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Also known as chromotherapy, colorology, chroma therapy, or cromatherapy, color therapy is an alternative therapy that uses color and light to manage certain mental and physical health conditions.

Chromotherapists use color and light as a form of electromagnetic energy, with the idea that each color resonates at a particular vibration, just as each human energy center, known as chakra, resonates at a certain vibration.

Common in Hinduism and Buddhism, chakras are focal points that are used in a variety of meditation practices. Hindu sources reference six or seven chakras, while Buddhists cite five. The modern system of chakras originated in the 1880s with the Theosophists. New Age spirituality associates each of the chakras with a single color of the visible light spectrum, each of which has a corresponding function, organ, or body system. Following this view, chakras can become imbalanced, resulting in physical and mental disorders. Applying the appropriate color can correct these imbalances.

Practitioners of color therapy often claim seven chakras, sometimes referred to as spiritual centers, and believed to be located along the spine.

Chromotherapy and chakra healing are intertwined, and closely related to Reiki. Whether it's chakra healing, chromotherapy, or Reiki, the foundation for promoting a healthy balance in the body is the application of vibration to induce an optimal state of function. Colors are believed to have physiological and psychological effects on human beings, and they can be used for therapeutic purposes. Color therapy is a form of energy medicine.

As its name implies, color therapy uses colors to address various physical and psychological conditions. As colors are the visible portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, color therapy is a form of vibrational therapy, often used by energy healers and other forms of alternative medicine, often in combination with chakra or Reiki.

The use of color in healing dates back a couple of thousand years, and was practiced by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese, who used color and light in the form of sunlight, crystal reflections, paints, and plants to promote feelings of well-being.

Color therapy is believed by many to be helpful in improving an individual's attention span, reducing stress, promoting muscle relaxation, controlling aggressive behavior, and remediating sleep problems, although it has also been used to control breathing and blood pressure, and in the treatment of migraines, fibroid pain, and vision problems.

Mostly, it is used to improve an individual's overall mood, motivation, sleep, outlook, and decision-making. Some colors are considered to be stimulating, while others are soothing and relaxing.

Most theories of color therapy hold that the color red is used to promote stamina, passion, and circulation. As a root chakra, it is also considered to be grounding. Orange is used to improve feelings of energy, excitement, happiness, optimism, pleasure, and sexuality. Yellow (happiness; naval) can bring about improvement in optimism, willpower, laughter, and warmth. Green can be used to aid in healing, balance, love, grounding, growth, health, and calmness. Blue is tied to communication, knowledge, loyalty, serenity, truth, and wisdom. Indigo can be used for pain relief, prosperity, respect, and wisdom. Violet can be used to boost calmness, creativity, serenity, and spiritual awakening. Purple utilizes both red and blue to provide a balance between stimulation and serenity. White is associated with innocence, cleanliness, and neutrality. Black (authority) is mostly associated with strength, power, and intelligence. Brown is associated with stability, friendship, comfort, and security.

Because seasonal affective disorder is common in cold weather areas, the lack of sunlight puts people at risk for depression. Color therapy is believed to be particularly helpful with such individuals.

Blue, green, and light purple can have a calming effect on individuals, leading to reduced anxiety, decreased blood pressure, slowed breathing, relaxation, and easy sleep. Perhaps because green is so closely associated with nature, the color is often used for its grounding and balancing effects, promoting serenity. Green is also a healing color.

Color therapy can be facilitated by a color therapist, but it is also something that can be practiced at home. People who are familiar with the concepts of color therapy might paint rooms in their homes to have the effects that they are looking for. They have learned to take advantage of the uplifting effects of sunlight, and might also make use of the beneficial colors found in nature, such as blue skies, green grass, and the variety of colors from various flowers and plants. Coloring, drawing, and painting are also things that people can do at home, using colors that bring about the mental state they are looking for.



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