More about the COLORS, by Gina De Gorna
Color is light, which splits into different wavelengths, vibrating at different speeds and different frequencies. Black objects absorb all wavelengths and do not reflect any. Objects that reflect all wavelengths and everything are white. Between black and white lies COLOR.
Color is energy. 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 that energy. This basic principle is how we experience color. An Indian named Dinshah P. Ghadiali is the first scientist to be documented as having tried to explain the power of color. He claimed that the secret to the power of colors lay in the fact that they transmit vibrations that in turn transmit certain moods as well as healing.
Every substance on earth contains color. The rays of the sun contain seven different colors – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, and Indigo. These are natural colors, which are highly beneficial to the maintenance of health and for healing diseases. The human eye can see millions of colors. Certain colors and color relationships can be eye irritants, cause headaches, and cause havoc with human vision. Other colors and color combinations are soothing. Consequently, the appropriate use of color can maximize productivity, minimize visual fatigue, and relax the whole body.
Colors play more significant roles in life than we could ever think. Colors affect the vision, disposition, attitude and first impression of people and things. There is a color-based method called Chromo/Color Therapy for treating emotional, mental and spiritual states. Color Therapy is a set of principles used to create harmonious color and color combinations for healing. This form of energy medicine is based on the belief that the human body is composed of energy fields. When the energy is properly distributed and circulating freely, the body is healthy. Imbalances or abnormal amounts of energy are believed to indicate an excess or deficiency. Ascolor is energy, the energy vibration of that color is what we need at the moment, in order to improve and balance our physical and emotional state.
The roots of Color Therapy exist in all cultures and religions. The ancient Egyptians and Chinese believed that the colors of our auras reflect how we feel. To change or restore the colors of the aura they use colored baths, lights, oils or crystals. 4,000 years ago, the Egyptians built healing temples of light because they had learned that bathing patients in specific colors of light produced varying effects. All ancient civilizations have discovered the calming and healing properties of blue and green colors.
The pioneer of modern Color Therapy was Niels Finsen of Denmark. Following the discovery, in 1877, of the bactericidal action of solar ultra-violet energy, Finsen studied the possibility of assisting the healing of wounds with visible light. He subsequently used red light to inhibit the formation of smallpox scars and, in 1896, founded a Light Institute (now the Finsen Institute of Copenhagen) for the photo treatment of tuberculosis.
Modern scientists have built on these theories, and have discovered that the Sun's rays form an entire spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that forms the visible white light. Each color travels in wavelengths and also has a certain frequency at which it vibrates: the faster the vibration, the warmer the color; the slower the vibration, the cooler the color. When blind people claim to "see" color, what they really perceive is these various wavelengths and frequencies. This is also, what sighted people perceive on a subconscious level when they are affected by colors. In fact, many scientists believe that this perception can occur within the deepest levels of the interior of the body.
While doctors often agree on the psychological effects of Color Therapy, they typically ignore the physical effects. However, the science of Color Therapy has been exploring both psychological and physical effects of different colors. Color therapists believe that touching or being exposed to a color can provide the same benefits as looking at it since colors work according to their vibration wavelengths rather than the brain's interpretation of that color. Research into the effects of color has shown that people who are blind from birth can learn to differentiate colors through their fingertips by noticing the vibration of the different colors.
There are numerous ways to heal and balance with color. Some Color therapistsbelieve that “energy follows thought” and “where we put our thoughts, this is where the energy goes.” By concentrating on a particular healing color, it is the visualization of that color that will be projected. If we focus on a color, the energy emanates from our body and begins to change the frequency that resonates with that particular color.
Light enters our bodies and stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands. This effects the production of hormones, which in turn affect a variety of physiological processes. Color has direct influence on our thoughts moods and behavior. The colors you select have a profound effect on you and can reduce disease and stress, give you more energy and help alleviate pain and other discomforts. This explains why color has been found to have such a direct influence on our thoughts, moods, and behavior - an influence that many experts believe is distinctly separate from psychological and cultural factors.
Color experience provides the opportunity to discover the impact that colors can have on human well-being. The need for a particular color's vibration seems to differ from day to day or even from hour to hour. When a person absorbs a color vibration, it travels via the nervous system to the part of the body that needs it. Each body has its own optimum state of well-being and is constantly seeking ways to maintain or restore a balanced state.
The visible light, the rainbow, has a soothing effect on us. Every color connects to various areas of our body and affects us differently emotionally, physically, and mentally. By learning how each color influences us, we can effectively use color to give us an extra boost of energy when we need it, or use appropriate colors to relax and calm us down when feeling overworked, restless and stressed.
