An Overview Of Colour Therapy
Ailments can be treated using colour through a practice known as colour therapy or chromotherapy. A suitable colour is shone on the affected area of the body to perform the therapy. It can also be done with the eyes by focusing on a specific colour. Even so, it is done carefully to avoid putting undue strain on the eyes.
A complementary therapy, not a substitute for medical care, is colour therapy. Individual differences in response to therapy can be seen. In this article, I’ll share all about colour therapy.
What Is Colour Therapy?
Chromotherapy, also called colour therapy, is a type of therapy that uses light and colour to treat particular mental and physical health issues. This type of therapy dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. They used coloured glasses and sunlit rooms for therapeutic purposes.
Despite some growth in popularity over the years, colour therapy is still not widely used in Western medicine. It is viewed as being somewhat experimental by many medical professionals.
Some people's moods are instantly improved by seeing greenery while out for a daily run, or they feel a little better while wearing a favorite yellow dress. The practice of colour therapy has Indian roots as well. According to Indian philosophy, the chakras in our bodies are enhanced by the seven primary colours on the colour wheel.
History Of Colour Therapy
The use of colour therapy dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and India, according to the authors of the Analysis of Chromotherapy study. The researchers also mention how the Ancient Egyptians used colour and sunlight for therapeutic purposes.
“In ancient Egyptian mythology, the god Thoth is credited with discovering the practice of chromotherapy. The authors wrote that the ancient Egyptians and Greeks used coloured minerals, stones, crystals, salves, and dyes as remedies in their hermetic traditions and painted their treatment sanctuaries in a range of hues.
“The physical nature of colour predominated in ancient Greece. To heal, which involved re-establishing balance, colour was essential. People used clothes, oils, plasters, ointments, and salves to treat illness.
The Greeks had unwavering faith in the therapeutic powers of colours despite being unaware of biological changes in the body brought on by colour therapy.
Modern medical and mental healthcare professionals are incorporating colour therapy into their practices as a complementary treatment, even though much has changed in medicine over the past few millennia. This reflects the continued fascination with how colour can help us heal our bodies and minds.
Science Behind Colour Therapy
The truth is that there hasn't been a lot of scientific research on colour therapy.
It's a very recent area of study, at least in the field of medicine. When attempting to secure funding for research projects involving colour therapies, many researchers told me they encountered opposition.
Mohab Ibrahim, Ph.D., MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, says, “I've encountered a lot of resistance when I proposed light as a therapeutic approach.
Why not work on drugs, people would argue? Getting published will be simpler. And to some extent, that's accurate,” he asserts.
Ibrahim remains dedicated to his work, though.
“I think it's about time we start utilizing the biological and psychological effects that colours have on people,” he says.
Currently, medical science is unable to definitively say whether colour or coloured lights will treat your physical ailments or help you feel better mentally.
The idea that coloured lights may have an impact on our bodies, pain thresholds, and moods is supported by some evidence, though.
For instance, seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that typically manifests during the fall and winter, is treated with light therapy.
Neonatal jaundice, a condition that affects infants, is frequently treated in hospitals with blue light phototherapy. The illness results in elevated blood levels of bilirubin, which causes the skin and eyes to become yellow.
To allow their skin and blood to absorb the light waves, babies are placed under blue halogen or fluorescent lamps while they sleep during treatment. They are able to remove bilirubin from their systems thanks to these light waves.
Additionally, research from a dependable source indicates that blue light during the day can enhance:
Vigilance, attention, reaction time, and general attitude
Blue light, however, can harm us at night because it interferes with our circadian rhythms or biological clocks. This is due to the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep in our bodies, being suppressed by it.
Types Of Colour Therapy
Different colours are said to be able to treat various conditions in colour therapy. According to colour therapists, your physical state may be caused by a lack of a particular colour. The most popular hues used in colour therapy are listed below, along with suggestions for how to use each.
Red Colour Therapy
The human body's Base Chakra is associated with the colour red. The spinal cord's tip houses this chakra. The organs of this chakra are the kidney, bladder, hips, vertebral column, and legs. An adrenal gland is an endocrine gland associated with this center.
