Chromotherapy, or color therapy, is based on the idea that colors can affect our mood and our health, bringing benefits in cases of disorders such as sadness, poor concentration and anxiety. Chromotherapy is a very ancient healing technique, it is believed that even the ancient Egyptians used it and nowadays several scientific studies have been able to prove its effectiveness. So let's try to understand how it works and how the particular colors can benefit us.
Chromotherapy, what science says
In recent years, science has been taking interest in chromotherapy and its action on mood. The mechanisms of action have not yet been fully understood but it is believed that colors, intended as electromagnetic waves, are able to influence some areas of the brain responsible for the synthesis of hormones, such as serotonin and melatonin, that regulate the sleep-wake rhythm and mood (Radeljack et al, Coll Antropol, 2008). In fact, what we call colors are nothing more than waves belonging to a limited portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that our eye can observe. Each color is characterized by a very specific wave and it is for these differences between waves that scientists think that colors can interact in a different way with the brain, resulting in an increase of attention or, on the contrary, of calm.
Colors and mood
How many times have you ever felt a little down and decided to take a walk in nature to refresh yourself. Surely you have come back from the tour with more energy and better mood. All thanks to the open air, the trees but also ... the green color. In fact, an experiment was carried out that could show that walking in the green lowered the heart rate and induced a state of calm, serenity and self-confidence rather than walking surrounded by red color or a neutral environment (Briki et al , Front Psychol, 2019). Not only that, the green color brings well-being and allows the body to recover faster after surgery, which is why when you are not feeling well it is important to be surrounded by nature, for example by looking out of a window, in a park or garden, or by surrounding yourself with indoor plants (Ulrich et al, Science, 1984). A room with bright white light has been shown to help ward off depression (Loving et al, BMC Psychiatry, 2005). Red, orange and yellow, on the other hand, are colors associated with an increase in attention and cognitive function (Paragas et al, The Journal of science and healing, 2019), pink reduces anger and aggressive behaviors and decreases muscle tension (Azeemi et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2005) while blue is associated with benefits in case of confusion, tension and fatigue (Sroykham et al, Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2014).
Colors are beneficial to the mood even when visualized. Scientific studies have observed that visualizing the colors of the rainbow leads to relaxation and drives away anxieties and tensions (Case et al, J Evid Based Integr Med, 2018). In this case, the healing power of colors can be attributed, as indicated by the authors of the research cited above, to the ability of visualization techniques to activate the body's natural responses to stress, to reduce blood pressure and to lower the rhythm of breathing. In the Healthy Life section of the Natural Remedies app you can find a section dedicated to colors. You will see a sequence with the colors of the rainbow that you can bring to mind in moments of greatest anxiety and restlessness, even before going to sleep.