As all urban myths that derive their origins from the present capitalist system, retail therapy is actually a thing. Whether or not you subscribe to this notion, you know buying a new pair of shoes is gonna shoo them blues out. Keeping in line with this maxim of fashion being an alternate form of therapy, we turn our focus to yet another holistic treatment – colour therapy. While its legitimacy is disputed by modern science, colour therapy aka chromotherapy uses basic principles of physics and chemistry to provide treatment for ailments ranging from muscular pain to depression. It should then follow that wearing clothes of certain colours might have healing effects.
What is it?
Although pegged as a pseudoscience, chromotherapy has been known to work as a form of alternative medicine dating all the way back to the 10th century, when Persian polymath Avicenna documented his findings on the effect of colour on various physical ailments. Although this successfully advanced studies in this field, it wasn’t until the late 1800s when the matter was brought up again. The idea uses principles of light wave theory to substantiate its existence. TL;DR: Visible spectrum absorbs and reflects different shade of light and this in turn has an effect on our physiology. This belief is also backed by Ayurveda, which states that colours of the visible spectrum can stimulate different chakras in our system.
How it works
While most of chromotherapy relies on light rays of different wavelength, the basic permise is to have exposure to a certain colour so the lightwaves can stimulate the particles of a certain area. Ever wonder why surgeons in a hospital wear scrubs in shade of blue of green? Both blue and green are said to have a calming and healing effect. So wearing a particular shade of colour can have an effect on your physical and metal well being. Holistic healers and colour therapists use squares of fabrics in shades of the spectrum to cure ailing parts of the body. By this logic, wearing that shade should also have the same effect over time. The semantics of colour is common knowledge by now—which is why your brain equates red with passion and black with morbidity.
Here is a quick handy guide to colour and its effect.
Blue = Calm
Shades of azure and robin’s egg blue and associated with serenity. The colour is said to lower blood pressure, reduce pain and anxiety and settle nervous issues.
Red = Power
A colour that depicts power and sensuality, red is known to increase body temperature and blood circulation, release stiffness and improve self esteem.
Green = Healing
Green is known to be the most powerful healing colour, maybe because of its affiliation to nature. It is said to increase metabolism, reduce anxiety and acts as somewhat of a tonic for stomach issues, ulcers and any other internal ailment.
Yellow = Happiness
Sunshine and brightness, yellow is a happy colour. It also helps relieve muscle pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues and stimulates thinking.
Orange = Energy
The colour of wisdom and enlightenment, orange is said to alleviate depression, reduce inflammation, menstrual cramps (take note, ladies), and sinus issues.