The red colour is associated with self-awareness on a spiritual and mental level. The significance of this Chakra is maintaining your awareness as a human being and your position on earth.
Diseases That Red Colour Can Treat
- The following issues can arise if the base center of the human body is out of balance: piles, diarrhea, numbness in the fingers of the hand and foot, frequent urination, high blood pressure, kidney stone formation, constipation, colitis, impotence, issues with the hips, and disorders involving the feet and legs.
- The last colour in the visible spectrum is red. This hue is referred to as a warm hue. Red conveys enthusiasm and energy in a person to carry out a task. The colour aids in removing drowsiness and fatigue. It aids in regulating low blood pressure. aids in boosting stagnant blood circulation. conveys vigour and strength.
- In cases of hypertension or high blood pressure, the colour red increases blood flow. Pink is the colour chosen in this situation for medicine. The advantages of red include boldness and courage, strength, and a sense of progress. Anger, violence, and cruelty are the most unfavourable characteristics of this colour.
- Colours are used to maintain equilibrium in the home. Red colour energizes us and arouses our emotions. Any type of activity room can use this colour. Red and other colours with a reddish undertone make a person feel cozy and warm.
Blue Colour Therapy
The human body's Throat Center is associated with the colour blue. The throat, lungs, thyroid as an endocrine gland, and the upper part of the digestive tract are the organs associated with this colour. A lack of blue colour causes the Throat Center to be out of balance if a person has illnesses or issues with these organs.
Diseases That Blue Colour Can Treat
- Thyroid, anorexia nervosa, hearing issues, bronchitis, asthma, tonsillitis, and mouth ulcers are the diseases associated with the blue colour or the throat chakra. This results from an unbalanced ratio of the blue colour or throat chakra in a person.
- An individual can find peace in the colour blue. This colour aids in the treatment of disease by calming the human body. Additionally, this colour represents communication. Rooms can be decorated in blue. However, since it promotes peace, it shouldn't be used in sports and physical activities.
Green Colour Therapy
The heart chakra is associated with the colour green. The heart and chest are two organs associated with this chakra. It has to do with the thymus gland. Unconditional love is a subject that the chakra addresses.
Loving yourself is a key characteristic of this colour or chakra. But that love is not motivated by greed. An individual can love when this colour or chakra is in balance within him. And one gains energy from loving others. Everyone, young or old, is loved and liked by the person.
Diseases That Green Colour Can Treat
- If the green colour becomes out of balance, certain disorders can develop in a person. He could have issues with his heart. Immune system diseases are a possibility. Allergies may develop. Carries risk of breast cancer.
- A balanced colour is green. The visible spectrum's center is where this colour can be found. The three “cool” colours that come before green offer tranquillity to a person. The other three colours are classified as warm colours and have a strong stimulating effect after green. Since this colour is in the middle, it has both a warm and a cold effect. This shade preserves harmony between the two.
- Every time colour therapy is used on a patient, green colour must be used after the therapy. It is a soothing colour that is well-balanced. Wrapping green silk around the shoulder of a person who has experienced shock has a very positive therapeutic effect on the patient.
Yellow Colour Therapy
Yellow is associated with the solar plexus. Below the ribs is where this Chakra is located. This chakra is associated with the small intestine, stomach, liver, and spleen. The pancreas is an endocrine gland connected to this center.
Yellow colour is associated with the individual's own assessment on a spiritual and mental level. How a person feels about himself and how he sees other people. This Chakra is focused on the personality aspect of a person. This Chakra serves as the foundation for a person's ego, wisdom, understanding, and determination of his level of confidence.
Diseases That Yellow Colour Can Treat
- A person's liver diseases, gall bladder stones, diabetes, pancreatitis, and peptic ulcers are among the disorders that can result from an unbalanced amount of yellow colour.
- One of the final three colours of the visible rainbow is yellow. This warm colour is stimulating and uplifting. The colour yellow is helpful in matters of education and teaching and displays a good intellectual sense. When concentration is needed, this colour shows to be beneficial.
