The use of
colours dates back to primitive humans. Motives behind the use of
colours, particularly in clothing, include increasing self-confidence,
vanity, the attraction of the opposite sex and, used with amulets,
protection against magic.
Part of ancient
lore, colour has been used in healing systems developed by Babylonians,
Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Persians and others. Colour therapy also
forms part of Ayurvedic medicine and is used to treat imbalances of the
three doshas. Prior to the
Middle Ages, symbolisms and colours in religious art indicated the
status of saints, martyrs and their acts.
In 1878, colour
healing received attention with the publication of Edwin Babbitt's The
Principles of Light and Color. In the book, Babbitt reaffirms the
Pythagorean correspondences of music and colour, and the power to
In his Spectro Chrometry Encyclopedia
(1933), Dinshah Ghadiali proposed that colours denote chemical
potencies in higher vibrations. Ghadiali made a fortune selling his
"Spectro-Chrome" machines claimed to be able to cure almost any
ailment. The U.S. government cracked down on him with fines totaling
$20,000 and a three year suspended sentence.
consider that colours can exert considerable psychological and
physiological influence on people. They point out that colour has been
used in mental hospitals to calm patients suffering from depression and
hyperactivity, and in other areas to stimulate, create mood and
therapists believe colours contain energy vibrations with healing
properties and that they can be used to assist the body's natural
and include wearing different coloured clothing, drinking from coloured
vessels, bathing in coloured light, wearing coloured glasses and
changing one's diet.
Colour is a part
of our life — the clothing we wear, the colours we paint our walls, our
choice of furniture, and the colour we choose when buying a vehicle. In
one way or another, they all have a psychological or physiological
effect. There is no hard and fast rule however — what appeals to one
person may be an anathema to another.
scientific research has tended to confirm coloured light has an effect
on the human psyche, there is no scientific evidence to support the
Ayurvedic or metaphysical contention that colours can be used to
correct "imbalances" or influence specific glands, organs or tissues of
Anderson, M. 1985. Colour Healing,
Aquarian Press, Wellington, UK.
Clark, Linda. 1975. The Ancient Art
of Color Therapy, The Devin-Adair Co., Old Greenwich,
Gerber, Richard. 1988. Vibrational Medicine, Bear & Co., Santa Fe,
Hunt, Roland. 1971. The Seven Keys
to Color Healing, Harper & Rowe, San Francisco.
Hope, Murry. The Psychology of
Healing, Element Books, Longmead, Shaftsbury, Dorset, UK.
Lad, Vasant. 1985. Ayurveda: The
Science of Self Healing. Lotus Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Stanway, S. Andrew. 1986. A Guide to
Natural Therapies, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, England.
Edwards, H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary, Holistic &
Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc