Color Therapy also called chromotherapy or chromatherapy is the application of color in various ways for purposes of healing and maintaining optimum health. It is a holistic practice concerned with nourishing and balancing vital life energy. It helps people understand their needs for certain colours and shows them how to use these colours for health, healing, inspiration, relaxation and protection. It is based on the understandable scientific principles of light and color and their biological, psychological, and emotional and spiritual effects on human beings. It is complementary to all other holistic practices such as homeopathy, yoga, massage therapy, reflexology, chiropractic, acupuncture, Riki, naturopathy, and so on.

Color is a form of radiation as are x-rays, ultraviolet rays, and microwaves. The difference is that the radiation of colored light is visible to us. Various frequencies of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, from 700 to 400 nanometers, are known to us as the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each of these colors has its own properties, purpose, and effect on living organisms. Traveling together, we see the mix of all color radiation as white light or daylight.

Science is now confirming that different colors interact with the endocrine system of the body to stimulate or inhibit hormonal production. Hormones directly affect our physical, emotional, and mental states. In fact, color travels through the eyes directly to the brain’s hypothalamus to affect the various functions within the body.

The human body absorbs light that is made up of the colour spectrum. Each colour in the spectrum has a frequency, wavelength and energy associated with it. The colours we absorb can have an effect on the nervous system, the endocrine system and subsequently on the release of hormones and other organic substances within the human body. They can also have an effect on the more subtle energies of the chakra system. This may affect our mental, emotional, psychological and physical states of health.

Many more practitioners, both orthodox and complementary are now treating patients in a holistic manner. That is to say, we are body, mind and spirit and none of these areas function entirely alone; each has an effect upon the other. This is why Colour Therapy can be so helpful since colour addresses all levels of our being.

As we absorb colour energy not only through the eyes but also through the skin and the electro magnetic field or aura, Colour Therapy can be used on the body in a number of different ways as following:

  • Solarized water
  • The directing of coloured light on to the body.
  • Meditation with colour
  • Colour breathing
  • The placing of colour silks on the body

Color Therapy was used by many civilizations, including the Greeks and Ancient Egyptians. They built healing temples of light and color. The use of color became deeply embedded in Chinese and Indian medicine, and it remains an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine.

The pioneer of modern colour therapy was Niels Finsen of Denmark. Following the discovery, in 1877, of the bactericidal action of solar ultra-violet energy, Finsen studied the possibility of assisting the healing of wounds with visible light. He subse- quently used red light to inhibit the formation of smallpox scars and, in 1896, founded a Light Institute (now the Finsen Institute of Copenhagen) for the photo treatment of tuberculosis. In 1932, Gerrard and Hessay, two Californian psychologists, scientifically established that blue light had a calming effect and red a stimulating power on human beings. Blue and red colours are considered at the two extremes with yellow representing the midpoint. These are also the three principal colours in a rainbow. Even the rays cast on earth by celestial bodies contain colour in the form of white light. The rays of the sun contain seven different colours – violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. These are natural colours which are highly beneficial to the maintenance of health and for healing diseases. According to Dr. Babbit, a well-known authority on chromotherapy, “sunlight is the principal curative agent in nature’s laboratory and where light cannot enter, disease does. Chlorosis, anaemia, leukaemia, emaciation, muscular debility, degeneration of heart and liver, dropsical effusion, softening of bones, nervous excitability, physical deformity, stunted growth and consumption are the result of excluding oneself from the beneficial effects of sunlight. “Sunlight plays an important role in the recovery from chronic diseases. Judicious use of sunlight can be part of the curing process in almost every affliction. The rays of the sun improve digestion and nutrition, quicken blood and lymph circulation and increase the elimination of impurities through the skin.

Some 2,500 years ago, Pythagoras applied colour light therapeutically and ‘colour halls’. In 1933, a definitive work on color therapy called Chrometry was written by an Indian scientist. This was a landmark publication and laid the foundation for most of modern color therapy. Around the same time a form of color therapy, known as “Syntonics,” was developed in the U.S. He found that he could produce profound physiological and psychological changes in his patients by altering the color of light entering their eyes. In 1942, the Russian scientists have demonstrated that red light stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, while white and blue light stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Other experiments revealed that certain colors stimulate hormone production, while other colors inhibit it. The method apparently stems from a booklet titled Colour Breathing, by Mrs. Ivah Bergh Whitten, which was published in England in 1948. Generally, “colour breathing” refers to imagining oneself surrounded by a cloud of a desired colour, breathing deeply, and imagining the colour filling the lungs and flowing throughout the body or to a particular spot thereof.

