Colour therapy uses colour in a variety of ways to promote health and healing. It is a system of healing that dates back to ancient Egypt, when colour was used to treat a variety of illnesses. Although Sir Isaac Newton, in the late 17th century, identified that light is composed of a mixture of colours, real interest in the healing properties of light did not re-emerge until 1878, when Dr Edwin D. Babbit published Principles of Light and Colour.
Further research on the effects of colour on disease was carried out by Dr Sinsha P. Ghadiali (1873–1966), who developed a system of coloured filters that could be used for healing. In 1947, a Russian researcher, S. V. Krakov, conducted experiments on the ways in which colour affects the nervous system.
Krakov identified, for example, that red light stimulates the adrenal glands, raising the blood pressure and pulse rate, whereas blue or white light have a calming effect. Many recent studies have shown that full spectrum light is necessary for well-being, and it is often used to treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and other forms of depression.
According to ayurveda (the Indian therapy which is, probably, the oldest system of healing in the world) the body has seven energy centres, which are called chakras. Although the chakras cannot be seen, they have a very important role to play in our health and well-being.
Each chakra is linked to physical organs within the body as well as mental and emotional states. In addition, each chakra is linked to one of the colours of the visible spectrum. For example, the chakra at the top of the head is linked to the colour violet; the brow chakra is linked to indigo, the throat chakra is linked to blue, the heart chakra is linked to green, the solar plexus chakra is linked to yellow, the lower abdomen chakra is linked to orange and the chakra sited at the base of the spine is linked to red.
Colour practitioners take the view that a blocked or ailing chakra will result in the manifestation of a physical, mental or emotional imbalance or illness. The aim of colour therapy is to cleanse, open, balance and strengthen these seven energy centres and the physical organs to which each chakra is linked.
A consultation with a colour therapist will begin with the therapist taking notes about the client’s medical history, current medication (if any) and colour preferences. Depending on the nature of the problem, the client may be asked to remove their outer clothing and wear a robe. This is so that the therapist can use the appropriate colours directly on the client’s exposed skin. Some therapists shine beams of filtered light onto the area of the body being treated, some use flashing coloured lights and some therapists prefer to lay coloured silk or oils onto the appropriate areas of the client’s body.
In addition the therapist may suggest that, after the consultation, the client wears particular colours of clothing, eats foods of certain colours or even simply carries a certain coloured scarf with them at all times. A single consultation will take around an hour, and further sessions may be necessary.
Colour therapy is used to treat a range of illnesses including depression, stress, behavioural problems, high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, headaches, neck and back pain.
Clients report that the experience of having a colour therapy consultation is very relaxing and enjoyable and promotes feelings of well-being and increased vitality.
Because colour therapy is very gentle, it’s suitable for everyone including children and the elderly. If you have epilepsy and are affected by flashing lights, be sure to mention this to the therapist before the treatment starts so that an alternative method of applying colour can be used.
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