How it works
Also known as chromotherapy, it uses colour to rebalance energy inside the body where it is lacking and causing health problems. It is not the same as the renowned light therapy, often used for seasonal affective disorder.
Colour therapists believe that there are ‘spiritual centres’ – called chakras – around the body that are associated with one of seven colours, and with various body systems. Where a problem arises within these systems, associated colours can be applied to the patient to rebalance the chakra and heal health problems there.
The seven chakras exist at the base of the spine, in the lower abdomen, below the ribs, in the heart, throat, forehead, and top of the head.
What it could help
High blood pressure, pain relief, learning difficulties, migraine, insomnia, anxiety, depression, lethargy, tension, migraine
Colour therapy is used quite widely, even in some hospitals, but it has not been studied extensively; nor produced conclusive results. The placebo effect may explain improvements in some patients.
Some small studies have upheld the effectiveness of colour therapy, particularly for relaxation. Meditation and breathing exercises are also integrated into colour therapy, so the specific effect of colours is unknown.
Chakras have not been specifically studied, nor the effect of specific colours on them.
What to expect
Sessions last an hour and take place in a relaxing room. You usually sit up throughout, and the therapist should ask about your medical history, sleep patterns and lifestyle.
You may also be asked about your colour preferences, which the therapist will use to reflect your mood. You may also be asked to put on coloured clothing once a diagnosis has been made, as your treatment begins and a specific colour is guided towards the affected chakras, directly onto skin. This can also be done through lighting, which some therapists use as you try to relax.
The session concludes with a report on your experiences, and recommendations for what to continue with at home.
Colour therapy is simple and relatively harmless. Exposure to some bright lights can cause damage, and can cause fits in epileptic patients so tell the therapist if relevant. Choosing a qualified, trained and accredited colour therapist can help you get the most out of your treatment, so be sure to ask for suitable qualifications.
Find out more
Find a therapist
Varies depending on the therapist and their training. Expect to pay between £30 and £50, but ask beforehand. It is up to you how many appointments you have, but most people will have four to six appointments.