Skip to Content

What do the colors mean in chromatherapy?

What do the colors mean in chromatherapy?

Chromatherapy, also known as color therapy or colorology, is an alternative medicine method that uses the visible spectrum of light and color to affect a person’s mood, energy levels, and overall health. Proponents of chromatherapy believe that different colors emit specific frequencies and vibrations that can stimulate healing, promote relaxation or energize the body and mind. Chromatherapy has been used for centuries across many cultures and healing modalities, from ancient Egypt and Greece to ayurvedic medicine in India. Though often considered pseudoscience, interest in chromatherapy continues today as both a New Age practice and complementary integrative medicine technique. This article will examine the meanings and intended effects behind the most common colors used in chromatherapy.

The Psychology of Color

Before diving into specific color meanings, it is helpful to understand some basic principles of color psychology. The biophoton theory proposes that the light spectra emitted from living things affects the balance of biochemistry, physiology and neural processes. Colors have the ability to activate emotional responses, influence moods, and elicit both physiological and psychological reactions. Warm colors like red, orange and yellow are energizing and uplifting, while cool colors like blue, indigo and violet have calming, relaxing effects. Bright vivid hues tend to stimulate the mind and emotions, while softer muted tones are soothing and subtle. Understanding these general principles can provide a framework for how different chromatherapy colors may affect the mind and body.


In chromatherapy, the color red is associated with energizing, stimulating effects. Red light is believed to boost circulation, increase heart rate, raise blood pressure and elevate breathing rates. It enhances motivation, speeds metabolism, and provides an energizing rush to counter lethargy or fatigue. Accordingly, red light therapy is often used to treat conditions involving low energy, chronic pain, joint stiffness, or muscle tension. Psychologically, red increases focus and concentration. It also heightens sensuality, passion, love and intimacy in relationships.


The color orange combines the energy of red with the happiness and joy of yellow. In chromatherapy, orange is uplifting, mood elevating and confidence boosting. Orange light is thought to relieve depression and anxiety while bringing out optimism, self-assurance and extraversion. Physically, orange may stimulate the digestive and lymphatic systems, boost immunity, increase libido, and elevate hormone production. Orange light is often used to treat reproductive organ disorders, colon inflammation, indigestion, constipation and hypothyroidism. It can also purify skin, reduce acne, and clear up phlegm and congestion.


Yellow light stimulates clarity of thought, memory, perception and vision. It boosts happiness and invokes optimism, laughter and lightheartedness. Yellow enhances self-esteem and self-confidence while reducing fear and anxiety. Physically, yellow light therapy can stimulate the nervous system and activate the lymphatic system, helping to clear toxins from the body. It may boost metabolism, aid in weight loss, and stimulate proper digestion. Yellow is also thought to stimulate the solar plexus chakra, to increase intellectual power, and to prevent mental decline.


The color green is universally associated with healing and balance. In chromatherapy, green light helps harmonize and restore the body, mind and spirit. Physically, it can stimulate the immune system, destroy bacteria, viruses and cancer cells, fight inflammation, normalize hormones and blood sugar, and detoxify the body. Mentally, green light reduces anxiety, calms nerves, and fights depression. It brings stability and focus to the mind. Used in color therapy, green promotes deep relaxation, self-healing and overall feelings of renewal.


Blue light has a cooling, calming effect in chromatherapy. It slows the metabolism, lowers blood pressure, decreases breathing rates and reduces heart rates. It can help control hunger, ease headaches and relax tense muscles. Psychologically, blue light therapy reduces stress and anxiety. It creates mental clarity and focus, and enhances productivity. However, blue excess can make people feel melancholy, isolated and depressed. Blue light potentially disrupts circadian rhythms and melatonin production.


Indigo light provides introspective qualities. It can create psychological detachment, enabling the mind to connect with intuition and activate creativity. Indigo purifies the mind and enhances compassion. It boosts imagination and visual perception. Physically, indigo light may help eye disorders, relax muscles spasms, reduce pain, alleviate headaches and stabilize equilibrium. However, indigo excess can lead to isolation, extreme introversion, and depression.


Violet light spiritual awareness. It opens intuition, enhances mystical experiences and psychic abilities. Violet can create a sense of sacredness and transcendence. It inspires self-improvement, sparking creative expression and latent talents. Physically, violet light can normalize sleep, reduce inflammation, speed recovery, and ease aches and pains. It may also help generate melanin and strengthen eyesight. Excess violet, however, can produce mood swings and distorted fantasies.


Pink light promotes unconditional love, kindness, hope and joy. It enhances emotional intimacy in relationships, bringing out affection, caring and nurturing feelings. Physically, pink light is thought to aid in the formation of new blood cells, relax muscles, calm heart rates and decrease hostility, aggression and anger. It creates physical relaxation and contentment. Pink light therapy is often used for disorders involving the heart, blood circulation and emotional disturbances.


In chromatherapy, magenta light balances the mind and emotions. It boosts originality and creativity while bringing out compassion, tolerance, empathy and spirituality. Magenta encourages self-love, confidence and independence. Physically, it is thought to oxygenate the blood, relieve constipation, stimulate the circulatory system and boost the immune system. Magenta light therapy is also believed to help stabilize mood disorders like depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and addictions. However, magenta excess can become chaotic.


The color turquoise balances the mind and body. It builds confidence while remaining humble and grounded. Turquoise light alleviates fears and phobias, bringing out inner strength and wisdom. It promotes sensitivity, patience and purification. Physically, turquoise strengthens the immune system, disinfects wounds, regenerates tissue, and heals eye disorders. It aids in thyroid problems, viral infections, stabilization of metabolism and calming asthma attacks. Turquoise light therapy can also help nervous disorders like epilepsy, headaches and panic attacks.


Chromatherapy harnesses the healing power of visible light and color. Each shade has unique properties believed to affect us physically, emotionally and spiritually. While more research is needed on the scientific mechanism behind these effects, many cultures and healers continue to incorporate color light therapy as a holistic complementary approach to health and wellness. Whether to balance your chakras, lift your mood or energize your body, understand the power of color as you explore the possibilities of chromatherapy.

Root Keyword: