Colour is, perhaps, the rainbow synthesis of our lives. There’s also a paradox — although we are incessantly fascinated by different colours, hues and tints, we do not always think of their power. We do not also sometimes notice the colours around us. However this may be, research testifies that colour affects our behaviour, health, moods and spirits. It lightens our world, or clouds it, too. In other words, it “controls” the way we “view” ourselves and others. Our ancients extolled the influence colour has on our moods, emotions, mental performance and well-being. They used it everywhere — to bring balance and harmony to our mind, body, and soul.
Sensitivity to colour was a major component of ancient healing too — the use of our sensitivities to colour, and to identify and correct imbalances in our internal bodily energy patterns. This was believed to harmonise and enhance our body’s energy centres, or chakras, through the seven primary colours of the light spectrum that purportedly stimulates our body’s own healing mechanisms.
Colour is a form of energy, no less, just as light is. Our ancients used colour as a form of energy with a formulated intent — to split and deliver its energy patterns at precise levels and in controlled doses. Yet, there was a “catch” — they knew the usage of energy in different forms, including colour, for our body could have certain effects — good and bad.
The use of colour as a form of healing apparently has a long history. Its origins may be traced from the healing temples of colour and light in ancient Egypt and Greece. Ancient Egyptians used colour in all aspects of their lives, especially in the form of decorative drawings and hieroglyphics in their homes, burial chambers and, of course, temples. Their temples, for instance, contained chambers that allowed the incoming rays of the sun to split into colours of the spectrum. It was suggested that this possibly allowed them to “colour diagnose” the sick, who were, thereafter, invited into a room that radiated the most suitable, or appropriate, colours for healing.
Research suggests that “solarised” water was used for healing in ancient Egypt. This “potion” was prescribed in small doses over a specific period of time. The tradition is still in vogue. Its modern corollary uses not only full-spectrum light through a glass of spring water, but also a smorgasbord of treatment options, apart from solarised water. This includes light boxes and lamps — fitted with colour filters and colour silks. The use of gems was also a part of ancient healing — gems contain pure, concentrated colours and, therefore, they may have a therapeutic outcome on the body. It is understood that ancient Egyptian physicians used to ground gemstones and administer them to their patients — a practice that was also a significant part of ancient Ayurveda.
We as infants first experienced colour pink. Pink, envelops us all in our mother’s enormously nurturing and comforting womb. We relate to pink, unconsciously, as part of our first step in learning too. The colour contributes much to our consciousness. However, as we grow up, we may not often attach as much importance to our first colour “choice,” as much as we do to our different feelings, thoughts, likes and dislikes, memories and meanings vis-à-vis certain colours. This perception gets ingrained in our mind and memory, as also our subconscious. It leads to certain articulations — colours of different hues denoting different connotations, viz., happiness, peace, melancholy, illness, health, and so on.
(The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author)