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Color Me Healthy

Color is everywhere. Cool green grass, deep purple berries, shiny black shoes. Most executives don’t give much thought to the impact of color, although most of us are drawn to certain colors. Perhaps all your ties or scarves are red, a color that symbolizes action, confidence and vitality. Or you picked a fresh yellow for your living room walls because the color made you feel happy and intellectually energized.

Responding to color isn’t just a feeling. The use of color and light for health has been studied and applied for centuries. Ancient Egyptians built solariums– rooms with colored panes of glass to allow the sun to shine through the glass and cover the patient with healing color. The Asian practice of Feng Shui uses color and light energy to create a balance between yin and yang. Today, color therapy is backed by both scientific research of light and the psychological findings identifying the positive effects of color.

Why does color and light impact us both physically and mentally? From Sir Isaac Newton to physicists of today, we know that light is part of a spectrum of electromagnetic energy. Each portion of the spectrum manifests as radiation vibrating at a specific rate. Because light is a form of radiant energy, human beings can absorb and radiate this energy.

Chromotherapy, an alternative medicine, is known as a method of treatment that uses color to cure illness. Some chromotherapists match very specific colors to specific parts of the body for a more sophisticated approach to healing. Interestingly, CNN reported that Cornell University researchers discovered that by applying blue light to the backs of the knees, the body’s internal clock can be “reset”. This could be great help to executives who travel and may suffer from jet lag or for employees who suffer sleep disturbances from shift work.

Another development was identified by the German acupuncturist Dr. Peter Mandel. He applies color and light to acupuncture points on the body, creating Colorpuncture, a therapy that is now being taught in many countries. Here in the US, color and light therapy is considered a complimentary therapy to other traditional medical treatments.

While many aspects of color therapy are scientifically rational and in some cases proven, for the most part, scientific validation of the healing effects of color has been unsuccessful. However, research and use of color and light continues – and continues to show success as an alternative therapy. A recent finding is the therapeutic success of a flickering light in the eyes of stroke victims and people who experience chronic depression. Exposure to sunlight and UV radiation or using a full spectrum light box (not UV)) is known to help treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and some depressions, just as Vitamin D is used to prevent rickets and 200 Genetically determined diseases. (Light Therapy, www.MayoClinic.com and Vitamin D for Depression, www.ehow.com).

While light and color therapy should never replace medicine, some applications are quite useful and valid. The doctors at EHS Corporate Care are well versed in alternate therapies and can provide and refer clients who want health care, wellness and healing solutions using alternative medicine.

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