There are seven main energy centres (chakras) of the body. These chakras are like spirals of energy, each one relating to the others. Using the seven colours of the spectrum, Colour Therapy aims to balance and enhance our body's energy centres/chakras and also to help stimulate our body's own healing process. Colour Therapy uses colour to re-balance the Chakras that have become depleted of energy.
Colour therapy can be shown to help on a physical level; however there are deeper issues around the colours on the psychological and spiritual levels. Colour has a profound effect on us on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. If our energy centres become blocked or depleted, then our body cannot function properly and this, in turn, can lead to a variety of problems on any level.
Our well being is not purely a physical issue. Many more practitioners are now treating patients in a holistic manner. That is to say, we are body, mind and spirit and none of these areas function entirely alone; each has an effect upon the other. This is why Colour Therapy can be so helpful since colour addresses all levels of our being.
All life experiences have an affect upon us. Some experiences will be positive and some negative. It is these negative experiences which can manifest themselves physically over time as dis-ease. For example, perhaps over the years we have been in a situation where we have felt unable, for one reason or another, to speak our mind, or to express our needs and feelings. This can manifest as a problem in the throat chakra. The throat chakra relates in the spiritual aspect to self expression. Thus, if our self expression has been blocked, the energy in this area will not be free flowing. Working with the appropriate colour/colours can help to dispel negative feelings, free blocks and re-balance the body. Listed below is each of the spectrum colours and the chakra which it relates to.
BEAUTY, CREATIVITY, INSPIRATION
Related organ: brain
Endocrine gland: pineal gland.
Associated problems: depression, Parkinson's disease, Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, seniledementia, Alzheimer's, many mental disorders, confusion, and dizziness.Personality Traits: Inspirational leaders, kindly and just, humanitarians, self-sacrifing, visionary, creative, and strong mentally.
Violet relates to self knowledge/spiritual awareness. It is the union with your higher self, with spirituality, and your higher consciousness. Dis-ease can result with an in-balance of energy in this chakra, either too much or too little. The violet energy connects us to our spiritual self bringing guidance, wisdom and inner strength and purifies our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all undertakings. Enhances artistic talent and creativity.
positive aspects of violet
- a reverence for all life
- self sacrificing in the
service of others - idealism
- an ability
to see the appropriate route for the benefit of the higher self
negative aspects of violet
- no concern for others - feelings of superiority
- lack of contact with
INTUITION, MYSTICISM, UNDERSTANDING
Related organs: eyes, lower head and sinuses
Endocrine gland: pituitary gland.
Associated problems: tension headache, migraine, visual defects, short-sightedness, long-sightedness, glaucoma, cataracts, sinus problems, ear problems.
Personality Traits: Intuitive, fearless, practical, idealistic, wise, and a truth seeker.
Indigo relates to self responsibility - being responsible for one's own life, responsible to oneself to follow the soul's path and needs and trusting one's own intuition. (the ability to see things from a 'higher' viewpoint rather than purely for satisfaction of the ego or one's material comfort.). The indigo energy connects us to our unconscious self, and gives us the experience of being part of the whole universe. Strengthens intuition, imagination, psychic powers, and increases dream activity.
positive aspects of indigo
- highly intuitive - faithful - clear sighted - integrity
negative aspects of indigo
- inability to trust intuition - scattered mind - inconsiderate
- blinkered vision
Related organs: throat and lungs
Endocrine gland: thyroid gland. The upper digestive tract can be affected by imbalance in this area.TURQUOISE can also be helpful for both the throat and the heart chakra.
Associated problems: Thyroid problems - over active/under active; Anorexia nervosa (this is a multi-chakra problem but has a strong connection to the throat chakra); asthma; bronchitis; hearing problems; tinnitus - may also be connected to problems with the brow chakra; problems of the upper digestive tract; mouth ulcers, sore throats, tonsillitis.
Personality Traits: Loyal, tactful, affectionate, inspiring, inventive, caring, and cautious.
