Healing With Colour: Part-1

colours

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

There is positive evidence on the influence of colour has on our mood, emotion, mental performance and wellness. It is, therefore, not without reason that the importance of colour therapy is being increasingly recognised in the symptomatic treatment of several health disorders.

All of us know how colours affect our moods and emotions. This is not just an everyday observation, but a view that has been well-documented by way of scientific studies.

Sensitivity to colour is a major component of colour healing, or therapy. This form of treatment uses our sensitivity to colour to identify and correct imbalances in our internal bodily energy patterns that colour therapists relate to.

Colour therapy, in essence, aims to harmonise and enhance our body’s energy centres, or chakras in Sanskrit, by using the seven colours of the light spectrum, which are said to stimulate our body’s own healing process. Ancient wisdom also suggests that each of the seven colours reverberates with one of the seven chakras.

Colour therapists believe that since all matter is a form of energy, the application of energy to the body will have certain effects — both good and bad. Light, as all of us know, is a form of energy. Since it can be split into colours, it is possible for therapists to deliver this energy at precise levels, and in easily controlled ‘doses.’

Chakras Balanced

Colour therapy is said to balance the chakras in our body. In simple terms, each of the spectrum colours is basically light of varying wavelengths. This means that each colour has its own particular energy — where each of the spectrum colours vibrates with the energy of each of the seven chakras.

Therapists also observe that a sick person is lacking in one or more of the colour types. By restoring the correct energy balance by way of appropriate colours to the body, as therapists suggest, will correct physical and/or mental imbalance.

You may think of energy, or chakra, centres as a set of cogs in the wheel, where each cog, or wheel, needs to move smoothly, and at an identical speed for the engine to work appropriately. You get the point. Good, or optimal, health and wellness are achieved by the appropriate balance of all energies in the body — in other words, the smooth running of the wheels.

History Of Colour Therapy

The use of colour as a form of therapy has a long history. One can trace its origins from the healing temples of light and colour in ancient Egypt and also Greece. The ancients in Egypt used colour in all aspects of their lives, especially in the form of decorative drawings and hieroglyphics in their homes, burial chambers and, of course, temples. Archaeologists note that Egyptian temples often contained rooms that allowed the incoming rays of the sun to split into colours of the spectrum. It is suggested that this allowed Egyptian healers to ‘colour diagnose’ the sick, who were, thereafter, invited into a room which radiated with the suitable, or appropriate, colour for therapy.

Research also suggests that solarised water was often used in healing by ancient Egyptian physicians. The tradition is still in use and involves the shining of full-spectrum light through a glass of spring water. This ‘potion’ is prescribed to the patient in small doses over a specific period of time as detailed by the therapist. Most colour therapists today use a variety of treatment options apart from solarised water. This includes light boxes and lamps — fitted with colour filters — and, colour silks.

Aside from solarised water therapy, most ancient Egyptians used gems as part of their colour treatment plan. They believed, as do ancient and modern Ayurveda physicians in India, that gems contain pure, concentrated colour and, therefore, have a considerable effect on the body. It is also said that ancient Egyptian physicians used to ground gemstones into a powder and administer it to their patients — a practice that is also a part of Ayurveda medicine.

Ayurveda

Colour therapy is elementary to Ayurveda medicine. Ayurveda maintains that each of us wears a cover of many colours, which is in a state of continual change, subject to the individual’s physical, emotional and mental state. Ayurveda envisages that this colour coat is composed of seven bodies which merge with each other and, thereafter, constitute the aura, or the electromagnetic field, around each individual. Ayurveda physicians note that the densest of the layers, which is also the purest essence of all the aura layers, is the physical body. Each subsequent layer, they further note, tends to become refined. However, they are not usually visible following the eighth colour, even to specialists adept at seeing auras.

