The First Chakra and the Schizoid Character Structure

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Katarina Subotich
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Known in Sanskrit as Muladhara, which means a root, the first chakra is the basis of the energy field. It is situated just at the very base of the torso, between the genitals and anus, and its tip touches the coccyx or tail. When this chakra is working optimaly, it  creates an energy "pump" that stimulates the flow of energy throughout the whole physical body and aura. This energy keeps moving in vertical direction, from the base up to the seventh chakra. This flow is known as the vertical energy flow and the tips of the anterior and posterior aspects of each chakra are conjoined in it (Figure 1). 
From this brief description, you can see the great importance of the proper work of the first chakra. If the foundation of the house is not properly set, all that is built on that foundation will not be stable nor in balance with the rest of the house. It goes the same for the physical and energy body of a human being: if the first chakra isn’t functioning well and if it isn’t supplied with sufficient power from the ground, the energy coming to the rest of the body and chakras will be significantly weakened. Although each chakra, independently from the first one, takes the energy from the universal energy field, metabolism of that energy will not be complete or free during its flow through the entire body and aura if there is malfunctioning of the base chakra. 
Each chakra represents an access to a specific energy body: emotional, mental, astral, etc. The first chakra is the entrance to the area of our physical existence. Depending on its function, we will be in good or not so good health. Any disease of the physical body implies the insufficient or improper functioning of the first chakra. The physical organs that receive energy directly from the first chakra are all the parts of the body situated in the immediate proximity to it, such as the lower spine, precisely the caudal, then bones, genitals, especially in men, legs and, although localized away from the first chakra, the kidneys, which will be explained later. 
The element of the first chakra is the earth and so all the deficiencies of minerals, vitamins as well as bone diseases are rooted in the insufficient functioning of this chakra. Of course, this is a simplified approach because none of health conditions includes the work of one chakra only. It is a rather complex dynamics of a number of factors (awareness, relationships, emotional situations, lifestyle, trauma, personal history, etc.). 
As mentioned in the introductory article, the ground beneath your feet or this stable energy of the earth is very important for a balanced state of the nervous system. If you look at the anatomy of the nervous system, you’ll see that it branches throughout the body like a tree, and the root is very important for the life of the tree. 
What makes us most separated from the ground and brings up the instability to the whole system is fear. That is why it is considered to be the greatest enemy of the first chakra. When we are afraid or our existence is in any way compromised, certain physiological processes occur: the adrenal glands increase secretion of adrenaline resulting in surge of energy and a sense of greater power in order to either face or avoid the threat - activation of the sympathetic nervous system. When the danger passes, the body slowly returns to a state of relaxation (parasympathetic nervous system). Here it becomes crystal clear to us why the first chakra governs kidneys. In traditional Chinese medicine, each organ has a specific emotion that influences it and in the case of kidneys, it is fear. 
The above described process is a normal mechanism that has developed during evolution and the nature has given it to us to ensure the survival of our species. Not all fears are negative or bad. It is, in fact, a condition that leads us from insecurity and danger to security once again; it proceeds as an alarm when things are not safe for our survival (if there weren’t a healthy dose of fear, many of us would die during the simple street crossing). So, fear is something that actually preserves life. 
However, the problem arises when one stays in a state of fear even when the danger is over. Being chronically in a state of readiness drains the kidneys and the adrenal glands (adrenal exhaustion), which continues to affect the functioning of the endocrine system (which is, in its turn, directly linked to all other systems in the body), closes the entire physical and energetic system and creates tension in the musculoskeletal system. The entire physical and the energetic bodies are "shrinking"; the same goes for the chakras and gradually, less energy enters our system. A person starts to live in danger even when actually there isn’t any. Our entire nervous system, and the way in which neurons are connected, begins to follow this state of tension ... in other words - body and psyche become servants of fear. We begin to believe that this world is really a dangerous, unsafe place where one always has to be vigilant. Furthermore, we begin to constantly  live in such a way that will enable us to  protect ourselves and avoid danger or what we think is dangerous. So, we construct the whole life on foundations made of complex defenses. As a consequence of fear, isolation often appears because we are "safe" only when we are alone and when we feel well hidden from people and situations that represent a potential-danger (which often evokes more fear and stagnation). And it's a vicious circle. We find ourselves in a mousetrap of fear. 
Let's take a short break to connect with our body for a moment. What is your breathing like: deep or shallow, fast or relaxed? What are your musculs like; do you feel the tension in any part of the body, back, jaw or neck? Take a look on your condition and detect what happened while you were just reading about fear and the energy it carries. Write down your observations. 
