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Chromotherapy

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Chromotherapy
Intervention

MeSH

D016500

[edit on Wikidata]

Edwin Dwight Babbitt an early proponent of Chromotherapy

Chromotherapy, sometimes called color therapy, colorology or cromatherapy, is an alternative


medicine method, which is considered pseudoscience.[1] Chromotherapists claim to be able to
use light in the form of color to balance "energy" lacking from a person's body, whether it be on
physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels. Research has shown it is ineffective. [2]
Color therapy is distinct from other types of light therapy, such as neonatal jaundice
treatment[3] and blood irradiation therapy which is a scientifically accepted medical treatment for a
number of conditions,[2] and from photobiology, the scientific study of the effects of light on living
organisms.
Contents
[hide]

1History

2Colored chakras

3Scientific reception

4See also

5References

6Further reading

7External links

History[edit]
Avicenna (980-1037), seeing color as of vital importance both in diagnosis and in treatment,
discussed chromotherapy inThe Canon of Medicine. He wrote that "color is an observable symptom
of disease" and also developed a chart that related color to the temperature and physical condition
of the body. His view was that red moved the blood, blue or white cooled it, and yellow reduced
muscular pain and inflammation.[4]
American Civil War General Augustus Pleasonton (18011894) conducted his own experiments and
in 1876 published his book The Influence Of The Blue Ray Of The Sunlight And Of The Blue Color
Of The Sky about how the color blue can improve the growth of crops and livestock and can help
heal diseases in humans. This led to modern chromotherapy, influencing scientist Dr. Seth Pancoast
(1823-&nsash;1889) and Edwin Dwight Babbitt (1828-1905) to conduct experiments and to publish,
respectively, Blue and Red Light; or, Light and Its Rays as Medicine (1877) and The Principles of
Light and Color.[5]
In 1933, Indian-born American-citizen scientist Dinshah P. Ghadiali (18731966), published The
Spectro Chromemetry Encyclopaedia, a work on color therapy.[6]Ghadiali claimed to have discovered
why and how the different colored rays have various therapeutic effects on organisms. He believed
that colors represent chemical potencies in higher octaves of vibration, and for each organism and
system of the body there is a particular color that stimulates and another that inhibits the work of that
organ or system. Ghadiali also thought that by knowing the action of the different colors upon the
different organs and systems of the body, one can apply the correct color that will tend to balance
the action of any organ or system that has become abnormal in its functioning or condition. Dinshah
P. Ghadiali's son Darius Dinshah continues to provide information about color therapy via his
Dinshah Health Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing non-pharmaceutical home
color therapy, and his book Let There Be Light.[7]
Science writer Martin Gardner had described Ghadiali as "perhaps the greatest quack of them all." In
1925, Ghadiali was accused of rape and arrested in Seattle and sentenced under the Mann Act for
five years at the United States Penitentiary, Atlanta. According to Gardner photographs of Ghadiali at
work in his laboratory, are "indistinguishable from stills of a grade D movie about a mad scientist." [8]
Throughout the 19th century "color healers" claimed colored glass filters could treat many diseases
including constipation and meningitis.[9]

Colored chakras[edit]

A New Age conceptualisation of the chakras of Indian body culture and their positions in the human body

Practitioners of ayurvedic medicine believe the body has seven "chakras", which some claim are
'spiritual centers', and which are held to be located along the spine. New Age thought associates
each of the chakras with a single color of the visible light spectrum, along with a function and organ
or bodily system. According to this view, the chakras can become imbalanced and result in physical
diseases, but application of the appropriate color can allegedly correct such imbalances. [10] The
purported colors and their associations are described as:[11]

Color

Chakr
a

Red

First

Base of the spine

Grounding and Survival

Orang
e

Second

Lower abdomen, genitals

Emotions, sexuality

Yellow Third

Solar plexus

Power, ego

Green

Fourth

Heart

Love, sense of responsibility

Blue

Fifth

Throat

Physical and spiritual communication

Indigo

Sixth

Just above the center of the brow,


middle of forehead

Forgiveness, compassion, understanding

Chakra location

Alleged function

Violet

Sevent
h

Connection with universal energies, transmission


of ideas and information

Crown of the head

Scientific reception[edit]
Chromotherapy is regarded by health experts as quackery.[12][13]
According to a book published by the American Cancer Society, "available scientific evidence does
not support claims that alternative uses of light or color therapy are effective in treating cancer or
other illnesses".[2]
Photobiology, the term for the contemporary scientific study of the effects of light on humans, has
replaced the term chromotherapy in an effort to separate it from its roots in Victorian mysticism and
to strip it of its associations with symbolism and magic.[9] Light therapy is a specific treatment
approach using high intensity light to treat specific sleep, skin and mood disorders.

See also[edit]

Colorpuncture

List of ineffective cancer treatments

List of topics characterized as pseudoscience

References[edit]
1.

Jump up^ Williams, William F. (2000). Encyclopedia of


Pseudoscience: From Alien Abductions to Zone Therapy. Facts on File
Inc. p. 52. ISBN 1-57958-207-9

2.

^ Jump up to:a b c Ades, Terri (2009). Complete Guide to


Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies. American Cancer
Society. p. 210. ISBN 9781604430530.

3.

Jump up^ Dobbs, R. H.; Cremer, R. J.


(1975). "Phototherapy". Archives of Disease in Childhood 50 (11):
8336. doi:10.1136/adc.50.11.833. PMC 1545706.PMID 1108807.

4.

Jump up^ Azeemi, S. T.; Raza, S. M. (2005). "A Critical Analysis of


Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution". Evidence-based
Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2(4): 481
488. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh137. PMC 1297510. PMID 16322805.

5.

Jump up^ Collins, Paul. (2001). Banvard's Folly: Tales of Renowned


Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck. Picador. p. 229. ISBN
0-330-48689-6

6.

Jump up^ Schwarcz, Joe. "Colorful Nonsense: Dinshah Ghadiali and


His Spectro-Chrome Device". Quackwatch.

7.

Jump up^ Dinshah, Darius (2012). Let There be Light. Dinshah


Health Society.ISBN 0933917309.

8.

Jump up^ Gardner, Martin. (2012 edition, originally published in


1957). Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Dover Publications.
pp. 211-212. ISBN 0-486-20394-8

9.

^ Jump up to:a b Gruson, L (1982-10-19). "Color has a powerful effect


on behavior, researchers assert". The New York Times.
Retrieved 2009-09-18.

10. Jump up^ Parker, D (2001). Color Decoder. Barron's. ISBN 0-76411887-0.[page needed]
11. Jump up^ van Wagner, K. "Color Psychology: How Colors Impact
Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors". About.com. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
12. Jump up^ Raso, Jack. (1993). Mystical Diets: Paranormal, Spiritual,
and Occult Nutrition Practices. Prometheus Books. pp. 256-257. ISBN
0-87975-761-2
13. Jump up^ Swan, Jonathan. (2003). Quack Magic: The Dubious
History of Health Fads and Cures. Ebury Press. p. 216. ISBN 9780091888091

Further reading[edit]

Edwin Dwight Babbitt. (1886). The Principles of Light and Color.


East Orange, New Jersey.

Martin Gardner. (1957). Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.


Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-20394-8

Color Therapy at the US National Library of Medicine Medical


Subject Headings (MeSH)

External links[edit]

[show]

Pseudoscience
[show]

Color topics
Categories:

Color

Energy therapies

Pseudoscience

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