Color Therapy - Magic or Medicine? by Amanita Reproduced from _The Bard_, Vol. 1, No. 2 -
Color Therapy - Magic or Medicine?
Reproduced from _The Bard_, Vol. 1, No. 2 - Imbolc 1980
Although occult tradition tells us that color was used therapeutically
in ancient times for a wide variety of mental and physical afflictions,
today there is scant remaining information on the subject. We find from
what is left however, that the healing priesthood of ancient Egypt
utilized "color halls" where they researched the science of light and
color therapy. The Greeks as well, experimented with it, and believed
that color was absorbed by the body through the eye. The seven hues of
the visible spectrum were considered representative of the seven fold
nature of mankind, and corresponded to the seven chakras in Ayurvedic
(Hindu) medicine also.
Today's implementation of color science or chromotherapy is evident in
the use of soft blues and greens used in hospital rooms and surgical
gowns, which are intended to sooth and calm as contrasted with the
warming energizing hues of recovery and physical therapy rooms.
Educators have found that students shown slides which were colored
green retained 40% more information contained therein than the
students shown the same material on black and white slides. Red and
blue slides produced less satisfactory results respectively, but still
gave superior results with regard to retention than did the black and
In the Soviet Union, Professor Novomeisky has instituted classes in
eyeless sight for blind people in what he calls "dermochromatics". His
findings, based on feedback from his students, indicate that various
colors 'feel' differently from one another - eg. red "burns", green is
neutral, violet "pinches", etc.
How then, is this of any use? Dr. Oscar Brunler, a leading researcher
in this field, has worked extensively with color, and found that
partially intoxicated test subjects, when exposed to red light
continued their drinking, whereas a second group exposed to the
yellow-orange ray, refused further alcohol; a fact which is profitably
utilized in many cocktail lounges and restaurants.
A child suffering from a severe asthma attack for which medication had
proven useless, recovered within hours when her mother tied a red
ribbon around her wrist per Dr. Brunler's advice. Lest one be too
quick to sneer at this bit of folk medicine, it would be helpful to
know that red is the longest wavelength in the visible color range,
measuring 6500 angstroms, and can penetrate five eighths of an inch
into the body. A beam of red light can split a salt crystal on contact,
lending further credibility to the hypothesis that light is a form of
energy. Light makes up about 1% of the entire electromagnetic spectrum,
which also comprises cosmic rays, gamma rays, X-rays, ultra violet
rays, infra-red rays, and radio-TV rays - all of which are known energy
Pure white light, diffracted through a prism, breaks down into seven
hues. They are, from the lowest end of the spectrum: red, orange,
yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These are the basic hues most
color therapists work with, although some also incorporate infra-red
and ultra violet in small quantities. Green, because it lies in the
middle of the spectrum, is considered the 'balancer' of the combined
color energies, uniting as it does, the 'hot' and 'cold' hues. As a
general rule, the hot colors have and energizing and stimulating
effect, as opposed to the soothing, astringent effects of the cool
Corinne Heline, in her book _Healing and Regeneration Through Color_,
cites the instance of a scientist who was stationed on an outpost
mission in the far north latitudes, and found himself encased in a ray
of light from the Aurora Borealis. He described the experience as
"exhilarating" and noted that the area's residents are particularly
energized on those nights when the lights are most active and do not
sleep as soundly; a phenomenon not unlike that of the full moon. This
analogy is especially apt when one considers the two affect, and are
affected by, the Earth's magnetic field; for it is only at the poles
the lights are visible, decreasing in intensity the further one gets
from them. Again, it is apparent that color is allied with energy.
The use of the spectroscope (a sophisticated prism) in astronomy has
shown that visible light as emitted by the sun is deflected and
refracted by the stars, planets, and minerals; the resulting hues
depending on the chemical constituency of each. The individual cells of
the body react similarly to white light depending on what can be viewed
as their alchemical constituencies, which are determined by nutrition,
emotion, philosophy, etc. The resulting interplay of color is perceived
by the sensitive eye as the aura. Thus, the validity of the old maxim
"as above so below" is further established.
When a deficiency of a given color is observed in the aura, this will
manifest in a lack of those attributes energized by that color.
Orange, for example, is credited with healing properties indicated for
liver trouble. Therefore, this condition would manifest itself in the
aura as either an overall deficiency of orange, or a lack of same on
the area of the liver. The appearance of muddy orange as well, would be
indicative of an unhealthy condition in this area.