Ayurveda works in tune with our aura and seven charkas, or energy centres — in so doing, it helps correct imbalances in the body. A holistic form of therapy, Ayurveda looks at the whole being — body, mind and spirit — as one unit, not something related to a specific symptom and its mitigation. It is, therefore, not without reason that Ayurveda treatment also depends, in part, on colour therapy in the form of coloured gemstones or ‘light’ therapy.

To pick one example, violet relates to the crown chakra, while red connects to the base chakra. In colour therapy, colour is absorbed by the eyes, skin and skull. The energy of colour can affect us at all levels — physical, spiritual and emotional. Every cell in the body needs light energy — no wonder why colour energy, or therapy, has extensive effects on our whole body, or psyche.

Psychology Of Colour

What is life without colour? Colour is a fundamental part of our lives. We are continually fascinated by different colours, hues and tints, in the eye, as it were, although we do not always think of their influence. We may also rarely notice the colours around us. Research testifies that — consciously and subconsciously — colour affects our behaviour and moods, and our spirits. It lightens our world, or dulls it. In other words, it ‘controls’ the way we ‘view’ others and ourselves.

Let us look at how colours influence us — or, signify their psychological impact on our lives.

  • Red. A physical, energising and dynamic colour, red has the greatest emotional impact on our psyche and self-assertiveness. Its emotions cover love, passion and lust, not to speak of anger, rage and violence. The colour can, therefore, be related to being both warm and loving, or vicious and perilous. Red is used to treat anaemia, low energy, infertility or impotence, and low blood pressure. Complementary colour: turquoise.
  • Pink. A sensual or physical colour, pink is often associated with the colour of flesh. It is also the colour which celebrates the parenting impulse. However, the colour in its watery, or pale form, or as a light version of red, may also denote a flaw of character.
  • Yellow. A highly reflective colour, yellow is said to influence the mind to focus on creativity, hopefulness and self-worth. Yellow is also an intense and extremely extroverted colour in its brightest form. When the colour is loaded in all its wondrous golden hues, yellow is often linked to spring and autumn, capturing the grandeur of nature in its most beautiful form. Yellow is used to treat arthritis, rheumatic disorders, and stress. Complementary colour: violet.
  • Orange. Orange is said to be yellow’s mild cousin. The colour is often associated with happiness, elevated nature and spirit, not to speak of an extroverted disposition. When it is shaded with a light tinge of red, orange is said to enhance physical passion. Orange also suggests our basic instincts — the natural feeling to survive, the need for shelter, security and also food. Orange is used to treat depression, kidney and respiratory affections, including asthma and bronchitis. Complementary colour: blue.
  • Brown. A dark pigment of orange, brown is related to warmth and security. It mirrors the dark colour of earth. It is, therefore, said to denote a strong, firm, and practical shade. Think of coffee, or chocolate, and you will sure visualise brown as a luxurious colour.
  • Green. Green offers the perfect balance to our psyche. It is the most peaceful, or soft, colour to the eye. It is evidenced that the retina does not need to adjust to focus on it. This is one reason why nature is predominately green. The colour reflects a positive attitude of the mind; it also denotes a sense of security and stability. On the negative, or literal side, green is equated with envy, or jealousy. “Go green with envy.” Green is often used to balance both physical and mental imbalance. Complementary colour: magenta.
  • Blue. An extremely serene colour, blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is strongly associated with the intellect and also healing. While paler shades of blue suggest a cool, gentle and meditative disposition, the darker shades signify power and competence. Blue is used to counteract throat affections, asthma, stress-related disorders, and migraine. It has been used with considerable success in improving verbal skills. Complementary colour: orange.
  • Violet/Purple. Violet and purple connote the spiritual self. An amalgam of red and blue, violet/purple has traditionally been connected to royalty and religion. The two are also the most expensive dyes to manufacture. The two colours, singly or jointly, evoke peaceful reflection and a sense of high self-esteem. Violet/purple has been effectively used in the treatment of mental and nervous disorders — especially with symptoms connected to anxiety and hopelessness. Complementary colour: yellow.

[To read Part-2 of this article, go to ThinkWellness360 January 30, 2022]

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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