The Color of Wellness – Continued

Tobermory Bay, Isle of Mull, Scotland

When the ferry pulls into the bay in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, you can’t help but grin at the colorful buildings as they greet you from the waterfront.

People react to color. It triggers responses at the subconscious level—personal associations, memories, and vibrations. We express ourselves through the colors we wear and surround ourselves with. We’re irresistibly drawn to certain colors and repelled by others. Psychologists have found that colors affect our preferences, character, behavior, and personality. The world-famous psychological test—The Lüscher Color Test—bases color as indicators of basic personality traits.

Color also affects our response to food. For example, in fast food restaurants the décor is often designed around appetite-promoting colors which include red, yellow, and orange. We see these colors so often in marketing campaigns that we not only associate those colors with food, but with the idea of increasing the portion size on our plate. As a society we’ve come to refer to this as “super sizing.”

Each color has a variety of shades. For instance, pure colors are bright or high chroma. Muted colors are lower intensity than the pure colors. Shaded colors have even lower color intensity than muted colors. Every shade of color can speak volumes about your personal style, without you saying a word. And while color perception is highly personal and connects directly with individual memories and emotions, it has a universal language.

We’ve all heard the sayings: “Red with anger,” “Red-blooded,” “Yellow-bellied,” “Golden experience,” “Green with envy,” “Give the green light,” “Feeling blue,” “A black mood,” “White as sheep,” “White elephant,” and “A colorful character.”

Color has remarkable therapeutic benefit. The pineal gland secretes serotonin which has an uplifting effect. It helps us to stay aware and alert. It’s stimulated by daylight and the colors yellow, orange, and red.

Melatonin—a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles—has a sedative effect. It’s stimulated by night and the colors green, blue, and purple. People suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—a specific type of depression in winter months—have high levels of melatonin due to lack of sunlight. They respond well to therapy with a full-spectrum white light.

Color produces moods, feelings, and sensations that almost everyone recognizes. Many people use color to transform the place they live into a place they love. In each of the next seven “classes” we’ll take a close look at specific colors and how they can help to unleash the unlimited potential and possibility of different aspects of your fundamental nature.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

28 thoughts on “The Color of Wellness – Continued

  1. I am all eyes and ears, class seems to be picking up some brilliant vibes, from infra-reds to ultra-violets. I have my canvas and brushes at hand, you provide the medium and subject matter. I want to paint a really stunning picture of health!

    • Oh Miss Sandi – I like where you’re headed with this, “I want to paint a really stunning picture of health!” Than you’re already more than half-way there because attitude and intent are enormous factors! And you’ve got what it takes!

  2. Like Sandi, I am all ears and eyes! Opening to a more conscious recognition of this world of color and how it affects us. Thank you, teacher. (What color are you wearing today for class?)

    • Kathy – Monday is a protected day for writing for me (and just so happens to be a “class” day as well). As such, I’m in my light blue flannel nightie, and will most likely stay that way all day. I’m currently creating a test for my Reiki Level 3 students.

      Why light blue? That color is the frequency that corresponds to the throat chakra — the energy station in our body that orchestrates self-expression and creativity. I need to be clear, concise, and articulate when wordsmithing this curriculum so light blue is the color of the day. To enhance the process, I’m also wearing a Blue Kyanite pendant that falls slightly below the divot in my throat. Blue Kyanite is also known as “The Blade of Archangel Michael” (in other words, it helps a person “cut through the crap.”)

  3. Laurie, this is all very interesting. Our oldest grandson who just turned six is extremely sensitive to everything around him and acts/ reacts accordingly. He has always had a strong preference to a favorite color (of the moment)….wanting to wear it, eat foods that are that particular color and have things around him that are “his” color. He is also fascinated with other people’s favorite colors and this was one of his favorite topics and questions at a very early age.
    Looking forward to the next seven classes.

  4. It seems to me that there are several things involved.
    Light comes in an infinite spectrum of energies, and what we call light is but a very small part of a far greater spectrum of electromagnetic energies/frequencies.

    At another level, how we get to experience light is, for the most part, mediated by our sense organs (mostly our eyes and our skin).

    For most of us, we have four different types of light sensitive cells in our eyes. We have rod cells that are sensitive to a broad spectrum of photons, and give us “black and white” or rather “grey scale” vision. These cells are found across the retina (the light sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball).

