What is color therapy? Color therapy is also called chromatherapy when it’s being used in a holistic setting, although this term has been replaced by photobiology when referring to the way light affects humans. Today, color therapy is one of the most affordable and inexpensive holistic treatments to explore. This was not always the case before the modern age and no doubt added to the idea of color and colored clothing as luxury items. Color therapy is said to be able to assist in balancing ones physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states and is much cited in eastern systems of holistic medicine such as Ayurveda. It is not the same as light therapy which is used to treat seasonal affective disorder. An example of an ayurvedic chart on color therapy as used by many CAM practioners looks like this:
The theory of color therapy is that all light vibrates at different speeds and that for each organ or body system, there is a specific level of energy vibration that is said to maintain optimum health and wellness. By applying the principles of color therapy, a CAM practioner can assist the body in maintaining and reaching the optimal level of wellness and color can be used to enhance the wellbeing of people who are already healthy and for those suffering from disease. To put it more simply, color is a property of light when the spectrum is separated. When light falls upon the photo receptor cells of the eye, it is converted into electrical impulses. These impulses travel to the brain and are said to trigger the release of hormones in some instances. This has lead to the assertion that color therapy is effective in treating everything from sleep disorders to emotional or mental imblance. Some of the tools used for applying colors are gemstones either worn or placed on the body, prisms that separate light into it’s specturm, colored fabrics, bath treatments, and colored glasses or lenses.
Since the middle ages, many people have written about the use of colored light and even color by itself to induce health and overall wellness. In the late 1940’s a Russian by the name of S.V. Krakov demonstrated that red light increased the activity of the adrenal glands, raising blood pressure and pluse rate, while white or blue light relaxed or soothed them. Another popular way to determine your color needs from a therapeutic standpoint is Luscher’s color test. You can take the Luscher test here.
I dare say anyone who has decided to redecorate their home would agree that the correct use of color can be wonderful or horrendous. A great website to check out when searching for a new color pallette for your home or for inspiration is design-seeds. You search for a color palette by moving bars on the red, green and blue color scale. Once you click enter, your color palette appears. It’s awesome and can be used for all kinds of things, from colors for the home to clothes and new outfits to wear. Here are two examples of what you end up with from design seeds. Some aspects of the color spectrum are not available thru design seeds however. For what they do have, they are beyond awesome.
The first is Antiquity Tones and the second is Squawaked Tones. They are good with naming each palette to keep you from getting confused because there are so many color combinations.
Another example of how color is used across cultures is in bridal dresses, which are traditionally red in China and white in the West. In China, white is the color of death and to wear white is a considerable faux pas in some situations that would not be worthy of a comment elsewhere in the world. Some in China relish this cultural trait and others deplore it as backward. Whatever your views, color matters and women know it and always have, no matter what culture they are from! This is not to say that men are not aware of a good color combination but it’s women who make the most of color on a regular basis.
Home spa products have begun to incorporate principles of light therapy for those who are deeply interested in investing in home based color therapy. Here is a tub that rotates thru the color spectrum for a truly therapeutic color experience.
The pictures above are only of one tub model but I found several online and shower heads available for those who wouldn’t want to go for a entirely new tub. Suffice it to say, if color therapy is your thing, you have options in the way of home accessories! If a new tub or shower head is beyond your means, colored baths for purchase, that do not stain the tub or use harmful dyes can be found here. For more information on making your own colored baths at home you can click here. As with all Complimentary or Alternative Medical practices, color therapy should not be used as a substitute for the conventional treatment of medical diseases. Always consult your doctor before beginning a program of CAM or complimentary and alternative medicine, such as chromatherapy.