10 WAYS TO CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA

Heal the instrument of your voice to not only speak but also live in your truth, says Emma Whitehair… Artwork: Dr Steve Hinkey 

The throat is a physical bridge between our body and mind, while its chakra governs our communication and search for truth. It’s the most powerful but also the most vulnerable of all seven chakras, and with so many of us struggling express our true needs, a blocked throat chakra is more common than a cold these days (even if the “symptoms” could feel the same).

If this chakra does not have a healthy flow, not only will your relationships with others be difficult but you will not be receiving clear guidance from your intuition. On the other hand, however, once beautifully balanced, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and ultimately you are open to a higher level of consciousness.

My business is PR and writing, and no one who knows me would think I had any blocks in the area of communication. However, what can’t be seen is that I’ve had a pretty much permanent, choked up feeling for, I don’t know, months, years…lifetimes! It’s hard to tell as I only properly noticed it early this year, when I started to really get tuned in to Self.

At its most intense, it’s an energetic constriction like a noose around my neck, but mostly it’s a lump in my throat, like I’m on the brink of tears—even when there’s no apparent reason for it.

After googling ‘throat cancer’ and ‘thyroid problems’ then giving myself the all-clear (with a deep sense of relief!), I found myself drawn to a chakra workshop with James French advertised at the Yoga Loft in London—I was ready to find out if this throat funk was a spiritual malady.

On this two-day course, I discovered that Vishuddha (the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra) has a developmental age of 7 to12. Probably no coincidence that this was when my parents divorced and I was packed off to a strange boarding school. I also learnt that the corresponding sense of this fifth chakra is hearing, giving me the excuse I was looking for to connect with sound healing practitioner, Ashera Hart, who I had met a few days before.

Ashera had hosted an incredibly powerful sonic breath + gong bath event, that had been listed by The Numinous, which had helped open my throat and started to stir things up in that area. Wondering if my unbalanced Vishuddha could be realigned further with the power of sound, I made the most of the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with Ashera in my home, while she was in London (rather than her usual base of Bali).

After this session, I met up with my healer, psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo to help me process what my body had shown me. She explained that traumas to the throat chakra are often connected to early childhood issues; when, if we experience emotional pain, we encounter separation. She commented that my adult vocal personality—which “on the surface is ballsy, clear and wise” is in juxtaposition to the inner child—who swallowed down her tears, and never expressed how she felt.

I asked by subconscious to say out loud the stories I may have been holding onto, and one resonated deeply: “no one is taking care of me…I’m alone.” And with that tears of relief fell down my cheeks. It all suddenly made sense—that part of me, the child, who had swallowed her sadness, was physically manifested like a bitter pill, stuck in my throat for over 30 years.

Fiona reminded me “to meet the understanding that we ARE alone in this life.” She also explained that the feeling I encountered during the sound healing, of being held, was the Universal holding, and in that moment, I had flipped my scratched record. Rather than archived pain, I had experienced something way more profound—a spiritual embrace so meaningful it had helped heal that source fracture.

My journey with this continues. Read on for 10 STEPS I’ve investigated to help with starting to CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA.

:: STEP BACK IN TIME ::
What unexpressed emotion or story are you holding on to? Once that’s understood, then it’s important to try and change the record, in order to free yourself. Byron Katie’s The Work might do it for you. Alternatively, perhaps you story is more complex—could it be from a pre-verbal era, or another life?

I spoke to Sue Minns, who’s book ‘Bodies & Souls’ touches on the throat chakra (as well as the others) and she explained the following to me:

“Chakras are like micro-chips of soul information that are links to our past experiences on earth, and connection to where we came from. The throat chakra, if holding negative memories, will become a bottleneck, a block to our true Self expression. Many of us (especially as women) have had gruesome deaths as a result of speaking out, spreading the word, saying the spells.

The throat is the chakra of secrets and lies, whispers and screams—and of speaking your truth without fear. A historical ‘block’ will obstruct cosmic, divine energy coming through the Crown and Third Eye to reach the Heart. It will short circuit at the throat if it cannot pass through. The central column (Sushumna) needs to be an open conduit between heaven and earth so that we can remember both our source and our purpose on this earth.”

