If you’ve ever popped into a yoga class, you’ve probably heard about chakras — focal points in the body that have connections to certain organs and nerve bundles responsible for energy flow.
If a chakra becomes blocked or imbalanced, it’s believed that energy flow is disrupted, causing negative physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional symptoms.
The throat chakra — aka Vishuddha — is the charka in charge of communication and self-expression (particularly, the power to speak your truth). So if you start to have issues there, that’s obviously not ideal.
The good news is there are methods of healing.
Keep reading to learn more about the throat chakra and how to unblock it.
A key element in yoga, Ayurvedic, and Hindu teachings, chakras represent the main energy centers in our bods. In Sanskrit, chakras are recognized as disks or wheels of spinning energy (a cool visual), connecting to our major organs and nerve bundles.
It’s thought by some that there are actually a whopping 114 different chakras, but the experts tend to concentrate on just 7 main ones (whew!).
7 main chakras
|Chakra||Sanskrit name||Where it is and what it does|
|Root chakra||Muladhara||Located at the base of the spine, this chakra manages feelings of stability and security.|
|Sacral chakra||Svadhisthana||Located just under the belly button, this sacral chakra is connected to creativity, emotions, and sexual energy.|
|Solar plexus chakra||Manipura||Stationed in the tummy area, the solar plexus chakra relates to confidence and self-esteem.|
|Heart chakra||Anahata||As its name implies, this one is in the middle of the chest, affecting your ability to give love and compassion.|
|Throat chakra||Vishuddha||Relates to communication and your ability to speak your inner truth. Located at the base of the throat, it’s responsible for creativity, communication, and expression.|
|Third eye chakra||Ajna||As the third eye chakra, this one is located right between the eyes. It’s the one that manages intuition, gut instinct, and imagination.|
|Crown chakra||Sahasrara||This one sits at the top of the head (of course), allowing for spiritual connection to yourself, others, and the whole dang universe.|
Of course, we’d love to keep these things healthy, open, and thriving 24/7, but unfortch, we are imperfect creatures who manage to shut them up and throw them off-balance (sigh).
We chatted with Diane Malaspina, PhD, a psychologist and yoga teacher in Virginia Beach, Virginia to learn what can disrupt the throat chakra. She explains that all chakras can open and close, and when they do it, they’re basically responding to the person’s physiological, psychological, and spiritual state.
“External situations, like stress, or internal habits like self-destructive behavior, can create a chakra imbalance,” she says.
Imbalance or blockages in the throat chakra happen when we experience challenges around communication. These can come from opposite sides of the communication spectrum.
For example, a blocked throat chakra may occur if you’re feeling too nervous to speak. Or, on the other side of the coin, the blockage may be from overtalking. Have you decided to zip your lips for some reason? Or are you in the middle of the emotional outburst of the century? These extremes in communication may be to blame for the imbalance.
Since this chakra is linked to our verbal communication abilities, Malaspina says this can mean the voice and throat, along with the teeth, gums, and mouth in general.
If energy is not flowing to these areas, this could mean you’ll see a mix of nonphysical and physical symptoms.
What might this misalignment look like nonphysically? Like Malaspina mentions, it may mean finding yourself taking control over all your convos, word vomiting (piping up without much thought) as well as gossiping. But it can also mean not being able to speak your mind very much or not at all.
Nonphysical issues may include:
- feeling shy or skittish
- speaking or acting dishonestly
- acting a bit insensitive
- feelings of insecurity
- social anxiety
- having trouble making sensible choices
Physical symptoms may include:
- thyroid troubles
- sore throat or hoarseness
- neck pain or stiffness
- jaw pain
- temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- mouth ulcers
- dental conditions
- earache or hearing issues
When the throat chakra is nice and aligned, we tend to speak and listen more compassionately. Plus, we feel more confident speaking in general, as we’re more connected to our true selves.
“Each chakra is a part of a larger energetic system,” Malaspina says. “So, if we don’t attend to an imbalance, we may see compensation in the other chakras which will also have physiological and psychological ramifications.”
Since we definitely don’t want that, let’s go over some ways to unblock the throat chakra.
1. Meditate, meditate, meditate
We know, we know, you’ve heard this one a hundred times before. But meditation really is key to finding your inner calm and stillness, and it may just help get that throat chakra back on track. Plus, there are a bunch of different types of meditation to choose from. For example, you can pick a mantra to focus on during your session or sit quietly and just concentrate on your breathing.
