Colour therapy (or chromo therapy) is an alternative remedy that uses colour and light to treat physical or mental health by balancing the body’s energy centres, also known chakras. This concept dates back to ancient Egyptians who used sun-activated solarium rooms constructed with coloured glass for therapeutic purposes. We use colour so much in our everyday lives and have the influence of colour psychology threaded throughout the modern world.
My early introduction to the effect of colour on the brain, was in my dyslexia diagnosis where I was given light pink sheets that can be layered stronger or weaker in colour to lay over text to ease and improve reading. This made me think deeply as a child... why pink? What effect does pink have on the mind - the brain - and what do other colours do?
Back to basics
Colours are made up of reflected lights that hit our retinas as the wavelengths vibrate. Our brain interprets these wavelengths, which ultimately makes our perception of colour as a physical and sensory experience.
Colour therapy is based on the idea that colours create an electrical impulse in our brain, which stimulates hormonal and biochemical processes in our body. These processes either stimulate or calm us and have an effect on our overall health and wellbeing. Colour Therapists or Chromo therapists claim to be able to use different lights or rays in the form of colour to maintain a balance or energy lacking in a person's body. The lacking can be of emotional, mental, spiritual and/or physical.
The different colours we see in the world around us are the result of the eye perceiving light vibrating at different frequencies. Sunlight, or full-spectrum light, holds all the wavelengths of color in the visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and magenta) as well as infrared and ultraviolet light, which cannot be seen.
The vibrations of the colour in colour therapy class boost and improve your mood and overall health. There are as many colours in colour therapy sessions as there are colours in the rainbow. Many places combine colour and aromatherapy, to envelope the senses completely. In some salons, you might even get a massage with different colours of light being projected on your body to stimulate health and healing. It is even used by vets on animal psycology and easing their patients.
Colour Therapy is one of the most popular alternative medicines used to influence the behaviour and brain of people. It has been immense used in Egypt, India and China for centuries. The benefits of colour therapy are undeniable. Massages using colour-saturated oils, contemplating and visualizing colours, even wearing coloured clothing and eating coloured foods. Colour is an important component of our built environment and without its presence; our environment would be dull and depressing. It plays a vital role in our built environment, especially in relation to the partially blind, infants, hospital patients and mental health issues leading to depression, there is much to be said about the joy of colour.
Different colours treat different ailments:
The shades of colours used in your colour therapy session will vary depending upon the type of ailment you are trying to correct. For example, blue or purple lights are anti-inflammatory and calming. Green colour helps to purify and cleanse, white and yellow colour light stimulates the lymphatic system. Discover the science of Red Light Therapy for an energising boost or to bring life passion and deeper reds are excellent to ground, but can be agitating for an inflammed individual.
The Chakras + Colour Association
Yoga and Indian philosophy, the chakras are the centres of spiritual power and energy within our bodies. There are seven chakras and different colours represent a different chakra, the energy body can be used as a guide to help you in your practice and balancing your self. Starting with the root chakra, you can use these colours in visualisation and in your own work to create flow.
Base or Root Chakra (Muladhara) - Red colour - I AM: The root chakra located at the base of the spine is represented by red colour. The Chakra has to do with our connection with the Earth and feeling at home within ourselves and the Earth, feeling grounded and steady.
Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana) - Orange colour - I FEEL: The Sacral Chakra, which is located 2 or 3 inches below the navel, is represented by orange colour. This chakra is said to be associated with reproduction, kidneys, Adrenals and pleasure. The chakra is the mind-body chakra. Pure self love, confidence and happiness are associated with this hue.
Solar Plexus (Manipura) - Yellow colour - I DO: The solar plexus chakra is associated with liver, pancreas, digestive system, gallbladder, empowerment and well-being. The chakra is located between the navel and sternum. A very uplifting colour.
Heart Chakra (Anahata) - Green colour - I LOVE: The colour represents the Heart Chakra. It’s associated with heart, lungs and immune system, energy, nervous system, mental focus, compassion and empowerment.
Throat Chakra (Visuddha) - Blue colour - I SPEAK: The chakra is associated with thyroid and metabolism and also with a peaceful expression. It has a calming hue and overall can be soft and peaceful, deep blues it should be avoided if you suffer from depression.
Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) - Indigo colour - I UNDERSTAND: The third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows. It is associated with the pituitary gland and pineal gland. It influences our sleep cycle, clarity, wisdom, self-esteem and intuition.
Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) + ABOVE - Violet colour - ONENESS: It is associated with the Crown Chakra and is located at the top of the head. It is associated with clarity, dreams, spirituality, sleep cycles, dreams, pineal gland and light sensitivity.
Explore the Power of Colour Therapy: Transform Habits, Impressions, and Spaces.
1. When Exercising
If you want to improve your performance, choose a red, use red light, surround yourself with red colours, and take your route where you’re more likely to see red road signs, red cars, and red stoplights. Red Fire Energy!
2. When You Need to Remember Something
Try to get yellow into the mix. Some research has suggested it improves memory, visualise something you need to remember covered in yellow light, use yellow highlighters, wearing yellow beads for remembering specific things can help.
3. When You Need to Get Work Done
Avoid white walls! Studies show that employees working in white-walled offices experience more side effects like headaches and nausea than those in off white, pink or blue workspaces.
4. When You Want Some Space to Relax
Get some green into the mix. Because of its connection to nature and the environment, it’s typically associated with relaxation and comfort.
