Updated: May 26, 2020
An increasing amount of people are starting to approach health from the lens of balance and harmony—something Eastern philosophers and Indian yogis have deeply understood for centuries. The parallels between the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and esoteric religions rooted in the belief of chakras are striking. Let me explain:
"Chakra", the Sanskrit word for "wheel", refers to site-specific concentrations of energy emanating from the body. When one of the chakras over- or under-expresses its associated energy, it’s believed an imbalance in the body, mind, and spirit is created. This belief in physiological and physic energy centers emerged across ancient meditation traditions and religions in India between 1500 and 500 B.C. Since then, chakra-related practices, most notably yoga, have influenced human thinking for thousands of years, with a surge of renewed interest by new-age thinkers like C. W. Leadbeater in the early 1900s. His book, The Chakras, is based on translated texts from India and played a large role in shaping the predominant Western view of the chakras. If prominent new-age thinkers like Leadbeater had known about the ECS, one can argue they would've linked the two.
Much like chakra-based philosophies, the endocannabinoid system keeps us healthy through a complex matrix of checks and balances, however instead of “chakras” scientists call these energy centers cannabinoid receptors. Though the language is different, the concepts are strikingly similar. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system brings scientific merit to what Indian philosophers have been teaching their pupils throughout the ages—to put it simply— "balance" is key to good health. Scientists call this homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a relatively new concept for most people. Homeostasis refers to stability, balance, or equilibrium within a cell or the body. It is an organism’s ability to keep a constant internal environment. Homeostasis is an important characteristic of living things. Keeping a stable internal environment requires constant adjustments as conditions change inside and outside the cell. Why is this important? Uncorrected disturbances to equilibrium can lead to health problems, ranging from minor symptoms like headaches to more serious diseases like cancer.
The endocannabinoid system helps maintain homeostasis by utilizing cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors found throughout the immune system and central and peripheral nervous systems. When an imbalance is detected, the body naturally synthesizes cannabinoids to interact with the cannabinoid receptors, which in turn stimulate a chemical response that works to return the physiological process that is out of balance back to homeostasis. Cannabinoids are what allow communication and coordination between different cell types.
Indian philosophers may not have scientific instruments or experiments to back up their claims that nodes of energy (chakras) existed, but they had the right idea about how the body works. Scientific research increasingly shows that traditional Indian practices like yoga and meditation are extremely beneficial for one's health. These ideologies are rooted in the assertion that balance at the most cellular level is vital to one's health. Our mind body and spirit are intimately connected in ways that science is only beginning to understand. But, the discovery of the endocannabinoid system takes us one step closer to unraveling the mystery.
In rare instances, the scientific and spiritual worlds overlap for brief moments in time and space. This may well very be one of these momentous occasions. As such, the name of our Chakra Bliss Body Oil pays homage to the zen-like parallels between cannabinoid receptors and the chakras described by Indian philosophers of ages past.