Larry Burk, MD, CEHP
5 min readMay 11, 2020


Healing Lower Chakra Shadow Issues in Physical Illnesses

Chakra Energy Centers of the Body

At the mind-body-spirit conferences I attend everyone is usually most interested in exploring the spiritual qualities associated with the energy centers of the upper chakras. The 5th throat chakra is about speaking your truth. The 6th third eye chakra is about intuition. The 7th crown chakra is about divine connection. No wonder all the metaphysically-oriented seekers want to hang out in that part of the body’s energy field!

However, as Margaret Lynch Raniere, one of my favorite EFT teachers, emphasized in her Ignite Your Power Course and Unblocked book, most of the healing action happens in the lower four chakras. In particular, it is the emotional shadow issues there that we don’t want to deal with and block our progress. We would prefer to avoid fear in the 1st root chakra, anger in the 2nd sacral chakra, shame in the 3rd solar plexus chakra, and grief in the 4th heart chakra.

My coaching client Cort Davies, author of 1 Habit to Beat Cancer, has a rare metastatic cancer which spread from his bladder to his spine requiring surgery, radiation and chemotherapy over the past two years. In our sessions together using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and dreamwork he has courageously confronted all the shadow issues lurking in his lower chakras and experienced great results in reduction of his severe pain.

Cort sets his intention for dream guidance every night by asking about what is getting in the way of his healing. He will often have guiding dreams the night before our coaching sessions which will tell us exactly what to tap on for the greatest benefit in clearing the chakra blocks. These dreams frequently use familiar imagery from two of his passions, skiing and golfing, plus scenes set in houses or cars that are common metaphors for the body.

According to Anodea Judith, author of Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self, the chakras develop in chronological order from the womb through birth into early adulthood. We also know from the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study that trauma during this time in childhood is the greatest risk factor ever discovered for the development of chronic illnesses later in life.

The linked ACE questionnaire begins with 3 questions about physical, sexual and emotional abuse which correlate with the shadow issues of the three lower chakras. One of the other 7 questions is about parents getting divorced which correlates with grief in the 4th chakra. The wounded healers I know with high ACE scores learned early on to dissociate into the upper chakras or out of the body altogether due to childhood trauma.

The connections between chakra imbalances and illnesses are highlighted by psychiatrist and medical intuitive Mona Lisa Schulz in All is Well: Heal Your Body, the last edition of Louise Hay’s famous book. She has significantly enhanced the value of Hay’s intuitive information by sharing valuable scientific references from the psychiatry/psychology literature correlating each chakra with associated mental and physical illnesses.

The 1st chakra develops from the womb through the first year of infancy when a baby’s main concern is whether it is safe to be in the world. If it is not, fear is the dominant emotion that impacts health in the lower extremities, as well as fundamental functions of the body like the immune system. I have noticed that my coaching clients with autoimmune disease have violent self-defense dreams, an appropriate metaphor for their illnesses.

The 2nd chakra develops during the “terrible two’s” when a toddler who feels safe becomes mobile and starts to explore the world. The next thing to do is to reach out and grab objects, often met with an adult shouting No! The result is either guilt or anger which may impact the organs of the pelvis or if repressed, cause chronic pain as described by Dr. John Sarno. My coaching clients with pain often have anger dreams.

The 3rd chakra develops between ages 2 and 4 when the preschooler is starting to transform into an autonomous individual. It is a time when the young ego is particularly vulnerable to shame that stunts the emergence of self-esteem. Eating disorders and obesity may stem from this imbalance including the later onset of diabetes. Warning dreams about sugar may occur in the prediabetic phase when sweetness in life is lacking.

The 4th chakra develops between ages 4 and 7 when the early grade school child is learning how to be a social being. The challenge of creating and navigating relationships may result in grief about attempts that fail or losses that occur. Lung and sinus diseases related to grief can occur due to related Chinese 5 element metal imbalances. After-death communication through visitation dreams may guide the healing process.

Last year while volunteering in the Duke University Medical Center Lupus Clinic I developed a brief protocol to begin to address these issues that could be administered in a half hour right after a patient’s appointment. Many of them had never done any mind-body-spirit approaches before, so we did 5 minute sequential sessions of meditation, expressive writing, tapping, and self-hypnosis. The feedback from them was uniformly positive.

In a complex disease like cancer, it is important to heal all four lower chakra shadow issues to relieve the associated pain and decrease side effects from treatment. Many of these mind-body-spirit self-healing techniques were highlighted in the 1 Habit to Beat Cancer Summit, May 25 — June 3, 2020, where I gave two talks on Making the Word Cancer Hurt Less and Dissolving the Fear of Chemo, Radiation, Surgery and Much More.

My next workshop will be in person, Where the Healing Happens: Transforming Symptoms in the Lower 4 Chakras, on 4/19–21/2024 at the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, NC. I will also do my annual Tapping into Health course at Duke Integrative Medicine on Tuesdays in October 2024 for the 7th time in-person and on Zoom. Individual Let Magic Happen coaching sessions are available online.



Larry Burk, MD, CEHP

Holistic radiologist, Certified Energy Health Practitioner, author of Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases