Why We Respond To Color

“Man needs colour to live;
It’s just as necessary an element as fire and water.” ~Fernand Leger 


We are all moved by color whether we are aware of the process or not. Color is the visible spectrum of light. It is an active power, exerting a tremendous influence on our consciousness, soul and spirit. The earth, the oceans, in fact every living thing, is dependent upon light for its very existence. A recent scientific study disclosed that each cell in the body emits light. We live in a sea of energy and our bodies are composed of energy. Color works through and in us, in every nerve, cell, gland and muscle. It shines in our auras and radiates upon us from the sun.

The sun is the motor that drives this world. A change to the energy we receive on the surface of the earth is like a change in gear that speeds up or slows down all life processes. It is not a matter of choice – life has evolved to take advantage of the energy of the sun and so is automatically connected to its cycles. Under the light of the sun, which reaches the earth with greatest strength in the visible spectrum, humankind has evolved to respond and make use of color.

The fact that the warm colors of reds and oranges activate and stimulate us while the cool colors of blues and violets calm us probably derives from the biological triggers of daylight and nightfall. At sunrise the sun’s light, low on the horizon is red. As it climbs into the sky, the widening angle with our point on the earth’s surface allows more orange and then yellow light to reach the ground.

Experimentation has clearly shown that red light increases blood pressure, pulse rate, and breathing rate, and that these functions are further increased in orange light, reaching their peak in yellow light. The human physiological response to light has evolved so that the rising sun stimulates us into activity and alertness.

Other experiments have shown a decrease in blood pressure, pulse rate and breathing rate when people are exposed to green light. Relaxation increases with blue light and is at its fullest in complete darkness. White light has been found to have similar quietening effects to blue light. As daylight fades the subduing green light changes to the blue of evening, then the darkness of night, with perhaps only the moon for illumination. Night is the natural time of rest and reflection. Emotionally and physiologically we respond to colors as they fit the times as the day, just as our distant forebears did before artificial light sources were available.

“Light is a nutrient much like food, and like food, the wrong kind can make us ill, and the right kind can keep us well.” Humans need light of specific intensity and color range to regulate their internal biological clock. Without it, our daily, monthly and annual rhythms become disrupted. Within our body, our organs, muscles, cells and nerves all have a level of vibration. When our body becomes out of balance, disease occurs.

Each color has its own frequency and vibration. Through extensive research, we know that color and light will help bring our physical and emotional systems into balance. Asian medicine teaches us that our bodies have meridians carrying energy throughout our system, connecting with each major organ. When blockages in these meridians happen, disease follows.

The Chinese use acupuncture needles to remove blockages in the meridians. Color can be used in the same way and is frequently more powerful, quicker and has no discomfort from needles. Research shows that a blindfolded person will experience physiological reactions under different colored rays. In other words, the skin sees in Technicolor. Noted neuropsychologist Kurt Goldstein confirmed this information in his modern classic The Organism, where he notes that stimulation of the skin by different colors creates different effects. Scientifically, it makes sense. Color is simply a form of visible light, of electromagnetic energy.

Let’s break it down. What exactly is light? It is the visible reflection off the particles in the atmosphere. Color makes up a band of these light wave frequencies from red at 1/33,000th’s of an inch wavelength to violet at 1/67,000 of an inch wavelength. Below red lie infrared and radio waves. Above it: the invisible ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays. We all understand the impact of ultraviolet and x-rays, do we not? Why then wouldn’t the light we can see “as color” not have as big an impact?

Note: This post was compiled by Shirley Twofeathers for Color Therapy,  you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

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Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams. ~ Paul Gauguin
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