What is Color Therapy?

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  • Written By: Steve R.
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2020
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Color therapy, also referred to as chromotherapy, is a holistic healing technique that uses colors to alter mood and improve health. Chromotherapy dates back thousands of years and even was used by the Mayans and ancient Egyptians as a method to promote well-being and healing. During the 20th century, color therapy enjoyed a revival. Color therapy employs the principle that each color of the spectrum invokes a different emotion in people.

Red is linked with courage, strength, ambition, and attentiveness. It can be used to provide more self-confidence and a feeling of security. Orange is related with success and happiness. The color can be used as a source for inspiration and hopefulness.

Yellow is associated self-worth, wisdom, and inspiration. The color can be used to assist memory as well as to offer courage. Green is connected with peace, love, and hope. It can be used as a stress reducer and as a way to help provide balance.

Blue is related to creativity, personal expression, and health. The color can offer calmness and enhance clear thinking and communication skills. Indigo is associated with understanding and imagination. It can provide a greater awareness and foster creativity. Violet is related to creativity and beauty, and is said to promote generosity, selflessness, and relaxation.


Color therapy can be employed by using a variety of methods. A person can use a lamp that produces different colors – a colored lamp can enhance an entire room or be narrow enough to focus on a specific body part. Another method is to apply various colors of the spectrum on acupuncture points on the skin by using an instrument that looks like a pen light. The skin receptors then absorb the light. Another technique requires a person to envision a specific color while breathing deeply.

If desired, a person can even elect to wear glasses that allow only a specific color of the spectrum to filter in. Light that enters the eyes promotes the creation of hormones that affect the body’s biochemical system. Other methods that can be used for color therapy include clothing, therapy oils, bath crystals, soap, and paints.

Color has been shown to enhance mood. Light boxes have been proven to assist in coping with seasonal affective disorder, which is related to the lack of sunlight in the winter months. Color also is useful to treat mood and sleep disorders. Practitioners recommend that chromotherapy should not be the sole method for treating critical ailments such as cancer. Instead, practitioners recommend that color therapy should be used in addition to medication or treatment prescribed by a physician.


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