2. Hit the yoga mat
Malaspina explains that certain yoga poses can balance the energy in each chakra. And for throat chakra healing poses in particular, it’s important to release neck tension.
Malaspina suggests these yoga poses to get energy flowing in that area:
3. Stretch your neck
Certain yoga poses are designed to help relieve neck tension, but you can also find relief by just performing some simple neck stretches.
Here’s one to try:
- Sitting or standing, lower your chin down toward your chest.
- With relaxed shoulders, tilt your head to the left. Tilt your head as much as you can (within reason!) so that your left ear is super close to your left shoulder. This creates a good stretch on the right side of the neck.
- Hold this here for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Bring your head back down to your chest and perform this on the opposite side.
4. Breathe it out
Malaspina says that breathing practices can help you tap into vital energy. Specifically, she suggests something called Lion’s Breath. This technique is believed to lower stress and stimulate the chest and throat regions.
Here’s how to do it:
- Do a good ol’ inhale through the nose.
- Open both your eyes and mouth nice and wide at the same time.
- Now stick your tongue out and “roar” (yes, literally) your breath out (make it audible and lion-like). 🦁
5. Find ways to see blue
The chakras have specific colors associated with them. In this case, it’s good to be blue. This color is linked to expression and truth — and hello — like we learned, a blocked throat chakra usually means we need help expressing our inner truth.
So find ways to keep this color around — wear something blue, keep blue stones or crystals around, look at blue artwork — whatever you gotta do to see blue!
6. Try Reiki
This is a popular Japanese type of energy healing that’s said to be stress-reducing. Although it does face some skepticism since it’s hard to prove whether or not it really works, it’s gaining popularity.
In a typical session, the practitioner directs the person through guided mediation, applying light touch (or simply hovering the hands over parts of the body) with soothing music playing in the background. It’s supposed to be fab for aligning all the chakras, but you can ask your practitioner to really zone in on your throat area.
7. Incorporate chakra stones
Believe it or not, each chakra has its own stone that’s thought to be helpful with stabilization.
In the case of the throat chakra, look for stones in different shades of blue (again, the key color with this chakra), and then you can do all sorts of things with them, such as:
- resting while laying a stone on top of your throat (gently!)
- wear them as jewelry
- carry them around with you (backpack, purse, pocket, etc.)
- use them as decor (vase filled with blue stones perhaps?)
8. Keep your neck aligned with your spine
Assuming you’ll be testing out some of the yoga poses and neck stretches we mentioned, it’s a good idea to make sure your neck is in line with your spine. Frequently repeating some of these moves may overextend or strain your neck. So, be mindful of how your neck is feeling and the status of your alignment.
9. Practice active listening
Malaspina says learning how to be a good listener and other activities that promote creative expression are healing for this chakra. Check out our guide to active listening for a jump start.
10. Consider journaling
A 2019 study saw a link between personal writing (read: journaling), and getting perspective and improved understanding. Getting those blocked or bottled up words out on paper may help open you back up again.
Listen, if only a small handful of these techniques work right away for you but the others don’t, that doesn’t mean they are a big ol’ fail. There’s a sh*t ton of reasons behind whether or not one healing method may be more effective than another (timing, health conditions, other circumstances, etc.).
Give a fair shot to as many of them as you can and practice a little patience. Like everything else in life, there’s rarely a perfect one-size-fits-all approach.
Plus, you may need to repeat some of these to keep up routine maintenance. Mindfulness meditation may also help you quietly scan your body to see which chakras need tending to.
When to speak with a health pro
If these physical and nonphysical symptoms from a blocked or imbalanced throat chakra are taking a big enough toll on your life to where it’s hard to manage, it may be time to chat with your doctor to get a good grip on the situation.
There’s no failure in seeking support. The goal is healing and consistent wellness — so evaluate your situation and take the necessary steps to cultivate your best life.
Like the other chakras, your throat chakra can become blocked or thrown off balance (giving new life to the saying “the vibes are off”). When this happens, it’s possible to see some unsavory symptoms that hinder your full range of communication and self-expression.
Luckily, there are some handy ways to get that ish back in balance. Digging into the methods we suggested above, you can find some helpful throat chakra healing.
If you’re curious to learn more about the throat chakra and all the other chakra fam, consider working with a professional, i.e. certified yoga instructor or Reiki practitioner.