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We have come this far considering ourselves as having physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. These are our assets that help us live happy and fulfilling lives and assist us in achieving our dreams and goals. But what happens if these assets are not functioning as well as they could? Sometimes we get ill. We typically think of illness as physical sickness, but we can also suffer from emotional, mental and spiritual sicknesses. What impact does this have?
Chakras and diseases
The Eastern yoga and Ayurvedic medicine take a different view of the root causes of illness and disease from standard western medicine. Looking specifically at the chakras and the ailments that may result if there is an imbalance in these body areas (which also implies emotional and mental bodies as well as the physical):
- Root chakra – obesity, constipation, haemorrhoids, fatigue, anaemia, leukaemia (blood related illnesses), susceptibility to colds and flu, body temperature.
- Sacral chakra – impotence, candida, eating disorders, drug use, depression, alcoholism, gout, allergies.
- Solar plexus – ulcers, diabetes, hepatitis, hypoglycemia, blood sugar disorders, nervousness/shyness, parasites and worms, jaundice.
- Heart chakra – blood pressure, lethargy, asthma and breathing difficulties, pneumonia, emphysema, muscle tension, heart problems.
- Throat chakra – herpes, itching, sores, tonsillitis, toothache, OCD, speech disorders, hyperactivity, hormonal problems, PMS, mood swings, hiccups.
- Third eye – vision, headaches and migraines, earache, nightmares, sleeping disorders, fear, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, paranoia, equilibrium imbalances.
- Crown/pineal – depression and alienation, mental illness, neuralgia, confusion, senility, skin rashes & eczema, lymphatic system.
There are some generalisations here, but sometimes consideration of the chakra centre and the associated body parts and hormonal organs can provide an alternative viewpoint for dealing with an affliction.
How are we most likely to die?
This information is from the World Health Organisation 2001 on the leading causes of death in developing and developed countries. Looking specifically at the causes of death in the western world, stress is a major contributor to heart disease, strokes, lung disease, car accidents, stomach cancer and suicides. In other words, almost all the leading causes of death are directly or indirectly linked to stress. Stress also affects the ability of the immune system to fight diseases, increasing the risk of contracting infections such as tuberculosis and measles, and even the flu which causes the death of many elderly people annually.
We arrived at the conclusion that stress is the underlying cause of all the leading causes of sicknesses that are likely to result in death, so how do we deal with it? When we are under stress the brain releases hormones that change the body chemistry – cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) is released. This energises the body, increases heart rate, suppresses the immune system, stops the body digesting food properly, reduces the sex drive, the liver doesn’t function so well, etc. It is designed to be a short-term boost of energy for the body to avoid danger (eg run away from an attacking lion). Continuous, long-term stress is extremely unhealthy for the physical body. In the modern world the environment creates states of worry and anxiety through work, financial and social/family situations.
Spiritual sicknesses such as apathy, depression are procrastination are all negative coping mechanisms to situations in which we are experiencing stress. It is a bad long-term situation, and will inevitably lead to some aspect of the physical body collapsing which in some cases will ultimately lead to death of the physical body.
Stress is a spiritual sickness. It is the result of us not being able to cope with the situation and environment in the world around us. It is hard to avoid all stressful situations, but we can utilise our higher brain functions – the reasoning, problem-solving, planning, memory of past experiences, etc. to devise strategies and ways to deal with the situations. Some people face greater challenges than others in this regard, and some people are better at using their high mental faculties to deal with these situations.