    The other three types of cells are all variants of a single type, cone cells. These cells contain pigments that are sensitive to a much narrower range of photons.
    Each type of pigment peaks in its response at a certain frequency, and tail off quickly either side, being essentially blind to energies/frequencies further either side.
    Most of us have three sets of these cone cells, and by comparing the responses of the three different types of cells, our brains can make models of the different colours (colors). Most of us have very similar pigments, and see colours similarly, and some of us have quite different pigments, and see colours very differently. Some people have only two sets of cones, and as such are colour blind to large sections of the spectrum (red-green is very common – particularly in men).
    Some people have more than three variants, and see far more of the electromagnetic spectrum than others.
    These cone cells are concentrated toward the center of the retina. Hence in strong light we can look directly at things to see them, yet in low light (at night) we need to look to the side of what we want to see, to allow the object of interest to focus on an area of the retina with a high concentration of rod cells. Our peripheral vision is powered by the rod cells (ie it is “black and white”/ grey scale).

    Some people, have a variety of conditions that cause them to link the colour processing centers of the brain to other sense organs. My wife (Ailsa) is one, who had eyes that would not focus together and she has no depth perception, and yet she has learned to use her colour and depth perception with music (she sees music as colours and shapes).

    Our skins are also sensitive to the different energies of light, and some of us develop the ability to distinguish colours through our skin (but not shapes).

    Photons of different energies can certainly create reactions and produce different concentrations of certain chemical in our bodies, that can affect us in many subtle ways. One well documented example of this effect is “Vitamin D”. There are many other similar classes of compounds the effects of which are far less profound than vitamin D, but are similar in many other chemical and physical aspects.

    Having said that, it seems to me that there are many people who take a part of an idea and build it off in directions that have little relation to reality. I seems to me that much of colour therapy leans in this direction, and owes more to “placebo effect” (the exceptionally powerful power of belief), rather than to the rationale offered.

    • Ted – I always respect what you have to contribute to a conversation, thank you.

      There are so many studies that have been done across industries (global marketing campaigns, penal institutions, mental institutions, healing, etc), and my own healing practice of 1,200+ case studies that I can’t even begin to discount the positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing effects of Color Therapy. But lets just say for one teeny moment that it only works based on the “placebo effect.” I’ll point back to your blog post on dated September 15th where you’re talking about a recent meeting with a melanoma expert and you say, “It seems almost unbelievable to me that they can deny the power of the placebo effect – which is the strongest effect we have for treating most cancers.” Regardless of why Color Therapy works, I’m sure glad that it does 🙂

      And just for fun, here’s a piece of sidebar information in my manuscript that simply points to the powerful use of color:

      Research conducted by the Institute for Color Research (CCICOLOR) Research reveals that people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62 and 90 percent of that assessment is based on color alone. When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products.

  5. Hi Laurie

    I have no doubt that people are very strongly effected by colour.

    I am aware of several possible physiological and biochemical pathways for this; and I suspect that most of the observed effects are “cultural” in the widest sense of the word.

    I 100% agree with you, that the mind is the most powerful thing we know of in this universe.
    The power of belief is amazing.
    A mix of belief in self, and open exploration of what is possible in the physical and cultural universe in which we reside seems to be the most powerful combination.

    The recursive power of belief, abstracted and transcended into ever broader domains, is the most interesting phenomenon I have yet explored.

    It is kinda weird, how the more I know, the more I know that I don’t know.
    In one sense I must be becoming a little less ignorant, and in another sense I am becoming profoundly more aware of the extent of my ignorance (previously I was simply more ignorant of how ignorant I am).
    It is a very strange experience.

    Here’s to a very colourful life!


  6. well, its great to know that Ted is still keeping us all well within the science of reality while you, Laurie, take us to the infinite possibilities of vibrational reality (and I think that is what color is — vibration — according to both of your definitions). The frequency at which colors vibrate must account for their effect on people and explain why some people have color synesthesia (feel, taste, and hear color). Color has a role in life . . . else why would we have it?

    • Barbara – Like you, I so appreciate the science that Ted brings to the table. Yepper, color is a vibration, and it definitely has a role in life. The male birds, for instance, are much more flamboyant than female birds. Why? The males are a wee tad more expendable, if needs be. The females, however, are drab in comparison. Why? They must blend in with their surroundings so that they can nurture and bring forth the next generation — survival of the species. I’m so glad you popped in Barbara (the Yellow Rose of Texas!) …

    • Hi Barbara,

      I get a hint from what you wrote that you somehow view science as limiting possibility.
      For me nothing could be further from the truth.

