How Color Therapy Can Heal Us
Look around. Color is everywhere. Color is a vital part of our world and reflects its beauty in everything from the clothes we wear and the food we eat to the homes we inhabit and the cars we drive. But is there a connection between the specific colors we surround ourselves with and how we feel? Yes! Read on to discover ways to consciously employ the power of color on a more regular basis.
The act of seeing color is so automatic that we forget to recognize its importance in our busy lives and only appreciate its potential when we slow down enough to notice it. But it’s important to remember that color is more than just a visual element; it profoundly impacts our bodies, emotions and psychological states.
Most of us know that the entire color spectrum (rainbow) is derived from the sun. But what many of us don’t realize is that each color contains certain wavelengths of electromagnetic energy. When light flows through our eyes, these wavelengths are converted into electrical impulses that pass to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain governing our hormones and endocrine system.1 This response then impacts our entire biochemical system.2
The energies of color and light as therapeutic tools have been used and written about for many centuries. In the 1660s, Sir Isaac Newton’s work with white light defined how the color spectrum is organized and composed. However, the use of color actually dates back thousands of years to the Egyptians, who studied its effects on various holistic applications including the treatment of ailments, diseases and the improvement of moods. Carl Jung, one of the most prominent researchers in the field of color psychology, stated,” Colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.” His work explored color relative to disparate cultures and time periods and led to the development of art therapy as a means of treating trauma and distress.3 The result of these and many other groundbreaking studies led to a field of therapy called Chromatherapy, or color healing.
Chromatherapy is the use of colored light to restore balance to our bodies, minds and emotions. It is used regularly in hospitals, spas and wellness centers, and can even be found in specialty home products such as colored light bulbs and hot tubs. There are also professional color therapists who employ tools such as gemstones and crystals, colored baths and glasses, colored candles and more.
Chromatherapy can also be used individually. Once aware of the properties of each color, we can consciously choose to wear certain hues in our clothing, eat specific foods, or surround ourselves with soothing hues at home or at work.
One of the easiest ways to boost energy and experience the healing factors of color is by using our imaginations. If we visualize a particular color surrounding us or asking within which color would help balance the mind and body, both can be powerful tools in self-healing.
By knowing the influences of color and taking the time to tune inward, we can use the power of color to infuse harmony back into everyday life. Here’s a quick color guide to get started:
Red – Known as the “Great Energizer,” red is warm, vital, and heating. It is associated with energy, passion, ambition, and action. It is also the color of anger and sexual passion. Red increases circulation and stimulates the body and mind. It can also help restore energy when feeling drained.
Orange – Orange is the color of optimism and creativity. A combination of red and yellow, it combines physical energy with mental wisdom and has a freeing action on the body and mind. Orange is associated with happiness, positive thinking, and the act of listening to one’s intuition. Use orange when you need emotional strength or an uplifting influence.
Yellow – The color of the mind and intellect, yellow represents hope, cheerfulness, and inquisitiveness. It can promote confidence and optimism and is related to the ego and our sense of self-worth. It is largely non-emotional and is best used to support communication and analysis. It also helps strengthen the nerves and the mind, helping awaken mental inspiration.
Green – Green is known as the “Universal Healing Color” and is associated with nature. It promotes balance and harmony and has a soothing influence on the body and mind. It affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart and helps balance the body on a large scale. This is why going for walks in nature can be so soothing and grounding
Blue – Relaxing, soothing blue can bring calm and peace to a mind that is worried, excited or nervous. It is cooling, astringent, and at times sedative, as suggested by the colloquial phrase “feeling blue.” More diseases are treated with blue light than any other color, and it is associated with pain relief, decreasing fevers and reducing inflammation. It is also associated with the throat chakra, the primary center for expression and verbal communication.
Violet – Violet is the color of the imagination and spirit, inspiring us to be introspective and get in touch with our deeper thoughts. It combines the energy of red with the integrity of blue, uniting body and soul, physical and spiritual energies. It is a great meditation aid and has been used as a remedy for neurosis, sciatica, tumors, rheumatism, concussion, cramps, and epilepsy. 2
To read more about the mental and physical characteristics of each color, click here.
"All forms for matter are really light waves in motion.” – Albert Einstein