Chakras play a role in the flow of energy in your body. Running from the base of your spine to the top of your head, the seven main chakras each correspond to specific nerve bundles and organs in your body.
When one or more of your chakras becomes blocked or unbalanced, it’s thought to have an impact on your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
The throat chakra (also known as Vishuddha) is responsible for communication, self-expression, and the ability to speak your personal truth.
In this article, we’ll look at the role a healthy, or “open,” throat chakra plays in your overall well-being, how to recognize the symptoms of a blocked throat chakra, and how to heal this energy center.
We all have energy centers, or chakras, in our body. In Sanskrit, a chakra is also known as a wheel or disk of spinning energy. This energy corresponds to nerve bundles and major organs.
Ideally, your chakras stay open and balanced, allowing them to function well. But life happens — and for one reason or another, our chakras can become unbalanced or blocked.
This can cause physical or emotional symptoms related to the blocked chakra.
Some people believe there are 114 different chakras in the body, but most experts focus on the seven major types.
The seven main chakras (listed by both their common name and Sanskrit name) include:
The 7 main chakras
- Root chakra (Muladhara). Responsible for your sense of security and stability, the root chakra is located at the base of your spine.
- Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana). Located just below your belly button, the sacral chakra is linked to your creative and sexual energy, as well as your emotions.
- Solar plexus chakra (Manipura). The solar plexus chakra, located in your stomach area, plays a role in your self-esteem and confidence.
- Heart chakra (Anahata). In the center of your chest, the heart chakra affects your ability to love and show compassion.
- Throat chakra (Vishuddha). Your throat chakra is connected to your ability to communicate and speak your inner truth.
- Third eye chakra (Ajna). Intuition, gut instinct, and imagination are all linked to the third eye chakra, which is located between your eyes.
- Crown chakra (Sahasrara). Your crown chakra, located at the top of your head, allows you to feel spiritually connected to the universe, yourself, and others.
The throat chakra plays an essential role in communication, creativity, and self-expression. When there’s an imbalance in this chakra, you may notice you have a harder time communicating effectively.
According to Diane Malaspina, PhD, a Yoga Medicine therapeutic specialist, if your throat chakra is blocked or unbalanced, you may:
- be fearful about speaking your personal truth
- have a harder time expressing your thoughts
- feel anxious about speaking or communicating
In addition, Malaspina said you may experience outbursts of emotion or even the opposite: extreme quiet or refusal to speak.
“Emotionally, those with fifth chakra imbalance may be highly critical of themselves and others,” she explained. Physically, she said, symptoms may manifest as the following:
If you’re struggling with a blocked throat chakra, consider trying one or more of the following practices.
1. Include the color blue in your life
The throat chakra is linked to the color blue.
According to certified yoga teacher and master reiki healer Guadalupe Terrones, blue crystals such as lapis lazuli, turquoise, aquamarine, and celestite may help balance your throat chakra.
“The throat chakra governs sound and resonance. Minerals are one of the more effective ways to work with the throat chakra, since they each have a different resonating frequency,” she said.
Wearing a necklace with one of these gems may be an especially helpful way to send healing to your throat chakra.
2. Do neck stretches
Stretches that open the area around your neck may help balance your throat chakra.
Terrones recommends doing simple neck stretches to help prevent the buildup of stress and tension in your throat or neck area.
To do this stretch:
- Drop your chin down toward your chest.
- Tilt your head to the left. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and try to tilt your head so that your left ear is as close to your left shoulder as possible. You should feel a stretch along the right side of your neck.
- Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Move your head back down to your chest and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Focus on your breath
A breathing technique called lion’s breath is believed to be beneficial for the throat chakra. It’s thought to help ease stress, get rid of toxins, and stimulate your throat and chest area.
To practice this breath:
- Inhale through your nose.
- Open your eyes and mouth wide.
- Stick out your tongue, and “roar” your breath out audibly — the breath of your exhale should be loud like a lion’s roar.
4. Use throat chakra stones
You can also use throat chakra stones in various shades of blue to help balance and unblock a blocked throat chakra.
How you use throat chakra stones is up to you. Some options include:
- placing one on the base of your throat while you rest
- wearing them as jewelry
- carrying them with you when you’re on the go
- using them as decor
5. Try yoga poses
When you release tension in the areas of your body that are near a chakra, you help restore the flow of energy in that region, Malaspina said.
That’s why yoga poses like Shoulder Stand, Plow, and Fish — which release the neck muscles — are recommended for the throat chakra.
6. Try a reiki healing session
Reiki healing is another option for unblocking your throat chakra.
A reiki healing session benefits all the chakras in your body. However, Terrones explained, a reiki practitioner can spend more time on your throat chakra if they feel you may benefit from additional energy being sent to that area.
7. Work with the bija mantra
Sound vibrations are ancient tools believed to tap into currents of energy that exist in the universe.
A bija mantra is a one-syllable sound that, when said out loud, helps activate and balance the energy of a particular chakra. Each chakra has a unique bija mantra or sound.
Terrones suggests working with the throat chakra’s bija mantra, which is “ham.” You can do this by chanting “ham” out loud.
To chant this sound, use a natural, comfortable tone for your voice. Then, as you breathe out, let the sound roll out slowly for the duration of your exhale.
8. Find time for journaling
Journal writing is an excellent tool for cultivating the capacity to listen to yourself.
“Getting quiet and doing freewriting is a powerful exercise for connecting the heart with the mind — where the throat chakra lives between body and mind,” says Malaspina.
9. Keep your neck in line with your spine
According to Terrones, it’s important to keep your neck in line with your spine to avoid neck strain and hyperextension.
This is especially important if you do yoga. The repetition of some yoga poses, like backbends, may increase your chances of neck strain and hyperextension.
When your throat chakra is off-balance or blocked, you may experience negative symptoms related to communication and self-expression.
Fortunately, you can heal and balance your throat chakra in several ways, including the nine strategies outlined above.
If you want to know more about your throat chakra and other chakras, consider working with a professional energy healer, such as a reiki practitioner or a certified yoga instructor.