Dr. David Ackerman, Chiropractor, Alternative Healthcare Practitioner, Neuro-Emotional Technique NET Practitioner, Acupuncturist, Barbara Brennan Healer and Applied Kinesiologist | Sedona, AZ

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Color Therapy - A Hi-Tech Approach

Is your body mutating?  What better way to help it along, than with the use of colored lights?  

Light is the purest physical manifestation of God, and color therapy is the highest form of physical healing. A study was made involving 1,478 treatments rendered from 1984 through 1997 utilizing theatre stage spotlights and sixty different colored gels at the author's chiropractic clinic. Muscle testing was performed to determine which chakras received what color. The hypothesis was that the first through seventh chakras would receive the colors of the spectrum, respectively, red through violet. Results pointed to a diversity of colors for each chakra, with the mean being in the green-blue range. Correlation of colors with chakras, glands, physical healing properties, spinal levels and gemstones is included. Instructions are given for simply and inexpensively assembling a color therapy light bar to install above your healing table. Learn how you can avail your clients and yourself to the benefits of color therapy with no more time and effort than it takes to flick a switch.

I was initially exposed to color therapy in 1977 when I visited the office of Charles Whitehouse, D.C. in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Whitehouse used color therapy with U-shaped fluorescent tubes that put out all seven colors of the spectrum at once. He was a remarkable man who had his office filled with shelves and shelves of metaphysical books. I was most impressed when he revealed that the bust in the corner was of himself in a prior incarnation. It was one thing to know who you were, it's quite another to go out and find a statue somebody made of you!

There are many ways to use color as a healing modality. We know that light was used diagnostically and therapeutically in ancient Egypt. Treatment was done in light rooms at Heliopolis, Egypt.

Babbitt's Method
In 1878, Edwin Babbitt, M.D., utilized two forms of color therapy, and outlined the principles of modern color therapy in his book, The Principles of Light and Color. He invented the Chromodisc which had sunlight pass through various colors of glass. The light hitting one area of skin could effect the entire body as it entered the local blood vessels carrying its properties to the organ through the bloodstream. He also made "solar elixirs", or suncharged water. This is as simple as brewing sun tea. You leave water setting in sunlight in a colored bottle. Drinking "blue water" would cure a sore throat.

Dinshah's Influence

In 1920, Dinshah Ghadiali, a doctor from India who came to New Jersey, developed a program called Spectro-Chrome. He outlined 22 areas on the skin for exposure to light and which corresponding organs would be effected. In addition to the seven colors of the spectrum, he used scarlet (red plus blue), lemon (yellow plus green), turquoise (green plus blue), purple and magenta (red plus violet). He assigned certain healing properties and an affinity for certain organs to each color. By using the right color on the right area, or in combinations, he had a treatment program for a host of illnesses. His most famous student was Kate Baldwin, M.D., who was the Chief Surgeon at a Philadelphia hospital. In 1926, she was quoted as saying, "After nearly 37 years of active hospital and private practice in medicine and surgery, I can produce quicker and more accurate results with colors than with any or all other methods combined."

Spitler's Syntonic Principle
In 1941, Harry Riley Spitler, M.D., O.D., wrote The Syntonic Principle. Syntony means "to bring to balance". He balanced the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system by administering light through the eyes.  "Blue light" stimulates the parasympathetic and "red light" the sympathetic nervous systems. Today, there are hundreds of optometrists practicing light therapy by projecting light through the retina directly into the central nervous system. Their work is supported and documented through membership in the School of Syntonic Optometry.

Two Approaches
There are two schools of thought in the selection of colors. There is the "allopathic" and the "homeopathic" approach to prescribing a color. In the allopathic approach you use the color that is lacking, and in the homeopathic approach you use the color that is in excess. As an example, if the patient has a fever, the allopath prescribes aspirin to reduce the fever. The homeopath prescribes a minute amount of a chemical known to raise body temperature.  Likewise, in a homeopathic approach to color therapy, you give the color that is already in excess, and the body says, "whoa, we already have too much blue," and the body reduces the blue to bring things into balance. Both schools agree that more is not better, and light treatment should always be as gentle as possible. Whereas, mild stimuli will excite physiological action, strong stimuli will retard or abolish the physiological action.

Color Application
Once one has a knowledge of the seven chakras, then a logical application of color therapy follows. The color associated with a chakra will stimulate the underactive endocrine gland or non-endocrine organ associated with that chakra. Therefore, treat the organ through the chakra. This simple law allows one to extrapolate to gem therapy. The color of the gemstone, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, tells you which chakra to wear the stone on and what organs would benefit:

L5 - ischial tuberosity
Ruby, Garnet, Bloostone
L1 - L4
Opal, Coral
T10- T12
Citrine, Yellow Topaz, Amber
T7 - T9
Malachite, Emerald, Jade, Peridot
T4 - T6
Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Topaz
T1 - T3
Skull - C7

When I began doing research with color therapy in a clinical setting my hypothesis was that each of the seven chakras would most often benefit from the color associated with that chakra in the literature. In physics, the wavelength of light is measured in Angstroms, A = Angstroms.

