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Flashing Lights: The Benefits of Chromotherapy

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Flashing Lights: The Benefits of Chromotherapy

Ever felt the call to administer various hues to heal a physical, mental or spiritual energy imbalance? Colour us intrigued, too.

Lauren McCurry

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The use of colour in wellness treatment has deep roots.


Colour therapy is based on the hypothesis that exposure to specific hues or wavelengths of light has therapeutic effects on the body and mind.


This theory suggests that colours can offer underlying alterations to our psychological and physiological states.

Chromotherapy, sometimes known as "light therapy," uses coloured light from the visible spectrum to promote wound healing and tissue regeneration.


Light is electromagnetic radiation (energy emitted in the form of particles or waves), and the effects of the various wavelengths of this radiation on living organisms vary widely across the visible spectrum.


TL;DR: Perhaps colour has been our drug of choice all along?

History tells us that people in ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and India used colour and light therapy, which has significantly impacted every civilisation, religion, and morsel of sentient life.


Many people believed (and still do!) that colour was a divine manifestation of light.


The use of colour as a therapeutic modality is now generally accepted as part of alternative medicine.



According to science


Although medicine has no definitive evidence that exposure to colour or coloured lighting can heal physical or mental health problems, the FDA has approved light therapy for acne, anti-aging (collagen production & wrinkle reduction), hair loss prevention and regrowth, pain relief and stem cell production.


Further, there is proof that different coloured lights can affect our physical states, levels of discomfort, and emotional states.


Light therapy, for instance, is used to treat seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that normally manifests in the fall and winter months. Hospitals frequently utilise blue light phototherapy on infants with newborn illnesses. 



So, what's your hue of choice?

Chromotherapy saunas mean that those seeking a meditative or peaceful experience might do so by selecting a particular hue to achieve the wellness benefits of colour light therapy.


The yellow spectrum is effective on internal organs and tissues and revitalises and cleans the skin.


Bathing yourself in red light has been shown to stimulate your nervous and circulatory systems.


Blushing hues also facilitate the generation of RBCs and collagen cells – so your skin loves them. A bright orange light assists with gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders. 


If you’re seeking to reduce stress on the nervous and lymphatic systems—and literally, who isn't—purple light is a calming light.

This hue reduces irritation, treats urinary disorders and aids in the reduction of ocular inflammation, glaucoma symptoms, and eye tiredness.


Blue light during the day has been shown to improve mood, attention, energy and reaction time. It effectively degrades bilirubin (​​a yellowish pigment made during the breakdown of red blood cells) and can be used to treat liver disorders.


Just like spending time among trees and plants can help you feel better, green light can alleviate pain associated with migraines and fibromyalgia (a chronic, lasting disorder that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body and fatigue and trouble sleeping.)


Editor's note: Both green and blue light used in tandem is said to reduce symptoms of SAD, and as a funky depressed individual, I can affirm its efficacy. I like to think of it as a potent Jelly Belly duet to cure deep winter woes!


DIY: Experiment with colour treatment at home


Although studies on the effects of colour on mood and sleep are still in their infancy, there is no harm in the mindful use of colour for these purposes. Skip the spa and DIY some light therapy techniques in the comfort of your abode.


+ Turning off blue-light-emitting devices like phones and computers a few hours before night can help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Software exists that automatically adjusts your computer's backlight to mimic natural light by switching between warm colours at night and bright ones throughout the day.


+ Anti-blue light glasses help shield your eyes from the radiation from electronic devices like your laptop, phone, tablet, and television. Invest some time into finding out if the glasses you're considering buying genuinely block blue light before you make the purchase.


+ Invest in low-level red lighting as a nightlight—some studies have suggested that red light has a lesser impact on circadian rhythm than blue light.


+ One possible natural method of relieving stress is interacting with green plants or wandering through green spaces. During the pandemic, I often cried in urban fields and felt all the better for it.


+ Decorate your home with vibrant accents to feel a little brighter. Bathrooms and bedrooms—common places where people unwind—benefit from balanced and tranquil hues. Kitchens and dining areas are lively and utilised for socialising and are often decorated with bright, stimulating tones. I bought this peppermill and actually felt like I was on MDMA! 


+ Treat yourself to at-home spa treatments that use colour or purchase decorative LED lighting for your boudoir. Colouring your hair or nails can also be a form of colour therapy; if you make wise moves sans scissors!


Gallons are still being learned about the effects of different colours and types of light on human health, but there is still a lot of dark matter.


However, if you find that surrounding yourself with a certain hue or scheduling an affordable infrared facial improves your mood, skin, and vibe—what have you got to lose?

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