What Is Color Therapy?
Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, incorporates color into one’s treatment, whether it be through the use of colored lights, specific daily color choices (i.e., clothing, paint colors, etc.), or colored imagery. It is a practice rooted in ayurvedic medicine and is practiced globally, particularly in areas of Japan, India, and Egypt.
Color therapy can be helpful in the treatment of:
Seasonal affective disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
History of Color Therapy
The history of color therapy dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece, India, and China. These cultures focused on tapping into ayurvedic medicine and understanding the healing properties of colors. For example, many temples were built to reflect light in certain ways, and houses were painted to induce different energies and moods. In Indian culture, it is believed that colors are linked to one’s chakra. Thus, using colors in treatment can help align and fix a person’s chakras.
Types of Color Therapy
Including color therapy into your life does not need to be complicated. Think about it–we see colors everywhere, all of the time. Wearing particular clothes, looking at certain images, and colored light bulbs can make a difference in your mood and disposition throughout the day. Color therapists argue that each color elicits particular changes and are therefore used differently throughout treatment.
The types of color therapy include:
Red: The color red is a powerful color that increases energy by stimulating the lymphatic system. However, red may also trigger stress as it is often used to notate the end of something or alert someone of danger.
Orange: This color is often associated with one’s mind-body connection. Using this color in therapy may help with healing one’s relationship with food.
Yellow: Yellow is often associated with happiness because of the warmth that it brings. When a person is exposed to yellow, they feel safe; when they are safe, they are happy.
Green: Green is a natural color and commonly associated with grass, trees, and other vegetation. Thoughts of nature can help a person feel calmer and more relaxed.
Blue: Blue light wavelengths are shorter, thus increasing one’s sense of alertness. Blue light therapy can be used to help a person feel more focused.
Color Therapy Techniques
Color therapy can be introduced via one’s sense of touch and sight. This is due to the fact that natural light wavelengths directly influence these two senses within the brain.
Color therapy may be administered via:
Eyesight: This may be done by exposing a person to certain colors throughout the day, such as the paint colors in their home, the clothes they wear, or the color of light bulbs in their workplace.
Skin contact: Color therapy may be introduced in the form of face masks, sleeping bags, or other products that utilize colored LED lights. These amplify the appropriate colors in treatment depending on the desired outcome.
6 Benefits of Color Therapy
Color therapy has many benefits, especially in the treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and many other conditions. Furthermore, when we feel less anxious or sad, we may have more opportunities to improve other aspects of our lives.
Here are six possible benefits of color therapy:
1. Stress Management
Stress management can be tough. We are constantly dealing with life struggles, which can ultimately negatively affect both our minds and bodies. Color therapy helps you decrease the impacts of this stress through mood boosting properties. You can adopt color therapy practices as a stress management skill by simply changing the colors in your surroundings.
2. Decreased Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
When addressing seasonal affective disorder (SAD), color therapists focus on using colors to elevate dopamine levels that may be depleted during the winter season. During this period, days are typically shorter and darker. By changing the colors that surround a person, whether it by wearing brighter colors or introducing special lights, an individual is able to bring warmth and comfort back into their home despite the changing seasons.
3. Improved Sleep
Insomnia can greatly impact a person. Chromotherapy can help a person identify certain colors that make them feel more relaxed at night, thus positively impacting their sleep patterns. For example, limiting blue light before bed is important.
4. Energy Rejuvenation
Being exposed to happy, bright colors can help a person feel more rejuvenated, because they increase mental brain activity. Therefore, a person is more energized and ready to go about their day. This can be helpful when dealing with the low-energy levels associated with depression.
5. Reduced Anger
Color therapy can help reduce a person’s anger, as it works to create environments that elicit feelings of calm and happiness, rather than aggression. Try including pops of bright colors like yellow or orange in your home or as a part of your daily attire.
6. Improved Relationships
When a person is dealing with excessive stress or sadness, their communication with others may not be the greatest. Because color therapy is believed to help replace such emotions with positive ones, a person may be more open to socialization. Therefore, they can work to further develop their current relationships or seek new ones.
Is Color Therapy a Good Fit for Me?
If you have not responded well to other treatment modules, color therapy may be beneficial. Considering a more holistic approach is never a bad idea, but it’s important to consult with a clinician who specializes in color therapy to determine if it’s a good fit for you. Everyone reacts differently to therapy, so you should not expect to experience the same results as another person.