Dr. RabyI always look forward to the holidays as a time of reflection. The days are shorter, and the brisk, dark evenings offer the perfect space for inner thoughts-my family, our traditions, and what I personally have accomplished over the past year.


This year is particularly special to me. In October, I celebrated my birthday and entered into the second of my seven-year chakra life cycles. The Sanskrit word "chakra" translates to "wheel" and refers to the vibrant wheels of energy in each of us.


Each chakra cycle lasts seven years, and each year within the seven-year cycle represents a different period of growth, culminating in one overall aspect of growth throughout the seven years. The seven chakras each represent an aspect of consciousness and align with a physical part of the body:

  • Fear (Root)
  • Feelings (Sacrum)
  • Proactivity (Solar plexus)
  • Harmony (Heart)
  • Philosophy (Throat)
  • Wisdom (Third eye)
  • Spirituality (Crown)


These cycles have their own colors, oils, and foods to help keep the physical body and mental spirit in alignment. And at age 49, you complete the seventh year of your seventh chakra-a key time for spiritual evolution.


My 49th year started out tumultuously. Primarily for political reasons, I left Northwestern University, where I had built the Integrative Medicine program. It was a very stressful time in my life, and I wasn't confident that I knew what I wanted or needed to do next.


I was familiar with chakras at the time, but only modestly. However, I was invested in an integrative approach to my wellbeing. Mental stress from my work transition was resulting in physical manifestations, and I worked relentlessly in talk therapy sessions, energy work, massage, and more to get myself through that trying time.


One of the practitioners with whom I was working shared a connection she had made about what she saw happening in my life. It all centered around where I was in my chakra cycle, she said.


At 49 years old-being in that seventh year of my seventh chakra cycle-I was entering a renaissance, a re-birth, re-growth, and revelation. Her words struck me: Everything I was going through was purposeful. I was supposed to be entering this new life.


Suddenly, leaving my job went from being a negative experience to something flourishing and positive. I found the energy to do what I needed to do next: start the Raby Institute.


The first day of my new practice was seven years ago, on my 50th birthday. At age 50, you return to your first chakra. The cycle of seven chakras rotating every seven years re-sets, and you again do a lot of grounding, rooting, and stabilizing, just as you did during your first year of life.


Over the past seven years, I've done that vital groundwork, and it was necessary in order to propel the Raby Institute to where we are today. We've seen incredible growth and evolution over these past seven years, and now as I enter my second chakra, I welcome the creativity and exploration that goes with it. I don't know yet exactly what that will look like, but I can't wait for what's to come.


Whatever you're celebrating this holiday, I hope you find time in your heart and space in your mind to reflect on how where you've been can positively influence where you've yet to go. Take the time to make these connections. Open up to others, explore where you are in your unique chakra cycle, and evolve with your loved ones.


Happy holidays to you and yours, 

Theri Griego Raby, MD, ABIHM

"The physicians and practitioners at the Raby Institute really work with me to educate me on how to take charge of my wellness. I am learning to be more aware of what my body, mind and spirit need to be healthy so I can live a full life."
- Raby Institute patient