Orange Colour Therapy
Orange colour is related to the Sacral Centre. This Chakra is located in the lower portion of the stomach in the human body. This Chakra is linked to the following organs:- the uterus, large bowel, prostate, ovaries and testicles. The endocrine gland related to this Chakra is the ovaries and testicles.
Diseases That Orange Colour Can Treat
- Menstrual flow issues, premenstrual syndrome, testicular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis are the issues associated with the colour orange.
- The colour orange is the least favoured of all the colours. This explains why the sacral centre or orange-coloured problems are more prevalent. However, orange is a fantastic colour. An individual's confidence increases when wearing this colour. builds passion by allowing excitement and energy to flow. The colour is fantastic for artistic works.
- Keep the atmosphere in your home well-balanced by using this colour. An individual who wears this colour finds joy in all his endeavours and becomes more sociable and communicative. Orange can be used in settings with a high volume of actions and activities and where creative work is done.
- The colour orange is inappropriate for a bedroom. Also, people who are prone to stress should not be overexposed to the colour orange.
How To Use Colour Healing
You must surround yourself with as much red as possible if you want to harness the power of the colour in your life. The following advice:
- Regularly wear something red, whether an accessory or piece of clothing.
- Keep a red-coloured piece of glass or crystal in your house or place of business.
- Wear a red nightgown to take advantage of the energies while you are asleep.
- Use a red nightlight or bulb. If a red bulb is available, you can wrap a white bulb into a red-coloured film instead.
- Include red in the furniture and decor in your home.
- Think of the colour red throughout the day.
You must incorporate as much colour blue in your environment as possible if you want to harness its powers in your life. The following advice:
- Regularly wear something blue, whether an accessory or a piece of clothing.
- Keep a piece of blue glass or crystal in your house or place of business.
- Wear a blue nightgown so you can take advantage of the energy while you are sleeping.
- Use a blue nightlight or bulb. If you can't find a blue-coloured bulb, you can wrap a white bulb in a blue-coloured film instead.
- Include blue in the furniture you buy for your house.
- Throughout the day, imagine the colour blue.
You must surround yourself with as much green as possible if you want to harness the power of the colour in your life. The following advice:
- Wear something green, whether it be an accessory or a piece of clothing.
- Keep a piece of green glass or crystal in your house or place of employment.
- Wear a green nightgown to take advantage of the energies while you are asleep.
- Use a green nightlight or bulb. If you can't find a green-coloured bulb, you can wrap a white bulb into a green film instead.
- Include green in the furnishings in your home.
- Throughout the day, imagine the colour green.
You must surround yourself with as much yellow as possible if you want to harness the power of the colour in your life. The following advice:
- Regularly wear something yellow, whether an accessory or a piece of clothing.
- Keep a piece of yellow glass or crystal in your house or place of employment.
- Wear a yellow nightgown to take advantage of the energies while you are asleep.
- Use a nightlight or bulb in yellow colour. If you can't find a yellow-coloured bulb, you can wrap a white bulb in a yellow-coloured film instead.
- Include yellow in the furniture you use in your home.
- Think of the colour yellow throughout the day.
You must surround yourself with as much orange as possible if you want to harness the power of the colour in your life. The following advice:
- Regularly wear an orange-coloured piece of clothing or accessory.
- Keep an orange-coloured piece of glass or crystal at work or home.
- Wear an orange nightgown to take advantage of the energy while you are sleeping.
- Use a nightlight or bulb in orange. If you can't find an orange-coloured bulb, you can wrap a white bulb in an orange-coloured film instead.
- Include orange in the furniture and decor in your home.
- Think of the colour orange throughout the day.
Who Is Colour Therapy Good For?
The American Disabilities Community makes the important point that, despite colour therapy's lack of scientific proof that it can treat a wide range of illnesses and disorders, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can “positively impact academic performance” and help with “aggressive/hostile behavior.”
Additionally, it might lessen the signs of learning disabilities like dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It mentions that it might even benefit medical conditions like epilepsy, insomnia, migraines, and vision problems.