Utilizing color is one way we can help ourselves to harmony. We find ourselves drawn to one color more than others. The energy vibration of that color is what we need at that moment in order to improve and balance our emotional state and allow ourselves to relax.
Here are the colors with a brief description of their ‘meaning’, personality qualities and healing properties:
Red Colors in Life and Art:
- RED: Love, Excitement, and Courage. The highest arc of the rainbow, red brings out the strongest of the emotions in every culture. Of all the colors, red has the slowest vibration, making it the heaviest and the densest of all colors. It relates to instinct, survival, and physical drive. It is the color of strength, vitality and passion. It stimulates blood circulation and increases the body temperature. Red is eye-catching, bold and commanding in all its shades. In its gentlest warm hues, it is romantic and passionate - from the ‘dust of roses’ to the deepest ‘cherry red’. At its cooler versions, red are regal and classy.
Personality Qualities: People who love reds are courageous, ardent, confident, humanistic, strong-willed, spontaneous, honest, and extrovert. They are also assertive, ardent and outgoing.
Healing Properties: red is supposed to be used when people need to meet a demanding day, or whenever they feel drained of energy. People with low blood pressure feel very well in presence of red since it naturally raises the blood flow. The color 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.
According to Taoist Cosmic Healing, light red Chi makes the area to which it is applied stronger, while dark red Chi has the opposite effect. When mixed with white, red Chi is good for the circulatory and respiratory systems, asthma and heart problems. It also brings increased energy into the blood and helps relieve feelings of weakness and fatigue, driving out ‘sick’ energy along with toxic substances and other waste materials.
The Root Chakra is governed by the red energy. In Color Therapy, red is considered to be the color of life, of the glowing sun and of fire. Red is said to increase the pulse rate, to raise the blood pressure and the rate of breathing. Red has also been called the color of desire. Red would generally be applied to support the circulatory functions and is claimed to be used with success to combat anemia, asthma, diseases of the larynx, certain skin diseases and chronic coughs.
Red furnishings or red art pieces, like red sunset paintings, can balance, bring life energy and warm up a room in wintertime or during the long gray rainy seasons.
Overuse of RED COLOR: A person with an excess of red could express domination, physical cruelty, anger and vulgarity. When used excessively, red can lead to exhaustion. People who prefer red usually do not like cold colors like blue, but balance could be achieved by using red in combination of its compliment color green and/or with some neutral colors.
Pink Color in Art and Life:
- PINK: Softness, Innocence and Romance. In general, softer pinks are related to love and they calm down and relax. From the light, baby pink to the darker fuchsia shades, pink is the most gentle and soft red when it is lightened with white. Pink bonds passion with purity and brings out an aura of innocent romance. Bright and brilliant pinks are sexy, whimsical and trendy. They are also happy, exciting, hot, energetic and fun. Bright pinks are bold and eye-catching just as much as red is. Rosy mauve tones are subtle and sophisticated.
Personality Qualities: People who like pink are loveable, romantic, charming, sentimental, warm and refined.
Healing Properties: In research, the color pink has been shown to influence all growing things, plants and people. Different shades of pink have completely different effects and physiological responses. Light pinks are described as soft, tender, romantic, adorable and cute. These tints also conjure up sweet taste and sweet scents, as they are associated with baby girls and cotton candy. Darker pinks have the healing properties of lighter red.
Overuse of PINK COLOR: Bright pinks react in a similar way as red does. They could be over stimulating and exhausting, especially for people with high blood pressure. Too much soft pinks are naive and cloying. Pinks can be balanced with neutrals and soft blue-greens.
Orange Color in Life and Art:
- ORANGE- Happiness, Appetite and Imagination. As a result of mixing red and yellow, the radiant and energetic Orange combines the properties from both colors. Yet, it is less passionate and intense than red and not so bright and vibrant as yellow. This is the color of joy, fun, movement, and dance. It is a great antidepressant and it encourages creativity, excitement, vibrancy, and humor. Orange can bring enjoyment to our workday and strengthens our appetite. It is the best emotional stimulant. It connects us to our senses, helps to remove inhibitions, and makes us independent and social.
In different cultures, orange symbolizes love or betray. It is trendy and flamboyant, and can be very overwhelming when used in its brightest shades. However, deeper tones of orange- brown are warmer and remind of harvest, fall, and sunset. Orange paintings have very soothing and pleasing effects and striking orange sunsets could be very energizing.
