Does Color Therapy Really Have Credence In Modern Medicine?

By: Mark Bonica

Studies regarding the therapeutic properties of colour were quite common throughout Europe in the twentieth century. It was found by Rudolph Steiner that colours had their own vibrational attributes. When combining them with certain forms, beneficial or even unsettling effects could manifest themselves.

Further studies by Basle University’s Max Luscher indicated that the colour preferences of an individual were telltale signs of their overall state of mind, complementary to a course of reflexology, so much so that they could help identify glandular imbalances or allow for assistance in psychological diagnosis. These findings would eventually lead to the development of the “Luscher colour Test”.

The basis of the idea alludes to the heightened importance night and day early on in the history of mankind. The two primary colours that can be associated with either lie within the spectrum and yellow and dark blue, and our instinctual response to the two may be linked to those associations. Even down to the glandular level, yellow might inspire the same amount of energy that we would need for hunting in the daytime, whereas dark blue would inspire a more restful state.

Other Facets of Luscher’s Colour Theory

There are many other facets of Luscher’s colour theory, especially when it comes to the idea that we have involuntary responses upon seeing certain colours. There has been support from various sources over the years, namely S. V. Krakov from Russia. He helped establish the idea that red works as to stimulate the autonomic nervous system’s sympathetic aspects, whereas blue provides stimulus for the parasympathetic aspects. These findings were given further credence by Robert Gerard in 1958.

Red light has even proven to be effective when it comes to treating migraine headaches and even cancer. As such, colour has rapidly developed as a powerful tool for therapy within a number of different medical fields. One of the primary techniques to rise to prominence over the last two decades is photodynamic therapy, often referred to simply as PDT.

Amazingly, scientific research has found that photosensitive chemicals can be injected into cancer cells and even identified upon the exposure of ultraviolet light. When exposed to red light specifically, the chemicals can then be used to effectively destroy the cancer cells. PDT of this nature can be used for treatment and diagnosis alike. Developed by Dr Thomas Dougherty, PDT has already lead to the successful treatment of malignant tumours across at least 3,000 patients.

Further Applications

Additional research has indicated that even uniquely coloured eyeglasses can be used to help cognitive abilities. Learning disabilities like dyslexia can reportedly be treated in this manner. Notable psychologist Helen Irlen was the first to propose the idea, and it was initially met with incredible scrutiny. The British Medical Research Council eventually reported the truth in the theory, however.

Further developments are being made all the time. For instance, the summer of 1993 brought upon the Intuitive Colourimeter. This is a special device for opticians that can measure how much certain tints of colour can help patients that tend to see text in the wrong order.

Research has also confirmed that depression is largely associated with melatonin levels. Those that suffer from the disease have shown significant improvement after merely being out in the sun as a form of basic light therapy. Even full-spectrum lamps seem able to make an impact. The same line of research has confirmed that key parts of the brain respond uniquely to different wavelengths of colour in ways that can stimulate or even cut down on hormone production.

The idea of healing with colour may still seem to be a stretch for some medical professionals, however. Despite many of the findings in support of all of these theories, full verification from Western scientists has yet to occur. The entire principle is ultimately rooted in ancient forms of mysticism, but its ubiquitous presence in nearly every major culture speaks volumes about its potential.