Certified colour therapist and colour time consultant Walaa asserts that there may be even greater advantages. “Emotional blocks and traumatic spots” are just a couple of the deep places inside of you that colour therapy can help you explore, according to the expert.
How? Because, according to Walaa, colour isn't actually real. Our brains are simply translating different lengths and frequencies of light waves. “Additionally, there are corresponding thoughts, feelings, and numbers for these light waves.
They all vibrate at various frequencies, “she claims. Your subconscious mind is drawn to a colour whenever you are drawn to it or working with it, according to the author. In other words, your brain responds to colours in an organic way.
She continues, “is similar to a treasure map that directs you to work on these things first. In order to better release those blockages, colour can help us understand ourselves.”
Additionally, if Dr. Gulur's ongoing research into colour therapy is successful, there may be a lot more hope for people who suffer from pain. “Our study focuses on the use of green-coloured eyeglasses to lessen pain and reduce the consumption of painkillers, particularly opioids. Additionally, we discovered that green light reduces anxiety “She describes her NIH-funded research.
“While this method is straightforward and we want to make this technology widely accessible, I would caution patients against attempting this at home for the simple reason that some lenses do not provide the right spectrum of light, which could have adverse effects.”
How To Get Started With Colour Therapy
It's always a good idea to discuss your current treatments and potential treatment options with your doctor or another mental health professional if you're currently seeing one. Next, try contacting authorities like Walaa, who provides colour readings, individualized coaching, group workshops, and more; and Hart, who provides classes and individualized consultations.
Hart clarifies that you don't need to do much or spend much, though. In fact, by simply glancing outside, you can get a taste of colour therapy. You can get it for free and in your own environment, she claims. “I'm looking out the window at my lovely garden, which has pots that are pink, magenta, yellow, green, blue, and violet. In essence, I've created a whole rainbow of chances there.”
The Advantages Of Colour Therapy
The suppression of melatonin levels during periods of light exposure can make it easier for someone to fall asleep at night. Colour therapy has been used to improve and regulate sleep patterns. As many therapists expose patients to high doses of light at midday to suppress melatonin and give the body a wake-up call, colour and light therapy have been used to regulate sleep patterns.
Treat Chronic Pain
The frequency of wavelengths within the body has been shown to be lowered by the colour red, which can reduce pain by reducing the stimulation of painful areas.
Additionally, red light may improve heart health, increase circulation, and lessen swelling and inflammation throughout the body. Even red colour therapy has been used by therapists to help patients with Tourette's Syndrome.
Increase Oxygen Levels In The Body
Orange has long been used to stimulate the thyroid and lungs, which can raise the body's oxygen levels. Orange may benefit patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory issues because it has been shown to increase milk production in lactating mothers.
Vision Benefits: Yellow light therapy has been used to treat eyesight issues – especially those related to night blindness or difficulties seeing at night. The yellow wavelength filters out blue light, which impedes nighttime vision.
Yellow light has also been used to improve arthritis symptoms, with many therapeutic baths or spas using yellow lights in conjunction with water spa jets to enhance comfort in patients.
Although blue is typically associated with tranquillity, aqua blue's slight sedative quality makes it the pinnacle of harmony. A little aqua light can help with stress, anxiety, and even headaches, but it won't ever give you a knockout dose of serenity.
One method by which medical professionals can offer patients of all ages genuine, long-lasting relief is through the use of colour therapy. While the advantages of colour therapy are generally applicable to most age groups, seniors frequently experience the greatest advantages of this kind of therapy.
Colour therapy has been demonstrated to assist people of all ages to lessen pain, improve mental health, and boost general wellness, from reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to improving sleep patterns.
Risks And Negative Impacts
Although art therapists all over the world use colour therapy, studies, in general, have uncovered a lot of trustworthy evidence about whether or not colours have any physical effects on the body. In terms of Western medicine, there is still more to discover regarding the use of colour in healthcare settings and perhaps some issues with the theories underlying colour therapy.
The fact that each person has a unique experience with colour and is affected by it differently is a problem with colour therapy. A certain mood won't always be directly correlated with a certain colour.