We are now going to address the schizoid character structure whose development was disrupted by a trauma in the very early days of life. This character structure is the first in a series of basic five, for a simple reason that it occurred early, in the prenatal period, during or immediately after birth. 
In brief, a person who develops a schizoid character structure as the primary way of organizing energy in her system was an unwanted child. During pregnancy, the mother was having conflicting feelings about the child she was carrying: unplanned pregnancy occurred, a relationship with a partner was not satisfactory, there were existential problems, etc. In that kind of mother’s situation, having a child looked just like an extra burden. Already at this early stage, the mother transmits this message to the baby, consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes, the possibility of abortion is considered and the fetus not only receives a message that it is unwanted, but also that there is a possibility of its destruction. Also, it is important to mention that in times of war, famine and poverty, collective ground on which we arrive doesn’t offer a welcoming feeling, but a large amount of existential anxiety which is further collectively intensified. 
This was the first contact with the ground for some of us. These fears are enormously strong and early, compared to the extremely low capacity of the fetus to cope with them. Already at that moment, the awareness that it is not safe to be in contact with the ground, to be in the material world, starts to develop. 
Sometimes the situation is not so extreme before the birth, but complications may occur during delivery (umbilical cord wrapping around the neck, baby in transversal position, infant extraction by force, cesarean section and so on.). 
The presence of great fears that we pick up from the environment will affect us in such a way that we will tighten the muscles and "freeze" the flow of energy in the body in very early days of life, all in order to avoid the danger: if I’m not seen, if I don’t move much and don’t make noise, if I'm invisible, I will avoid the danger. Simply, by blocking the life force, we believe that we will save our own life. 
This contradictory belief that withholding life will result in preserving life creates a great internal split around which the entire life is later constructed. 
Such awareness and belief will result in poorly developed physical body: slim and tall figure with long limbs, head inclined to the left or right (in the neck area) with the eyes’ expression showing absence, bilateral asymmetry of the body, scoliosis and small muscle mass. The main defense system will be to vacate the place energetically, primarily our own physical body,  and the lack of presence and focus. These are also the symptoms of the first chakra insufficient functioning. 
Because of their unwillingness to be in the physical dimension, these persons will have a strong inclination toward spiritual spheres and spiritual practices, which will further, in their case, weaken their physical presence. As a result, existential difficulties such as problems related to a job, lack of funds, dificulties with living space and so on may appear in life. 
Individuals with dominant schizoid character structure dispose of highly developed sensitivity, creativity and understanding for others, but also the difficulty in realizing and expressing their creative ideas on the physical level. To be successful in bringing their gifts to he world, it is necessary to get embodied as much as possible and to let the life force  flow through the physical body. 
It is no wonder, that by now, while reading this article,  you are asking yoursef if there is a way out (or better to say is there a way in), is there a hope for this early wounded child?
The good news is: there is. 
The bad news for some of us will be that it is possible only through facing the fear and horror which we carry within us. Energy blocks are created in such a way that an emotion, along with the energy it carries, stayed blocked and it hasn’t finished its path. In this case, it is the fear that we froze in order not to feel it, who knows when and how many times. And along with it, we froze our life force too. The only way to move the life within us is to face the fear and allow it to get released through the body and conclude its trajectory. 
This entire process is very delicate and we can’t undergo it unaccompanied (given that the trauma occurred precisely when we were feeling the lack of support and when we were alone). In this case, the sense of security and safety with your therapist is of utmost importance. 
Let us reconnect with the physical body. Do you feel any sensations in your body after reading the characteristics of this character structure? Do you feel any tension in the neck, along your spine or legs? Do you recognize the similarities that you may have with the schizoid character? Write down your insights. 
As we study other character structures, you will have the opportunity to create a map of your defense system, ego, wounds and all that isn’t really you. And only after that, the real journey starts: discovering your true, authentic self and revealing the purpose of this incarnation as well as the gift that each of us came to share with the entire humanity. 
I hope that this article inspired you to look, at least a little deeper into your fears, as only working on ourselves and our personal blocks and conflicts, stagnant emotions, belief systems, deffenses, etc.  we can begin to change the collective as well. Just by changing ourselves we can change the world and contribute to the creation of better conditions for life on this planet. 
Be well and healthy.


