Lights, Colors, Longevity! The Connection Between Longevity and Chromotherapy
“We also offer chromotherapy. You can set the color of the lights to enhance certain health benefits you’re looking for!”
Um, come again?
The receptionist at the local infrared sauna studio was giving me a tour of the sauna booth when she said this.
I asked her which light color was best for boosting immunity, and she said yellow. Yellow it is, then!
At the time, I didn’t understand how a specific color of light could result in certain therapeutic effects, but I was willing to press the “I believe” button. The additional service didn’t cost more, as it was already included as part of the sauna experience, so I figured, why not?
As my sauna session finished up, though, I started to wonder: was there any merit to this chromotherapy, or in other words, color therapy?
What is chromotherapy?
Chromotherapy is the use of colored light in healing. There’s no special trick to using the light – you simply need to have the light shining on your body (or a part of your body).
The idea is that each color has a different vibration, and these vibrational energies can affect our physical, mental, and spiritual bodies. You are probably familiar with how colors are used in marketing, and it’s a similar concept. Some colors are grounding, others purifying, and other effects can result from the rest of the colors.
History of chromotherapy
Chromotherapy has been used for thousands of years, going back to ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and India. Ancient Egyptians would shine light through colored crystals to treat ailments.
The ancient Greeks had temples dedicated to color therapy, allowing sunlight to shine through colored components in order to create chromotherapy treatments.
Chromotherapy, or color therapy, is used in Indian ayurvedic medicine, where different colors can influence the body’s doshas (biological energies) and chakras (energy centers).
Chinese medicine also believes that health is connected to colors. Chinese medicine uses the five colors associated with the five organs (heart, liver, spleen, kidney, and lungs) to adjust the flow of qi in the body and return the body to an optimal state of physical and mental balance.
How does chromotherapy work?
Although the concept of chromotherapy has been around for centuries and has gained more popularity in recent years, it’s still not widely accepted as a form of therapy in Western medicine.
There are two ways chromotherapy is purported to work: through eyes or other parts of the body. We can either look at a certain color or have colors reflected directly on parts of the body. Each color has a unique wavelength and frequency, and our bodies recognize these waveforms and respond to them accordingly. The distinct frequencies allow each color to be used for a specific purpose. For example, warm colors are generally stimulating, whereas cooler colors are calming.
Phototherapy, such as red light therapy, has been used for countless health benefits, so it’s no secret that light itself has healing properties.
Benefits of chromotherapy
People claim that chromotherapy can help with a variety of issues, such as: stress, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and skin infections.
Although it has been linked with the improvement of certain cancers, the American Cancer Society doesn’t support any claims that chromotherapy is effective in treating cancers.
Chromotherapy has been purported to provide physical and mental benefits such as stress relief, pain relief, decrease in inflammation and swelling, wound healing, increase in energy, skin improvements, and boost in metabolism.
As previously mentioned, certain colors are associated with specific benefits. Here are the unique benefits each color provides when using chromotherapy:
- Red is a stimulating and warming color, so it promotes vitality, energy, relief from fatigue, and relief from cold. It also stimulates skin cells to reduce wrinkles and supports heart function and circulatory health.
- Orange is another warming color and soothing to the senses. It helps to increase mental clarity, boosts metabolism, aids with kidney inflammation, relieves menstrual cramps, and alleviates exhaustion.
- Yellow enhances neuromuscular strength, aids in digestion, stimulates happiness, and promotes an overall sense of wellbeing. It can help boost the immune system.
- Green has more of a cooling and soothing quality, as it’s known to reduce inflammation and calm the body’s nervous system. It’s said to reduce stress and stimulate growth hormones.
- Blue is also a calming color, as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, decreases blood pressure, and slows breathing and heart rate. It can help with sleep disorders and headaches.
- Violet is the color of inspiration and creativity. It reduces anxiety, relaxes lymphatic systems, promotes tranquility, heals emotional wounds, and it can help with the following issues: eye issues, psoriasis, migraines, and urinary illnesses.
If chromotherapy helps with these various ailments, undoubtedly, chromotherapy can help assist in lengthening our lifespan and in turn, our longevity.
How to get started with chromotherapy
Chromotherapy sounds harmless enough, right?
There are a few ways to get started to see if chromotherapy suits your longevity needs.
Intentional color choices: When deciding what colors to use, whether it’s paint on a wall or the clothes you wear, choose colors based on how they make you feel. If there are certain colors that elicit brighter, more positive emotions, choose those types of colors.
Immerse yourself in nature. Whether you’re looking out into a sea of blue or surrounded by the green of the forest, the abundance of colors you experience in either landscape can be relaxing. If chromotherapy isn’t enough reason to go explore a forest, the Japanese have a term called shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” which claims that surrounding yourself with nature can be medicinal.
Use color components. You can use colored windows, colored eye glasses, or colored crystals to experiment with various colors and their therapeutic effects.
Try red light therapy. Red light therapy can be found at various health and wellness clinics and has risen in popularity for its health benefits. You can find a facility near you that offers red light therapy to give it a try.
Combine chromotherapy with sauna: Certain sauna studios will offer colored lights in conjunction with your sauna service. Since you’re already going to experience the benefits of the sauna, you may as well add color therapy to your service as well. You can also choose to purchase a sauna that comes equipped with chromotherapy as an option.
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