Personality Qualities: People who love orange are happy, sociable, energetic, sporty, self-assured, and constructive. They are adventurous and enthusiastic and they love fun and games. Flamboyant and loud, such people have many friends.
Healing Properties: The Spleen Chakra is governed by the orange energy. According to Color therapists orange stands for kind-heartedness and warm-heartedness of an individual. Orange symbolizes the rising sun, and makes us alert and cheerful. It is believed to affect both our bodies and our minds. Astonishing results are ascribed to the use of the color orange to treat mental illness, depressions, discontent and pessimism. Orange could be applied for the treatment of arteriosclerosis, cardio sclerosis, and loss of appetite, anemia, anorexia and digestive system discomforts (e.g., flatulence, cramps).
Taoist healing specialists claim that orange Chi is too powerful and should not be used for treating eyes, heart, head, throat, brain, spleen or appendix. However, it can be used to relieve viruses, bacteria, menstrual pain, problems of the urinary and respiratory systems, diseases of joints and connective tissue, banishing cold and dissolving cysts. Dark orange can be used together with dark green Chi to treat some cancers.
Overuse of ORANGE COLOR: According to Color therapy research, excess orange may result in irresponsibility and a person could express confusion, tiredness, and pessimism. Too much orange can be balanced with cool colors and neutrals.
Brown Color in Life and Art:
- BROWN: Safety, Grounding and Stability. Brown, the color of the earth and the chocolate, is a very elegant color. It is produced by mixing red and green or red and black. Brown is ground, earthy color that in combination with yellow or with pastel colors becomes very pleasing and tranquil. Rich, darker browns are always preferred in house furnishings and public places. Brown has neutral effect and may be combined successfully with any other colors. Lightest browns in various shades are common choices for Art in interior walls.
Personality Qualities: Brown suggests permanence and safety. Security and protection are very important for these basic, solid and stable people. They are conservative, introverted, often melancholic but always reliable. Brown people may be hard working and creative, but they lack excitement and imagination.
Healing properties: Relaxing, grounding and balancing effect.
Overuse of BROWN COLOR: Brown has very similar effect as black, white and grey do. When overused, it may result in monotony, dullness, boredom and depression.
Yellow Color in Life and Art:
- YELLOW- Wisdom, Clarity and Self-esteem. Invigorating and warm, the color yellow is closely associated with the Sun, sunlight and gold. It stimulates our intellect and logical mind, as well as helping with the digestive process. It is related to control, will, and ego. Yellow 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 energy connects us to our mental self.
In some cultures, yellow, along with gold, is a regal color, a color of Sun and heaven. In others, it was treated as a symbol of deceit and betrayal. However, in most countries, it is connected with cheerful and sunny dispositions, hope and optimism. It is a symbol of the deity in many global religions.
On the other hand, since yellow is the most visible color of all the colors, it is the first color that the human eye notices. It is a wonderful color, the most cheerful of the spectrum. Yellow is the first choice of interior designers and decorators to brighten a small room or a room with no windows. It is also an excellent tool to use against the seasonal affective disorder (SAD Syndrome).
Personality Qualities: People who love yellow are good-humored, optimistic, confident, practical, intellectual, insightful and intuitive. They are joyful, active, innovative, open, outgoing and friendly.
Healing Properties: Yellow is color of the Third Chakra: solar plexus - just above the belly button. In Color Therapy, yellow is the brightest of the colors that are commonly used in therapy. Yellow reflects light in all directions, and could therefore be able to create an impression of detachment and liberation. In naturopathy, yellow is applied when trying to combat glandular diseases and diseases of the lymphatic system, and to strengthen the nervous system. Yellow is said to have effects that greatly assist metabolism and glandular activity.
Taoist healing uses yellow Chi to promote nerve re-growth and bone marrow production. They also use yellow in the repair of fractures and the cells of bones and the connective tissue.
Overuse of YELLOW COLOR: Yellow is considered the most fatiguing color. The answer is connected with the physics of light and optics. More light is reflected by bright colors, resulting in excessive stimulation of the eyes. Therefore, yellow is an eye irritant. A person with an excess of this color could express lack of concentration, malice, and deviousness. Too much yellow can also result in excessive mental stimulation, ego, detachment, and disagreements.
Green Color in Life and Art:
- GREEN: Balance, Loyalty and Self-control. Green is associated with nature, trust, acceptance, compassion, caring, and sharing. It is balancing, harmonizing, and restful. It soothes the emotions and heals the heart. Green helps relax muscles, nerves, and thoughts. It 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.
