Colors…an integral aspect of reality as air and water. A colorless existence is a seemingly-incomprehensible one, minus perhaps what has been described as the Void by sages and mystics. Thanks to the ability for humans to see the visible light spectrum, reality itself seems surreal at times. Even though we see only a narrow band of the full color spectrum, the vast array of colors that exist within the domain of human experience gives life it’s wonderment.
It’s incredible to think not every living thing sees reality in the same way. There are species that only see ultraviolet light whereas others such as snakes and scorpions see infrared light. The ultra-exotic mantis shrimp has 16 color-receptive cones compared with the 4 that humans have, giving way to a much more dramatic and surreal experience of the world.
Healing With Color
Color therapy is a form of healing and therapy that utilizes different colors to bring about certain intended and desired effects. It is a holistic, non-invasive and powerful therapy which dates back thousands of years, evidence of which can be found in ancient texts from countries such as India, China and Egypt. The manner in which color works as a therapeutic agent lies in the fact that color is essentially light of varying wavelengths with each color having its own frequencies that will have a certain effect on the individual. The energy radiating out of this light affects all living cells and used in the right way, the different frequencies of light, i.e. color, can have a profound and healing effect on all forms of being, be it plant, animal, human, or otherwise.
The wavelengths of the frequencies of light determine what hue a color is. For example, a long wavelength and low frequency within the color spectrum creates the color red whereas a short wavelength and high frequency creates the color violet. The seven colors of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, or roygbiv for short) are attributed to corresponding to seven primary energy fields of the human body, with red being at the base field and violet being at the crown field. Since color is made up of differing wavelengths and frequencies, it will be absorbed not only through the eyes but also through the skin and the varous fields emanating from the human body, such as morphogenetic fields.
Using Colors For Elevated Well-Being
As we absorb color energy not only through the eyes but also through the skin and the various energy fields, color therapy can be used on the body in a number of different ways. As with any therapy, each therapist may have his or her own ‘style’, however, a number of common methods used are:
- The placing of color silks on the body or even wearing clothes of a particular color
- The directing of colored light on to the body
- The drinking of solarized water
- Meditating on specific colors
- Performing color breathing techniques
- Using a light box to direct color to the body using colored filters
In Egyptian mythology, it was said that the god Thoth founded the art of healing with color. In Greek mythology, this individual was called Hermes Trismegistus. According to Hermetic tradition, ancient Egyptians and Greeks used crystals, stones, and minerals for healing. They even colored their healing centers with a variety of vibrant colors. The belief they held was that disease was a result of an unbalanced system. Color, such as in the garments worn, was therefore used for restoring balance.
Around the beginning of the first millennium, there was an Arab physician named Avicenna who further advanced healing with color. According to him, color was crucial to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. As there were colors which were therapeutic in a given situation, there were also colors which were not. For instance, if an individual had a nosebleed, looking at the color red would make it worse whereas blue would subside the nosebleed and reduce blood flow. During the Renaissance, there was a great deal of interest in color healing as well. A man who went by the name Paracelsus was a renowned physician who believed light and color were essential for the well-being of an individual and used them in his medical practice.
Today, color therapy has found a resurgence of interest as more people seek out wellness programs and techniques that incorporate all the body’s systems, on a holistic platform. It is quite well known that certain businesses use color to their advantage, such as using red and yellow to make people hungry. It is also common knowledge (based on personal subjective experiences) among many that a color such as blue is very soothing and can make an individual feel cooler in a hot environment (try this out yourself if you are skeptical).
Just to illustrate this reality by using a discovery by German researchers, people who are in a place where there is red or blue background lighting, feel that a glass of white wine tastes better than when they are in rooms with green or white background lighting. Color therapy can be used for a variety of problems, including physical, mental, emotional or even spiritual.
It’s a holistic treatment that should be an integral part of one’s everyday life for ensured health and well-being. Is it too far to suggest that the sky is blue or that foliage is green because these colors in these aspects of reality bring about the greatest benefit to the environment and all that is contained within it? The colors in nature seem to suggest that colors are an important part of life for all living things.
There are many ways in which color therapy can be applied to your daily life. One way is related to the clothes you wear. Clothes are very important because it is something you have on your person the entire day (well, unless you are a nudist) and so the frequencies of the light get absorbed into your body the most through the colors of your clothes. It must be remembered to keep a balance in relation to colors, therefore you should have a diverse wardrobe will all the colors of the rainbow and inbetween. Excluding certain colors may be detrimental to your well-being but if some colors are preferred more than others, than this intuitive feeling should be pursued.
A form of color therapy that deserves to be talked about is the practicing of color breathing. This is a form of meditation in which you visualize a certain color entering your body. You can do this in whatever way you are comfortable but I will give an example of how to do this.
- Find a quiet spot, either outside in nature or inside your home.
- Sit with your back straight in a chair of with your legs crossed, with eyes closed or open.
- Visualize a color you want to use in your therapy and while breathing imagine that color going into your body through your nose.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds as the color dissipates throughout your body and then breathe out all negative emotions, stress, and pain that may reside within you.
- Do this a few times until you feel that all psychologically cleansed.
The Beauty of Color
Reaching out far beyond simple aesthetic pleasures, colors provide the ability to manifest an enhanced sense of well-being, primarily psychologically but also perhaps holistically. The use of colors as a theraputic tool is a safe and effective means of augmenting our lives for the benefit of being, as a whole. Incorporating the realm of color into one’s practice of meditation is a great addition that may bring about subjectively-beneficial results that may not have thought to be possible before.
When you go about your day, become more mindful of colors and how they may have an effect on your being. Be wary of the psychological manipulation that places such as fast-food restaurants use to manipulate you one way or another. Colors are beautiful. Embrace them and discover the amazing ways they can enhance your life on this blue marble.