What is colour therapy?

Colour has the amazing ability to affect and influence us in certain ways. Whether blue is your favourite colour, or whether or not you can stand the rosy influence of the colour pink, there is something about different hues that has a subtle control over us. It's why the colour "drunk tank pink" was used to calm violent people in prison, or why there is a rule in football that home teams and opposing teams have to have locker rooms painted the same colour. In the 90s, visiting football teams had their locker rooms painted pink and it was said that it made the players more passive, hence the passing of the rule. It's also the first colour we see while in the womb, so it naturally has a soothing effect on us. But that's not to point a finger at pink - it's why yellow makes us feel joyful, and why blues calm us. It's why red can trigger deep passion or aggression, and why white feels pure and fresh. Whether we like to admit it or not, our interpretation of colour affects us. Check out just what colour therapy is below:


Colour therapy, often called Chromotherapy, is the practice of healing with colour and light. While not all colours mean the same thing to different people or cultures, it does have certain meanings that resonate within our subconscious states based on how our eyes interpret light. All light is, is varying wavelengths of energy. All colour is, is light. Our bodies are also made up of energy, hence why there is a natural understanding that happens inside us when we interact with these colours. When our bodies are tired or sick, Chromotherapy is often used to give our bodies a little jump start or boost to kick us into high gear so our bodies can begin to heal. However, because illness and disruption in the body is the cause and effect or "final step" of imbalances in the mind or spirit, this jolt to our bodies is actually an attempt at rebalancing our minds so they can properly heal. But in order for healing to reach its completion it needs to begin in the body and mosey its way into our mind and spirit. So what is colour? Simple. It's light energy. And we need light to survive.


Different colours are used for activating certain energies with in us. For the purpose of explaining basic colour therapy, I'd like to dive into the seven colours found in the rainbow, also represented by the chakra system in our body. The chakra system is derived from Indian cultures, outlining seven different areas in the body that have a specific spiritual power. They are each identified by a colour. While there are literally thousands of different colours out there, let's start by understanding the influence of these first seven. We can expand on the others later. Like pink! It's important to remember that all colours can have an extreme, activating a slightly negative component to counter their positive one. Positivity and negativity can't exist without one another, it's why red can mean love or anger.


Red is an energizer. When operating in its positive elements it represents deep love and passion, and can be great for someone trying to maintain inspiration and lustre for life or a specific project. So if you have a new idea you're really excited about, keeping red in your line of sight while you work on the new project would be very beneficial. Or, say, wearing a red camisole while clocking in your hours dedicated to your project. When out of balance, it can trigger aggression, competitiveness and even hotheadedness. When a person has an aversion to red, it can indicate that he or she is afraid or intimidated by this type of bold person - that doesn't mean they shouldn't have red in their surroundings! While we might dislike red because maybe it was the colour of a big bully's shirt when we were little, if we have a physical aversion to the colour and not just a trained reaction because of a memory, it could mean we have an imbalance within ourselves. This mindset applies to every colour.


Orange is a less intense version of red and carries warmer properties. It is also energetic, but with a lighter influence. It is a great stimulant for creative thinking and expansion, so if you work in the arts, orange would be a good colour to keep near you during brainstorms. Orange encourages people to be social and friendly, and maybe a smidge sexual - but in a playful way! On it's negative side, orange can also express too much sexuality or materialism, as it really expresses the loves and joys of life. Everything is good in moderation, but too much orange can make us a little overindulgent. Too much of anything is never a good thing and by focusing too much on the pleasures of life under orange's influence we can become a little too carefree. If a person has an aversion to orange it can indicate that he or she is suppressing a sexual side or feels guilty when it comes to enjoying the pleasures in life.


Yellow helps us to feel alert and awake. Like the colour of the sun, it can help make us feel alive and healthy. It is a great mental colour, so if you need to study or give something your ultimate attention, yellow would be a great stimulant. Even sipping fresh lemon water would suffice! It's also great for people who often feel the blues, as in down in the dumps, because yellow is a great picker-upper. The negative side to yellow could make us overly stimulated, unable to focus on one specific thing when we need to. It can have us too excited about every little thing and darting in many directions. Sometimes it can have us feeling so vivacious that we flit around without any much needed grounding energy. We're too "up" on yellow. Someone with an aversion to yellow can indicate the need to shuffle around and never settle. This could mean changing jobs or friends frequently, or even throwing shade at people in longterm relationships. 


Green! Our culture has turned green into an eco-movement, and even a symbol for money. And while green is a really great colour to promote good health, it's actually a really soothing colour. It's the colour of some of our most natural items in this world, like grass and the trees. It's hard to be high strung looking at a beautiful maple tree or evergreen. It encourages balance as it is both energizing in the ways of health, and soothing in the ways of... health! You know when you wake up feeling your best, but you're not buzzing around on too much caffeine? When you've just done a great yoga stretch but you haven't pushed it? That's what positive green feels like. Fresh. A person with an aversion to green might struggle with feeling whole, distancing him or herself from close relationships - albeit unconsciously. He or she might be feeling a bit stuck, afraid to move forward in a specific direction. So if this feels like you, go snag that green pillow you saw while window shopping last week. Introduce more green into your life!


Blue is very soothing. Right before my father passed away he dreamt everything in his life was blue. I believe this was his subconscious signalling to him that his pain was set to soon be over and he could finally be at peace. Blue is a great healer - and not just a colour for boys. It "cools" over stimulated people and can even help tame aggression. Depending on the shade, it can feel very dreamy and gentle. On the negative side, too much blue can feel heavy, like the weight of the ocean pressing down onto us. When the blue is darker and more intense, it can actually trigger being a little down in the dumps - hence feeling the blues. Too much blue needs to be warmed up! A person with an aversion to blue might be a little rigid in his or her daily life. Blue encourages free-flowing movement, fluidity and calmness. So by having an aversion to this colour, a person might not want to be "slowed down" or critiqued - or even relaxed. But just chiiiiill. Paint your room blue.


Indigo is that dark colour that's a little bit blue and a little bit purple. It carries the soothing properties of blue with it, but it is even more freeing and inspirational. Since purple is made by combining blue and red, this colour has traces of stimulating red influence in it, with the steadiness of blue. It is great for meditating as it encourages that perfect balance of calmness and focus. It is a very wise colour and good for just about anything in the right dose. On it's negative side, it can be a little dramatic, making everything more potent than it really needs to be. It can crave more attention and every interest can be exploited in hyperdrive - like a drama queen needing attention and to be validated. People with an aversion to this colour may have a fear for the unknown, and be unwilling to explore new ideas. They may also dislike any attention on them and fear the spotlight.


Purple is often the colour used to associate with magic and royalty - two things I have no problem with, though I wouldn't say I was particularly drawn to purple. (I'm a red person; everyone has a favourite colour!) Purple is both soothing and refreshing, but it stimulates new ways of thinking, and originality. It encourages feelings of importance and self-worth and is great for someone questioning their value. It can encourage daydreaming and fantasizing, and is great for people who need that extra dose of mysticism in their lives - like fiction writers, poets and lyricists! Too much purple can have us trapped up in the clouds, flighty, but set in our ways and not willing to negotiate being more grounded. It's like a stubborn flaky person! Someone with an aversion to purple might turn his or her nose down at anything out of the ordinary, and may shy away from the magic and synchronicities in life, choosing to ignore them or disbelieve.

There are so many different colours out there and we will definitely explore more of them. Each colour brings with it a slew of identifying positive and negative properties - these are just some of the wild traits to the colours in the rainbow! I'm a red person; what colour are you?