|You are here: Column Archives: Color Therapy, pt.2|
The ancient wise men of India, in their form of medical practice called ayurveda, identified certain areas around the body where energy was concentrated. These they called chakras. At the chakra points, energy intersects. The energy that is our essence interacts with the energy that is the essence of the world, seen and unseen. These chakras are like portals, if you will. Their function is often described as being like a camera lens or the petals of a flower. When a camera lens is open, it allows light (energy) to enter and flow through. When a chakra is open, our connectivity with the Universe is possible and unencumbered.
There are those who claim that "modern science" has measured that the electromagnetic energy around the seven main chakras is higher than around other parts of the body. If that is so, fine. But the "modern science" measurements of archetypal and arcane things is really not the issue or case here. Perhaps public lack of interest in the mechanics of "modern science" or its perceived failings is at the root of the current upsurge of interest in off-beat or ancient healing techniques. To get involved in such a squabble serves no positive purpose. To describe the relationship between color and energy alignment is the point, as one of information.
ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN'
There are seven basic colors. All are derived from the three primary colors - red, yellow and blue. Combinations of those three give us secondary colors called orange, green and violet. Add the naturally occurring indigo and you get the seven colors of the rainbow. There are also seven primary chakras to the body.
One of the first Western literary works describing the chakras was C. W. Leadbetter's book around the turn of the 19th Century creatively entitled, The Chakras. It is still available through Theosophical Publishers in Indianapolis. Leadbetter lists the seven main chakras by their Sanskrit names and describes the parts of the body they align with. Unfortunately for the Western world, good old C. W. fell victim to his own prudish Victorian ways and perpetuated an error that persists today. Most descriptions of chakras now seen in "new age" references and books continue this error. Leadbetter followed a school of thought that stated that the second chakra, the one that relates to the reproductive organs, was "dangerous if awakened." Concurring with the squeamish scholars of his day, he thus moved the second (the sexual) chakra up to what they conveniently called the "spleen" chakra. Fine - if there were such a chakra. (Well, there is but it's not a main one. There are actually dozens of named chakras around the body but we're only looking at the main ones.) Anthropomorphizing the genitalia, one could almost hear them say "What am I!? Chopped liver? I don't get a chakra?" "Let sleeping dogs lie," Leadbetter seemed to say. At least he identified the correct reproductive chakra and admitted to his reluctance to deal with it.
THE SEVEN CHAKRAS
The second chakra is the Reproductive Chakra, Svadhishthana. Governing the reproductive organs, it is slightly more complex than number one, having eight "spokes." The color for it is red shifting to orange. Lust, selfishness, pride are often associated.
The third is the Navel Chakra, manipura. Balance, digestion, centering - all are part of its influence. The color is yellow. Negatives attached to it would be highly critical, judgmental or stubborn. As with each of the chakras, the complexity of the structure increases as they get higher. This one has many spokes.
The fifth is vishuddha, the Throat Chakra. It governs the actions of communication and its color is blue. It is linked to creativity and imbalance is often noted as harshness and domineering attitude.
The seventh chakra is the Crown or sahasrara. Violet resonates with this complex chakra located right at the crown of the skull. It has thousands of spokes forming the latticework. It is like a control center for our higher energy links and has a connection with time and the physical through the nervous system.
So one can see that the chakras, from base to crown, increase in complexity of structure from simple to ornate. They relate to energies from basic instincts to higher awareness. And they resonate with different frequencies of color, from low to high.
A person interested in using this as an avenue to wellness might first seek to evaluate the condition of the chakras. In his book How to Heal with Color, author and healer Ted Andrews recommends using a derivative of kinesiology known as "muscle testing" to check the chakras. When an imbalance is detected, there are a number of ways to address it using color.
One method is the simple use of colored swatches of cloth placed on the body area related to the chakra chosen. There is a technique involved in selecting the proper colors used to counteract any imbalances. Andrews says to use the primary color of a chakra if it is underactive and an opposite color if overactive. There is a color chart that describes color opposites. For example, red is opposed by green. Violet opposes yellow. The basics are available in any art book. Choosing combination colors is also a possibility.
Color visualization incorporated with circular breathing is another way. Circular breathing is a connected breath technique often associated with yoga. Breath is energy. Thought is energy. Visualization is a proven technique. Combining color therapy with that aligns the chakras.
Water is another basic element that lends itself well to color therapy. The molecules of water can be charged by the light frequency that bombards them. A method of doing this is to fill a glass with water and wrap it in colored paper. Then allow sunlight to energize it. Drinking the water activates the chakras. Plainly, light affects liquid. There's a reason we use dark glass for storage bottles sometimes.
A therapy session can be devised using a slide projector. It is easy to make slides with colored gels and project the light on the wall or directly upon the person. Varying intensities can be used and full-chakra alignment is possible this way.
Another effective way to use color involves candles. The color of a candle is significant. When a candle is burned, the color energy released is said to affect the entire area. In addition, the pattern in which the candles are aligned can serve as an archetypal symbol, further enhancing the effect.
Color denotes a frequency of energy. Energy has a profound effect on us. It is not a mystery that color is in our world. There is a way to consciously use it.
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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.
Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.