Colour Therapy and Healing
I have always loved playing around with colour. During my art college years I would sit for hours just mixing paint and staring in awe at how the hues and tones changed, sometimes subtley and sometimes drastically. So much so that I would find myself gasping outloud. One colour in particular has always made me stop in my tracks, wherever I have seen it. (Not often though, it's quite rare!) It's a kind of violet, but not purple. Not blue and not lilac....I don't know why, it just puts me in a state of deep meditation! It engulfs me.
<----it's this one here! it took me ages to find
I posted in my blog about my favourite colour. I believe there are two ways of looking at your favourite colour. On one hand, it describes you as a person, your character. Now this can change over time, we all evolve and that's why people may change their favourite colours throughout their lives. On the other hand, it may denote what you are lacking in your life. For example I have a tendency to open all the curtains as wide as possible if I feel low. I need the sun, I need yellow. I would probably say that yellow was my 'favourite' colour at that moment in time because I need it emotionally.
Lately I have been lusting after a certain green as well, but I don't know what it's called. Here it is on the walls, I find it so relaxing. I need to chill out!
Imagine a room in both these colours.....
So, anyway, let's get to the fun part, talking about how colour can make a huge difference to our lives. I have been reading a lot about this lately, I think that being a painter, the effect that my use of colour has on people is very important.
So what is colour?
Colour is simply light of varying wavelengths and, as such, is a form of energy. Within the visible spectrum of wavelengths, we have different colours. The longest are the reds and the shortest are the purples, with the other colours falling inbetween with their order of wavelength. On either end of the spectrum are infrared and ultraviolet lights which are also perceptible by other creatures such as snakes and honey bees.
Microwaves and X-rays can destroy living things and the sun has the power to destroy with its long and short waves. These are filtered out by the ozone layer which is being destroyed. The sun is ultimately a life giver and healer and was worshipped as such by the Ancients. This is why Yellow is the most uplifting colour of all.
The use of Colour as a Therapy is a truly holistic, non-invasive and powerful therapy which dates back thousands of years; evidence of this can be found in ancient texts from India, China and Egypt.
This light energy affects all living cells (as we all know, without light all living things are affected). Used in the right way, these different frequencies of light, i.e. colour, can have a profound and healing effect on all creation, human or otherwise. It is a well know scientific fact that everything has a vibration, that is to say that all things have their own vibration/frequency, and that includes us.
The Human body responds to colour through its various vibrations which correspond with the body's vibrations. Each part of the body resonates to a different colour, so when we are ill or emotionally troubled, we can use the appropriate colours to harmonize our vibrations and restore balance.
The general associations of the colours are as follows. (It gets more complicated as you look into hues, combinations of colours and each colour sending more than one signal. Some colours send positive signals, the others send negative ones.)
Reds, oranges and yellows are WARM and give a feeling of ENERGY, EXCITEMENT and JOY. Here in Van Gogh's painting 'Cafe Terrace at Night,' he deliberately uses indigo and blues for the night sky which juxtapose directly with the yellows and oranges of the candlelight. It makes you feel so warm and secure. You want to BE in that cafe!
Blues, indigos and purples are CALMING and COOLING. They QUIETEN the temperament and induce RELAXATION. However, too much can make us feel depressed and sad, as in Picasso's painting 'The Tragedy':
When we are well and healthy we will probably like most colours, but emotional and physical problems will tend to bring out preferences as I mentioned before. Another example is being attracted to red when you feel exhausted or run down, and blues when you need to rest and heal.
Colour Therapy Techniques
There are a number of different ways in which light and colour can be used to promote healing. Here are a few that you can use to bring the healing energy of colour into your life.
- The application of coloured light is the technique most often used today by physicians and practitioners of colour therapy. Healing is encouraged by directing specific colours or frequencies of light towards the diseased areas of the body or by treating the chakras.
- Colour is often used in a variety of ways during meditation. Some practitioners have their clients focus on colours with specific therapeutic properties. Others have their clients focus their minds on a descending colour ladder to calm the body and promote relaxation, while others have them focus on an ascending ladder to open and activate the chakras.
