Chromotherapy or colour light therapy is a method of treatment that uses the visible wavelengths of the colour light spectrum to treat the mind and body. There is growing evidence that Chromotherapy can play a pivotal role in the treatment of reducing stress and anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders or imbalances. Colour light therapy relies on the premise that each colour is associated with a different bodily response.
Chromotherapy as a treatment
The common feature of every remedial and curative system of treatment, whether it is Ayurveda, acupuncture, homoeopathy, physiotherapy, radiotherapy, aromatherapy, reflexology or chromotherapy, is to somehow apply vibrations of one kind or another in such a manner that the body can be put back on the health track. Most systems induce vibrations indirectly, but there are a few in which the vibrations are used directly upon the body, and chromotherapy is one of them.
What are the health benefits of chromotherapy?
Chromotherapy has been reported to reduce swelling, relieve pain, decrease inflammation, accelerate open wound healing and greatly reduce overall recovery after medical/surgical procedures. Patients have demonstrated increased range of motion, decreased muscle tension and spasm, and improved circulation.
Chromotherapy 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 in conjunction with infrared light, chromotherapy is one of the most effective and noninvasive ways to repair the body.
Chromotherapy is also used to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD affects individuals when the lack of sunlight results in seasonal depression. Coloured light therapy helps with SAD by resetting circadian rhythms to sleep better and regulating mood. Even companies, such as GE and Philips, have created phototherapeutic products (coloured lamps) to improve and regulate mood.
Does chromotherapy have cosmetic benefits?
Coloured light therapy is also a growing treatment for anti-ageing. Many individuals have seen a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and age spots when used in combination with near-infrared light.
When combining near-infrared light therapy with RED chromotherapy, you produce Red Light Therapy or LLLT which is “effective at improving the appearance of the face, neck and chest by reducing the signs of ageing, wrinkles and age spots”, says Web M.D. This form of coloured light therapy energises skin cells, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, giving skin back its youthful look.
The history of chromotherapy
Chromotherapy is a technique of restoring balance by applying coloured light to the body. Its history is rooted as far back as the Mayan culture. In India, Ayurveda, an ancient form of medicine practised for thousands of years, is based on the idea that every individual contains five elements of the universe. Each is 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 colours of the light spectrum to restore this balance.
In ancient Egypt the art of healing with colour was founded in the Hermetic tradition, the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used coloured minerals, stones, crystals, salves, and dyes as remedies, and painted treatment sanctuaries in various shades of colour. In China, traditional Chinese medicine incorporates colour to be associated with each organ and elemental system. This healing method looks at the idea that every individual is balanced. The first colour wheel was invented by Sir Isaac Newton. He split white sunlight into red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, and blue. He then joined the two ends of the colour spectrum together to show the natural progression of colours.
Chromotherapy has been valued throughout history as a remarkable source of healing. Today, the therapeutic applications of light and colour are being investigated in major hospitals and research centres worldwide. Results indicate that full-spectrum, ultraviolet, coloured, and laser light can have therapeutic value for a range of conditions from chronic pain and depression to immune disorders. It is based on the premise that different colours evoke different responses in people. For example, some colours are considered to be stimulating, whereas others may be soothing. Colour therapy has been suggested for many uses, based on tradition or on scientific theories.
Benefits of orange-coloured light therapy
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 reactions and higher mental responses. 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 and paving independent social behaviour. 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.
Benefits of violet-coloured light therapy
Violet is the last colour we can see before light passes on to ultra-violet. This colour is an excellent remedy for neurosis, diseases of the scalp, sciatica, tumours, rheumatism, cerebrospinal meningitis, concussion, cramps and epilepsy. Violet animates and cleans the venous blood. It is generally not used for physical conditions; however, some colour 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 enhancing artistic talent and creativity. Leonardo da Vinci proclaimed that you can increase the power of meditation tenfold by meditating under the gentle rays of violet, as found in church windows.
Benefits of red-coloured light therapy
Red is called “The Great Energizer.” It loosens and releases stiffness and constrictions. It is excellent for areas that have become stiffened. Red is the first visible colour 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.
Benefits of yellow-coloured light therapy
Yellow helps awaken mental inspiration arousing a higher mentality. Thus, it is an excellent colour for nervous or nerve-related conditions or ailments; fuelling the solar plexus. Yellow has a very enriching effect on 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 promotes self-control. Typical diseases treated by yellow are constipation, gas, liver troubles, diabetes, eczema and nervous exhaustion. Providing clarity of thought, increasing awareness, and stimulating interest and curiosity yellow energy is related to the ability to perceive or understand. The yellow energy connects us to our mental self.
Benefits of blue-coloured light therapy
Blue, on the other hand, is at 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 colour. 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 colour, indicating loyalty and reliability, as expressed in the sentiment of being “true blue.”
Benefits of green-coloured light therapy
Green is the universal healing colour. Green is midway in the colour 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 colour 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. Having both an energizing effect, moderating, or soothing effect. Green can help heal many illnesses of this nature, specifically including heart troubles, decreasing and stabilizing blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, headaches, nervous disorders and influenza, and acts as a general tonic.