The methods of color treatment are varied; ranging from Dr. Theo
Gimbel's color rhythm beaming machine, which is used in conjunction
with music and meditation; to simple visualization.
Visualization is probably the most convenient if not the easiest way of
applying color. Some therapists use the palms of the hands as
'spotlights', visualizing the color flowing from them onto the
affected area. This can also be done _in absentia_, but requires
greater concentration of both healer and patient.
A simple yogic breathing exercise can be utilized in self healing by
merely inhaling the chosen color to the count of four, holding it for
four counts, and likewise exhaling on four counts. It is recommended
that this be done daily, visualizing the appropriate color for each
chakra and linking them together with a column of white light. This
establishes a balance of color throughout the physical and spiritual
The most common method is to irradiate the affected part of the body
with the desired color for 15-30 minutes once or twice daily,
depending on the severity of the condition. This can be done by using
colored light bulbs or colored gelatin filters which cover the opening
of a lamp.
Water may be charged with color by either exposing it to colored light
for about 24 hours or by placing it in a colored bottle and leaving it
in the sunlight for a day or two. It is then used to make coffee or
As explained previously, white light when diffracted through a prism
will separate into seven hues; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo
and violet. Each of these corresponds to one of the seven chakras and
so is used for psychic, as well as physical healing. Their
correspondences are as follows:
Red - Corresponds to the base of the spine or "root chakra" and the
planet Mars. It's effect is vitalizing and energizing but the intensity
is such that it should not be used in a weakened condition in large
doses. Some color therapists believe that it should not be used alone
but always in conjunction with another color, preferably green or blue.
It is beneficial for treatment of arthritis, anemia, paralysis, and
sinus conditions. An overabundance of this color in the aura may result
in anger, irritation, greed or violence.
Orange - Corresponds to the spleen chakra and is ruled by Mercury. It
is used to treat lungs, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, stimulates feelings
of well being and livens the emotions. It is helpful in treating
coughs, cramps, gallstones and asthma. In it's negative aspect, it is
flamboyant and sometimes thieving.
Yellow - This color is ruled by the Sun and corresponds to the solar
plexus. It activates motor nerves, muscles, and is used in treating
skin conditions. A valuable anti-depressant, yellow is credited with
the property of lessening calcium deposits and is reputed to be of
benefit in the treatment of dyspepsia and obesity. It is often used in
schools because it has been found to stimulate learning processes. An
overabundance of this color is said to result in conceit and loudness.
Green - Symbolic of harmony and balance, this color corresponds to the
heart chakra and the planet Venus. It is considered a tonic for the
heart and blood and is believed to relieve tension; a condition
activated by an overabundance of it's opposite color, red (Mars). It's
tranquilizing effects are also manifested in it's action on high blood
pressure, ulcers, and anxiety. Also used for hay fever, blood clots,
and varicose veins. Too much may result in inflexibility, self
indulgence and phlegmatic behavior.
Blue - Corresponds to the throat chakra and the planet Jupiter. The
effects are cold, astringent and antiseptic. It, as well as green is
useful in treating 'red' conditions such as inflammation and fevers.
Not recommended for colds, rheumatism, or paralysis. Throat conditions,
goiter, fevers, cuts, burns, and colic all respond well to the
application of blue light. It is also recommended for alleviating
infections and the effects of poison. Too much blue in the aura can
result in mistrust, dullness, lethargy and depression.
Indigo - Corresponds to the pituitary or third eye chakra and the
planet Saturn. It's effects are similar to those of blue but somewhat
more intense. It stimulates the parathyroid glands but depresses the
thyroid. It is valuable in clearing up congested conditions in the
eyes, ears, nose, lungs,and stomach. Indigo reduces bleeding,
inflammation, violence, excitability, and is reputed to be of value in
exorcisms. It's unhealthy manifestation results in in tolerance,
disassociation, and illusions.
Violet - Corresponds to the chakra at the top of the head; the crown
chakra, and is ruled by the Moon. It is not for the undeveloped mind
due to the subtlety of it's vibrations, and is well suited to the
temperments of artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people.
It is credited with purifying the blood and alleviating tumors. It also
regulates the potassium balance in the system and is considered
antiseptic for negative spiritual conditions (psychosomatic disorders).
Too much is said to result in arrogance or treachery.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank