Can Color Lights Really Heal and Improve Mood?
Chromotherapy Lights are offered as an option on most infrared saunas. This is a therapy that has been used for centuries. But how does it work and is there any evidence that it helps you at all?
What is Chromotherapy?
It is the application of color lights to increase the benefits of infrared healing. It is said to balance out any health imbalance in a person. Various colors are purported to aid via their own healing characteristics.
For example, green is more healing while red is more invigorating. As each are said to have very distinctive benefits, the colored LEDs usually rotate along the color wheel. However, in most saunas, the user can set it to stop and remain on one hue.
If in fact these therapies do have benefits, as we are heading into early winter this could be a benefit for suffers of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD sufferers struggle with the dramatically reduced daylight during winter months. These people often greatly benefit from increased lighting.
Simple brighter white or full spectrum sunlight lamps are what are typically used for this purpose. Chormotherpay itself does not directly provide any SAD benefit. However, if this helps lift a person’s mood or ease depression, then an indirect benefit is gained.
While colored lights therapy is not entirely proven or the most important add on option for a sauna, we do use chromotherapy in our Clearlight sauna at home. Clearlight infrared saunas offer this as a standard or low cost option as do most other brands.
History of Chromtherapy
To survive, our bodies do need light, which can be broken down into seven distinct variations. Sir Issac Newton was the first to invent an official color wheel. When he separated the light into 6 colors, he showed that the spectrums moved from red to orange and yellow. Then to green, cyan and blue. He then joined the two ends of the wheel.
It is said that colored cloths were hung over the windows of medical clinics centuries ago to aid in patients healing.
The Various Colors in Light Therapy
Red is said to be a great energizer, providing energy empowerment and circulation. It is a simulator of liver function and circulation.
Orange is meant to stimulate the body, free the mind for greater thinking and stimulate antibacterial effects.
Yellow can help a person feel more optimistic and hopeful, providing inspirational thoughts.
Green is known for universal healing. It helps muscles relax and holistic practitioners use it for speeding up all types of healing.
Blue is known to relieve depression, anxiety, promote relaxation and aid in detoxification.
Purple is used to help the mind deal with physical ailments such as fibromyalgia or tension.
Is there any Evidence to Support Color Light Therapy?
Prematurely born babies are warmed with infrared in hospitals. Colors have been shown in studies to energize or even calm an aggressive person in less than 20 minutes. So combining them seems to have some possible merit.
The following article from Disabled World agrees with the popularity of this practice. It points out how imbalance is supposed to be balanced by these lights. However it does conclude with a statement of lack of any controlled trial based evidence of benefit:
Chromotherapy: Lighting Color Therapy for Health – Disabled World
It is said that organs and glands of our bodies also vibrate at specific frequencies and that colors correspond to the areas of our body which have the same frequency. When we are sick, our organs and glands may become out of balance and not function at their proper frequencies. Restoring the proper frequency is thought to restore health.
Combined with the healing attributes derived from infrared sauna heat technology, the colored chromotherapy lights are said to maximize the healing benefits that sauna usage provides. Chromotherapy: Lighting Color Therapy for Health – Disabled World
However, there does appear to be some evidence from studies and medical applications that chromotherapy has some use and benefits. The follow article from NBCI focuses on one aspect of the blue light of the spectrum:
A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution
The blue light found to be successful in the treatment of neonatal jaundice has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, as emphasized by Pleasanton in his work. In studies by McDonald, most of those exposed to blue light for variable periods of up to 15 min experienced a significant degree of pain relief.
It was concluded that the pain reduction was directly related both to the blue light and to the length of exposure to it. Blue light is also used in healing injured tissue and preventing scar tissue, as well as for burns and lung conditions (2).
In 1990, scientists reported to the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the successful use of blue light in the treatment of a wide variety of psychological problems, including addictions, eating disorders and depression.
As a result, color is becoming widely accepted as a therapeutic tool with various medical applications. A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution
This is an option offered by many sauna companies. As it is an inexpensive option, most opt to have it added to their sauna. While we have no definitive conclusion on this, as previously mentioned, we do use chromotherapy in our sauna at home.
At times the rotating colors do seem to aid in relaxation. It could be physiological in nature. Or perhaps simply psychological. However, if the mind is telling you that it is working and thereby relaxes you, perhaps there is merit even in that.
Whether you add chromotherapy or not with your purchase of an infrared sauna, our advice is simply to purchase a quality sauna. Begin gaining the benefits from infrared. Those are indeed proven and powerfully effective for deep healing.
To your health.
logo-dw-top.gif image from disabled-world.com
logo-ecam.gif image from nih.gov