      For me, science is about discerning the patterns that work in reality, and those that don’t. This can save a lot of time when one is planning to do something, eliminating a lot of paths that lead to dead ends, without having to walk them.

      There are still and infinite number of paths from any place to any place; science (at its best) just helps us to avoid those paths that do not lead us where we want to be.

      The ultimate test of any idea is reality, and science, at its best, offers us a useful map of some of the things that are possible in that reality.

      Science is not reality, and new paradigms are being added to science all the time. Sometimes, the addition of a new paradigm reveals whole new classes of possible paths, possible relationships.

      For me, the pure childish joy of science comes in exploration of the boundaries, and it seems from my explorations to date of both the physical and the theoretical, that there will always be an infinite set of boundaries to explore – even if we should be fortunate enough to live for billions of years.

      I often wonder how I will view my own limited attempts at map making today should I manage to live for a few thousand years. Hopefully I will have a little compassion for myself.

      • Ted, nothing could be further from the truth! I did not explain myself well but looky here is another opportunity! You are SO lucky! My statement “within the reality of science” for me means that I view science as a proven fact, a known existence — a semi-firm foundation of all that is known at this moment. I heartily agree with you and pushing those boundaries of reality as we might know it today is what makes life so interesting. My comment about Laurie’s “infinite possibilities of vibrational reality” means that I believe that there are yet vibrations to be discovered and the impact of those vibrations seems to go on forever. Okay, so it’s all the same reality . . .

        So good to read you these days, Ted. Glad you are hanging around to set me straight.

      • Hi Barbara

        Thanks for that clarification.
        I guess I’m a bit cautious about using the word “fact”.

        The more I learn about stuff, the less certain I get about just about everything.
        Things that 20 years ago I took as hard proven fact, now just appear to be probability functions.
        I like your use of the term “semi firm”, I often use the analogy for “knowledge” of a bamboo pole house built on a swamp – put too much weight on any one pole and it will sink out of sight, yet with enough poles distributed appropriately, the whole thing is remarkably stable within its load limits.

        It seems to me that the levels of being possible are infinite, and the linkages between levels also potentially infinite, and that resonance can occur at many levels within that stack (both vertically and horizontally so to speak).

        Yep – does seem to be all the same reality – just the stories that vary a “bit” between individuals.

        Somehow I still manage to get shocked by the number of people (and it is well over 90% of the population, including many very educated folk) that believe that science is near to answering all the questions possible, and as such is a waste of time as a field of interest. Nothing could be further from my reality.


  7. I am colorblind ans was contemplating this all day.
    I see colors,, however they are a hint of gray.

    Light Blue is my all time favorite color.

    I was told not to keep my PJ’s on any more at 1pm on saturday! LOL>>>>>Blue Butterflies of course!!

    • Kim – I’m grateful for your visit (PJ’s and all). No matter that you’re color blind — the vibration (frequency) of the color that’s around you does you just as much good. Light blue — has the frequency that corresponds to the throat chakra — self-expression and creativity. No wonder you’re so good at what you do: delivering feedback messages in a clear, concise, and articulate voice.

    • Beth – You would probably do well to add vitamin D3 to your diet as well. Len and I take it through the winter months when there’s a drastically reduced amount of sunlight. Vitamin D3 is known as “The Sunshine Vitamin.” I thoroughly enjoyed your blog post today — thank you for the link!

  8. pssst! don’t tell Laurie but I just slipped in the back door and slid into my seat a whole two days late. I can’t believe it! No I can’t pass you an note now Jeff…. she will catch me for sure.

    (I wonder if she will see me in this white cotton nightgown… maybe she will think it is a sheet or a gray haired angel… yes, angel that will do… smile now and get that halo up there FAST!)

    All funning aside Laurie, one heck of a post and I am off to read the next one.

  9. We have a new, pretty inspirational scientist around on the TV here in the UK, who a few months back did a series called ‘The wonders of the solar system’ He reminds me in so many of ways of Carl Sagan, way back in the mists of my teenage years. Dr Brian Cox. (He’s based much of the time at CERN) Anyway, I digress, sorry! I’ve heard him say on more than one occasion how little we know about anything & frankly i think that mindset is the one I wish more of humanity were in accord with. Otherwise why are we here?
    Sorry, new to the class…I’ll stay quiet and just try to soak up the vibes 😉

    • Sand625 – Don’t even think about remaining quiet. Jump right in and share — that’s what this “class” is all about. I haven’t had a TV for over 30 years, but I’ll see if I can find Dr. Brian Cox on YouTube — thank you for pointing me in that direction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.