells, which are a certain type of lymphocyte that help the immune system fight infections and diseases. You can actually gain similar benefits through essential oils. In fact, I have a blend called, “Nature Call” I'll be adding to my online shop.
2. FEED YOURSELF
If you have a hard time keeping plants alive, maybe start with ones that are already on their way out and try eating them, especially root vegetables. Root vegetables and tubers are great for the the root chakra…OBVIOUSLY.
I’ve included a recipe page called Roots 3 Ways in my digital guide as well.
3. RUB IT
If you’re able to, indulge yourself in a massage that focuses on the lower half of your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s a DIY job or outsourced to a professional or a loved one. But give that body some good ol’ lovin’.
I have full instructions for a self massage that includes several techniques and pro tips…which is also in the kit.
Alright, the last bit of advice I have for you is…
4. CALL A PRO
Root chakra stuff can be heavy shit. A lot of the reasons why we have emotional, psychological, or behavioral imbalances is because of trauma we weren’t able to process properly. Receiving services from a licensed professional therapist can be really, really helpful for getting to a place that centered and grounded. So, if you’re in a pretty bad way, don’t just rely on the things that I’ve offered you here today. Call a professional. These resources that I offer here at CMC are great complimentary self care tools to use along with therapy. Think of them as experience boosters.
Anyway, if you need help finding a therapist, I’ll leave a link to betterhelp.com in the show notes below.
Alright, I think that’s plenty for your to start chewing on today. Remember, all of these tools work way more efficiently when you create Self Care Independence. So take the time to practice cultivating an open mindset, self awareness, and finding direction in your actions. And when it comes time to taking action, make sure that what you’re doing aligns with your core values and purpose in life. And don’t forget to set yourself up for success by creating valid support systems.
Alright my friend, if you recall, I mentioned something about support earlier. Well, this is where I like to ask for a little financial bolstering with my efforts here at CMC. I’ve got a band of friends over at Patreon who help keep the ball rolling here with their membership contributions, and in return, they score some sweet perks to help them create Self Care Independence. Memberships start at just $5/month!
So, if you want to learn more about memberships and discover all that I have to offer here at CMC, you can check me out at my website crystalmclaincreative.com, or visit the links in the show notes below.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so very much for being here.
I’ll see you soon.
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Digital Download: Root Chakra Balancing Kit
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