Thank you for that article. I have read tradition psychiatric texts about the schizoid personality disorder also, but your description certainly adds some new perspectives that I can (unfortunately) fully recognize myself in. Born very prematurely with umbilical cord around neck into dysfunctional parent-relationship. Later strong interest in shamanism, Jungian psychology and abstract theories. Massive problems establishing a normal life with house and family, etc. And I experience my problems centred around the root chakra. Massive doses of irrational anxiety when dealing with material things such as money, spread sheets and home maintenance. Establishing any contact with my emotions have been a long and hard journey. It helps to name the problem and to read your sympathetic article about it.

You are welcome Thomas. After all, compassion, towards the self first, understanding and non-judgmental attitude are the essence of all healing. I also had umbilical cord around my neck, that led to cesarean. I know what you mean. May all the love and gentleness of this world follow you on your path.

Hi catarina, thank you for the article, its very informative and it helped me understand the whole schizoid thing better. I also read about Wiliam Reichan's 5 character structure as it relate to the body. The description of the schizoid corresponds with me (split of the lower and upper halves of the body) (sorry for the english btw its not my first language). I wanted to ask you a couple questions that might seem random but maybe youll understand why im asking. Are you a schizoid yourself and if you are, if you try to flex your ankles (pointing your toes up) do you have a block (poor dorsiflexion). If you do, then i think it might be a nerve and a musclular problem. the sciatic nerve and the muscles around it are probably pinched or wrapped around the leg in the wrong direction. I say that because I have been twisting my legs(focusing on the ankle) for awhile now trying to put the muscles back in place, and i find that it helps a bit. It makes the blood flow better in my legs, so i feel more sensation in my legs (day by day) and it opens up my breathing which makes me feel more awake. It works for me but i know it sound weird. I dont really know to who i can talk about this with so id thought it would be good to share this. if you dont have the ankle problem then just ignore my comment maybe im just too crazy hahah. thank you

Hi Alexandre. The schizoid character structure can have "energy leaks" at the joint areas (ankles, shoulders, knees, etc.). This character does not spend much time in the physical body - but as the part of very early wounding and trauma, it feels safer (energetically) outside of the body. As a result, the physical body has tendency to be weak, skinny and tall. Loose joints are part of it. So, yes, we develop various ways to put ourselves together:). Keep doing what makes you feel more in your body. Doing physical activities and exercises that will strengthen body can give long term results. Adding to that personal work of releasing the trauma and terror held in body, can actually make healing more effective and complete. Thanks for stopping by our site and for writing. All the best to you, Katarina

Thank you for this article, I had always known that I have great issues with rooting, first chakra end energy field. I recognized myself in this text almost fully. My question would be is there a way to change structure and stiffness of the body by changing psychological structure?

I found your article after I had a massage today and we worked on clearing blockages. We discovered that it went back to the birth canal, where I was stuck because I feared life. I felt unloved, unwanted and alone. And felt this way all my life. I know the why and made peace with it. But I had those thought patterns with my children when they were in utero. They were unplanned unwanted because I was so very sick in all my pregnancies... What else can I do to help them so they don't live their life in fear like I did? I definitely always tell them how much I love them, and want them... but so did my mother when we were kids.

Dear Hena, Body oriented process and energy healing can tremendously help. I have experienced myself benefits of both. Those two things changed my life. Many methods that are available nowadays don't include the body. Even if we mentally understand concepts, nothing will change until emotions and body impulses complete its trajectory. Those two components you mentioned, physical and psychological structure, and closely related and are conditioned by each other.Together, they form character structure.

It is not easy for parents to look at their kids as separate beings. I say separate because there is a deep connection and involvement with those souls on the physical, and spiritual plane. When we chose the incarnation and things we want to work on, we take in consideration many things. And the family field we come to will enable us to work on those issues. So, one of the answers to your question, and there are many, is that the souls that came as our kids, brought their own issues with them, and a load of work to accomplish in this world. Other possible answer is your support to them on their own path through presence. Working on your physical presence, which is not easy thing for this character structure, will bring them more down to earth and contact. This is possible to accomplish first by experiencing and moving through your own fears in therapeutic environment, etc.

That is inspiring and gave me hope. Thank you.

I can't believe this is describing my perfectly. I am blown away. My mom always told me I was born blue with the umbilical cord around my neck. And I also used to wrap cords around my neck as a child and my mom would tell me that was the reason why. I stumbled upon this site because I'm trying to figure out why I feel empty. I couldn't get a birthday gift for my girlfriend. I felt unable to give and afraid of her not liking it so I ended up feeling so much stress to the point of not caring anymore and feeling empty. And what's worse is that I don't even feel sorry. I do in my mind but not in my feelings. And I'm usually very sensitive and loving. It's never been this bad before usually I can overcome it but this time I just felt completely blocked from expressing any kind of love. The fact that you even describe my strange physical body and personality is scary. I am poor and have had so many troubles in the material world, a talented musician who can't can't produce anything concrete and finished. More interested in spiritual matters than material. It's really so crazy. I do know that if I can overcome it, it can become like a gift. Because I have certain powers that other people don't have. I've just gotten so much money taken from me, either stolen or given away. And I really need it and it gives me so much stress.

Dear Blee, You have just described the route fear takes when it grows crescendo and brings us to paralyzed place. We cannot move, breath, make choices, flow with life. Than a lot of life force goes into freeze state and we cannot function in this world. It would be so helpful if you can find someone in your area who works with trauma and character structures. Lots of love your way, Katarina.

If we are not in our bodies as much, then where are we? And what are the beginning steps for a schizoid to heal?

Dear Tara, due to trauma that happens, either in young age or even later in life, in order to survive high impact of the event, the psyche partially dissociates. When things are too much to handle, one of the ways to protect ourselves is to partially "leave" the body. Aura of schizoid character has many leaks, especially at the joint areas, and we often end up exhausted with little reserves of energy, especially on the physical plane. In some sever cases of trauma the aura shatters, like shattered glass. Where are we? Usually the energy, and consciousness, leak all over and we often prefer to hang out in other realities (spiritual bypass) than in the physical body (due to the belief, confirmed by experience, that it is dangerous to be here, in the material world).

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