:: SOUL MANTRA ::
“The 1st Law of Healing—all disease is inhibited Soul Life. The job of the healer is to lift the downcast eyes upward unto the Soul, and the Soul does the work” – Dr Steve Hinkey

So how do we allow the soul to work its magic? Mantras should allow the soul to take position naturally and Steve gave me these to use to unblock the throat chakra:

Because ‘I am…’ is so powerful, and soul infusion the ultimate achievement: “I am the soul infused throat”.

To use if starting to experience, or resist tension in the throat: “I am wanting to know my soul’s process, as it expresses itself through my throat chakra”

As no-one evolves without loving what they have, including dis-ease, this as a good all-rounder:

“I love myself as I am”

:: SOUND HEALING ::
Ashera Hart hosts The Frequency Shift solfeggio journeys, which encourage a Theta brainwave state, through healing vibrations, helping you access intuition, transform limiting beliefs and most especially—clear energy blockages.

I attended one of her ‘Sonic Immersion’ events (at Kind Yoga in London) which was a blissfully relaxing 90-minute experience. With the Zobet (solfeggio) healing frequencies along with sounds of the ocean, the cosmos and nature, Ashera accompanied this with an ethereal vocal invocation, tuning forks, chimes, shamanic drum and percussion.

We were told we may have dreams that night, that might reveal what is unresolved and one of mine was quite interesting. The throat chakra’s traumas can include alcoholism and yelling—both themes which were visited while in an abstract and gentle dream featuring my much loved childhood pet dog…

:: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION ::
Which means honoring your feelings, understanding your needs and kindly requesting that they are met. With authentic expression however, comes responsibility. There’s also a delicate balance between being honest and tactful, and on some occasions silence is golden.

Voicing irritations and raising one’s voice, for example, can pollute the throat chakra, as can gossiping, blaming, criticizing, or any other type of negative communication. If you start thinking in these terms, try to raise the vibration before saying anything. Also use this checklist:

  1. Is what you are about to say true?
  2. If so, is it necessary to be said, and does it need to be said by you?
  3. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if what you are about to say is kind/compassionate/loving.

Hearing is the fifth chakra’s sense and therefore listening is one of its most important realms of communication. That means listening to both your inner voice, and the voice of others. I think I may have an overactive Vishuddha, as I speak super fast (often with no filter) and sometimes feel impatient while listening.

With this in mind, I have made a conscious effort to start listening more intently, giving the other person my full undivided attention, putting away any devices and waiting (patiently!) to hear the them out completely before jumping in. This helps me to read between the lines and decipher others’ real needs, in order to respond in the right way.

:: THE AH MANTRA ::
To cleanse and purify any impure energy of speech, let the “AH” sound fill your throat for a few minutes.

One of the most powerful mantras on the planet, this sound is found in the name of most deities: Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc., along with many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, AUM).

‘AH’ is also a sound related to the throat chakra, so it’s no coincidence that ‘AH HEM’—is the sound unconsciously made when a person clears his/her throat. While on a more conscious level, the Buddhist mantra ‘OM AH HUM’ is explained by my yoga guru Cat as “translating to body, speech and mind—speech being an integral part of having a harmonious co-existence with all living beings and speaking up for those who may lack a ‘voice’.”

:: USE YOUR VOICE ::
As long as the intention is pure, ANY way that you use your voice will help draw fresh energy through your throat chakra. I touch on the benefits of singing in this story and you can also hum, whistle, groan, sigh—ask your body what sounds need to be released, and just go for it, dialing up the volume if need be.

:: TEAR JERKERS ::
The throat is where I store my tears, and those that came with discovering my stuck story were beautifully cathartic. And as I know there are more to come, as part of my healing I chose my moments to indulge in deliberately triggering a little cry, with film.

When we watch weepies, it releases not only emotion, but also oxytocin, aka the love or cuddle hormone, which also regulates crying. A boost of oxytocin gives feelings of bonding, empathy, trust and maternal behavior, and it can’t differentiate between actual human beings and flickering images of them. If, like me, you have stuck emotion to release, this 10-minute supercut of tear jerking movie moments should have you sobbing in no time, letting those loving feelings wash over you. You’re welcome!

