By Faraaz Tanveer
Since time immemorial, colours have been used as powerful tools for healing and well-being
Crown chakra/Colour violet
Related to the brain and pineal gland.
Positive aspects: A reverence for all life, self-sacrificing in the service of others, an ability to see the appropriate route for the benefit of the higher self, idealism.
Negative aspects: No concern for others, feelings of superiority, lack of contact with reality.
Physical ailments: Dizziness, mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease.
Brow chakra/Colour indigo
Related to eyes, lower head, sinuses and pituitary gland.
Positive aspects: Highly intuitive, faithful, clear sighted, has integrity, orderly mind.
Negative aspects: Inability to trust intuition, scattered mind, inconsiderate, blinkered vision.
Physical ailments: Headaches, migraines, visual defects, sinus problems, ear defects.
Throat chakra/Colour blue
Related to throat, lungs and thyroid gland.
Positive aspects: Loyal, trustworthy, tactful, calm.
Negative aspects: Unfaithful, self-righteous, cold.
Physical ailments: Asthma, mouth ulcers, sore throat, thyroid problems, anorexia nervosa.
Heart chakra/Colour green
Related to heart, breasts and thymus gland.
Positive aspects: Compassionate, generous, balanced, loving.
Negative aspects: Jealous, miserly, bitter.
Physical ailments: Heart diseases, diseases of immune system (AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies), breast cancer.
Solar plexus chakra/Colour yellow
Related to liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine and pancreas.
Positive aspects: Confident, alert, optimistic, good-humoured.
Negative aspects: Over analytical, sarcastic, pessimistic.
Physical ailments: Diabetes, peptic ulcers, gallstones, liver disease.
Sacral (lower abdomen) chakra/Colour orange
Related to uterus, prostate, large intestine and ovaries and testes.
Positive aspects: Sociable, creative, joyous, independent.
Negative aspects: Destructive, despondent, withdrawn.
Physical ailments: PMS, irritable bowel syndrome, lower back pain, prostatic and testicular diseases, ovarian cysts.
Base chakra/Colour red
Related to kidneys, bladder, hips, legs and adrenal gland.
(The kidneys are formed within the pelvis and here they link with the base chakra energy, although prior to birth they rise to the position higher in the body with which we are more familiar)
Positive aspects: Assertive, courageous, pioneering.
Negative aspects: Insecure, aggressive, fearful.
Physical ailments: Constipation, diarrhoea, piles, colitis, frequent urination, cold fingers and toes, hypertension, kidney stones, impotence.
The Vedas and quantum physics agree that all matter is made up of energy vibrations at the most fundamental level. Our bodies are dynamic pools of energy constantly interacting with the environment, engaged in a complex energetic conversation. A major portion of this input shows up in the form of colours. Colours are a constant in our lives that we often tend to take for granted. Yet, since time immemorial, they have been used as powerful tools for healing and well-being. Each colour represents a specific vibration, and can lend itself to a vast spectrum of healing methods.
All systems of energy medicines integrate the principles of colour therapy into their practice. Each chakra in our body is associated with a particular colour (see box). Pranic healing and meditation can also be aided by colour visualisations. Colourpuncture uses focused beams of coloured light to energise the meridians in the same way as acupuncture uses needles. Colour therapy can also be used on its own to enhance the quality of our life and bring about healing.
Colour therapy as an independent branch of healing has seen a resurgence in India in recent times. Rochie Rana, a Delhi-based colour therapist and radio host, recalls a healing journey from one of her recent radio shows, when a lady had called regarding her nine-year-old daughter who was suffering from a severe liver ailment. The doctors had recommended a liver transplant but her body was rejecting the medicines. That is when Rochie recommended the use of the colour yellow (in clothing, furnishing, and food items) and yellow solarised water. Within two months, she got a call informing her about the girl’s complete recovery. Her liver was back to normal, and she did not need a transplant anymore. Not all cases are as dramatic, but colours play a subtle role in enhancing well-being. More and more people are discovering the potential of colours to make a positive difference in their lives. From relationships and careers to physical ailments and emotional issues, the right use of colours can open up new avenues for positive energies to flow into our lives. Rochie recalls another case where a young lady was able to get her life back on track with the help of the right colours. As a young divorcee trying to cope with her situation, she started frequenting Internet chat rooms. Her emotional vulnerability coupled with economic uncertainty led her to the flesh trade. She remained in the trade for six years, held back by monetary need, and by her own admission, inertia. It was at this point that she called in to Rochie’s show, asking for help. Rochie recommended the use of grey and brown for making her feel grounded, followed by green and purple for career enhancement. She followed the instructions diligently, and within a short span of a few weeks found the courage to walk out of prostitution, into a life of new possibilities. She enrolled for a part-time postgraduate course. She is currently rebuilding her career from scratch!
