Chromotherapy – What is it and Does it Actually Work?

colour therapy

The world is a colourful place. Whether you’re enjoying a scenic walk through a lush green forest or are driving past a multi-coloured billboard on your way home from work…colour is everywhere you look. While its presence cannot be denied, there is some debate surrounding a healing modality linked to colour. Chromotherapy (also referred to as colour therapy, colorology, or cromatherapy) is a type of alternative medicine that uses sensory therapy to heal or treat various illnesses and ailments. Certainly an intriguing concept but does it actually work? It is time to dig into this colourful phenomenon and uncover all the essential information.

What is Chromotherapy?


Colour and mood go hand in hand. Just think about how you feel on a grey and cloudy day. Likely, you feel a little glum and grey, too. On the other hand, bright and sunny days with clear blue skies make you feel safe and joyful. Certain colours have a way of impacting how what we think and how we feel. This is precisely why so much thought is put into the colours used in brand logos, in office buildings, and even in your own home. Specific colours have meaning. They have the ability to make you feel happy, sad, calm, nervous, or balanced. This is precisely why chromotherapy is so intriguing. It honours the connection between colour and mood – and turns it into a full-blown source of healing.

So just what is chromotherapy? The concept has a long and rich tradition, dating back to ancient Egypt. Light treatments were implemented back then as sunlight shone through tinted windows. Over the years, colour and healing have continued to be linked together. According to Architectural Digest, chromotherapy uses coloured light to “adjust body vibrations to frequencies that are said to result in health and harmony.” Every colour has its own unique frequency and is therefore tied to specific types of healing. Need a few examples? Red is bold and energetic – and is thought to improve circulation. Yellow is bright and sunny – and is thought to help with depression and anxiety. Blue is calming and serene – and is thought to ease inflammation and tackle stress-related disorders. Chromotherapy is said to be able to detoxify the body, treat insomnia, and bring balance to mental disorders. The list goes on and on!

Types of Treatments to Consider

If you are interested in trying chromotherapy, there are a couple of ways to go about it. One popular option is a chromotherapy sauna. This treatment is cropping up at countless wellness and healing centers around the globe. Essentially, coloured lights are added to a traditional sauna. These lights help bring balance to the body wherever the energy appears to be unbalanced or out of whack. The treatment includes a variety of colours for overall healing. However, if you are seeking treatment for a specific issue, one or two relevant colours may be used instead.

In addition to saunas, you may also find treatment methods that include: colour acupuncture (concentrated beams of colour are used as an alternative to traditional acupuncture) or water treatments (pools or showers use specific colours based on individual needs). All of these wellness treatments are specifically designed to help you heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Alternatively, you may focus on at-home treatment options. Many companies offer multi-light LED systems. These come with controllers and various sized LED pads. They can be placed on various parts of the body for health and healing.

Adding Chromotherapy to Your Daily Life

You don’t necessarily need to visit a treatment center or invest in your own LED light system. Instead, you can focus on thoughtfully adding colour to your life. There are many ways to go about this. For instance, changing the colour of your walls can create an energetic shift. Going from a darker colour to something calming and serene may be able to help with issues related to stress or overwhelm. You can also change up your home decor so it is more in tune with colours that correspond with the healing you require. Alternatively, you can also use coloured light bulbs in your lamps at home (a DIY version of chromotherapy treatments) or wear specific colours when you feel energetically unbalanced.

Does Chromotherapy Actually Work?

rainbow coloured light

Like any type of alternative medicine, there is always a bit of debate surrounding the effectiveness. Some people swear that light therapy has cured them of various aches, pains, and ailments. Others refuse to believe chromotherapy is anything more than the placebo effect in action. Which is true? Well, it’s hard to say for certain. There is undoubtedly a strong connection between colour and mood. However, the actual scientific research is fuzzy. Studies indicate the strong connection between colour and emotional healing. In fact, some even suggest that chromotherapy is beneficial because it re-connects us with nature. (Focusing on specific colours can have a grounding effect, improve focus, and bring you back to a state of connection and gratitude.)

That being said, there is no solid evidence that chromotherapy has the ability to cure or effectively treat serious illnesses. Though it certainly can benefit mood and mood-related disorders…when it comes to medical concerns (like cancer, heart problems, and so on) there is no certainty in this specific treatment method. Some medical professionals recommend using chromotherapy in addition rather than as a substitute to more traditional medicinal practices.

At the end of the day, what works for one may not work for another. The best way to find out whether chromotherapy is effective is to try it for yourself. You never know…light and colour may be able to turn your life (or mood) around.

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