A Guide to Improving Your Health Through Color Therapy

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The colors we see around us every day affect our mood and general well-being, both positively and negatively.  They change our feelings and reactions to certain situations.  

Color therapy, or chromopathy, uses various hues to heal emotional problems and treat physical ailments. It isn’t a new concept. Light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder, for instance, and hospitals treat jaundiced newborn babies born with blue light phototherapy. We also know that exposure to blue light during the day increases mood, alertness, and attention span, but at night it suppresses melatonin, a sleep hormone, and disrupts circadian rhythms. People with photosensitive epilepsy are triggered into seizures by specific patterns and colors of flashing lights. There is no doubt that colors affect the human body in countless ways.

Professionals can perform color therapy, but there are various ways to enjoy the rewards of a colorful life all on your own. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about this wellness approach, how specific colors make you feel, and how you can enjoy the benefits.

How Colors Affect Your Feelings

Colors that affect feelings

It seems absurd to think the colors around you directly affect how you learn or your level of energy, but it makes sense from a scientific standpoint. Color is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is a wavelength of energy, so it should be no surprise that it has wide-ranging effects on living things. 

Colors also correspond to various systems of the human body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Certain colors stimulate or irritate body systems such as the nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems. Let’s examine how specific colors can make us feel.


The color green is calming, like a day spent in nature. It has a lower wavelength, which results in deeper concentration for longer periods of time. Research shows that people who work in offices with green walls and decor have higher rates of job satisfaction. Consumers spend more time shopping in stores that are painted green. Green is related to the heart chakra and encourages balance and love. Therapists use it to treat depression.


Blue is an excellent color associated with peace, serenity, and inner truth, because it stimulates the production of calming chemicals in the brain. Extended exposure to blue can lead to depression. Gyms and weights are often painted blue because people associate the color with things that are lightweight. It is not a color you find in food. It is unappetizing, and studies show that blue colors in foods, plating, or room paint cause people to eat less. Blue corresponds to the throat chakra and encourages creative thought and productivity. It is another popular color for offices and classrooms. 


Red is a bold color in fashion, and there’s a reason for that. It makes you feel energized and competent by stimulating neurons and the adrenal gland. It’s a good color for workout clothes and when you want to feel powerful. This vibrant color can also induce irritation, annoyance, and frustration. Therapists avoid any red-light therapies with violent mental patients because it raises blood pressure. Red is connected to the root chakra. It represents passion, stamina, and independence. 

The science of color is fascinating, and this is just the beginning. Studies continue to find new connections between color and the human body. No research is necessary to enjoy the benefits that colors can impart, and there are many ways to do it. 

Methods of Color Therapy

Red, Green and Blue Colors

Bringing color therapy into your life is an easy process that you’ve already implemented to some degree. Everyone has clothing or home goods they purchased because they loved the feelings they invoked. There are several simple ways to implement color therapy into your life. 

1. Interior Design

Decorating your space in predominately one color is an easy way to employ color therapy. Color is a significant factor in interior design, and professionals consider the room’s purpose when recommending wall and decor color. Fill your bedroom with calming colors that encourage sleep and relaxation. 

2. Color-Focused Activities

Activities such as yoga and meditation combined with color therapy can be even more beneficial. They focus on the influences of the chakra rainbow to obtain the desired outcome. Someone with circulation problems, for instance, might meditate while surrounding themselves with a red light. 

3. Style of Dress

We choose the clothes we wear because they appeal to us in some way. Take it a step further and choose your clothes to help you elevate your mood and give you a burst of creativity, confidence, or calmness. 

4. Colored Lights

Using a colored light bulb while reading, resting, or just enjoying the day is another simple color therapy method. Use various colored lights in different rooms, depending on their purpose, such as a pink light in your bedroom, to take advantage of its calming effects. 

Research is mounting in favor of color therapy and its advantages. It’s an easy, creative, and fun way to take action and be accountable for your own health and wellness journey, whether you go it alone or with the help of a naturopathic professional. 

Naturopathic Therapies Can Boost Your Physical and Mental Health

Dr. Karen Threlkel is a naturopathic doctor serving the Greater D.C. area. She provides a holistic approach to medicine that includes the mind, body, and spirit, as well as natural-focused remedies for treating both symptoms and underlying conditions. 

Contact Dr. Threlkel to schedule a consultation for more information about color therapy or learn more about natural remedies or treatments. 

About The Author:

Picture of Dr. Karen Threlkel, Naturopathic Physician, Washington DC

Dr. Karen Threlkel, Naturopathic Physician, Washington DC

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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