What Is Color Therapy?

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What Is Color Therapy?

Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is a form of therapy that uses color and light to treat certain mental and physical health conditions. We can trace this form of therapy back to the ancient Egyptians. They made use of sun-filled rooms with colored glasses for therapeutic purposes.

Although color therapy has gained some popularity over the years, it’s still not a widely accepted form of therapy in Western medicine. Many medical experts consider it to be rather experimental.

The basis of color therapy is that different colors evoke different responses from every individual. People find specific colors therapeutic or stimulating. Experts who believe in this theory believe that color can positively impact us in several ways and help with a host of conditions.

At some point, we’ve all experienced the premise of color therapy. For some people, seeing the green in nature on their daily run is an instant mood booster or they instantly feel a little better wearing a favorite yellow dress. The practice of color therapy can also be traced to Indian origin. According to Indian philosophy, the seven main colors on the color wheel enhance our body’s chakras. 

Types of Color Therapy 

In color therapy, different colors are thought to be able to treat various conditions. Color therapists believe that a lack of a particular color in your body might be responsible for your living condition. Here’s a list of the most common colors used during color therapy and how we can use them.

  • Red: Red is used to energize or invigorate a person who might be feeling tired or down. However, red may also trigger people who might already be tense, which is why it’s used carefully in color therapy.
  • Blue: Chromatherapists use blue to treat depression and pain. Darker shades of blue are also thought to have sedative properties and may be helpful for people who experience insomnia or other sleeping disorders. 
  • Green: Green is the color of nature, and according to chromatherapists, it can help relieve stress and relax a person. 
  • Yellow: Yellow can be used to improve your mood and make you happy and optimistic. 
  • Orange: Orange, much like yellow, can be used to elicit happy emotions from people. The bright warm color is also thought to be able to stimulate appetite and mental activity.

Techniques 

There are two major techniques of color therapy. It can either be done through sight, that is, by looking at a particular color in hopes that your body elicits the desired response, or by directly reflecting certain colors on parts of the body in hopes that it can help treat a particular ailment.

Color therapists believe that color can enter our bodies either through our eyes or skin. Each color we can see has its wavelength and unique frequency. Each unique frequency has a different effect on people and is used for different purposes. Warm colors are typically used for stimulating effects, while cool colors are used for calming effects. 

What Color Therapy Can Help With

Color therapy has a host of uses. There’s some evidence to suggest that it can help with some of the following conditions:

Color therapy is a form of alternative medicine treatment, and a lot more research still needs to be done into its effectiveness in treating the above conditions.

There is currently no research to support that color therapy can solely be used as an effective treatment for any of these conditions. 

Benefits of Color Therapy 

Over the decades, color therapy has been proven to have several benefits ranging from physical to mental. Some benefits that one might receive from color therapy include: 

  • Stress relief: Certain colors like blue and green can have soothing effects on people who are stressed or anxious
  • Boost your appetite: Warm and stimulating colors could boost your appetite when you struggle with having a desire for food. 
  • Alleviate seasonal affective disorder: People mainly suffer from seasonal affective disorder during colder weather because of the lack of sunlight and having to spend longer periods indoors. Warm colors like yellow and orange could help to alleviate symptoms of this condition. 
  • To boost your energy: Colors such as red and yellow have been proven to boost your energy and make you more motivated. 

Effectiveness 

The effectiveness of chromotherapy as an alternative medicine system has been debated over the years. While some people believe that it can treat both mental and physical conditions, others believe that this is only a myth.

In a 2015 study about the effectiveness of chromotherapy as a treatment option, researchers found that chromotherapy had positive effects on conditions like cancer, hypertension, skin infections, and depression.

In a small 2019 study on the effectiveness of color therapy as an alternative treatment for anxiety in students, researchers found that it was able to relax and reduce anxiety among the students who participated in the study.

Things to Consider 

A lot more research needs to be done to understand how color therapy works and the effectiveness of this form of therapy. It’s important to know that it’s not a treatment for many disorders and conditions. Speak to a doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of debilitating conditions like severe depression or insomnia.

While the premise of color therapy is that certain colors elicit specific emotions from most people, this doesn’t always work. Human beings are unique. The effects of certain colors on people may range from person to person. Colors most people might find calming or soothing might be anxiety-inducing or depressing to others. 

How to Get Started

While the science behind color therapy is still largely unexplored, it’s completely harmless to practice color therapy on your own. Here are some ways you can get started with experimenting with color therapy: 

  • Take a test. If chromotherapy intrigues you, you could start by doing some research or talking to a licensed chemotherapist. These will help you figure out colors that balance your physical and mental well-being.
  • Get rid of blue lights at nighttime for better sleep. Research shows that the blue light in your laptops, phones, and televisions can affect your circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep quality. Wearing anti-blue light glasses or turning the settings on your gadgets to warmer yellow tones has been found to help. 
  • Bask in nature. Studies show that the greens of leaves and grass we get in abundance in nature positively relax us.
  • Be intentional about color choices. When picking colors for anything, from the color of the walls in your room to the color of clothes you wear, choose colors that you find stimulating or elicit positive emotions.

It’s important to note that color therapy doesn’t serve as a definitive treatment for mental or health conditions. If you are experiencing a condition such as depression or a mood disorder, it’s important to speak to your doctor about it. 

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Article Sources
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