Blue is the colour of the spirit and relates to self expression - speech, communication, the ability to communicate our needs and requirements; Spirit of truth and purpose. This is a mentally-relaxing colour. Blue has a pacifying effect on the nervous system and brings great relaxation - ideal for sleep problems, and hyper-active children. Connects us to holistic thought, and gives us wisdom and clarity enhancing communication and speech.
positive aspects of blue
negative aspects of blue
- unfaithful - untrustworthy - self-righteous - cold
BALANCE, LOVE, SELF CONTROL
Related organs: heart and breasts
Endocrine gland: thymus gland
Associated problems: heart diseases, diseases of the Immune system eg.AIDS and ME (myalgia encephalomyelitis,sometimes referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome); other problems related to the immune system, allergies, cancer of the breast. TURQUOISE also has a helpful effect on the immune system and also helpful in relation to the throat chakra. PINK also relates to the heart chakra being the colour of love.
Personality Traits: Understanding, self-controlled, adaptable, sympathetic, compassionate, generous, humble, nature loving, and romantic.
Green chakra relates to love/self love - the ability to give and take unconditionally. When balanced we are able to give love and also to love and nurture ourselves. Helps relax muscles, nerves, and thoughts. Cleanses and balances our energy, to give a feeling of renewal, peace and harmony. Green connects us to unconditional love and is used for balancing our whole being.
positive aspects of green
- generosity -
negative aspects of green
- indifference - jealousy
- miserly -
WISDOM, CLARITY, SELF-ESTEEM
Related organs: liver, spleen, stomach and small intestine.
Endocrine gland: pancreas
Associated problems: diabetes, pancreatitis, liver disease, peptic ulcer, Coeliac's disease, and gall stones.
Personality Traits: Good-humored, optimistic, confident, practical, and intellectual.
Yellow is a creative colour and relates to self worth. How we feel about ourselves and how we feel others perceive us. This is the area of the personality, the ego and the intellect. Gives us clarity of thought, increases awareness, and stimulates interest and curiosity. Yellow energy is related to the ability to perceive and understand. The yellow energyconnects us to our mental self.
positive aspects of yellow
- confident - alert
- good humored
negative aspects of yellow
- feelings of inferiority
- over analytical -
HAPPINESS, CONFIDENCE, RESOURCEFULNESS
Related organs: uterus, large bowel, prostate, ovaries and testes. (In the fetus the testes develop in the lower abdomen, thus linking with the sacral chakra energy, then descending to the scrotum by birth.)
Endocrine glands: ovaries and testes
Associated problems: pre-menstrual syndrome, problems with menstrual flow, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, testicular disease, prostate disease.
Personality Traits: Enthusiastic, happy, sociable, energetic, sporty, self-assured, and constructive.
Orange is the colour of success and relates to self respect; having the ability to give ourselves the freedom to be ourselves and helps you expand your interests and activities. Brings joy to our workday and strengthens our appetite for life! Orange is the best emotional stimulant. It connects us to our senses and helps to remove inhibitions and makes us independent and social.
positive aspects of orange
- creative -
negative aspects of orange
- withdrawn - destructive
VITALITY, COURAGE, SELF CONFIDENCE
Related organs: kidneys and bladder, the vertebral column, hips and legs are also areas related to this chakra.
Endocrine gland: adrenal gland.
Associated problems: constipation, diarrhea, piles, colitis, Crohn's disease, cold fingers and toes, frequency of urination, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney stones, impotence, hip problems, legs and feet. PINK can also be used here when a more gentle energy is required.
Personality Traits: Courageous, confident, humanistic, strong-willed, spontaneous, honest, and extroverted.
Red relates to self awareness. It is the area of survival and stability and your place on this earth. The colour red provides the power from the earth and gives energy on all levels. It connects us to our physical body. Everything that is to be commenced needs the life vitality of red.
positive aspects of red:
- strength of will
negative aspects of red:
- insecurity - self pitying
- aggressive -
There are many ways of meditating and meditation means different things to different people. Meditation is part of normal daily practice for a great number of people within some religions. Whatever the word 'meditation' means to you the practice can be enormously helpful as a way of calming the mind and finding your own inner peace. This place of inner peace is where we can open up to our higher self - without the 'interference' of the ego or intellect - where we can find our higher intelligence and knowing.