The color green is located in the middle of the color spectrum and is associated with a harmonizing effect. It would not make us quiet, but calm us in a neutral, positive sense. Green is called the color of possession and of the will to possess. Green is also considered to be the color of concentration and self-esteem.
In many religions, green is related to faith, immortality and contemplation. Green was a sacred color to the Egyptians representing the hope and joy of spring. Green is a sacred color to Muslims, associated with World Mother; it is present in the flags of nearly every Muslim country. Japanese Emperor Hirohito's birthday is celebrated as "Green Day" because he loved to garden.
In the 20rh century green started to be the popular color by surgeon’s uniforms and operating rooms because of its none glaring and relaxing properties proven to keep the surgeon’s eyes acute to red and pink- the compliment colors of flesh and blood.
Blue-Green shades are connected to the ocean and water and are cooler, refreshing and soothing. Green’s bluer tones suggest optimism and hope and are more spiritual than its other tones.
Personality Qualities: People who love green are social, understanding, self-controlled, adaptable, humble, sympathetic, compassionate and generous. They are balanced and loyal, nature loving, and romantic.
Healing Properties: The Heart Chakra is governed by the green energy. It is said that green is the most restful color for the human eye. Green has great healing power. It can soothe pain. People who work in green environments have fewer stomachaches. Green is beneficial around teething infants. Suicides dropped 34% when London's Blackfriar Bridge was painted green.
Among other things, the color green is applied for the naturopathic treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough, inflammations of the joints, and swelling. In addition, green is thought to have a positive influence on the treatments of cysts, eye diseases and diabetes, generally promoting the secretion processes. Green promotes relaxation of the muscles and organs, and stimulates general detoxification of the body.
Creating harmony and hope, Green color helps with the heart area and is good for tired nerves as it balances the emotions and brings a feeling of calmness. It stimulates growth so it is good for helping to heal broken bones, and re-growing tissue of all kinds.
For the Taoist Healing, green Chi is gentle, safe and can ‘loosen’ the damaged area so the toxins, disease or damage can be released. It can remove disease and ‘sick’ energy by locally sweeping to and out of the hands or legs. In combination with other colors like blue, orange and white, green Chi may be used for treating cancer, and blood clots.
Overuse of GREEN COLOR: A person with an excess of green could experience lethargy, lack of motivation, insecurity, and jealousy. Excess of green can also result in indecision and static, inactive feelings.
Indigo Color in Life and Art:
- INDIGO: Intuition, Mysticism, Understanding. Indigo is a mix of blue and red, which contains more blue in the mixture. It is called also Purple, when the red tint is predominant in the mix. Indigo is soothing and tranquil. It is the color of introspection, meditation, contemplation, dignity, and respect, and it boosts self-esteem. It feeds the area of insight, intuition, and perception. The Indigo energy connects us to our unconscious self, and gives us the experience of being part of the whole universe. Indigo strengthens instincts, imagination, psychic powers, and increases dream activity.
Personality Qualities: A person who likes Purple/Indigo is intuitive, fearless, practical, idealistic, wise, and a truth seeker.
Healing Properties: The Brow Chakra is governed by the Indigo energy - the Sixth Chakra: lower part of the forehead. Indigo is believed to be a cooling color that develops psychic perception and intuition. It is applied in health treatments for eyes, ears, nose, and mental problems. It is also used in attempts to treat addiction. Indigo is also ascribed to have sedative and calming effects. Some Chromo therapists say indigo may be useful in controlling bleeding, and treating abscesses.
Overuse of Indigo/Purple Color: A person with an excess of this color could become over controlling and express fanaticism, domination, and arrogance. Those who tend to live too much in a fantasy world should avoid excess indigo.
Violet / Magenta Color in Life and Art:
- VIOLET/ Magenta: Beauty, Creativity, Inspiration. Violet is a mix of blue and red, which contains much more red in the mixture. It has the fastest vibration. It is the nurturing and protective color of unconditional and spiritual love. Violet purifies our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all endeavors. The violet energy connects us to our spiritual self-bringing guidance, wisdom and inner strength. It enhances artistic talent and creativity.
The Crown Chakra is governed by the violet energy- the Seventh Chakra: top of the head.
Violet is considered to be the color of the emotions and it is considered to be a meditative color. In color therapy and in particular in color acupuncture, violet is applied for treating the lymphatic system and the spleen. Violet is also used in attempts to soothe organs, relax muscles, and calm the nervous system.
Personality Qualities: People who love violet are inspirational leaders, kind and just, humanitarians, visionary, creative, and mentally strong.
