The word chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning wheel. Chakras are thought to be non physical energy centres which spin near the surface of the body linking the physical body to the energies of the subtle body. There are seven main chakras which are also referred to as lotus flowers. Like lotuses chakras have petals which increase in number from the base to the crown chakra, symbolising a path of development to full blossom. Chakras can be open or closed, dying or budding depending on their state of consciousness. If the chakras are blocked discomfort or disease may ensue. Balancing the chakras stimulates the free flow of energy which promotes good health and vitality.