The History of Color Light Therapy
Color Light therapy is a technique of restoring balance 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, as part of a healthy lifestyle, to temporarily 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 temporary 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 improve overall wellness.
Light therapy is also used to temporarily 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 products to improve and regulate mood.
Light therapy is also a growing treatment for anti-aging. Many individuals have seen a temporary 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.
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.”
Yellow helps awaken mental inspiration arousing higher mentality.
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.
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.
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.
Violet is the last color we can see before light passes on to ultra-violet. 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 wellness 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.