Color Therapy Overview
Introduction to Light Therapy
Color Light therapy is based on the idea of restoring balance by 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 that 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 an 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 non-invasive ways to improve overall wellness.
Light therapy is also used to temporarily relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD affects 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.
In the early 1990s, RLT was used by scientists to help grow plants in space. The scientists found that the intense light from red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) helped promote the growth and photosynthesis of plant cells.
The red light was then studied for its potential application in medicine, more specifically to find out if RLT could increase energy inside human cells. The researchers hoped that RLT could be an effective way to treat the muscle atrophy, slow wound healing, and bone density issues caused by weightlessness during space travel.
You may have heard of red light therapy (RLT) by its other names, which include:
- photobiomodulation (PBM)
- low-level light therapy (LLLT)
- soft laser therapy
- cold laser therapy
- photonic stimulation
- low-power laser therapy (LPLT)
Red is called “The Great Healer”. So far is the most popular light therapy. To wind down before bed, use red light. “The color signals that it’s night, which may encourage the body to produce melatonin,” says Michael Breus, Ph.D., an advisory board member for SleepScore Labs.
Red light can also improve your workout. Just one to five minutes of exposure to red and infrared light right before exercise boosted strength and prevented soreness, says Ernesto Leal-Junior, Ph.D., the head of the Laboratory of Phototherapy in Sports and Exercise at Nove de Julho University in Brazil. “Certain wavelengths of red and infrared light-660 to 905 nanometers-reach skeletal muscle tissue, stimulating the mitochondria to produce more ATP, a substance that cells use as fuel,” he says.
Green is the universal healing color. Originally, the color of love. 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.
Gazing at green light can reduce chronic pain (caused by fibromyalgia or migraines, for example) by up to 60 percent, according to a study in the journal Pain, and animal studies have shown that the beneficial effects can last up to nine days. “Looking at green light seems to lead to an increase in the body’s production of enkephalins, pain-killing opioid-like chemicals. And it reduces inflammation, which plays a role in many chronic pain conditions,” says researcher Mohab Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D.
More studies are needed before doctors can make recommendations on how and how often to use green light to treat migraines and other pain, and Dr. Ibrahim says you should see a physician before trying to treat yourself at home. But at this point research indicates that exposing yourself to an hour or two every night-either by using a green light bulb in a lamp or by wearing glasses fitted with tinted optical filters-may decrease migraines and other types of chronic pain
Helps to treat and prevent hyper-pigmentation by inhibiting the production of excess melanin which then prevents it from traveling to the surface. It will help break up the melanin clusters that are already on the surface.
Yellow helps awaken mental inspiration arousing a 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 is used for treating redness, flushing, irritation, and Rosacea. It may also reduce the appearance of the tiny blood vessels on the nose and face.
Blue light therapy technology is an additional option for the treatment of acne. Research has shown in-office and at-home systems produce positive results.
“Blue light therapy effectively helps alleviate this common skin condition affecting 50 million Americans and 94 percent of all females, according to Judith Hellman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, in practice in New York City. Dr. Hellman, who practices medical dermatology and specializes in dermatological surgery, laser surgery, and anti-aging skin treatments, explains how the blue light treatment system works for acne, its uses, and her clinical experience with the technology.
It is used as a gentle acne treatment to control oil production in the skin as well as reduce inflammation. It also promotes the synthesis of protein and collagen.
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. 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.
Infrared light penetrates to the inner layers of the skin at about 2 to 7 centimeters deep. Hence, it reaches the muscles, nerves, and even the bones. Many studies have shown that a frequency of infrared light, with wavelengths from 700 to 1,000 nanometers, is best used for healing inflammatory conditions.
The use of electricity for healing purposes began in 2,750 BC when people used electric eels to give electric shocks. Electricity and magnetism were used in people with just little success. However, in 1975, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) was developed to treat chronic pain. It was not until recently that infrared therapy was developed to improve wound healing, reduce the pain caused by arthritis, boost endorphin levels, and bioactivate neuromodulators.
Infrared therapy technology allows people to harness the benefits of the sun, without being exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays. Also, infrared therapy is safe and effective, without adverse side effects. As a matter of fact, infrared light is safe and is used even for infants in neonatal intensive care.
Infrared light is absorbed by the photoreceptors in cells. Once absorbed, the light energy kickstarts a series of metabolic events, triggering several natural processes of the body on a cellular level.
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