Meditation can be achieved by focusing the mind on a particular object, for example a flower, or on a simple shape, on a sound, on an image (visualization), or by focusing on the breathing. (Colour breathing exercises can be done lying down or sitting and can be a very helpful form of meditation.) There are many very helpful tapes and CD's around to help with meditation as they will talk the listener through the stages of relaxation and some will help to build a 'picture' in the minds eye of tranquility. With practice, you will find it becomes easier and easier to meditate and to be able to 'switch off' any time, anywhere, when you are feeling the need for some peace.
Breathing is very important - and as obvious as that sounds, it is surprising how few of us actually do breathe 'properly'. Breathing is something we all take for granted and are inclined to forget about. However, shallow breathing can often be a symptom of stress. Similarly, shallow breathing can result in fatigue and stress due to the intake of insufficient oxygen. Shallow breathing can also result in dizzy turns as insufficient oxygen is getting to the brain. Since approximately 90% of our energy is created by oxygen and nearly all the body's actions regulated by it - it is rather important that we get enough of it!!
Go somewhere quiet and lie down or sit in a chair with good back support so that your body is straight, allowing you to breathe deeply and comfortably. Make sure you are not wearing any tight clothing. Tell yourself to relax. Work on every part of your body from the top of your head to your toes, consciously relaxing each part. Concentrate on your breathing, taking deep in-breaths, through the nose, letting the breath fill your body, relaxing and calming. Then breathe out through your nose or mouth, exhaling all negativity and stress and ridding your body of the toxins which build up there. Repeat this a number of times - if you can only manage 10 minutes that is fine. Eventually you will be able to practice this anywhere, any time, when you are feeling stressed. Try not to hunch your shoulders as you breathe in - try to consciously relax the shoulders and neck and breathe from the abdomen - watch your tummy expand as you breathe in.
There are a number of breathing techniques which are taught by practitioners of different disciplines, either on a one to one basis or in a group, such as a workshop perhaps. If you have a particular medical problem, then a good place to start is with your doctor, who will be able to advise you.
A lovely and very helpful exercise is Colour Breathing - or breathing in the rainbow. The purpose of this is to heighten our awareness of colour and to encourage a balance of all the seven main chakra colours for our well being.
Stand with feet slightly apart and arms by your side, relaxed with palms turned to the front. Relax the shoulders, and concentrate on your breathing, consciously relaxing all of your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Breathe deeply in through the nose, holding for a few moments and then breathing out through the nose or mouth. As you breathe out, imagine expelling all the stress, negativity and toxins from your body. If you can do this exercise outside all the better, and, weather permitting, stand on grass with bare feet.
Affirmations, either spoken out loud or as a concentrated thought, can be helpful too to help us focus and avoid our minds from wandering. For example, red is the Colour of courage and strength - we could say to ourselves - the energy of red fills my body and I have the strength and courage to move forward along my life's path. It doesn't matter how we word our affirmations - they will be unique to each individual - but remember the positive aspects of the colours and make sure your statements are positive.
First breathe in red from the earth, imagine it rising up through your whole body giving you strength and courage. Make an affirmation to suit your situation as you breathe in and experience the colour filling your body. Allow the colour to travel up through the body and out of the top of the head and then back down again to the earth. Repeat with orange and an appropriate affirmation, then yellow. These first three colours are absorbed from the earth. Then green. This colour is absorbed horizontally through the solar plexus, let it fill your body, thinking or speaking your affirmation, and let it leave through the back. Then blue which is absorbed from the sky, through the top of the head and out again going back up to the sky, similarly with the indigo and violet.