Scientists now believe that the brain has specific responses to different frequencies of flashing light and the different frequencies of various colors. They point out that sleep problems can often be cured in one day by this method. Mood alteration takes a little longer – about one to two weeks of treatments. Photo stimulation with flashing opaque white or violet lights was found to induce relaxation, reducing stress and chronic pain. Use of photo stimulation, or brain wave synchronization, to assist relaxation and the induction of hypnosis had been around since 1948. It has been used with the EEG (electroencephalogram) as an adjunct to the diagnosis of epilepsy.

Research has begun to validate the importance of color in treating disease. For example, looking at blue light has been shown to lower blood pressure by calming the autonomic nervous system, while red light causes it to rise.

The Chakra system is a subtle energy system which relates to the seven main energy centres of the body. Chakras are like spirals of energy and each one relates to the others. Chakra means wheel. Each of the seven colours of the spectrum links to the seven main chakras in the body.
The chakras link to all aspects: – physical – emotional – mental and spiritual and colours affect us on all of these levels. Colour Therapy can help to re-balance the chakras if a blockage or imbalance has occurred, by applying the appropriate colour to the body, therefore helping to stimulate the body’s own healing system and promoting health and well -being.

The seven colours are RED – ORANGE – YELLOW – GREEN – BLUE – INDIGO and VIOLET. Violet at one end of the spectrum has the shortest wavelength and Red at the other end of the spectrum has the longest wavelength.

It relates to the Crown chakra which is at the top of the head. The related organ to this chakra is the brain and the endocrine gland is the pineal gland. Violet is the highest colour in the visible spectrum. This colour is known as one of the “cool” colours. It has a very calming effect on us and is, therefore, very helpful for those people experiencing sleep difficulties or stress.

It relates to the Brow chakra or third eye which is in the centre of the forehead the related organs to this chakra are the eyes, lower head and sinuses and the endocrine gland is the pituitary gland. Indigo relates to self responsibility, that is to say, being responsible for one’s own life; responsibility to oneself to follow the soul’s path and needs and trusting one’s own intuition. The ability to see things from a ‘higher’ viewpoint rather than purely for satisfaction of the ego or one’s material comfort. Intuitive messages are unique to you and are for your own personal growth and differ from the gut feelings.

It relates to the Throat chakra. The associated organs to this chakra are the throat, lungs and the endocrine gland is the thyroid gland. The upper digestive tract can be affected by imbalance in this area. It relates to self expression. Speech, communication, the ability to communicate our needs and requirements. Spirit of truth and purpose. Blue is very effective in the treatment of headaches and sleep disorders. It decreases blood pressure and heart rate, dissolves nervousness and stress and has a very calming effect on the entire organism rate, dissolves nervousness and stress and has a very calming effect on the entire organism.

It relates to the Heart chakra. The related organs to this chakra are the heart and breasts. The gland is the thymus gland. Green is the color of nitrogen which is the main component of our atmosphere and which is integral to the formation of bones, muscles and other tissues. Green tends to have a very stabilizing, balancing and calming effect of the entire energy system. Green treatment is excellent for soothing soreness and tired muscles while promoting their regeneration. This chakra relates to love / self love, youth, hope, growth. That is to say the ability to give and take unconditionally. When balanced we are able to give this love and also to love and nurture ourselves, warts and all.

It relates to the Solar Plexus chakra, situated below the ribs
the organs to which this chakra relates are the liver, spleen, stomach and small intestine. The endocrine gland is the pancreas. Yellow is a combination of the RED & GREEN rays and therefore is both stimulating and regenerating.
On the psycho-spiritual level, yellow relates to self worth. How we feel about ourselves and how we feel others perceive us. This is the area of the personality, the ego and the intellect and of self confidence. In Color Therapy it is used for psychological problems like melancholy, depression and world-wariness. It is very advantageous for the nerves and the brain bringing a sharpening of the mental abilities. Yellow carries additional physical benefits in its effects on the nutritional organs; the liver, intestines, stomach, spleen and bladder. Purification and elimination through the liver, color and skin are promoted by the Yellow ray.

It relates to the Sacral chakra situated in the lower abdomen. The organs to which this chakra relates are uterus, large bowel, prostate, ovaries and testes. The endocrine glands are the ovaries and testes. It is the colour of creativity and we should give ourselves the space to have creative time just for us. It has an anti-depressant and anti-lethargic effect strengthening the metabolism and promoting health. On the psycho-spiritual level, this chakra relates to self respect. That is to say having the ability to give ourselves the freedom to be ourselves and to respect our own boundaries and requirements and, by the same token, having respect for the boundaries of others.

It relates to the Base chakra situated at the base of the spine. The organs to which this chakra relates are the kidneys and bladder. The vertebral column hips and legs are also areas related to this chakra. The endocrine gland to which this colour relates is the adrenal gland. Red stimulates the metabolism and purification. It gives us courage and strength. Red relates to stability and security. On the psycho-spiritual level, this chakra relates to self awareness. It is the area of survival and relates to our basic human instincts of fight or flight.