Healing light and colour | Seasonal Affective Disorder and more

How to use colour and light to reboot your health

Light and colour heal both physical and mental illness. Sunlight, which holds all the colours of the light spectrum, has been used for healing from the times of the most ancient societies, and today, modern medicine is once again using light for healing. Inexpensive, and with minimal side effects, these are powerful tools for improving a wide range of health issues.

Full spectrum light boxes have been developed to reduce the winter blues of SAD syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder). UV lights treat skin disorders like psoriasis and acne and helps with sleep problems. LED lights can re-grow your hair. Laser lights can be used in acupuncture instead of needles, and low level lasers have been found to be effective for chronic and acute pain and inflammation. 

Photodynamic therapy is being developed to treat cancer, and bio-photon therapy, again using light, is used to treat Lyme disease and weight loss. Studies have been done using light for pain relief, degenerative osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel tendonitis, skin ailments, acne, psoriasis, healing of the sinus cells, throat and ear problems, whiplash and lower back problems. Under the microscope, healthy cells are full of light; as they get sicker, they lose that light, and a cancerous cell is almost dark.

Far Infrared (FIR) light generates heat and is used in saunas for weightloss and detoxification. Near Infrared light therapy is good for the eyes, muscles, nerves, skin and immune system. Placing a LED (Light Emitting Diode) light over your belly button, which sits in front of the aorta artery, will flood light into the whole blood system. In the space of 20 minutes every drop of blood in your body will pass in front of the light, increasing the activity of your white cells, red cells, B-cells and T-cells and boosting your immune system.

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Healing Shades of Light

The frequency of light is so high and so fast, that it is expressed in terms of wavelengths or nanometers (nm) rather than hertz which describes the slower, denser frequency of sound. There are different types of light, and different colours are created by different frequencies of that light. The visible colour spectrum that we can see with our eyes ranges from violet at one end, with a higher frequency, and red at the other end with a lower frequency.

We all know that colour can have a healing effect on the body as well as the mind and emotions.  We reach for certain colours subconsciously, knowing they will boost us in a certain way. The colours of your clothes, for instance, can set you up or put you down for the day. Getting dressed in a specific shade will reflect your mood of the moment; red for buzzy and bright, and dark brown or grey when more sober. You can get up feeling depressed and dull and then pull on a yellow scarf and suddenly the world seems brighter.

Research studies have consistently shown that the colours you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your physical and emotional health (33). 60% of your reaction to events will be down to the colour of your surroundings and different shades of those colours adjusts your heart rate and blood pressure accordingly (34). Likewise, the colours we surround ourselves with at home can have a profound impact on mood. Staring deep into a canvas painted, say, Yves Klein blue, can have a deeply calming effect on you, while a deep red dining room gives a buzz to your meals that in a pale pink room would be flat and dull.

Every tissue and cell in the body absorbs and reacts to a specific wavelength of light, so coloured pulsing LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) have been developed to cover the spectrum.  Using only a single frequency or coloured light, practitioners can heal different health problems and this treatment has been found to be helpful with strokes, concussions and internal problems in the brain. 

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Which colour do you need?

Here’s a low down on the power of the different colours. See which one you are drawn to - it’s likely to reflect something that you need more of.

Red – The most powerful colour in the spectrum.  Red can be useful to boost poor circulation.  It’s stimulating, warm and exciting.  It increases mental alertness, raises emotional awareness; it’s good for organs, bones, joints and deep muscle tissue.  It energises your heart and liver, stimulates haemoglobin and the adrenals to release adrenalin. It’s linked to fertility – and relieves menstrual symptoms.  Good for hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia.  The wavelengths of red light disable inflammation triggers, so can be useful in the treatment of rosacea.  Never treat cancer with red light as it stimulates cells to grow. 

Orange – Joyful. An anti-depressant that inspires creative thinking.  Stimulates lungs, respiration and digestion and is beneficial to the metabolic system.   Also the kidneys, pancreas and spleen and can raise blood pressure.

Yellow- Strengthens the nerves and the mind.  Elevates psyche and spirit.  Speeds digestion and benefits liver, lymph and stomach.  Yellow light reduces redness and inflammation whilst boosting circulation.  Reduces fine lines and wrinkles.  Loss of focus if too much of it.  Can lead to irrational behavior and uncertainty; Activates depressed people.

Green – The colour of nature.  Soothing to both mind and body; balances hormonal issues, strengthens the nervous system and increases immunity.  Beneficial for blood pressure and heart, though too much can result in heart palpitations.  Strengthens against panic attacks and addictions.  Green light is used to target dark circles, pigmentation problems and broken capillaries.

Turquoise – Cool, calming and soothing. Beneficial for nervous system and calms inflammation.  Builds the skin.  Helpful for eczema

Blue – Most healing of all the colours; calming and relaxing.  Reduces anxiety and blood pressure.  Beneficial in all shades. Cools inflammation.  Good for fever, headaches and asthma.  Blue light eases laryngitis, chicken pox and rheumatism and is used in hospitals on newborn babies to heal jaundice. In combination with red light it can improve acne, kill bacteria and help the skin to heal.  Police stations often paint their interview rooms blue because research shows people are more likely to tell the truth surrounded by that colour.

Pink - Pink light relieves ear and gland problems, head pains and psychosomatic illnesses, as well as all disorders relating to children and babies. Good for adolescent girls, pregnant and menopausal women. Bubblegum pink or 'Passive Pink' in a room will calm even the most disruptive child.

Violet – Can calm an overactive heart. Soothes mental stress and can help treat depression.  Leonardo da Vinci found that he could increase the power of meditation 10 times by sitting under a violet ray. 

Magenta – The colour of contentment and fulfillment.  To be used only rarely; stimulates heart and adrenaline.

Purple - Light for healing the spirit and traumatic events of the past.  Relieves allergies, eye, ear, nose and skin problems.  Helps with headaches and sleep difficulties.

Brown – Cosy and grounding, but too much can be depressing.  Absorbs pain and sorrow, increases physical energy and helps with structural pain and the large intestine.

Grey – A neutral and lifeless colour.  Can be depressive and weakens both mind and body. Needs to be combined with other colours.

Black – A hard colour to live with.  Serious, protective and depressing. 

White – Contains inside itself all the other colours.   Symbolic of purity and innocence.  Needs other colours to bring it to life. Increases blood flow and the production of antibodies.  Also decreases inflammation.

Light is a powerful force for health, but please be aware that it can also cause problems.  Bright, harsh lights can enhance aggression. Too much light in a room makes people close up and restrains conversation and communication. Too little light, contrarily, makes people nervous and again affects communication adversely. 


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Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, founder of one of the UK's largest breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven. With over twenty years' experience in holistic health, Sara's digital dose of wellness teaches you to listen to your body, tweak your lifestyle and improve your health. 

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