Saturday, August 07, 2010

Chromotherapy


Chromotherapy is the use of color and light to bring health and balance into one's life. As a psychologist, I feel that there are many ways to create a sense of well being. I'm open to all kinds of experiences, and like to hear when people try something new that has been meaningful to them.

Chromotherapy has been around since ancient times. Notably, Egyptians built solarium rooms with colored glass to achieve certain therapeutic benefits. The sun would shine through the glass and flood an ill person with color.

Today, there are many practitioners who use color and light in interesting ways. Some Color Therapists have a box with a mechanism that flickers light into the eyes. They report success in speeding the recovery of stroke victims and people who experience chronic depression. Other Color Therapists recommend the wearing of eyeglasses with colored lenses to achieve benefits of color exposure. Another kind of color therapy example is the practice of Feng Shui, where color is strategically placed into your home and work spaces for optimum balance of energy[1].

Using Chromotherapy doesn't only involve bathing yourself in color in a physical sense. Another form of Chromotherapy is "Color Breathing"[2]. This is a meditative practice that can easily be performed before going to sleep, or when waking in the morning, at work or at home.


With "Color Breathing" you choose a color to suit your needs. Simply hold the color in your mind's eye. Then, as you inhale a deep, slow breath through your nose, you visualize that color. Imagine where you've seen this color before. Imagine the deepness of its hue. Allow yourself to linger in the color in your mind's eye. Then you exhale slowly through your mouth, continuing to visualize and experience the color.

Breathing Colors

Red: Increase energy and power. It has been known to affect the heart by increasing pulse rate, and the muscles by increasing their tension. Red influences vitality and increases body temperature. Red is often associated with excitement and sensuality.

Orange: Has been known to help reduce procrastination, improve attention, stimulate creative thinking and enthusiasm.

Yellow: Like the sun, yellow strongly stimulates happiness, brings on a sense of security, as well as a strong feeling of well-being.

Green: Regulates the pituitary gland, fights depression, bulimia, and other psychosomatic conditions affecting the gastric system. It is useful in calming the nervous system, fights irritability, insomnia and can be used to assist in reducing anxiety.

Turquoise: Improve immune system, increases intuition and sensitivity.
Turquoise is important for respiratory system and in strengthening the metabolism.

Blue: Is one of the best colors to calm, soothe and relax. It has been used to reduce high blood pressure, slow breathing and heart rates.

Purple: Deep hues of this color have been used to Boost self worth, decreases sensitivity to pain, and help with detoxification.

Pink: Helps to heal grief and sadness. Induces a sense of youthfulness.

White: Provides energy and balance by stimulating the production of serotonin, a substance which regulates both sleep and the nervous system.

Black: Is a power color and can bring authority. It can also provide protection, calm, and silence.

Brown: Increases decisiveness and concentration. This color also provides stability, grounding, conservation, protection. Brown can help awaken common sense and discrimination. It brings us back down to earth.


Do you have a favorite color?







Footnotes:
[1] Institute for Chromotherapy - http://www.ifct.net/
[2] About.com "Color Therapy" accessed @ http://healing.about.com/


10 comments:

Xmichra said...

Very interesting, and it makes sense to me.

Many years ago I saught treatment from dreaming. I just plain didn't want to any more. More and more they were becoming scarily accurate in living days, and it was almost like premonition... and never in a good way.

So, I went to a therapist who taught me something similar to this, to blank out my mind so that I wouldn't have any thoughts prior to sleeping. The theory was that I was projecting things that I had thought would happen, by my mind racing at night before I went to sleep.

I was told to imagine a really bright white light (when i was ready to go to sleep, in bed and laying down) and hold that thought, nothing else, for as long as possible. I was to start dimming the light, and if I started thinking of anything else, turn the light back up and stat over.

Took some getting used to, but I can do it really well now (I have had quite a few years under my belt though). I can honestly say that this helped me to effectively block negative dreams, and have recomended it to people who have also said it works really well. If you can concentrate that well, in a medatative state that is.

Deb said...

I wonder if there are any colors that resembles something of a negative nature. I know we wanna think "positive" here, but just curious... I thought black would have had a 'darker' meaning... But I have heard that it does signify authority.

Interesting!

Dr. Deb said...

Xmichra,
You can teach your mind to do many things and this is a great example. So great that you're not scared by those dreams.

Deb,
I'm sure color can be negative. Maybe if the hue is too intense or pale. I remember a pale green lunchroom from grade school that made the walls look like they were dirty. Needless to say, lunchtime wasn't fun.

Ian Lidster said...

If I am stressed or upset, orange is my 'comfort' color. And, as a male, I am almost wary to suggest that pink also works for me.

Dr. Deb said...

Ian,
It takes a confident and secure man to embrace the color pink. Say it loud and proud, my friend!

purple cupcakes said...

red is our favourite colour. wonder if thats because of repressed rage. But we know that blue and green in therapy is safe for us. As for yellow most teddy bears are coloured yellow because it makes you feel serene.

Jade said...

This was an interesting post Deb! Chromotherapy is often used with individuals with spectrum disorders to help regulate sensory. I often find it helpful for myself as well. I respond really well to green when feeling down or anxious. Interestingly enough, I also respond well to black.. One would think that it might cause depression or negative thought, but for me its calming.. Wonder if thats across the board or just me?
Hope you're doing well!

Anonymous said...

i like blue. black too.

::jeremy::

Dr Vegas said...

Interesting article. Next time I have an assignment to complete and am have left it too late, I'll surround myself with orange and see if it helps!

Jon said...

Wow! A "light" just went on for me! I have chronic pain, FM, CFS and do so much better in the summer. My pain areas in my body drop by 75%. I am drawn to light. I take D3 and my levels are optimal. I knew the sun provided something else my body was craving and started researching. I started studying chromotherapy and had an aha moment. I am currently chasing the last areas of sunshine in my area. I live on the west side of the Cascades but spending a couple weeks on the sunny east side in the desert presently. I am going to invest in the light therapy devices for the long cloudy rainy season as I think that will help.
Sincerely,
Jon