What is Chromotherapy?
Everyone knows the colors of the rainbow, but did you know that each color holds special benefits to your mental and physical health?
Colors are powerful. They affect our emotions, our mood, and how our body responds to the different colors is really the benefits everyone is seeking when they use Chromotherapy.
So what is it exactly? Chromotherapy is another name for color light therapy. Light therapy has been around since ancient times. Color light therapy is more modern, well relatively modern. In 1810, Johann Wolfgang con Goethe published his discoveries on how color affects psychological perceptions and psychological conditions. In the late 1800s, scientists Dr. Seth Pancoast and Edwin D. Babbitt published research 'Principles of Light and Color' (published in 1878), detailed many case histories successfully treated with color therapy using even a rudimentary device: a colored glass bottle.
The benefits of this science have been studied and used for centuries (dating back to Mayan times and used all over the world including China, India, and Egypt) and used widely today for a variety of purposes. You may even have heard of certain colors being used in logos or marketing to elicit a certain response for buyers. Or perhaps you know of a baby who needed to remain 'under the lights' due to jaundice?
How Do Colored Lights Affect Our Bodies?
There are actually several possible answers to this question.
The first and probably best known is sunlight, by exposure of the skin, is production of vitamin D though it is generated by a higher frequency (ultraviolet) rather than visible light.
The second is blue light therapy for neonatal jaundice. Light applied to the skin causes a chemical reaction (photo-oxidation) in blood circulating under the skin, effectively lessening bilirubin levels with the aid of the liver.
Third is light energy entering through the eyes. Light exposure, even a single proton of light, can light up the entire brain. This light triggers the hypothalamus, which regulates all life-sustaining bodily functions, the autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, and the pituitary is well-known to cause a beneficial change in "seasonal affective disorder" (SAD), a condition believed to be caused by insufficient light energization through the eyes to the hypothalamus thence to the pituitary gland which controls the endocrine system.
Fourth is if you subscribe to Chinese medicine, you will look to the organs and what color they represent.
The Five Colors of Chinese medicine:
- Black/Blue: Kidney organ system, bladder, water, fear
- Green: Liver organ system, gallbladder, wood, anger
- Red: Heart organ system, small intestine, fire, joy
- Yellow: Spleen organ system, stomach, earth, worry
- White: Lung organ system, large intestine, metal, grief
When a particular organ or system is underactive, its energy decreases, so the appropriate activating color is projected on the affected area (sometimes the entire body). If overactivity is present, the obvious remedy is an opposite (depressant) color.
Benefits of Color Therapy
- Pain Relief by Reduced Swelling and Decreased Inflammation: Applying color light therapy to swollen or inflamed areas has been known to help relax the muscles and reverse irritation.
- Accelerated Healing: Color light treatment helps accelerate the body's ability to repair itself. Chromotherapy has been used in the healing of post-surgical scars, burns, wounds, and more.
- Increased Range of Motion: Treatments that utilize chromotherapy lights help lubricate joints and relax the surrounding muscles, resulting in increased range of motion. This results in many benefits, including improved flexibility and injury prevention.
- Decreased Muscle Tension: When applied to tight and tense muscle areas, color light therapy helps dissolve knots and tension to relax the body. As a result, reduced stress is a collateral benefit of color light therapy.
- Improved Circulation: Since different colors vibrate at different frequencies, certain colors can have similar effects as heat and can affect your body’s circulation. This chromotherapy benefit is enhanced when used in conjunction with an infrared sauna.
- Regulated Mood and Relief of Seasonal Affective Disorder: Each color in the spectrum elicits a specific feeling or response, one of which is regulated moods. Using light to stimulate our endocrine systems naturally regulates hormonal imbalances, mood changes, and even depression.
- Improved Sleeping Patterns: Mood regulation and muscle relaxation can result in improved sleeping patterns among persons that participate in color light therapy. Combining chromotherapy with sauna use can enhance this benefit even further.
- Anti-Aging Benefits: Color light therapy energizes skin cells and reinvigorates inactive skin cells. This results in a boost in collagen production. A boost in collagen gives the skin a smooth appearance and improves its elasticity.
What Conditions Can Chromotherapy Improve?
Studies have proven that chromotherapy has tremendous effects on diseases such as:
- Cancer, especially breast cancer (red)
- Hematoma (red)
- Hepatitis B (combination of various lights)
- Hypertension (blue light)
- Neonatal jaundice (blue light)
- Peptic ulcer disease (yellow light)
- Depression and stress, migraine (green light),
- Hyperthyroidism (violet/blue light)
- Alopecia (violet)
- Color blindness (blue/ green)
- Skin infections, especially cutaneous leishmaniasis (blue and red).