Color therapy, as fun and intriguing as it sounds, is actually a practiced form of physical and mental health therapy called chromotherapy. It’s been known to have a wide range of uses, on a scale as small as mood-boosting all the way to helping people with disabilities. Here’s how you can learn more, and potentially integrate color therapy into your life in a positive and refreshing way!
Color therapy has a lot to do with using specific colors for specific results. What’s interesting about it is that it can resonate differently for every person — how you react to certain colors may not be the same as how someone else does.
However, its origins can be tied to the Indian philosophy of the seven chakras, which dictates a color for each focus of the body.
Traditional Color Therapy
In Hinduism, chakras are energy points that make up a system within the body. Chakra translates to “wheel” in Sanskrit, indicating the belief that the more energy each point has, the more balanced the chakras are (and in turn, the faster the wheel is spinning).
The seven chakras are depicted above, and each has a color associated with it. Root chakra (muladhara) is red, sacral chakra (svadhisthana) is orange, solar plexus chakra (manipura) is yellow, heart chakra (anahata) is green, throat chakra (vishuddha) is blue, third eye chakra (ajna) is indigo and crown chakra (sahasrara) is violet.
Therapizing based on the seven chakras is an incredibly complex and ancient practice that is impossible to sum up briefly, but Healthline does a great job of describing the basics in this article if you’re interested in learning more!
Modern Color Therapy
Interestingly enough, while many may expect a color like yellow to be considered light and calming, warm colors tend to be used by color therapists to induce an invigorating effect, while cool colors are the ones meant to relax.
More specifically, green is used to help relieve stress, as it is the most dominant color found in nature. Blue, while commonly used when focusing on depression, has actually been found to have a relaxing effect on people with sleeping disorders, especially in the darker shades.
Conversely, red is used to energize and excite, especially for people who may be feeling intense exhaustion (though it can have a reverse effect on people who are tense, so it is used carefully by color therapists). Orange and yellow are most typically used as mood-boosters.
So how can you integrate color therapy into your daily life? It’s simple — however you want! Therapists use a myriad of ways to improve the lives of their patients through color, whether it be by looking at the color for an extended period of time (like painting with it) or having the color touch your skin (that’s right, like wearing clothes of that color). There’s really no end to the ways the colors around you can affect your daily life.
Do you want to try color therapy for yourself? Let VALLEY know what works for you by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter and telling us your results!