The History of Color Light Therapy
Color Light therapy is a technique of restoring imbalance by means of applying color to the body. Its history is rooted as far back as the Mayan culture.
In India, Ayurveda, an ancient form of medicine practiced for thousands of years, is based on the idea that every individual contains five elements of the universe which are present in specific proportions unique to each individual, including their personality type and constitution. When these elements are out of balance, Ayurveda works with the energies inherent in the colors of the spectrum to restore this balance.
In ancient Egypt the art of healing with color was founded in the Hermetic tradition, the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used colored minerals, stones, crystals, salves, and dyes as remedies, and painted treatment sanctuaries in various shades of color.
In China, traditional Chinese medicine incorporates color to be associated with each organ and elemental system. This healing method looks at the idea that every individual is a balance.
The first color wheel was invented by Sir Isaac Newton. He split white sunlight into red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, and blue. He then joined the two ends of the color spectrum together to show the natural progression of colors.
Light Therapy has been valued throughout history as a remarkable source of healing. Today, the therapeutic applications of light and color are being investigated in major hospitals and research centers worldwide. Results indicate that full-spectrum, ultraviolet, colored, and laser light can have therapeutic value for a range of conditions from chronic pain and depression to immune disorders.
Light Therapy has been reported to reduce swelling, relieve pain, decrease inflammation, accelerate open wound healing and greatly reduce overall recovery after medical/surgical procedures. Patients have demonstrated increased range of motion, decreased muscle tension and spasm, and improved circulation.
Rejuvenating LED light therapy can be used for pain management such as joint and back pain, sore or torn muscles, sprains, arthritis, post-surgical scars, burns, wounds and more. When used with infrared technology, light therapy (phototherapy) is one of the most effective and noninvasive ways to repair the body.
Light therapy is also used to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD effects individuals when the lack of sunlight results in seasonal depression. Phototherapy helps with SAD by resetting the internal biological clock (Circadian rhythms), helping individuals sleep better and regulate their mood. Even companies, such as GE and Philips, have created phototherapeutic product to improve and regulate mood.
Light therapy is also a growing treatment for anti-aging. Many individuals have seen a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and age spots.
Light therapy is “effective at improving the appearance of the face, neck and chest by reducing the signs of aging, wrinkles and age spots”, says Web M.D. Combined with infrared therapy, LED phototherapy can be a great way to revitalize skin. Light therapy energizes skin cells, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, giving skin back it’s youthful look.
Healing With Color
Color is light; split into different wavelengths vibrating at different speeds and at different frequencies. Objects that ABSORB all wavelengths and DO NOT reflect are black in nature. Objects that REFLECT all wavelengths and DO reflect are white in nature. Between black and white lies COLOR. Colors are wavelengths of energy that, to us, appear as color because of the potential and capabilities of the object to either absorb or reflect the energy.
Red is called “The Great Energizer.” It loosens, releases stiffness and constrictions. It is excellent for areas that have become stiffened. Red is the first visible color we see after the infrared band is passed. It promotes cellular growth, stimulating the “will” aspect, or the circulatory system. It is therefore indicated for all colds, sluggish or dormant conditions, such as pneumonia, arthritis, anemia, as a liver stimulant, an energy builder, and for increasing circulation. Red links with and stimulates the base of the spine, causing the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. This results in greater strength. Red causes hemoglobin to multiply, thus increasing energy raising body temperature conditions as it stimulates sensory nerves such as hearing, taste, smell, and activates metabolism. It is excellent for anemia or blood-related conditions.
Yellow helps awaken mental inspiration arousing higher mentality. Thus, it is an excellent color for nervous or nerve-related conditions or ailments; fueling the solar plexus. Yellow has a very enriching effect upon the intellect. Yellow can be used for conditions of the stomach, liver, and intestines. It can help the pores of the skin by repairing scarred tissue. These rays have an alkalizing effect which strengthens the nerves. Awakening, inspiring and vitally stimulating the higher mind promoting self-control. Typical diseases treated by yellow are constipation, gas, liver troubles, diabetes, eczema and nervous exhaustion. Providing clarity of thought, increasing awareness, stimulating interest and curiosity yellow energy is related to the ability to perceive or understand. The yellow energy connects us to our mental self.
