Think of the chakras as the human operating system. It is ancient, colorful, and intelligent software designed to maintain alignment and balance of physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. There are seven major chakras - root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. In theory, the system develops in order, ascending from the root chakra at the pelvic floor. The Root Chakra is associated with feelings of safety, security, and adequate nutrition.
Our chakras mature before we reach the age of consent - this means that third parties write most chakra code. Abusive, neglectful, or emotionally unstable parenting writes the first line of code in the human operating system -"you can not trust the world to provide or behave reliably."
With a background in Cognitive Psychology, I am also familiar with other, less comprehensive models set forth by kingpins of modern psychology. Erikson's Model for Psychosocial Development, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Ainsworth's Attachment Theory, and Jungian archetypes all mirror aspects of the chakra system.
Maslow's pyramid ascends from the foundation of "physiological needs," which are the human need for shelter, clean water, a reliable food source, and at least one consistent caregiver with a stable temperament. Erikson's model for psychosocial development begins in the first year of life marked by the dichotomy of "trust vs. mistrust." If caregivers are unreliable in any way, this stage resolves on the side of mistrust.
A mistrustful child lives with a looming sense of doubt. Doubt fosters hypervigilance— a constant anxiety that overworks the adrenal system and erodes body energetics. Maslow's, Erikson's, and the chakra model all purport that an underlying preoccupation with physical safety will prevent healthy emotional growth.