  • The first chakra would most often receive red light 6865A
  • The 2nd chakra would most often receive orange light 8330A
  • The 3rd chakra would most often receive yellow light 5873A
  • The 4th chakra would most often receive green light 5131A
  • The 5th chakra would most often receive blue light 4556A
  • The 6th chakra would most often receive indigo light 4314A
  • The 7th chakra would most often receive violet light 4097A

Applied Kinesiology, or muscle testing, was developed in the 1960's by George Goodheart, D.C. I utilized Applied Kinesiology to determine which chakras would be treated, and then which color would be projected onto that chakra. The applied kinesiological part of the procedure is performed as follows:  The patient may be in any position, prone, supine, sitting or standing. However, over 95% of the time the patient was either sitting or supine. The decision was usually made by whether the patient was accustomed to sitting for meditation or lying down. Comfort was also a factor, as a back pain patient may prefer lying down. The advantage of sitting is that it allows access to the front and back of the body for color light application. Presuming the patient's right arm flexor muscle group is strong (in the clear), I would use my left hand to test the strength of their right arm. As I touched with my right hand over (challenging) the patient's chakras beginning with the seventh, a weakening (temporary reflex weakening) of the right arm flexors would indicate that the patient would benefit from the application of colored light onto that chakra at that time.  

Moving downward through the chakras I would determine which chakras were to be treated, and then return to those chakras to determine which color would be utilized. Now the patient uses their right hand to touch (therapy localize) each of the chakras that previously tested weak, while I test the strength of the patient's left arm. This leaves my right hand free to touch (challenge) the different glass gels and filters to determine the preferred color for that chakra. The arm strength changes with just one color. For the glass gels I touch each individually, while for the filters I created small swatches of each color applied to white cardboard for ease of testing. For those who are accustomed to using a pendulum, this entire procedure can be adapted to pendulum testing. Simply set your intention as to what movement is a "yes", and what is a "no".

The glass gels were acquired from Theatrix, a Denver theatre supply house, and came with numbers already affixed to the metal edges that were soldered around three microscope slide sized pieces of colored glass. The dimensions of the colored glass are 1-3/8" wide by 4" long. The filters, also acquired from Theatrix, are Lee filters. Lee filters are manufactured in England, but are distributed by Lee representatives on both the East and West coasts, and can be found at a theatre supply house in any major city in the U.S. I assigned random numbers to the Lee filters in the order that they were laid out on my cardboard swatch.

For each patient visit I would record the date, the patient's name, which chakras were treated, what colors were applied, and if any ancillary procedures were utilized during the color therapy, such as acupuncture or music.

This data was kept on an index file card. Greater than approximately 97% of the patients received a chiropractic treatment with or without adjunctive physiotherapy prior to or after their color therapy session. The patient's subjective complaints, objective exam findings, diagnostic evaluations and the treatment procedures or modalities could always be correlated with their medical file. It is also possible to include the use of sacred geometry with color therapy by using aluminum add-ons to the light projectors. Although interesting, this becomes too time consuming and reduces the amount of light, so it was only used for a period of about six months, and not included in my study.

It was explained to the patient that this procedure was being used to facilitate their meditation, open chakras, stimulate latent energies within their chakras, and as such, it was a "chakra treatment" and not a physical treatment.

Color is in essence a spiritual energy. Because it is spiritual you don't need appliances, you can use it manually. But I've found that it is easier to have the structure.  People focus more easily with the help of the lights, and the light does penetrate the physical body and have its effect whether the person is thinking about it or not.

I have used color therapy when I wanted to open the patient to a perception of themselves beyond the physical plane and the physical body. The lights add another dimension to any kind of healing work. As a chiropractor my focus has been on the illness or injury, and subsequent pain. Color therapy has kept my work from being focused only on the suffering, and returns me to a spirit focus while opening the patient to spiritual levels and a bigger picture of who they are.

After the lights are set up to project the colors on the chakras, and the regular overhead lights in the room are shut off, the patient is left by themselves. For twenty minutes they will be bathed in colored light in an otherwise darkened room. They have time to meditate, or just be with themselves, without conversation, in a receptive state. These circumstances facilitate the appearance of their guides, who can direct healing through the light, in much of the same way the guides work through a healer.

The Findings
I have been accumulating this data since May 23, 1984 and have applied color therapy for 1,478 patient visits. I began compiling the data on a computer spreadsheet in December, 1997.

Combining glass gels and filters, there were:

  • Six number of colors in the red spectrum
  • Seven number of colors in the orange spectrum
  • Seven number of colors in the yellow spectrum
  • Eleven number of colors in the green spectrum
  • Nine number of colors in the blue spectrum
  • Seven number of colors in the indigo spectrum
  • Twelve number of colors in the violet spectrum
  • One white glass gel

This is a total of 60 different colors.