Healing Properties: According to the Taoist Cosmic Healing, by Mantak Chia, the properties of all the other colors are contained in Violet Chi. Violet Chi is available in two forms: Ordinary Violet, which comes from the energy that surrounds us - air, earth and sun; and Electric Violet, which is derived from the soul through the crown of the head. Taoists believe that the cup of the Big Dipper gathers the entire violet Chi in the universe and to access that violet Chi, a person must ‘reach up to the Big Dipper, grasp its handle with the left hand, and turn the dipper to pour its contents down over the crown. The violet Chi then flows down through the body.’
Electric violet can help in the restoration of nerves and organs that have been affected by disease or trauma. It can be used to remove infection and to promote fast healing.
Overuse of VIOLET COLOR: A person with an excess of violet color could express similar symptoms as in overuse with purple: like fanaticism, domination, and arrogance.
Silver Color in Life and Art:
- SILVER: Endurance, Protection and Tranquility. The color of illumination, silver is connected with neutral, revealing, wise, flowing, and penetrating and also with some negative key words like disconnected, slippery, lunatics, illusive, inauthentic. Silver characteristics: silver lights up the path; it is the thread of cosmic intelligence. Silver pierces and has the quality of endurance and tranquility.
Personality Qualities: People who like silver color are usually confident, intelligent and trusting but they lack imagination.
Healing Properties: Silver is the greatest natural tranquillizer. It calms the nerves as well as the hormones. It harmonizes and brings about a fluid state of consciousness. Silver is good for the functioning of the kidneys, beneficial in the use of fluid flows throughout the body.
Overuse of SILVER COLORS: When used in excess, silver like the grey color, brings metallic coldness, sadness, melancholy and depression.
Gold Color in Life and Art:
- GOLD: Wisdom and High Spirit. The color of the Higher Wisdom, yellow gold is connected with maturity, success, intelligence, good judgment, forgiveness, future. In most cultures, it expresses status and prestige. However, its negative features are limited, paranoia, and disgraces, mistrusting and obstructive.
In ancient times, gold was associated with sun, gods and perfect spirit. Rich gold colors are deemed one of the most exalted colors and were not supposed to be worn by anyone except the most spiritual of people. Many holy buildings, churches, mosques and religious places and items were covered and/or heavily decorated in gold.
The Universal Love has its materialization in the gold halos and auras of people with exceptional intelligence and spirit. Those people possess extraordinary qualities and are deeply humanistic and loving human beings.
Around the world, as the color of wealth and prestige, yellow gold was used largely in the decoration of castles, homes of rich and famous, public buildings, royal attire and jewelry.
Personality Qualities: People who love yellow gold have similar features as those who love yellow color. They are optimistic, confident, practical, intellectual, insightful and intuitive. They are joyful, active, innovative, open, outgoing and friendly.
Healing Properties: Gold energy, as the energy of Sun, is vital, very powerful and energizing. It cleans, protects and neutralizes ‘sick’ energy and toxins. Gold energy can be obtained from many sources like Sun, gold metal and from any star in the universe. Many healers gain the golden power just by visualizing a gold ball of energy above their head and by pouring this energy through the head into their bodies.
According to the Taoist Healing, Gold Chi has the qualities of the Electric Violet Chibut is gentler than it and can be used to treat smaller, local areas.
Overuse of GOLD: Gold, like the yellow color, is considered the worst offender because it is the most fatiguing color. The answer is connected with the physics of light and optics. More light is reflected by bright colors, resulting in excessive stimulation of the eyes. Therefore, gold is an eye irritant. A person with an excess of gold has low self-esteem and could express lack of concentration, malice, and untrustworthiness. Too much gold can also result in excessive mental stimulation, ego, detachment, clash, strangeness, absurdity, inappropriateness, inaptness, and unease.
Enjoy books about color therapy:
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Barber, Vicky. Explore yourself through art. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Plume, 2002
Birren, Faber,Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A Factual Study of the Influence of Color on Human Life. Kessinger Publishing (March 2006)
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Dinshah, Darius, Let There Be Light, Dinshah Health Society, P.O. Box 707, Malaga NJ 08328, 1996.
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Liebmann, Marian, Art Therapy for Groups: A Handbook for Themes, Games, and Exercises.Brookline Books (April 1986)
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Schroder, Deborah. Little Windows Into Art Therapy: Small Openings For Beginning Therapists. Jessica Kingsley Publishers (December 2004)
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Simon, H. The Splendor of Iridescence. Dodd Mead, 1971
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Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page