Color. We delight in a rainbow, sigh at a sunset, luxuriate in the rich colors of our homes, clothes, special spaces. Our eyes gravitate towards saturated color like moths to the light. No coincidence, considering the entire spectrum of colors is derived from light. And no surprise, really, that seeing, wearing or being exposed to color- whether in the form of light, pigment, or cloth- can affect us at levels we are only just beginning to understand.
Color Therapy Has a Long HistoryThis is no new news. Egyptians built healing temples of light four thousand years ago, bathing patients in specific colors of light to produce different effects. Now, before you begin to pooh-pooh the pyramids, consider these factual goodies. Research shows that a blindfolded person will experience physiological reactions under different colored rays. In other words, the skin sees in Technicolor. Noted neuropsychologist Kurt Goldstein confirmed this information in his modern classic The Organism, where he notes that stimulation of the skin by different colors creates different effects.
Color is Visible LightScientifically, it makes sense. Color is simply a form of visible light, of electromagnetic energy. Let's break it down. What exactly is light? It is the visible reflection off the particles in the atmosphere. Color makes up a band of these light wave frequencies from red at 1/33,000th's of an inch wavelength to violet at 1/67,000 of an inch wavelength. Below red lie infrared and radio waves. Above it: the invisible ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays. We all understand the impact of ultraviolet and x-rays, do we not? Why then wouldn't the light we can see "as color" not have as big an impact?
Lack of Color Causes DepressionHow we "feel" about color is more than psychological. The last decade has proven that lack of color, or more specifically, light, causes millions to suffer each winter from a mild depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Because of the complex way in which exposure to various colors acts via the brain upon the autonomic nervous system, exposure to a specific color can even alter physiological measurements such as blood pressure, electrical skin resistance and glandular functions in your body. And they most certainly can affect how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Learning about color's qualities and putting it to use can enhance your spirit, improve your health, and quite ultimately, expand your consciousness.
Color Therapy and Your AuraColor therapy, also known as chromo therapy, is used by alternative health practitioners who use color to balance energy wherever our bodies are lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Angie Arkin, Intuitive Healer in Key West, uses color during her sessions with clients, and often works with color during her own personal meditations.
"Your aura is just an energy field that surrounds you," says Arkin. "In your aura, there are different layers, and in each layer, there are different colors that may be used for clearing and rebalancing your energy field. An aura reading is looking at the colors found in your aura. Knowing what colors are in your aura brings you closer to your spirit. If you can consciously bring that out, you have more advantage in clearing and healing your life. It's really just another layer of knowing."
Jasmine Sky, also a Florida Keys resident, brings healing and color therapy to clothing. "Painting on silk and installing healing prayers into the silk seemed to marry all parts of me - the part of me that was a healer, the part of me that was an artist, my love of fabrics and many years of sewing, my love of tropical islands with sarongs being their indigenous clothing," she says.
Jasmine, having studied color therapy, takes this into consideration when working with clients for their custom design. "Specifically I work with customers on the emotional space they want to be in, and recommend colors accordingly. This informs the prayers and Reiki symbols I paint in to the silk. And the silk itself has unique energy and healing properties. I also draw on my own intuitive resources to make recommendations." All this is part of the reason Sky talks to each customer before creating a garment, even if it is one of the standard designs.
Sky also refers customers to, and works with Arkin, in applying color readings to garment design. They are currently working together to integrate Arkin's readings into The Dreaming Goddess Web site.
Angie Arkin, Intuitive Healer www.beyourownhealer.com
Jasmine Sky, The Dreaming Goddess www.thedreaminggoddess.com
About this Contributor: Writer, Cricket Demarais, covers Key West, Florida healers for local and national publications.