What is Color Therapy?
Imagine the difference between driving a bright red car and a navy blue one, or how it feels to see a bright blue versus a dark night sky. The color of the clothes we wear, the color themes in our homes, and the colors in the natural environment influence us in profound ways.
Color affects us in both subtle and obvious ways throughout each day of our lives. We respond differently to various colors almost by instinct, and the colors around us affect everything from our mood to our energy levels.
Color therapy or chromotherapy focuses on the physiological effects colors have on people. Specially trained health practitioners can use color in therapeutic applications to help us achieve mental and physical health. Color therapy can help balance our emotional lives, relieve stress and tension and enable the body to heal itself of discomforting symptoms and illnesses.
How Does Color Therapy Heal?
Color therapists make use of a person's sensitivity to color to balance the flow of energy throughout the body. They believe that colors affect the vibrational energy that flows throughout every organ and system of the body. Accordingly, color therapy can be used to calm and soothe or stimulate and enhance mental, physical and spiritual energies. Wellness is achieved as energies throughout the body are balanced through color therapy.
Scientists explain the effects of color on our moods, thoughts and behavior in terms of physiological processes. Colors are light energies of certain wavelengths, and studies have confirmed that exposure to colors has a direct effect on the pituitary and pineal glands.
Stimulation of these glands affects hormonal production and their release, and this affects the systems of the body in a variety of ways. As an example, scientific studies conducted in 1942 demonstrated that the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated by exposure to red light, and the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated by exposure to white and blue light.
Although color is visible light energy, scientists believe it is not necessary to see color in order for it to affect the body. The body can sense and react to color through energy vibrations, so even the blind are affected by color.
Color therapists and scientists may not agree on precisely how color can help improve physical and mental health, but they do agree that the effects colors have on people are significant. Color has real physiological effects on people, and it can be used to help treat a variety of conditions as well as to promote general health.
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Color Therapy in Practice
Color therapists are skilled at assessing individuals' overall health condition. Following evaluation, your therapist will design an individualized color therapy program specifically for you.
If you are curious about which colors may be used to help you heal, here are some examples of properties associated with colors that suggest how they may be applied in color therapy:
- Green: Calming, soothing, relaxing
- Blue: Calming, cooling
- Indigo: Purification, integration, cooling
- Black: Calming, grounding
- Violet: Strengthening, cleansing, purifying
- Yellow: Energizing, stimulating
- Red: Warming, energizing, stimulating
- Orange: Energizing, exciting, stimulating
Your therapist may apply color therapy in a variety of ways. In some instances, color swatches are applied to specific points on the body to stimulate healing. Color therapy may be administered via a special machine that exposes you to colored lights in a darkened room. Your therapy may also involve visualization exercises, specialized breathing techniques, or meditation.
Different colors are associated with treating different mental, physical and spiritual disorders. Color therapists understand which colors are appropriate for promoting healing in certain organs and systems in the body, and which ones will prove counterproductive. For example, green is often used to treat cardiac conditions and ulcers because of its soothing and calming affects. Yet, green also stimulates growth, making it inappropriate for treating tumors and cancers.
Color therapists identify imbalances of color energy in the body in order to relieve symptoms and treat illnesses. An example is high blood pressure, which indicates exposure to too much red energy. In cases of depression, overexposure to indigo may be a potential cause therapists will consider.
What Conditions Can Color Therapy Heal?
Color therapy can be used to heal and treat a tremendous variety of conditions and diseases. Men, women and even children can benefit from color therapy, regardless of age or health condition. There are no side effects or risks associated with color therapy, so it is a very safe therapeutic option.
Some of the conditions color therapy may heal include arthritis and muscular strains or disorders, anxiety and depression, headaches and migraines, diabetes, digestive disorders, skin ailments and allergies and sinusitis. This is just a small sampling of the variety of conditions that can be improved through color therapy. Color therapy can also be a valuable aid in promoting weight loss and achieving emotional balance.
You may choose to take advantage of color therapy to help you maintain your overall general health and to promote wellness. By helping the various systems in the body stay fully functional and in balance, color therapy can help you avoid seasonal illnesses. It is also a valuable tool for assisting with stress management and relaxation, which in turn promotes mental and physical health.