If this exercise is done daily you will notice how your colour awareness develops and you will be able to visualize the colours much more strongly as you do this exercise regularly, balancing and enhancing your body's energies.
Colour in the Home
There are many variations of the basic colours. The paler versions give us the same qualities as the bold colour but in a gentler way. When decorating an area - the complementary colours, and their variations, should be remembered and combined with our main choice of colour by way of soft furnishings perhaps, pictures etc.
It is also helpful to take in to account the aspect of a room. For example, should you require a calming atmosphere in a north facing room, which may well be one of the colder rooms in your house, remember to use some warm colours (i.e. variations of the warm colours of yellow, orange and red) to avoid the room feeling colder.
Following is a table of colours and their suggested uses in various areas.
Colour Effects Suggested
Violet: Calming for body and mind. Good for meditation and prayer. Enhances purpose and dignity. Heightens our awareness and helps us to give of our very best. Purifying.
Indigo: Sedative. Helps to open up our intuition. The colour of divine knowledge and the higher mind.
Blue: Calming, relaxing and healing. Not as sedating as indigo. Also the colour of communication.
Green: Balancing, harmonizing and encourages tolerance and understanding.
Yellow: Stimulates mental activity, feeling of confidence. Helpful for study as it helps us to stay alert.
Orange: Warming and energizing. Can stimulate creativity. Orange is the colour of fun and sociability.
Red: Energizing, exciting the emotions, stimulates appetite.
Magenta: is the eighth colour in the colour spectrum and is a combination of red and violet, thus it combines our earthly self and spiritual self, thus balancing spirit and matter. It is uplifting and helps us to gain a feeling of completeness and fulfillment.
Turquoise: Cool and calming and good for the nervous system and immune system.
Pink: This colour soothes and nurtures. It helps to dissolve anger and encourages unconditional love.
Black: Used with another colour enhances the energy of that second colour. Black gives us the space for reflection and inner searching.
White: Contains all the colours. It emphasizes purity and illuminates our thoughts, giving us clarity.
Areas of Use
Violet: Places of worship, entry areas to clinics and hospitals, festival areas. Pale violet
Indigo: Not suitable for areas for entertainment but for more 'quiet' places. Bedrooms, treatment rooms.
Blue: Any rooms except those used for physical activity or play.
Green: Depending upon the shade, can be used for most areas. Use with other colours as well to avoid the balance and harmony becoming more like total inactivity and indecision.
Yellow: Activity rooms, entrance halls. Not for bedrooms as can interfere with sleep - it tends to keep our minds "switched on". Not ideal for areas of possible stress.
Orange: Any activity area and creative areas. Not ideal for bedrooms or areas of possible stress.
Red: Any activity area. Needs careful choice of tone and depth and the space in which it is to be used. Can make a space look smaller and be claustrophobic. Used well, however, red can make a space feel warm and cosy. Often used in restaurants.
Magenta: Lecture spaces, chapels, halls etc. Not ideal for play rooms or activity rooms.
Turquoise: Any room except it is not ideal for activity areas.
Pink: Ideal for a baby's or child's bedroom.
Black: Not ideal as a single colour, but when used with care,can enhance and complement other colours in almost any situation.
White: Any room, but it can be a little intimidating to some Needs to be broken up with another colour or with plants/ornaments/pictures etc.
It should be remembered that babies and very young children will be more sensitive to the effects of colour than adults and care should be taken with their room colours and their clothes.
A baby's first experience of colour is in the womb where they are enveloped in pale peachy pink. This is where they have been nurtured and where they feel safe. Thus, decorating the baby's room in pale pink will help them feel safe in the outside world where they need time to adjust to their surroundings.
Babies are very sensitive and should be kept in white clothing as long as possible and particularly for the first nine months. Special care should be taken when choosing the colour of a hat since a baby's head is particularly sensitive.
Most experts will agree that the first nine months of a baby's life is so important in their development on every level - emotional, mental and physical. Keep the colours pale for a baby's room - pale pink, pale blue, pale violet, butter cream, white and ivory are all calming.