Chromotherapy is the use of color to meet the healing needs of both the body and the mind. Taking its roots in ancient civilizations, chromotherapy is a very old form of alternative medicine. The basics of chromotherapy have to do with exposing your body to different wavelengths/colors of light through the use of lamps, color filters, color crystals or even different color clothing. It is believed that exposing the body to the appropriate form of light can bring body systems back to their correct balance and improve an individual's emotions. The knowledge of which body part needs which color of light comes from an ancient belief in chakras.
Chakras have to do with energy channels that are said to run along the spine. There are seven chakras in total and they run from the top of the head down to the base of the spine. In a top to bottom order the seven chakras are:
1. The Crown Chakra which is associated with violet/purple
2. The Third Eye Chakra which is paired with indigo
3. The Throat Chakra which is paired with blue
4. The Heart Chakra which is associated with green
5. The Solar Plexus Chakra that is partnered with yellow
6. The Sacral Chakra which is affected by orange
7. The Base/Root Chakra which is associated with red.
In addition to being paired with a specific chakra, each of the different chakras has different effects on mood and health.
The practices of chromotherapy involve many different aspects, but they are incorporated with the idea of balancing chakras. The seven chakras listed above are each theorized to be centers of a human beings physical and psychological state. Any disruption in this state, will lead to an unbalance in specific chakras. Chromotherapy is intended to restore this balance, and therefore restore health. Chromotherapy can be subtle. The use of specifically chosen colored fabrics for example can have a subtle effect on improving the mood while carrying on daily tasks. More intense forms of chromotherapy involve long stents of meditation and can involve many unorthodox forms of treatment. One example of an unusual chromotherapy technique is colored bath treatments. This process involves sitting in a bath of water and surrounding yourself with certain colors and incorporating imagination and meditation into the experience. Colored eye lenses are also a form of chromotherapy. Claims have been made that by wearing lenses that let in a desired color at increased amounts, the color will move to ailing parts of the body and help the healing process.
The extent that chromotherapy is effective is decided on an individual basis. Chromotherapy requires a basic ability to open your mind and body to abstract concepts such as life force, chakras and internal energy. Another issue presented by chromotherapy is that view on colors and their effect on the psyche are largely based on definitions given by culture. For this reason, there are varying views on the effects that different colors have. Interest in alternative, holistic forms of medicine may lead to the exploration of chromotherapy, because after hundreds of years, people still find it to be effective.