Green is the universal healing color. Green is midway in the color spectrum; therefore, it contains both a physical nature and a spiritual nature, in equal balance and in equal harmony. Thus, green can be used for just about any condition in need of healing. When in doubt, green will always work. Help relax muscles, nerves, and thoughts. The color green cleanses and balances our energy, to give a feeling of renewal, peace and harmony. Used primarily for balancing our whole being It is neither relaxing nor astringent in its impact. In a more practical sense, green affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. Having both an energizing effect, moderating, or soothing effect. Green can help heal many illnesses of this nature, specifically including heart troubles, decreasing and stabilizing blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, headaches, nervous disorders and influenza, and acts as a general tonic.
Blue on the other hand, is at the opposite end of the visible spectrum. Blue can be used for any type of ailments associated with speech, communication, or the throat. This is a mentally relaxing color. Blue has a pacifying effect on the nervous system encouraging great relaxation. It is ideal for sleep problems. Blue light connects us to holistic thought, and gives us wisdom and clarity enhancing communication and speech. Relaxing, soothing blue rays bring great calm and peace to the mind that is worried, excited, or in a constant nervous state. It is a very positive color, indicating loyalty and reliability, as expressed in the sentiment of being “true blue.”
Orange has a freeing action upon the mind, relieving repression. Because orange is a blend of red and yellow, it combines physical energy with mental wisdom, inducing a transformation between lower physical reaction and higher mental response. Thus, it is often referred to as “The Wisdom Ray.” Orange is warm, cheering, and non-constricting. Through orange, we are able to heal the physical body (red) and, at the same time, induce within the mind (yellow) greater understanding. Orange helps assimilate new ideas. Orange is the best emotional stimulant, helping to remove inhibitions paving independent social behavior. Bring joy to your workday and strengthen your appetite for life. Orange aids in repairing inflammation of the kidneys, gallstones, menstrual cramps, epilepsy, wet cough and all sinus conditions.
Violet is the last color we can see before light passes on to ultra-violet. This color is an excellent remedy for neurosis, diseases of the scalp, sciatica, tumors, rheumatism, cerebralspinal meningitis, concussion, cramps and epilepsy. Violet animates and cleans the venous blood. It is generally not used for physical conditions; however, some color experts believe that it does provide nourishment to the cells in the upper brain. Violet purifies our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all undertakings. The violet energy connects us to our spiritual self bringing guidance, wisdom and inner strength, and enhances artistic talent and creativity. Leonardo da Vinci proclaimed that you can increase the power of meditation ten fold by meditating under the gentle rays of violet, as found in church windows.
Light therapy uses colors for their proposed healing abilities in treating emotional and physical disturbances. Light therapy is based on the premise that different colors evoke different responses in people. For example, some colors are considered to be stimulating, whereas others may be soothing. Color therapy has been suggested for many uses, based on tradition or on scientific theories. Consult with a health care provider before using color therapy for any use.
1. Natural Standard: An organization that produces scientifically based reviews of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) topics
2. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): A division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services dedicated to research Selected Scientific Studies: Color Therapy Natural Standard has reviewed all of the currently available medical literature to prepare the professional monograph from which this version was created.
The information in this monograph was prepared by the professional staff at Natural Standard, based on thorough systematic review of scientific evidence. The material was reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School with final editing approved by Natural Standard.
Some of the more recent studies are listed below:
1. Deppe A. Ocular light therapy: a case study. Aust J Holist Nurs 2000;7(1):41.
2. Geldschlager S. Osteopathic versus orthopedic treatments for chronic epicondylopathia humeri radialis: a randomized controlled trial. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 2004;Apr, 11(2):93-97.
3. Maher CG. Effective physical treatment of chronic low back pain. Orthop Clin North Am 2004;Jan, 35(1):57-64.
4. Natural Standard Research Collaboration, Chief Editors: Ulbricht C, Basch E, Natural Standard Herb and Supplement Reference: Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews, USA. Elsevier/Mosby, 2005.
5. Ohara M, Kawashima Y, Kitajima s, et al. Inhibition Of lung metastasis of B16 melanoma cells exposed to blue light in mice. Int J Molecular Medicine 2002;10(6):701-705.
6. Wileman SM, Eagles JM, Andrew JE, et al. Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder in primary care: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psych 2001;178:311-316.
7. Wohlfarth H, Schultz A. The effect of colour psychodynamic environment modification on sound levels in elementary schools. Int J Biosocial Res 2002;(5):12-19.
8. Zifkin BG, Inoue Y. Visual reflex seizures induced by complex stimuli. Epilepsia 2004;45(Suppl 1):27-29.