The Theory of Colour Therapy – Part 1
I must confess that, over the years, being able to create art has been like therapy. Sometimes you start with no idea of what the outcome will be; you work from the heart, on instinct. At other times, you have a definitive end result in your mind or in a sketch book.
What is colour?
As most of you know, colour is light and energy. It is visible because it reflects, bends, and refracts through all kinds of particles, molecules and objects. There are a number of wavelengths into which light can be categorized, producing different types of light. Visible wavelengths fall approximately in the 390 to 750 nanometre range and are known as the visible spectrum. Other wavelengths and frequencies are associated with non-visible light such as x-rays and ultraviolet rays. Most people are aware of the effects of non-visible light, so it makes sense that visible light would also affect us.
Fear of colour
Most people are afraid to use colour in designing their homes. They tend to opt for neutrality throughout as it’s generally ‘safer’. There is nothing wrong with that, but they can be missing out on so much. I’m not suggesting you paint the walls of your front room red, although that can work if the right shade is used and it is broken up with white.
But to add colour to one’s home can be like adding the sprinkles on a birthday cake; it just finishes things off nicely and can really affect the ambience and, most importantly, your general and spiritual wellbeing in your safe haven. It’s also a way to express your personality, as we so often do through the clothes we wear.
Chromotherapy, sometimes called colour therapy, colorology or cromatherapy, is an alternative medical technique, which is often considered to be a pseudoscience. Chromotherapists claim to be able to use light in the form of colour to balance ‘energy’ lacking from a person’s body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels. Research has shown it is ineffective. However, we now have the adult colouring book phenomenon to relieve stress.
What started as a niche hobby has now turned into an international trend, as adult colouring books find themselves on bestsellers lists throughout the world.
Colour therapy is distinct from other types of light therapy, such as neonatal jaundice treatment and blood irradiation therapy, which are scientifically accepted medical treatments for a number of conditions, and from photobiology, the scientific study of the effects of light on living organisms.
99% of the walls in my home are white for a couple of reasons. It helps provide a balanced background for my photography and it means I can add colour using different methods. It also allows me to transform a room by way of accent colours and accessories.
So, if we are working from the perspective of a neutral blank canvas, you might try adding colour by way of accessories. Be brave and accentuate each room with touches of colour.
Colour can be added in the following ways:
1. Lamp shades and bases
2. Curtains and tiebacks
4. Sofa / bed throws
6. A feature wall
9. Bed linen
10. And last, but definitely not least, ART!
In my second article, I’ll explore the connection between colour and personal well-being.