How Color Can Make You Feel Better

Getty Images: Mimi Haddon

When we look at color, especially beautifully presented color, we feel good.  But there may be more to it than that. Chromatherapy, or color therapy, has been practiced since ancient times. It works on the theory that we have energy centers, or chakras, throughout our body and that colors activate and rebalance our energy system. When we bathe in the colors of the light spectrum, which can be enhanced by water and light, we feel better. This is the simple but powerful idea behind chromatherapy.  

The Spa at The Breakers is one of many spas that offers chromatherapy in a specially equipped tub in a darkened room.  You relax as underwater lights in the bath deliver a sequence of colors for one minute each.  You can also stop the lights on one color if that is what feels right.  A chromatherapy bath is usually offered as part of a larger treatment, perhaps before a body scrub or massage. At The Spa at The Breakers, it is offered as part of a four and a half-hour Signature Spa Suite Experience.

Chromatherapy is also available as an option on high-end home hydrotherapy baths from companies like Kohler, BainUltra, and Aquatic.

Colors and The Chakras

Each of the colors that glow in in the hydrotherapy tubs -- red, orange, yellow, green blue, indigo and violet -- are believed to correspond to one of the body's main seven chakras. 

  • The First or Root Chakra relates to the element of earth, and is located at the base of the spine.  It has to do with earthly matters, such as our body, health, survival, monetary existence, and our ability to meet our needs.  Associated with solidity, it is represented by the color RED.  
  • The Second Chakra relates to the element of water and is located in the lower abdomen.  It is the center of sexuality, emotions, sensation, pleasure, movement and nurturing.  Associated with change, it is represented by the color YELLOW.
  • The Third Chakra relates to the element of fire, and is in the area from our navel to our solar plexus. Psychologically, it relate to personal power or will, and involves the realm of action.  It is associated with transformation, and is represented by the color ORANGE.
  • The Fourth Chakra is relates to the element of air, and is located at your heart. It is the center of the chakra system, the energy center that unites all the other forces within and without, above and below, and its essence is the love of joyous acceptance.  It represents wholeness, and is represented by the color GREEN.
  • The Fifth Chakra relates to the element of sound, and is located at the throat.   It is the center of self-expression, and is in the realm of consciousness that controls, creates transmits and receives communication.  It is represented by the color BRIGHT BLUE.
  • The Sixth Chakra firerelates to the element of light, and is associated with the "third eye".  It relates to seeing, including being gifted in psychic perception. It is represented by the color INDIGO.
  • The Seventh Charka relates to the element of thought, and sits halo-like at the top of the head.  It represents our conscious and unconscious thoughts -- our belief system.  It is associated with cosmic consciousness, and is represented by the color VIOLET.

    Bathing in the colors can strengthen the chakras where you are weakest, or provide an overall balancing of your chakras.  You can also practice chromatherapy by wearing certain colors or gemstones, to strengthen a particular chakra.  It can also be helpful to combine color therapy with mental affirmations that address whatever issue you are facing.  There are intricate systems and approaches to color therapy, but these are simple ways to enjoy the benefits of chromatherapy. 

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