What is colour therapy?
This is a complementary therapy based on light from varying wavelengths (ie colour). It is believed every colour has its own particular energy which can affect a human being physically, mentally and spiritually.
In Colour Therapy the seven colours of the spectrum are associated with the seven chakras where each colour represents a particular ‘energy centre’ of the body. In order for the human body to be in harmony the chakras must be balanced, according to practitioners. This is believed to be achieved by applying certain colours to the body. Violet has the shortest wave length whereas red has the longest.
The colours and their corresponding ‘energy centre’ (chakra) is:
- Red – base of the spine
- orange – lower abdomen and genitals
- yellow – solar plexus
- green – heart
- blue – throat
- indigo – brow (ie middle of the forehead)
- violet – crown of the head
Each chakra is also said to have a particular function. For instance, the solar plexus is believed to be related to the ego, the spine to survival, the brow to understanding and the crown to ideas.
Therapists believe physical disease can be a result of spiritual difficulties built up over time where they appear at a particular ‘energy centre’ of the body. If an individual has a particular preference or dislike for a certain colour, therapists believe this could point to the corresponding chakra and hence the core of the disease.
Cells in the human body require light energy which is absorbed via the eyes, skin and our magnetic energy field (or aura), according to Colour Therapists. Colour can be provided by such means as a light box using colour filters or coloured silks.
Colours are believed to have certain connotations for an individual which can result in him or her feeling angry, sad or depressed etc.
Tools used in colour therapy include:
- Candles / Lamps
- Crystal Wands
- Crystal and glass prisms
- Colour bath treatments
- Coloured eye lenses
- Coloured fabrics
What to expect
Your therapist should welcome you into a warm and comfortable room and ask you to sit. You may be asked to wear white clothes to your appointment. Alternatively the therapist may ask you to wear a white robe. He or she will then ask you questions about your general health, state of mind and the reason for your visit.
A course of Colour Therapy treatment begins with the therapist explaining how the consultation process and the therapy itself work. The therapist will then diagnosis in order to establish the underlying causes of any problems you many have. The therapist may use counselling, which asks you to select your favourite colours from a selection of coloured oils or colour cards. Alternatively they may use a spinal chart or reflexology, and possibly art therapy for diagnosis. You may even be asked to draw a picture of particular objects.
This is followed by treatments which may include a combination of the following:
- Light Therapy – using a colour torch or specially designed lamp
- Colour-related diet
- Bach flower remedies and essential oils related to colour
- Art and music therapy
- Crystal and gemstone treatments
- Colour Breathing, visualisation and Meditation
- Colour reflexology and Colour Aromatherapy
You may be asked to continue some of these techniques on your own at home or somewhere you can be alone and feel relaxed.
A colour therapist will also make recommendations about the therapeutic use of colour in your dress, home and work environment and in your diet.
The therapy can be used alongside traditional medicine or other complementary therapies. Adults, children and animals can all benefit from it.
Your first Colour Therapy session should last up to around 90 minutes with follow-up consultations consisting of one hour or less.
Effects and benefits
Coloured light travels to the body’s pituitary (or master) gland of the endocrine system. The endocrine in turn affects the metabolism.
Light treatment has been shown to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), nausea, mood swings, lethargy and general exhaustion.
Used in Asia, Europe and America as a complementary treatment, Colour Therapy is believed to help relieve pain for serious illness as well as help alleviate a number of physical disorders such as:
- skin diseases
- digestive ailments
A Colour therapist will advise people on their individual need for certain colours in order to lead a healthier, happier, creative and more relaxed life. Just as nutritionists believe a balanced diet is necessary, Colour Therapists believe a balance of colours is essential as too much of one would lead to unbalance and spiritual or physical illness.
Fascinating facts about Colour Therapy
- Islamic polymath Avicenna (980-1037), first discussed Colour Therapy in his book The Canon of medicine
- In 1844 UK scientist Robert Hunt wrote “Researches on Light in its chemical relations” referring to plants growing with particular shades of light
- Chromotherapy itself is believed to be down to scientists Dr. S. Pancoast and Edwin Dwight Babbitt. The former wrote “Blue and Red Light; or, Light and Its Rays as Medicine” in 1877. A year later Edwin Dwight Babbitt came up with “The Principles of Light and Colour”
- Dinshah P. Ghadiali a Hindu scientist discovered the scientific principles which explain the reasoning behind various rays and their different therapeutic effects. In 1933 he published “The Spectro Chromemetry Encyclopaedia”
- 19th century healers insisted they could cure constipation and meningitis using coloured glass
- In Victorian times chromotherapy was linked to symbolism and magic
- A Bioptron with different coloured lenses is used to administer colour therapy
- Dr. Max Lûscher developed a test during the early 1900’s to determine how people feel when exposed to certain colours.
- In South Asian culture a bride is expected to wear red compared to white in the Western world, demonstrating how the symbolism of colour varies between cultures
- A human is able to see around 7,000,000 difference colours
- The most popular stone is the diamond, which is colourless. It often reflects back all the colours of the spectrum. It’s believed to be more than 3000 years old. The Greeks referred to diamonds as God’s tears or pieces of stars which had fallen to earth
- The Hindu festival Holi, known as the Festival of Colours celebrates Krishna, the legend of Holika and Prahalad and is celebrated in Northern India. It celebrates the coming of colour in spring and involves the throwing of powdered paint (gulal) and dye. Water pistols, balloons and syringes are also filled with coloured water
- Research has shown humans make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment or product within 60 seconds of seeing them. Around 80-90% of the assessment is believed to be based on colour eg red, fuchsia or yellow denotes an outgoing personality while black or grey is a more sombre and reserved individual or mood
- Most of us dream in colour but don’t realise it because we take it for granted. Those who notice colours when awake will be more aware of them when dreaming
- Sunlight, when received in moderate doses, stimulates the production of vitamin D
- Research has shown that certain colours painted on office walls can stimulate employees into working harder
The International Association of Colour (IAC)
A professional association for colour therapy practitioners and students. Has a register of practitioners whom it regulates and insists they comply by a set of ethics. It is non profit-making and supplies information to the public on all aspects of colour and light. Promotes and offers a booklist on vibrational medicine.
International Wheel of Colour Association (IWOC)
Accreditation body for colour therapy courses. A self-regulating association, IWOC represents colour practitioners and consultants who administer the principles of colour therapy healing. Holds a list of registered members