For example, while some people find blue to be calming, others may find it to be depressing. While red and orange can sometimes be overly exuberant and agitating, they can also aid some people in managing their anger.
It's best to start working with a qualified practitioner if you're interested in using the effects of colours to manage mental health issues. After that, you can carry on learning about how colours affect people by using tools like colour therapy glasses, apps, books, and artwork.
Ways To Integrate Colour Therapy
Findings in the Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences Education suggest that when designing and building an inclusive classroom, colour effects should be carefully taken into account. Because of their heightened sensory responses and strong visual processing abilities, some students—such as those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders—may be more sensitive to colour in the learning environment, which could lead to sensory overload.
As an illustration, exposure to red may make the heart beat more quickly, raise blood pressure, and intensify the sense of smell. Contrarily, blue may lower body temperature, slow heart rate, and stifle appetite. Another study found that boys with autism were most overstimulated by the colour yellow and much preferred the colours green and brown.
In his book Colour, Environment and Human Response, environmental designer Frank H. Mahnke discusses academic design. Warmer colour palettes for elementary schools, cool tones to improve concentration in upper-level grade schools, and pale green to promote quiet in libraries were all his recommendations. Check out the suggestions made by the Kaplan Learning Company for ways to incorporate colour into learning.
Medical institutions are also incorporating art therapy and colour therapy. AdventHealth for Children in Orlando installed a Philips Ambient Experience lighting system to achieve customizable illumination and imaging in both the emergency room and patient rooms to help reduce stress among patients and caregivers.
Board-certified pediatrician Stacy McConkey, MD, says art therapy, including colouring, painting, beading, and music, is an effective diversion for her anxious patients. “I have seen colour therapy applied to the décor [at AdventHealth],” she says.
Dr. McConkey used paintings of the ocean, the jungle, and other natural scenes in calming blues and greens to create a calm atmosphere at her private practice, the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
“Patients who have tried alternative methods have shown some interesting results, in my opinion. She declares, “I am fine with putting these [approaches] on top of medically proven treatment.
To create an environment that elevates mood, speak with a colour specialist, such as one at Sherwin Williams, if you're interested in incorporating deliberate colour selections into your decorating.
Chantel Rodriguez and Augusto (Goose) Herrera, two independent artists, translated their concept of colour therapy into tangible form. Rodriguez, a co-founder of ZEN30, an eyewear line with seven UV lenses corresponding to the body's seven chakras, says that “our glasses are like portable solariums that allow you to choose how you want to feel because colours influence us.”
According to Herrera, every colour has a unique frequency that it emits. Colours enter the body through the eyes and eventually reach the brain, which then directs the signal elsewhere in the body.
To choose the best colour for recommended daily wear of 30 minutes, you can take an online test to determine which chakras are overactive, underactive, or balanced. Users see outcomes! For instance, Camila Sofi of Fort Lauderdale claims that when her autistic niece wore a pair of blue shoes, she showed more emotion and had a longer attention span.
Essential oils are extracted from various plants and used in aromatherapy. Studies have shown that aromatherapy may lessen anxiety, depression, headaches, and pain (especially for people with kidney stones or osteoarthritis), as well as improve sleep and quality of life.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it stimulates “smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system the part of the brain that controls emotions.”
There is a line of essential oils that are colour-specific and can be added to a bath or diffused. A blend of cedarwood, eucalyptus, and pine in the green oil, for instance, is said to balance the heart chakra.
Colour and light are used in colour therapy, sometimes referred to as chromotherapy, an alternative treatment for both physical and mental health issues.
Your mood, energy level, motivation, appetite, sleep, and other factors are all influenced differently by different colours. For instance, warm hues tend to be more stimulating while cooler hues tend to be calming.
The use of colour and light can be used to treat conditions like depression, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, lack of concentration, and stifled creativity.
How can colour therapy be practiced at home? Consider wearing colour therapy glasses for about 30 minutes each day, incorporating colour into art therapy sessions, getting more sunlight, decorating your home or office with plants and vibrant colours, or using a colour therapy app to assist with visualization exercises.
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