How does color therapy work?

colored petals
The vibrations of colors in color therapy sessions are said to enhance your mood and improve your overall health.

Spas aren't just for mani/pedis anymore. As a result of introducing new treatments and expanding on services, the booming spa industry takes in $60 billion a year, according to SpaFinder, an online spa portal. Color therapy is just one of the innovative spa treatments on the market. Even though it's trendy now, color therapy dates back to ancient Egypt and China.

Color therapy is a holistic and non-invasive treatment said by practioners to bring health and balance to your body and mind. The vibrations of colors in color therapy sessions enhance your mood and improve your overall health.


Color therapists consider the way that we experience light and color when developing treatments. Colors are made up of reflected lights that hit our retinas as wavelengths vibrate. Our brain then interprets these wavelengths, which makes our perception of color a physical and sensory experience. Color therapy is based on the idea that colors create electrical impulses in our brains that stimulate hormonal and biochemical processes in our body; these processes either calm or stimulate us.

The types of color therapy sessions on the market are as varied as the colors of the rainbow. As you begin your session, your color therapist will give you a color analysis. He or she will explain the effects of the colors and ask you about the aspects of your life on which these colors can improve. Some salons combine color therapy and aromatherapy, while others will immerse you in an environment dominated by one color. In some sessions, you'll get a massage while different colors of light are projected onto your body to stimulate healing and health. Additionally, spas may offer a treatment in which they place different colors of silk on points of your body that are said to control your moods and emotional well-being.

Your color therapy session and the shades of colors used also will vary depending on the type of ailment that you are trying to correct. For example, blue and purple lights are anti-inflammatory and calming. Green helps to purify and cleanse while yellow light stimulates the lymphatic system. Red light is invigorating, but it may cause agitation if you are already tense.

Even though many attest to the value of color therapy, the hard science behind the treatment isn't exactly tangible yet; however, advocates assert that people respond positively to the treatment. Cornell Medical Center has studied the viability of using color therapy to treat lung cancer. Researchers used an endoscope used to examine the lungs of patients, and their findings revealed that different colored light filters affected the cells in various ways. However, this research is still in the experimental phase.


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Related Articles

  • Good Spa Guide. "Spa treatments explained by the experts: Colour therapy/chromotherapy." (Aug. 22, 2012).
  • The Guardian. "Colour therapy, medi pedis, ice rooms: Something for everyone in 2012 spa forecast." Jan 20, 2012 (Aug. 22 2012).,-medi-pedis,-ice-rooms%3A-Something-for-everyone-in-2012-spa-forecast/1
  • Morales, Tatania. "Getting These Blues Can Help." CBS News. February 11, 2009. (Aug. 22 2012),
  • Nails Mag. "Color Therapy: The Next New Thing." March 16, 2012. (Aug. 22, 2012).
  • World Wide Health. "What is Colour Therapy and how can it help me?" (Aug. 22, 2012).