Many of these stories may sound too good to be true, but once you understand the science behind the world of colours, you will be amazed by their untapped potential and possibilities.
Colour therapy is meant to be utilised as an integral part of our day-to-day life. A colour therapist can advise on the use of certain colours and methods. The therapist can also sensitise you about the effect of various colours according to your needs and constitution. The application, however, is entirely dependent upon your own level of awareness.
Colour is simply light of different wavelengths, and each wavelength resonates with different energy centres of our body and aspects of our life. Colour can be therapeutic as well as diagnostic. Your choice of colours can give a clue about your present physical, mental and emotional state. For example, a biased preference for black over a period indicates an emotionally vulnerable state, as black absorbs all strong energies and gives a feeling of protection. A yearning for green may indicate an impending illness, as the body seeks healing energies in the colour. Thus, colours can sensitise us about the changes in our mind-body system much before they show up as symptoms in our body.
Here is a basic overview of the spectrum:
Violet: Violet relates to self-knowledge and spiritual awareness. This colour is known as one of the cool colours. It has a calming effect on us and is, therefore, helpful for those people experiencing difficulties in sleep or stress. However, it can be contra-indicated for those suffering from depressive disorders. Violet, being the colour relating to our spiritual connection, can be helpful for meditation.
Indigo: Indigo relates to self-responsibility, that is, being responsible for one’s own life. It enhances our ability to see things from a ‘higher’ viewpoint rather than purely for satisfaction of the ego or one’s material comfort. Indigo is a sedative and helps in opening up intuitive powers. It is the colour of divine knowledge and the higher mind. It is suitable for more quiet places like bedrooms, treatment rooms, and study, but not for areas of entertainment.
Blue: Blue relates to self-expression. It signifies speech, communication and the ability to express our needs and requirements. It enhances the spirit of truth and purpose. It is a calming, relaxing and healing colour, though not as sedating as indigo. It can be used to create a relaxed, constructive communication space. It can be used in all areas except those used for physical activity or play.
Green: This colour relates to self-love and the ability to give and take unconditionally. Green is a balancing colour, in the middle of the visible spectrum. The higher three colours are known as the cool colours and are calming in effect while the lower three are known as the warm colours and have a stimulating effect. Green is the balance between these two. At the end of a colour therapy treatment, the therapist generally uses green as a balancing colour. It can be helpful in times of stress. If one has experienced a trauma, a green silk wrap around the shoulders can have a strong therapeutic effect.
Yellow: Yellow relates to self-worth, how we feel about ourselves, and about the way others perceive us. It is closely linked to self-confidence. It is the colour of the intellect. It can be very helpful with study and tasks where concentration is required. Using a yellow-coloured paper to study for exams can enhance memory and retention. This is the reason why lawyers use yellow legal pads, as they need to remember all the details.
Orange: Orange is related to self-respect. It refers to the ability to give us the freedom to be ourselves and to respect our own boundaries and requirements, and by the same token, to respect the boundaries of others. Orange is the colour of creativity. It stimulates and energises us, and is warming. Orange is the colour of fun and sociability, and can be used in any activity area. It is not ideal for bedrooms or areas of possible stress.
Red: Red relates to our awareness of ourselves as human beings and our place on earth. Red gives us courage and strength. It is stimulating and energising. Therefore, it is helpful for getting over tiredness and lethargy and to boost sluggish circulation. Red, in its most positive sense, is the colour for courage, strength and pioneering spirit. However, it is also the colour of anger and violence. It is energising and excites the emotions, and can stimulate the appetite. Therefore, it is often used in restaurants. Red can be used in any activity area, but needs careful choice of tone, depth, and the space in which it is to be used. It can make a space look smaller and can be claustrophobic or oppressive. However, used well, red and its variations can make a space feel warm and cosy.