- Colour breathing involves visualising the inhalation of specific colours according to the benefit sought. Visit this website to read about how to do colour breathing http://www.colourtherapyhealing.com/colour_therapy/colour_breathing.php
- “Solar elixirs", or sun-charged water, is an old science that still shows benefits today. Water is stored in a bottle of a particular colour and exposed to the sun allowing the sun’s rays to pass through the coloured glass into the water. It is believed the solarised water gains the properties of that colour. Drinking this energised water is recommended for various aliments.
- Gems or crystals can also be placed in a clear bottle filled with water and exposed to the sun. The water then takes on the properties of not only the crystal, but of the crystal’s colour. You can also hold the appropriate colour crystal in your hand, place on the area of the body that is not feeling well, or simply carry a crystal around with you in your purse or bag. You will absorb the energy of the crystal this way. I carry my Rose Quartz around with me and hold it when I am feeling a little lonely. It gives a warm glow, almost like a hug. It is also used to attract love.
- Colour therapy can also include diet therapy. Here clients are advised to consume fruits and vegetable of the color they lack in their systems. For example, someone who is deficient in red energy and is suffering from anemia is advised to eat red colored foods such as beets, tomatoes and plums. The colour yellow is said to help eliminate excess body fat and orange will help the body absorb nutrients from food. It's a good idea to wear bright coloured clothing such as yellow and orange while exercising as these colours keep up energised and pepped up.
- Clothes of a particular colour can be worn to increase its vibration in our daily lives. Psychologically, the colour has a profound effect on the person wearing the clothes and also on other people who come into contact with that person.
- Colour in art work and paintings. You don't have to be a skilled artist to be able to make art to enhance your mood or heal a physical ailment. Making small cards covered with the relevant colours for that day, such as yellow and orange to encourage a bright outlook, can be enough. Put them on your desk or stick them on your computer so your eyes are drawn to them regularly.
- The most obvious and effective way of surrounding yourself with colour vibrations is in home decor. I will write about this in more detail later on, but here are a few basics to start thinking about. Blending colours successfully and chosing the correct 'mood' for each living space is very important to the wellbeing of a family and the visitors to the home. For example it would be a great idea to have a hue of purple, violet or lilac in a bedroom as this colour eleviates problems of insomnia and aids relaxation. Red is not a great choice as it stimulates the senses and can cause aggression. Not the right mood for a good night's rest.
Let's start looking at the colours individually and see what their basic characteristics are:
How does it make you feel?
Me... Chillaxed, mystical and very thoughtful.
Purple is known to be the 'spiritual master', the visionary, working with the highest level of thought, seeing and hearing without using the physical senses and the encompassment of psychic perception. It is the colour of the brain and is favoured by artists. It is the great protector and a comforting cloak of security. Doesn't the sky in the photo above make you feel comforted and protected?
artistic, psychic, mystic, boundless, comforting, thoughtful
Parts of the Body:
top of head, the brain, the scalp & pineal gland
Uses of Purple:
It is a heavy colour, and so should be used sparingly. Due to its potency to do with thought and mysticism, it can lead to depression if over used. Too much purple suppresses emotions or provokes excessive feelings of arrogance. Balance it with yellow or gold.
It encourages us to consider things from all angles, think about deeper subjects in our lives and to look into mysticism and higher consciousness. It may help us to trust our instincts and receive guidance from Spirit.
Physically, exposing ourselves to purple can help with internal inflammations and for decreasing blood pressure and stabilising heart palputations. It is a relaxing colour and eases headaches and irritations of the scalp. Anyone with a nervous disposition can benefit from purple as it's a relaxant and a comforter. It eleviates insomnia and migraines.
Purple and The Crown Chakra
Violet is associated with the crown chakra, or the energy centre at the top of the head. It’s said to increase intuition, calm psychological disorders and balance physical and spiritual energies. It has been called the colour of wisdom.
Rooms to decorate purple:
Purple is the color of meditation so it works well in rooms where you want to think introspectively, like bedrooms, studies or libraries.