This week we’re looking at the fourth of the body’s seven energy centres, the heart chakra. Located in the centre of the chest, this is the centre of compassion and emotion.

When this chakra is balanced we feel loving and connected to others and are able to accept and forgive. But an out-of-balance heart chakra can heighten feelings of mistrust, loneliness, isolation or abandonment.

Physical symptoms of a poorly functioning heart chakra include heart problems, caused by a disconnection from the emotions, as well as lung cancers and pneumonia, often triggered by unresolved grief. Breast cancer is also connected to an imbalance here, particularly among women who try to do too much for others while denying or sacrificing their own needs.

Unsurprisingly, this area also relates to our ability to love. We spend our lives learning how to love, both ourselves and others. But this can prove difficult if the chakra has become blocked or stagnant – often the case if we’ve internalised emotional wounds, resentments, guilt or grief.

In men there can often be a disconnect between the lower chakras relating to sexuality, and the higher, emotion-based energy centres. Men find it easier than women to dissociate sex from emotion – and this can sometimes lead to sexual behaviour without any heart connection.

To connect with your heart during sex, try practicing self-love in its most physical form, by taking as much time as you can to enjoy self-pleasuring, and focus on making love to your body while doing so.

Sounds a bit odd? Well, self-love doesn’t need to be egotistical or narcissistic, and it’s actually the best basis for any solo or partner practice. Sexual energy magnifies and intensifies existing emotions … so think loving thoughts during these times and you’ll create more positive energy within your body.

Massage, hugs and affectionate touch can be powerful ways to strengthen this area. Watch a sad movie and allow yourself to cry to help connect with your emotional self. You can also practice any of the breathing exercises outlined in previous columns (visit www.starobserver.com.au/author/tantra) to help move energy up into and through this area.

Most importantly, living in appreciation and gratitude can be one of the best ways to recognise our shared humanity and understand that the most powerful energy we have is love.

info: Experience tantric massage with Between The Sheets columnist Tantraguy. Visit www.gaydar.com.au/…..tantraguy for more info.

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