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|Energy medicine - edit|
Chromotherapy, sometimes called color therapy, colorology or cromatherapy, is a complementary medicine method. Trained chromotherapists claim to be able to use light in the form of color to balance "energy" wherever a person's body be lacking, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels. The practice is pseudoscientific, since it does not employ the scientific method.
Color therapy is unrelated to light therapy, a scientifically-proven form of medical treatment for seasonal affective disorder and a small number of other conditions, and photobiology, the scientific study of the effects of light on living organisms.
Avicenna (980-1037), seeing color as of vital importance both in diagnosis and in treatment, discussed chromotherapy in The 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.
American Civil War General Augustus Pleasonton (1801-1894) 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[importance?] and Edwin Dwight Babbitt[importance?] 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.
In 1933, Hindu scientist Dinshah P. Ghadiali[importance?] published "The Spectro Chromemetry Encyclopaedia", a work on color therapy. Ghadiali claimed to have discovered the scientific principles which explain 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.
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. The purported colors and their associations are described as:
|Color||Chakra||Chakra location||Alleged function||Associated system|
|Red||First||Base of the spine||Grounding and Survival||Gonads, kidneys, spine, sense of smell|
|Orange||Second||Lower abdomen, genitals||Emotions, sexuality||Urinary tract, circulation, reproduction|
|Yellow||Third||Solar plexus||Power, ego||Stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas|
|Green||Fourth||Heart||Love, sense of responsibility||Heart, lungs, thymus|
|Blue||Fifth||Throat||Physical and spiritual communication||Throat, ears, mouth, hands|
|Indigo||Sixth||Just above the center of the brow, middle of forehead||Forgiveness, compassion, understanding||Eye, pineal glands|
|Violet||Seventh||Crown of the head||Connection with universal energies, transmission of ideas and information||Pituitary gland, the central nervous system and the cerebral cortex|
The studies listed below investigate the effect of color on the perceived quality of taste and flavor of food.
The article, Optimization of Food Expectations Using Product Color and Appearance by Shuo-Ting Wei, Li- Chen Ou, M Ronnier Luo, and John B. Hutchings published the findings of an experiment that looked at the relationship between color appearance and sensory characteristic of expected levels. The drink that was tested was orange juice. 15 observers looked at 174 juice colors and judged what the natural color of orange juice should be. Then the observers were asked to assess the same panel of stimuli using the 5 sensory characteristics. They came to the conclusion that juice that had a green hue elicited greater sourness and bitterness. Darker juices were expected to be bitter. Redder and yellower juices were expected to be sweeter and have a stronger flavor. Higher color intensity was also associated with a rating of stronger flavor for orange flavored beverages. Green mint solutions and brown vanilla solutions were also expected to have a stronger flavor. A stronger brown was associated with bitterness.
The article, The Multisensory Perception of Flavor: Assessing the Influence of Color Cues on Flavor Discrimination Responses published by Massimiliano Zampini, Daniel Sanabria, Nicola Phillips, and Charles spence, demonstrate the relationship between colors and expected flavor.Two experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, participants were asked to associate specific flavors with solutions of colors by just simply looking at them. The second experiment required the participants to taste the solutions and discriminate the flavor of the solution that had been colored either “appropriately” or “inappropriately.” The results show that the modulatory effect of visual cues on flavor perception can override participants’ awareness that the solutions would frequently be colored inappropriately. The results of experiment 1 show that solutions with certain colors have a strong association with particular flavors. The color orange is associated with the flavor of orange, yellow with lemon, and blue with spearmint. The flavor associated with the color red has more variability; the flavors of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry are most often thought of. The results of Experiment 2 demonstrate that the compulsory role of visual information on multisensory flavor perception was so strong to override any awareness the participants had about the possibility that the solutions were inappropriately colored. The second experiment also found that changing the intensity of a color did not change the participants’ perception of flavor intensity. Colors that appear in food and drinks might interfere with a person’s flavor identification at both the perceptional and semantic levels.
Chromotherapy has been deemed pseudoscience by its critics, who state that the falsifiability and verifiability conditions necessary to deem an experiment valid are not being met, and therefore that it has not been proven that introducing colors is the key element in the healing process which is healing its patients. Chromotherapy has also been criticized for selection bias in statistics of success for the treatment. It has also been suggested that the placebo effect may be a key factor in the healing of some patients, which could be tested for by a chromotherapy control group.
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. Light therapy is a specific treatment approach using high intensity light to treat specific sleep, skin and mood disorders.
See also 
- Azeemi, Y; Raza SM (2005). "A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution". Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine 2 (4): 481–488. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh137. PMC 1297510. PMID 16322805.
- Pancoast, Seth (1877). Blue and Red Light: Or, Light and Its Rays as Medicine; Showing that Light is the Original and Sole Source of Life, as it is the Source of All the Physical and Vital Forces in Nature; and that Light is Nature's Own and Only Remedy for Disease ... Together with a Chapter on Light in the Vegetable Kingdom. Philadelphia: J. M. Stoddart & Company. p. 312. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- Mary Anderson, Colour Therapy, The Aquarian Press, 1986
- Gruson, L (1982-10-19). "Color has a powerful effect on behavior, researchers assert". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- Parker, D (2001). Color Decoder. Barron's. ISBN 0-7641-1887-0.
- van Wagner, K. "Color Psychology: How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors". About.com. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- Carey, SS (2004). A Beginner's Guide to Scientific Method. Wadsworth Publishing. ISBN 0-534-58450-0.