:: MUSIC ::
As sound is Vishuddha’s sense, music can also be a powerful activator. Partly down to some of the lyrics, melody, story or my personal associations, these tracks seem to resonate with the emotions stored within my throat chakra, allowing me to feel and heal.

What would be on on your Vishuddha playlist?

:: YOGA ::
Correcting one’s posture is key when re-aligning chakra’s, and these two yoga asanas, should help open up and/or activate the throat:

Fish (Matsyasana): Not only does this stretch the neck, it also strengthens the neck muscles needed to balance and stimulate the throat chakra.

Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana): considered the Queen of all yoga poses, because of its amazing healing abilities. Doing shoulder stands regularly is an excellent way to keep your thyroid healthy and helps sufferers of asthma (like me).

Two Pranayama exercises that also bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi and lion’s breath.

:: HEALING ROCKS ::
You can re-balance Vishuddha by stimulating its reflex points in the feet and hands: the connection point of the big toe with the feet, and halfway down the thumb. I’m taking this a step further by wearing a memento mori, which I had made by Zoe & Morgan, that hits this point of my left thumb. A gold ring depicting a skull with diamond eyes on angel wings. A little reminder of both my mortal and immortal self—to help me be more conscious and stop sweating the small stuff!

Zoe & Morgan have also created this beautiful throat chakra ring. Featuring Aquamarine, the stone of the sea, which helps the throat chakra to open, and communication to flow like water.

Other stones that are good for rebalancing the throat chakra include: lapis lazuli, blue topaz, turquoise, chrysocolla, sodalite and my favourite—sapphires, which I wear on a necklace and ring. Try wearing these stones so they sit on your throat chakra for the full healing benefit.

:: TRUE BLUE BABY I LOVE YOU ::
Considered a hue for health, blue’s calming effect helps restore balance to the throat chakra, and for me, my blue healing comes from connecting with the ocean. My happy is getting out under blue skies (ether—the throat’s element) whenever I can, and in the sea at least every few months. However, when that’s not possible a pool also does the trick. So treat yourself to a spa day, and the immersion in water as a kind of soul soothing, spiritual cleansing.

HOW I BECAME MY OWN REBOUND RELATIONSHIP

Rather than indulging in a post-break-up rebound with another person, engage in a fling with yourself says Emma Whitehair…  Artwork: Maja Planinac

The first thing that “rebound relationship” googles up is: “an attempt to fill a hole in your life… to avoid the pain of a breakup.” And there’s few of us unfamiliar with that visceral craving to have something, or someone, fill the void left by the ending of an intimate human connection.

Even though my last breakup didn’t involve a breakdown, letting go of a lover often leaves me feeling bereft. That special closeness lost, gone forever, with them having known me so intimately.

So I grieved a little, before my gut suggested—actually shouted pretty loudly—that I needed to treat this hole as space for growth. This was my time to face my fear of being single, pack up my emotional baggage and elope. With myself.

Unlike the quick fix of a fling, or a replacement insta-relationship, rebounding with yourself is about so much more than simply avoiding heartache. No one else can offer the same level of security, unconditional love or acceptance, as a divine relationship with yourself.

As I have discovered, this kind of self-generated love allows your life to flow with joy, and for things to start magically falling into place. In the words of Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. So, how about a three-way with mind, body and soul; be part of the self-love revolution!

There are many routes to saying a passionate yes to yourself, and while each person’s path is as individual as them, here are a few things that helped ignite a romance with the soul mate under my very nose. Literally.

:: TUNE IN TO YOUR INNER WISDOM ::

A.k.a. your intuition, as only it knows what your true needs are, and how to go about getting them met.

‘Focusing’ was a technique I learned on a course at the West London Buddhist Centre. A reflective practice that involves taking a curious awareness into your body and listening for messages, simply close your eyes in a quiet place, as you would to meditate, but instead, sense what needs your attention.

