“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” – Oscar Wilde
Oscar wasn’t the first person to appreciate the power of color. Holistic healers have long heralded the combination of color and light as an effective method of treatment for a variety of mental and physical ailments. Chromotherapy (or Chromatherapy) is the marriage of these two methodologies. Simply put, it’s mood lighting.
You may be familiar with phototherapy or light therapy, a popular method of treatment for seasonal depression, insomnia, fatigue and a host of other maladies. Supporters of light therapy believe that deficiencies in daylight (say during winter months) can muck up our bodies’ natural clock, or circadian rhythm. Artificial light, when presented in measured ‘doses’ targets the deficiencies, leaving you with increased energy, wakefulness, and positive mood.
In addition to light, the psychology of color is thought to play a vital role in mental and physical health. Specific colors on the spectrum target different areas on the mind/body spectrum…
Chromotherapy in Modern Society
Though the concept has been around for centuries, modern technology has expanded the reach of chromotherapy practices into everyday life:
- Swimming Pools & Spas – With waterproof enclosures, colorful LED tape lights can now safely operate in damp locations like steam showers and pools. A turquoise infused steam bath after a long workout may help to heal and relax the mind and sore muscles.
- Fashion & Style – “Avoid browns and yellows on a first date. Wear navy blue on a job interview.” Experts say it’s more than just fashion sense. Your clothing is a form of non-verbal communication and your color choices should convey the right message for the situation.
- Product Branding – One study found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone (depending on what the product was). Many product logos are the result of extensive research into the psychology of color.
- In the Home – Interior designers realize the power of color and light too. HGTV encourages you to be creative with the colors in your home and choose lighting and hues that lift your spirits while expressing your style.
- On the Go – Philips recently unveiled a portable version of their Hue Light, which comes pre-programmed with five color and light settings that set the right mood wherever you are: Cozy Candle, Sunday Coffee, Meditation, Enchanted Forest, and Night Adventure.
How About You?
Do you find that you are drawn to specific colors and turned off by others? This emotional response to color and light is in essence its own form of chromotherapy. Look around you – are there patterns in your color preferences? Have you ever experimented with the psychology of color or light?