This is my third round of research with my question “How does color affect mental state?” . For this round, I’m going to be researching about color theory and color therapy.
Color theory is a concept that the colors a person is surrounded with can have an effect on the person’s health, either physical or mental. Color psychology is based on the idea that the colors that a person is exposed to can have an effect on that person’s emotions and even on their health. In color theory, literally any shade of any color, has an effect on how a person thinks, acts, and responds to various stimuli in their world. (1)
Color theory is in different industries to influence the way people behave and think in those environments. In healthcare, color theory is used to create environments that feel safe, healing, and inspiring. Color theory is used a lot in hospitals to encourage patient healing and motivation,facility efficiency and efficacy and healthcare staff motivation and efficiency. For example,hospitals are usually decorated in soothing, cool colors, such as pale blue and green. This is thought to foster a relaxing environment that enables rest which could encourage faster healing. (1)
Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is an alternative remedy that uses color and light to treat physical or mental health by balancing the body’s energy centers. This concept goes way back to ancient Egyptians who used sun-activated solarium rooms made with colored glass for therapeutic purposes. Today, both conventional and holistic practitioners acknowledge the bright potential of art therapy, which would include color.(2)
Color therapy uses the energy relating to each of the seven spectrum colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Each of the spectrum colours is actually just light of varying wavelengths which basically means that each colour has its own particular energy. These energies resonate with the energy of each of the seven main chakras/energy centres of the body. If you imagine the chakras as wheels, where they are like the workings of a clock or an engine; each wheel needs to move smoothly for the clock/engine to work properly. Therefore, good health and wellbeing is being brought by a balance of all these energies. Balance of the energy in each of the body’s chakras is very important for health and wellbeing. Colour therapy can help to re-balance and/or stimulate these energies by applying the appropriate colour to the body and therefore re-balance our chakras.(3)
Color therapy controversy
While color therapy is still used in different applications, there is a lot of evidence from research that it doesn’t have the effects attributed to it. For example, according to the Center for Healthcare Design, the effects of color can be subjective based on cultural history and understanding. This can influence the effect that a certain color has on a certain individual, which goes against the idea that specific colors have a specific psychological response. Color may affect individuals in the cultural context, which makes the whole idea of color therapy valid while still requiring it to be based on a person’s cultural background. More research is needed for the validity of color therapy. However that being said, if a person feels better or more validated by color therapy, then they shouldn’t stop.(2)
If you have any comments, ideas or questions for me, feel free to let me know! Thanks for reading!!