White: White contains the entire spectrum in itself. It stands for purity and strength. It is cleansing and purifying for the entire system. It enhances the effect of any other colour used along with it. It gives strength and encourages inner creativity.
Black: Black stands for protection, grounding and strength. It activates the feminine energies of the body. It has a calming effect, especially for emotionally vulnerable individuals. Black should be used sparingly, and always in a combination with other colours, especially white. When used along with white, it balances the polarities of the individual, and gives a sense of calm and control.
Brown: It stands for grounding and stabilising. It calms and grounds emotions, and facilitates an objective view of life. It helps in awakening common sense and discrimination. It can be effectively used to manage hyperactivity in children and adults alike.
While putting colour therapy to use, one must remember that no colour is inherently good or bad. It is the use of the appropriate colour at the required time that brings forth results. Overuse of any colour will certainly cause imbalance. For example, while using yellow may improve your child’s concentration and retention power, too much of it will cause diarrhoea! So, always consult a trained therapist and use the colours as directed, to get the best results.
The most common method of incorporating the principles of colour therapy in your life is to surround yourself with the desired colours by means of clothes, furnishings, accessories, food items and more. So a green colour treatment may include green clothes, bangles, curtains and utensils along with a diet of spinach and salad greens. You can also use green bottles for the water you drink.
Rochie’s day-to-day choices pertaining to clothing and interiors are guided by these principles. She also uses her knowledge of colours for self-diagnosis, anticipating any illness or imbalance in her body and that of her friends. She has worked on the colour scheme of Radio Today’s offices around the country. The studio walls are green, to keep the presenters calm and composed, with a yellow couch thrown in for creativity and concentration. The sales offices are done up in reds and blues, to keep up with the high energy while maintaining a balance in the middle of frantic activity. The open sitting areas are purple to enhance communication among the staff. “It is high time that companies wake up to these details in their office environment, as it makes a huge difference to the energy, and finally the quality of output from their offices,” she says. The positive feedback from her colleagues around the country supports her vision completely.
Light filters: Coloured light filters can be used on window glass or along with a light box. A light box produces a full spectrum of light, and is the closest you can get to natural light after sundown. This coloured light is then used to bathe the body.
Colour breathing: Deep yogic breathing can be combined with colour visualisations to achieve a deeper effect. Deep, slow and silent abdominal breathing puts one in a state of relaxed awareness and in this state, one can mentally visualise ‘breathing’ the desired colour in and out along with the breath. This technique is combined with the knowledge of chakras (see box) to have a potent effect.
Another technique is to breathe the whole spectrum and feel the colours coursing through the body. The warm colours (red, orange, yellow) are inhaled from the earth and exhaled back into it. Green is absorbed horizontally and then flows back the same way. The cool colours (violet, indigo, blue) come in from the sky and go out with the breath into the sky again. The session ends with visualising pure white light.
Solarised water: When exposed to sunlight, water in a coloured container absorbs the vibrational energy of that particular colour. This water can then be drunk (sipped, not gulped!) or used for bathing a particular part of the body. To make solarised water, a clear glass container filled with water is kept in the sunlight for the desired amount of time (may vary from season to season, and according to the degree of concentration required, usually five hours in summer is enough). The glass container can be covered with a colour filter or a coloured container can be used instead. Water solarised with warm colours is best had in the first half of the day and the one with cool colours is suitable for the latter half.
Coloured silks: Coloured silks are coloured pieces of natural fabrics that are placed directly over the affected parts.
Chakra meditation: Each colour of the spectrum corresponds to a particular chakra of the body. Colour visualisations, when combined with awareness of the appropriate chakras act as a very effective tool in balancing the energies of the body. It is often combined with chakra specific chanting (Beej mantra) to form a multi-sensory healing symphony.
The crux of colour therapy lies in the awareness of how we constantly interact with our environment, receiving and giving out energy. This knowledge can then be used to make that interaction work for us. “It is a very accessible form of healing for everyone, with simple, practical applications. That’s what attracted me to this science in the first place,” says Rochie. So go ahead and take a dip in this colourful world of healing. May the light guide you on your path!
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