Chromotherapy, also known as Color Light Therapy or simply Color Therapy, is the application of colored light on the body as a means of restoring balance within the body. Its rich and ancient history dates as far back as the Mayan culture. Here we provide a brief overview of chromotherapy, its history and applications.
A Brief History of Color and Light Therapy
Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine practiced for thousands of years in India. It is a belief that every individual contains five elements of the universe. These elements are present in specific proportions unique to each individual, including their personality type and constitution. When these elements are out of balance, Ayurveda works with the energies inherent in the colors of the spectrum to restore balance.
In ancient Egypt the art of healing with color was founded in the Hermetic tradition. Ancient Egyptians used colored minerals, stones, crystals, salves, and dyes as remedies, and painted treatment sanctuaries in various shades of color. The ancient Greeks used color in similar ways.
Traditional Chinese medicine, which also dates back thousands of years, associates color with each organ of the body and elemental system. It is believed that the colors you attract are alignments or imbalances with the cosmos and surrounding energy. In terms of healing, making sure your life is balanced and aligned with Dao will result in a healthier lifestyle.
More recently (only a few hundred years ago), Sir Isaac Newton invented the first color wheel. He split white sunlight into red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, and blue. He then joined the two ends of the color spectrum together to show the natural progression of colors.
The use of light has been valued throughout history as a remarkable source of healing. Today, the therapeutic applications of light and color are being investigated in major hospitals and research centers worldwide. Results indicate that full-spectrum, infrared, ultraviolet, colored, and laser light can have therapeutic value for a range of conditions from chronic pain and depression to immune disorders.
Light therapy has been reported to reduce swelling, relieve pain, decrease inflammation, accelerate open wound healing, and greatly reduce overall recovery after medical and surgical procedures. Patients have demonstrated increased range of motion, decreased muscle tension and spasm, and improved circulation.
Rejuvenating LED light therapy can be used for pain management, such as joint and back pain, sore or torn muscles, sprains, arthritis, post-surgical scars, burns, wounds, and more. When used with infrared technology, light therapy (phototherapy) is one of the most effective and noninvasive ways to repair the body.
Light therapy is also used to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD affects individuals when the lack of sunlight results in seasonal depression. Phototherapy helps with SAD by resetting the internal biological clock (Circadian rhythms), helping individuals sleep better, and regulate their mood. Even companies, such as GE and Philips, have created photo-therapeutic products designed to improve and regulate mood.
There is a a growing popularity in the use of light therapy as an anti-aging treatment. Light therapy is proven effective at improving the appearance of the face, neck, and chest by reducing the signs of aging. It has applications in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and age spots.
Combined with infrared therapy, LED phototherapy can be a great way to revitalize the skin. Light therapy energizes skin cells, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, giving skin it’s youthful look.
Healing With Color
Color is light; split into different wavelengths vibrating at different speeds and at different frequencies. Objects that ABSORB all wavelengths and DO NOT reflect are black in nature. Objects that REFLECT all wavelengths and DO reflect are white in nature. Between black and white lies COLOR. Colors are wavelengths of energy that, to us, appear as color because of the potential and capabilities of the object to either absorb or reflect the energy.
Red is called “The Great Energizer.” It loosens, releases stiffness, and constrictions. It is excellent for areas that have become stiff or tight. Red is the first visible color we see after the infrared band is passed. It promotes cellular growth, stimulating the “will” aspect, or the circulatory system. It is therefore indicated for all colds, sluggish or dormant conditions, such as pneumonia, arthritis, anemia, as a liver stimulant, an energy builder, and for increasing circulation. Red links with and stimulates the base of the spine, causing the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. This results in greater strength. Red causes hemoglobin to multiply, thus increasing energy raising body temperature conditions as it stimulates sensory nerves such as hearing, taste, smell, and activates metabolism. It is excellent for anemia or blood-related conditions.
Orange has a freeing action upon the mind, relieving repression. Because orange is a blend of red and yellow, it combines physical energy with mental wisdom, inducing a transformation between lower physical reaction and higher mental response. Thus, it is often referred to as “The Wisdom Ray.” Orange is warm, cheering, and non-constricting. Through orange, we are able to heal the physical body (red) and, at the same time, induce within the mind (yellow) greater understanding. Orange helps assimilate new ideas. Orange is the best emotional stimulant, helping to remove inhibitions paving independent social behavior. Bring joy to your workday and strengthen your appetite for life. Orange aids in repairing inflammation of the kidneys, gallstones, menstrual cramps, epilepsy, wet cough, and all sinus conditions.
Yellow helps awaken mental inspiration, arousing higher mentality. Thus, it is an excellent color for nervous or nerve-related conditions or ailments; fueling the solar plexus. Yellow has a very enriching effect upon the intellect. Yellow can be used for conditions of the stomach, liver, and intestines. It can help the pores of the skin by repairing scarred tissue. These rays have an alkalizing effect which strengthens the nerves. Awakening, inspiring, and vitally stimulating the higher mind promoting self-control. Typical diseases treated by yellow are constipation, gas, liver troubles, diabetes, eczema and nervous exhaustion. Providing clarity of thought, increasing awareness, stimulating interest and curiosity, yellow energy is related to the ability to perceive or understand. The yellow energy connects us to our mental self.
Green is the universal healing color. Green is midway in the color spectrum; therefore, it contains both a physical nature and a spiritual nature, in equal balance and in equal harmony. Thus, green can be used for just about any condition in need of healing. When in doubt, green will always work. Help relax muscles, nerves, and thoughts. The color green cleanses and balances our energy, to give a feeling of renewal, peace, and harmony. Used primarily for balancing our whole being, it is neither relaxing nor astringent in its impact. In a more practical sense, green affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. Green can help heal many illnesses of this nature, including heart troubles, decreasing and stabilizing blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, headaches, nervous disorders and influenza, and acts as a general tonic.
Blue on the other hand, approaches the opposite end of the visible spectrum. Blue can be used for any type of ailments associated with speech, communication, or the throat. This is a mentally relaxing color. Blue has a pacifying effect on the nervous system, encouraging great relaxation. It is ideal for sleep problems. Blue light connects us to holistic thought, and gives us wisdom and clarity enhancing communication and speech. Relaxing, soothing blue rays bring great calm and peace to the mind that is worried, excited, or in a constant nervous state. It is a very positive color, indicating loyalty and reliability, as expressed in the sentiment of being “true blue”.
Violet is the last color we can see before light passes on to ultra-violet. This color is an excellent remedy for neurosis, diseases of the scalp, sciatica, tumors, rheumatism, cerebralspinal meningitis, concussion, cramps and epilepsy. Violet animates and cleans the venous blood. It is generally not used for physical conditions. However, some color experts believe that it does provide nourishment to the cells in the upper brain. Violet purifies our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all undertakings. The violet energy connects us to our spiritual self bringing guidance, wisdom and inner strength, and enhances artistic talent and creativity. Leonardo da Vinci proclaimed that you can increase the power of meditation ten fold by meditating under the gentle rays of violet, as found in church windows.
Light therapy uses colors for their proposed healing abilities in treating emotional and physical disturbances. Light therapy is based on the premise that different colors evoke different responses in people. For example, some colors are considered to be stimulating (red and oranges), whereas others may be soothing (blues and violets). Color therapy has been suggested for many uses, based on tradition or on scientific theories.
Learn more by visiting us online at RespiraVita.com, or give us a call at 704-313-8678. We are happy to discuss the use and benefits of chromotherapy in our infrared saunas and book a session for you!
Disclaimer: Excerpted from the Sauna Works, Inc. Blog.