Describe out loud what you are experiencing. Is your chest tight? Stomach heavy? As I described my constricted throat the words resonated deeply, and the words that followed flowed, like a stream of consciousness. with my body, not my head, leading. “There is so much sadness I need to release…talk about….to heal…”

Then the visuals came. I saw an anxious, pining Wolfhound—frantically scratching at a locked door and whining to be let out. It took a few days to process this but eventually it dawned on me: this was a clear message to step away from the door to the outside world, and deepen my meditation practice.

:: UP YOUR MEDITATION GAME ::

As Einstein said: “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.”

Although I previously had a vague meditation practice, I wanted to try a new technique in order to get a better connection to my inner self, and Transcendental Meditation was the gateway.

From the first session, I noticed how effortless it was to meditate using a mantra as a stepping stone. And a few weeks in, I had my first experience of transcending, which will stay with me forever—I was hardly using the mantra at all, my breathing became shallow and I felt a melting sensation, like I was disappearing into unboundedness. My head become weightless, like a helium balloon before I felt an an ecstatic rush. It was the feeling of falling in love, with myself. Grinning from ear to ear, I was hooked.

The more I meditate, when negative thoughts and emotions inevitably creep up, I have the tools to observe them with curiosity and acceptance. So regardless of what’s happening in my life experience, I can get to some serenity. Not quite cosmic consciousness yet, but slowly and surely getting a little closer.

:: DEAL WITH THE JUNK IN YOUR TRUNK ::

And I don’t mean sorting out your loft, although that of course can help too (just speak to Marie Kondo). Most of us have issues holding us back in one way or another, and a breakup is the perfect time to find the right professional to help with some emotional sat nav.

For me that person was Fiona Arrigo. With a background of 30 years in psychotherapy, Fiona runs haute holistic healing retreats in rural Somerset, where she carefully assembles a crack team for bespoke programs. Orchestrated treatment by treatment, the therapists all compare notes to ensure the next session works with the discoveries from the one before.

Checking in with me each day of the retreat, with just a little guidance during our chats, Fiona helped me untangle my past, understand some of my triggers and shift a lot of the sadness I have been carrying around since the ‘dark ages’.

Note: aside from Fiona’s healing retreats, she also has clients from all over the world she ‘sees’ for skype therapy sessions.

:: EXPERIMENT WITH HOLISTIC HEALING ::

Be open to finding multi-discipline healing techniques to help you feel more integrated. The investment in yourself is worth it.

My The Arrigo Programme retreat gave me the opportunity to try everything from Acupuncture, Kinesiology and EFT to Soul Fragment Retrieval. Astrological Counselling being the biggest eye-opener—helping me understand recurring obstacles, life lessons and talents.

On this retreat I also hit a sweet spot with Tibetan Pulsing—an energy work using a diagnosis from the iris of the eye, which gives a feeling of such deep peace. Transformational Breathwork was another game changer, and Matrix Re-aligning allowed me to have a conversation with my deceased mother’s spirit, releasing some of the grief I’d been holding on to for years.

:: HAVE A SING-ALONG ::

From Kirtan Kriya to church choir or karaoke, the benefits of singing are scientifically proven. Encouraging deep breathing, it uplifts your spirit and gives a sense of well-being

Personally, I prefer warbling along into a hairbrush at the top of my voice, in the privacy of my own home. Get it all out by wallowing with Adele or having a rage-along with Alanis. Then move on by creating a feel good playlist of songs such as State of Independence, Ch-Chng and Love Me. Or take the anthems of co-dependence, and change the object of the lyrics adoration to Self. Let It Go may or may not also be on repeat. Sorry neighbors.

:: TALK TO YOURSELF ::

Not like a crazy lady, but like you would talk to your lover—using words of self-appreciation not depreciation. Develop an affectionate conversation with yourself and respond to any negative thoughts with compassion, acknowledging them but not letting them linger.

Be reverent, congratulatory and give compliments regularly. Look, really look at yourself in the mirror, hush the critical voice and observe with the eyes of love. Thank your body. Be your own cheerleader.

Deepen your self-love practice at out next Club SÖDA NYC event, Sex, Lies & Alcohol, August 23 in NYC. Details and ticket info here.