Friday, September 23, 2011

Colour Therapy and Healing

I have always loved playing around with colour. During my art college years I would sit for hours just mixing paint and staring in awe at how the hues and tones changed, sometimes subtley and sometimes drastically. So much so that I would find myself gasping outloud. One colour in particular has always made me stop in my tracks, wherever I have seen it. (Not often though, it's quite rare!) It's a kind of violet, but not purple. Not blue and not lilac....I don't know why, it just puts me in a state of deep meditation! It engulf me!


I posted in a previous blog about my favourite colour. I believe there are two ways of looking at your favourite colour. On one hand, it describes you as a person, your character. Now this can change over time, we all evolve and that's why people may change their favourite colours throughout their lives. On the other hand, it may denote what you are lacking in your life. For example I have a tendency to open all the curtains as wide as possible if I feel low. I need the sun, I need yellow. I would probably say that yellow was my 'favourite' colour at that moment in time because I need it emotionally.
Lately I have been lusting after a certain green as well, but I don't know what it's called. Here it is on the walls, I find it so relaxing. I need to chill out!

Imagine a room in both these colours.....

So, anyway, let's get to the fun part, talking about how colour can make a huge difference to our lives. I have been reading a lot about this lately, I think that being a painter, the effect that my use of colour has on people is very important.
So what is colour?
Colour is simply light of varying wavelengths and, as such, is a form of energy. Within the visible spectrum of wavelengths, we have different colours. The longest are the reds and the shortest are the purples, with the other colours falling inbetween with their order of wavelength. On either end of the spectrum are infrared and ultraviolet lights which are also perceptible by other creatures such as snakes and honey bees.
Microwaves and X-rays can destroy living things and the sun has the power to destroy with its long and short waves. These are filtered out by the ozone layer which is being destroyed. The sun is ultimately a life giver and healer and was worshipped as such by the Ancients. This is why Yellow is the most uplifting colour of all.
The use of Colour as a Therapy is a truly holistic, non-invasive and powerful therapy which dates back thousands of years; evidence of this can be found in ancient texts from India, China and Egypt.
This light energy affects all living cells (as we all know, without light all living things are affected). Used in the right way, these different frequencies of light, i.e. colour, can have a profound and healing effect on all creation, human or otherwise. It is a well know scientific fact that everything has a vibration, that is to say that all things have their own vibration/frequency, and that includes us.
The Human body responds to colour through its various vibrations which correspond with the body's vibrations. Each part of the body resonates to a different colour, so when we are ill or emotionally troubled, we can use the appropriate colours to harmonize our vibrations and restore balance.
The general associations of the colours are as follows. (It gets more complicated as you look into hues, combinations of colours and each colour sending more than one signal. Some colours send positive signals, the others send negative ones.)

Reds, oranges and yellows are WARM and give a feeling of ENERGY, EXCITEMENT and JOY. Here in Van Gogh's painting 'Cafe Terrace at Night,' he deliberately uses indigo and blues for the night sky which juxtapose directly with the yellows and oranges of the candlelight. It makes you feel so warm and secure. You want to BE in that cafe!

Blues, indigos and purples are CALMING and COOLING. They QUIETEN the temperament and induce RELAXATION. However, too much can make us feel depressed and sad, as in Picasso's painting 'The Tragedy':

When we are well and healthy we will probably like most colours, but emotional and physical problems will tend to bring out preferences as I mentioned before. Another example is being attracted to red when you feel exhausted or run down, and blues when you need to rest and heal.
Next Entry: A Breakdown of each colour and how we can relieve emotional imbalances with them.

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Birds Become Fishes- Art, magic & Therapy for the Soul