"I'm green with envy," "I saw red", "I'm feeling blue," "He turned purple with rage," "She was pink with embarrassment" You may not have noticed, but we often use colours to describe our moods and emotions. But according to practitioners of colour therapy, the link between colours and our moods and emotions goes deeper than that. They believe that not only do colours affect our emotions, but they have healing properties. According to them, every colour in the light spectrum vibrates at a different frequency. The faster the vibration, the warmer the colour and the slower the vibration, the cooler the colour. For instance, red is a warm colour, while blue is cool.
This is not a new-fangled theory, but one that has been practiced as far back in time as the Egyptian civilization. In ancient Egypt, people often immersed themselves in vats of coloured pigment as a curative measure. In ancient times, there were great halls with coloured glass panels or windows where people would stand and be bathed in the light that filtered in.
The practice of colour therapy
Followers of this alternative method of healing emphasize that colour therapy should only be performed by experts who know what colour or mixture of colours is required for the cure of an illness. There are no standard rules. Colours that work for one person need not necessarily be as effective for another person. In addition, it is believed that overexposure to certain colours can lead to side effects.
Colour therapy can be practiced in the following ways:
- Coloured light bulbs and coloured glass windows can be used as part of the therapy.
- Some therapists ask their clients to visualize colours under the effect of hypnosis.
- Other experts make suggestions about the colour of the food a person should eat, the colour of his clothes and even the colour of his surroundings.
- Solarized water can be used as a healing tonic. In this method, purified water is filled in a clear container of the presribed colour and left out in the sun for a couple of hours. The sun's rays filter through the coloured glass container and energize the water with the vibration of the prescribed colour.
The colour red represents vitality, creativity, energy and power. People who favour the colour red are usually those that like to be in the forefront where they can attract a lot of attention. They are often quick to react and overemotional.
This colour helps to loosen stiffness and restraints. It stimulates the release of adrenalin in the bloodstream and causes haemoglobin to multiply. Hence, it results in greater strength and energy and is good for treating anaemia and other blood-related conditions. Red can also make you feel warmer, reducing pain that comes from the cold. It also helps for people who are feeling lethargic or depressed.
However, an excess of red can make a person agitated and aggressive. While it may excite sexual passion, it can also lead to anger and destructive behaviour. It is not recommended to be used for people who have heart trouble or who have a nervous disposition.
Like red, orange is also an energising colour. Used in moderation, it has a gentle warming effect. It is useful in treating gallstones, digestive ailments, chest and kidnet diseases and arthritis. It helps to lift the spirits of people who are depressed, lonely, who feel hemmed in or who feel that their lives lack direction. However, too much orange can lead to agitation and restlessness like the colour red.
People attracted to the colour yellow usually have sunny dispositions and are good communicators who love to talk. Those who prefer the stronger shades of yellow often tend to be arrogant or conceited, while those who are drawn to the more pastel shades of yellow may be timid.
Yellow stimulates the intellect and has a generally cheering effect. It has been found to be useful in facilitating the digestive process and in curing skin problems. However, like red and orange, it is not recommended for people experiencing great stress. Overstimulation could result in exhaustion and depression.
The colour green represents balance, harmony and hope. People who favour the yellower tones of green are usually adventurous in nature, while those who prefer the bluer tones of green tend to be optimists. If green is your colour, remember to add a little red or orange to your surroundings to liven things up a little.
Green helps to calm frazzled nerves and is good for people with heart conditions. It stimulates growth and therefore helps to heal broken bones and facilitates the regrowth of tissue. It is recommended for pregnant women to create a serene atmosphere.
However, too much green can bring on a sense of lethargy as the person settles into a state of tranquility almost approaching stagnation. A person tends to become complacent as he does not feel a sense of challenge or a need to strive towards any goal.
Blue is the colour of truth, nobility and serenity. It has a cooling, soothing and calming effect. Blue-coloured clothes should be worn to combat the heat in the summer. It helps for people who are feeling frightened or flustered. Meditating on the clour blue before one sleeps helps to ward off mightmares.
In the physical sense, blue is useful in bringing down a fever. It helps to stop bleeding, is good for burns and can cure a sore throat. It is recommended for people suffering from shock, inflammation and nervous breakdowns. It is not advisable for people with bad circulation.
However, blue can be calming to the point of having a sedative effect. It can make a person passive and easily led or taken advantage of. An overdose of blue can make you feel cold, sad and depressed.
The colour indigo is associated with the mysterious and the profound. People attracted to this colour usually look beyond the surface of things. They are drawn to higher things, sometimes even the occult.
Indigo stimulates the intellect. It gives a person a sense of courage, authority and inner calmness.
At the physical level, indigo purifies the blood. It is useful in treating diseases of the ear, nose and eyes and for sinus problems. It is also used for curing varicose veins, diseases of the nervous system, boils and ulcers, and skin disorders.
An excess of indigo can give you a headache and make you feel sleepy.
Violet is a very powerful colour and has strong links with creativity. It is said that Leonardo da Vinci meditated upon it and that Beethoven had violet curtains. Those drawn to this colour are often shy.
It is useful in treating people who are excessively emotionally agitated. It also helps compulsive eaters to calm down and control their compulsion to eat.
The creative energy unleashed by this colour is often too much to handle and if not channelized properly can make a person feel quite ill. It is not advisable for clinically depressed individuals.