5. When You Want to Refrain from Over Consumption and Eating
Avoid yellow in your dining room. A 2007 study found that people in a yellow room ate twice as much as those in a red or blue room, that could be reflected in your table cloth, your plates.
6. When You Want to Feel Confident
Try a mix of red, oranges and black. These are associated with confidence. If you’re going up in front of a room full of people, black can help you appear more authoritative and possibly sophisticated or associated with leadership, it it often the colour of grounding and a blank slate as well.
7. When You Need to Be Creative
Go blue. A 2009 study found that people exposed to blue were better able to explore their creative sides. Use blue in your art, crafting, or writing room, or slap on a blue piece of jewellery for a creative boost on the go.
8. If You Want to Feel Energetic and Happy
Golds, Orange and Yellow are your go-to! Not only will you feel sunnier, but you’ll project that image onto others, potentially helping to lift their mood as well.
9. When You Need to Be Calm
Going into a stressful situation? Try a combination of pastel green and blue colours. These work well in rooms in the home where you want to relax after a stressful day at work, or somewhere within eyesight when in a stressful situation, like jewellery or notebooks. Green is particularly helpful for promoting calm in health-oriented spaces, like hospitals, clinics, and counselling offices. That is why plants have such a calming effect in the home and gardens are a blessing.
10. When You Want to Be More Feminine
Pink is the colour of romance and femininity, matters of the heart are associated with pink and also tends to be calming and soothing. If you are wanting to connect deeper to your feminine side - the rose quartz stone is a lovely stone to keep by your side or in your crystal collection, the colour pink is not to be feared.
11. When You Need to Focus
If you work at home or have your own office, you may want to be sure you have blue in the décor. It not only calms and stimulates creativity, but it can encourage focus, helping to limit distractions so you can get your work done. You may find writing with a blue pen helpful when creative writing or using your journal.
12. To Help Keep Your Spirits Up
If life has been difficult lately, it may be time to bring in more yellow to your living and working and yoga spaces. Yellow is associated with optimism and good times. Choose bright and cheerful yellow pictures, colours of sunshine in the greyest days can lift the sprit and soul, citrine crystal energy and decorations to help you feel better.
13. To Be Social or Hosting a Party
Make sure you have some orange around! This is a lively, flamboyant colour that helps stimulate energy between people, and promotes interaction!
14. When you’re Tired and Just Don't Feel Like Doing Anything
Get some red on! This colour creates energy and helps infuse your spirit with vitality. Rely on it to get you through a tough day.
15. If you’re having Trouble Expressing Yourself
Go somewhere you can be exposed to orange. This colour helps lift repressions and encourages freeing expression. If you’re in a relationship and it’s time to open up, use orange to give you a helping hand.
16. If you’re taking a Class
Wear some yellow, as it will help stimulate your interest and curiosity. Yellow connects you to your learning self, and will help motivate you to open up your mind, it could as simple as wearing yellow beads or holding citrine crystals.
17. If You're Feeling a Bit Off
Get out in nature where you can be surrounded by green things. Green connects us to the spiritual centre, and brings our attention to the heart, alleviating stress and letting all those small worries just fade away with the breeze.
18. When You Need to Connect With Your Intuition
It’s time to incorporate purple into your life. Purple helps us get in touch with our intuition, and is also the colour associated with dream activity and psychic powers. If your logical mind is running the show and it’s not going so well, get closer to your gut feelings by exposing yourself to more purple.
19. Redecorating Your Home
Consider the effect of each colour and what you want to feel in each room. Kitchens and bathrooms often incorporate yellow to convey happiness and joy. Dining rooms that use blue and green will feel calmer and help ease any eating anxieties... there is a lot to unpack, but simple touches of colour are great to bring in.
20. If You Want to Look Smart
Going for an interview, or trying to impress someone with your brainpower? Go for blue. It’s a soothing colour, but also aids concentration and is perceived as conveying intelligence.
Benefits of different colours:
a) Light is considered to be one of the purest healing forces in the universe. The presence or absence of light can affect the Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Pineal glands. This, in turn, can influence our physical and mental health.
b) Safe and pain-free so it can be used for children, adults and elderly alike
c) Addresses the physical symptoms of an ailment and also its non-physical origin
Balances the Chakras in the body
d) Has a positive influence on not only physical levels but also mental and spiritual levels
e) Helps meditation and relaxation, and can enlighten and transform an individual
Eliminates emotional blockages before they can manifest as mental or physical illnesses
Apart from theses benefits, colour therapy can improve awareness and help individuals understand the need for including certain colours in their daily lives. It can also help natural healing in a body, enabling overall well-being.
Colour therapy is a safe and effective treatment and can be either be used on its own or alongside another therapy like physiotherapy or traditional medicine. Regardless of how it’s used, it is important to understand that the therapy can
strongly affect the mind and body.
Corals, Pinks and Oranges bring warmth and confidence.
Colour therapy could be viewed from diverse aspects such as its role in different cultures. Decreasing physical and psychological disorders and its effect on working climate, industry, creativity and in particular medical and hospital settings are just some of the examples of colour therapy. Explore how you can introduce more colour into your life, how might it be effective to work with colour on a daily basis to bring balance and elements that you might like to improve or boost your mood.
Yoga and Art Therapy and how they work so well together as a catalyst for transformation: