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The History of Healing With Color

Many ancient religions worshiped the sun.
In India, color red is associated with physical energy, creativivy and life. The bride wears red as red is considered to be the most auspicious color among Hindus.

author   by PLAIN JANE  

Many ancient religions worshiped the sun. Sunrays are light and therefore all colors.

Ancient people were aware of the light’s healing powers. Many believe that the Egyptian God Thoth (known to Greeks as Hermes) brought the therapeutic use of color to the ancient people. From the books of Thoth ancient Egyptians and Greek scholars learned how to use color for healing. Even Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, used different colored ointments and salves as remedies. He also treated his patients in treatment rooms painted in healing shades. Romans were also engaged in using color for treatment. For example, Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote about the therapeutic use of color.

When Jews conquered ancient Rome and later Europe with their religion known today as Christianity, they labeled ancient knowledge “pagan” and criminalized it. Ironically, in the 9th century, it was the Persian polymath Avicenna (Ibn-Sīnā) who, far away from the claws of Jewish Vatican, synthesized forbidden in Europe teachings of Hippocrates.

In the 19th century, medicine was incorporated into the broad area of “science” where evolutionists and materialists ruled. Scholars of that time were concerned with the material world and ignored the mind. Medicine too focused on cures for physical ailments using for instance surgery and drugs while rejecting healing techniques that dealt with spiritual and mental well-being as quackery. In 1859, English evolutionist, Charles Darwin, published “On the Origin of Species” where he proposed his theory of evolution that still rules government-approved science today.

Twenty years later, in 1878, American physician, Edwin Dwight Babbitt published “The Principles of Light and Color…” and a year later, "The Wonders of Light and Color, Including Chromopathy or the New Science of Color Healing". Babbit was a big believer in healing properties of light and he achieved world renown with his comprehensive color theory of healing with color.

Unfortunately, the medical establishment considers color therapy hocus-pocus and very little has been done to develop color therapies. In spite of skepticism, color has been used in some psychological testing and even physical diagnosis. One of the prominent promoter of color therapy, but also heavily criticized, is Max Lüscher, Ph.D., a Swiss psychotherapist. He developed the Lüscher Color Test, which he based on the theory that colors stimulate different parts of the autonomic nervous system, affecting metabolic rate and glandular secretions. Studies done in the 1950s showed that yellow and red light raised blood pressure while blue light tended to lower it. Today, the use of blue light to treat neonatal jaundice is common practice and is has also been effective as pain relief in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

Max Lüscher believes that colors have universal meaning, but which color we chose is subjective and guided in an unconscious manner. Our choices reveal the person we really are, not as we perceive ourselves or would like to be perceived. Lüscher believes that personality traits could be identified based on one’s choice of color, which means that people who select identical color combinations have similar personalities.


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