Thursday, June 14, 2012

Healing with Color

What is color? Throughout human history, everywhere on earth from the north pole to the south pole, artists, also probably just as many scientists, not to mention fashionistas, have explored color in pigment and in light. Color plays a major role in human experience.

Color is a visual vibration, a phenomenon of absorbed vs. reflected energy interpreted by our brains. Color, like noise, can be healing or disruptive, sometimes both at the same time. Color is powerful, it really is.

Color has not only physical properties, but character as well. Yellow is a happy color, blue is soothing, red is sexy, or angry, lustful, earthy. One of my teachers said green is healing, but also allows us to take the next step towards health. (Of course the traffic light that tells us to GO is green. Of course.)

White is super reflective. I used to wear only white when I began my practice of therapeutic massage. I was still learning how not to absorb my clients' energy; the white clothing really helped. I wonder sometimes how well it works for medical professionals who, less and less often these days, wear white coats. Brides wear white because everyone knows white is about purity. White is cleanliness, godliness. Too much white is, to me, quite boring, but I appreciate its powers.

I hardly ever wear black clothing and pretty much avoid it as often as possible. It's a beautiful color, but I want to tumble into the center of it, be absorbed and never heard from again. The vibration of black is not good for me. Cool, night owl type people wear a lot of black. I wonder if this is because they are nocturnal. Black absorbs pretty much all of the light that lands on it. Because the cool people in my romantic imagination stay up till dawn playing jazz, writing poetry and smoking cigarettes, they of course must sleep in late which means they often miss the light of day. Maybe they wear black all the time because they need the absorbed light. Who knows?

Why oh why are prisoners dressed in orange? That seems so weird to me. They should wear soft sage green or deep royal blue. Purple would be excellent.

Have you ever thought about the colors you benefit from, the colors that don't quite work for you? Some people are so sensitive to color that they react on a visceral level to colors that appeal, also to the colors that don't appeal. Others barely notice color. Of course there are people who are physically color blind as well. I have many theories about non-sighted people, but will not get into that here.

Where do you fall on the spectrum of color sensitivity? Do you respond strongly to it? If so you can put that sensitivity to work as a gentle healing modality. Feeling a little down? Wear a color you find energizing or cheerful. Had too much coffee? Maybe wear a color that's soothing. Feeling cranky? Wear a color that will help you keep from overreacting.

Perhaps color does not have the power to make or break your day, and will most likely not save the planet, but it can give you a hand up, bring in some cheer or calm, put a smile on your face. Mindfully choosing color is an enjoyable aspect of self care. Why not, hey? Why not?


1 comment:

Kerry said...

Love love love color. I have new favorites every month or so. But you are right, some people don't notice it much. If they were to lose their sight for a few days I bet they would notice color afterwards, big-time.

A few people see colors as associated with music: when certain chords are played they see it in color as they listen.