Based on an estimate of the glass gel or the filter's Angstrom wavelength of light and percentage of absorption, a second number was assigned to each color representing its position along the color spectrum relative to the other filters in that color. For example, the nine blue filters were numbered 5.0 - 5.8 from lightest to darkest shade.

Dark yellow to light green
Light green
Dark green to light blue
Medium to dark green
Light to medium blue
Medium blue
Medium blue
Temple (on skull)
Light blue
Spleen chakra
(left of solar plexus)
Medium green

A more meaningful statistic was finding the one color that was used most frequently per chakra. The most frequently used color for the first chakra was pure, deep red, similar to fire engine red. Red is an expression of vitality, nervousness or excitement, and glandular activity. Clear red in the aura indicates force, vigor and energy. Red projected onto the body stimulates the liver and build red blood cells.

The second chakra was nearly a 3-way tie:  eight times with indigo light, seven times with a yellow-orange that is best described as amber, and seven times with a green color that is just a shade lighter than lawn green. Indigo is an analgesic and a sedative; it reduces the pain from swelling, and reduces overactivity of the thyroid gland and heart, allowing deeper sleep.

Violet is a spiritual color. In those who are overexcited, it will calm the nervous and motor systems and relax the nerves. Specifically, it stimulates the spleen to build more white blood cells. Like indigo it cools the fire of the heart and allows for deeper sleep. Indigo and violet are similar to lavender, in that they help fight infection.

Yellow is a stimulating color to the nervous system, and as such is good for paralysis and neuritis. It stimulates the liver and gallbladder, aiding in elimination of parasites, such as pinworms and liver flukes. It stimulates and builds the pancreas, eyes and ears.

Orange stimulates the immune system. It is a stimulant to the lungs, thyroid and thymus.  It decreases menstrual cramps, and helps increase discharges. It draws boils, abscesses and pus to a head. I was particularly struck by how infrequently the color orange was used. Yet, saffron orange seems to be the color of choice among yogis for their robes. In Ayurvedic medicine they say that orange should be used in conjunction with celibacy in order to transform sexual energy into Supreme Consciousness. Among householders, orange's healing properties are used restrictively because it increases ovum and sperm production. The over use of orange, excessively stimulating sexual energy, could result in the depletion of vital energy.

The third chakra most frequently tested for a very light, seafoam green. I believe this color calms agitation and aids digestion by increasing parasympathetic and decreasing sympathetic activity though its action on the solar plexus.

Green was overwhelmingly the color of choice for the fourth chakra. The most frequently used shade of green was a pure, lawn green. Green is a master balancer and can improve the results from other colors. Being in the middle of the spectrum, green is a neutral color, neither cooling nor warming. It is related to nitrogen which makes up 78% of our air, as well as being the predominating color in the life force of our planet. It raises the vibration of the body above the vibration of the disease, thereby increasing immunity to infections and cancer. It stimulates the pituitary and thymus glands. It is effective on cuts and bruises.

The fifth chakra was treated 100 times with a beautiful shade of blue. It is a deep blue, darker than the sky. It is similar to turquoise blue, but without any hint of green. I believe this turquoise blue works on the higher levels of the field, and particularly the fifth chakra on the fifth level of the field. Turquoise is good for dizziness. It can be used to ameliorate a healing crisis.

The sixth chakra tested 99 times for the darkest shade of blue, just before it becomes indigo.  Blue is a relaxing, cooling, and calming color. A strong, deep blue in the aura indicates maturity, calmness and dependability. With a burn or high fever there is a surplus of red, which corresponds to hydrogen. By treating with blue light, which relates to oxygen, the hydrogen and oxygen combine to produce water or perspiration, which cools the body. Pain and fever may abate.  Blue relieves insomnia, itching and scars. Ninety-eight times the sixth chakra received the same green that was a shade lighter than lawn green and was used second most on the second chakra. Ninety-four times the sixth chakra was treated with the same turquoise blue used most frequently on the fifth chakra.

The crown (seventh) chakra was treated 204 times with the shade lighter than lawn green, making it the one color used most in the entire study.

The vast majority of all treatments were done on the front aspect of the chakras.  However, when the rear aspect of the second through sixth chakras was treated that was denoted in the records. For the purpose of this study, the front and rear chakra color totals were tallied together. Although there was a diversity of colors for all chakras, the most frequently used color did correlate with the respective colors of the spectrum three out of seven times. These were red for the first chakra, green for the fourth chakra, and blue for the fifth chakra. It was close for the sixth chakra in that the most often used color was the darkest shade of blue that came just before indigo.

Besides the seven main chakras, I also tested for the application of color to the spleen chakra (front or rear aspect to the left of the third chakra) and the chakras on either side of the temple. There are many small chakras on the skull, but I chose to work with the one above the ear because light could be projected on it without proximity to the sixth and seventh chakras.

The spleen chakra most often benefited from a bright pink color. It made sense that a shade of red would be used with the spleen which is a blood filter. The rear aspect of the spleen chakra absorbs solar prana when sunbathing.

The temples most often received the same darkest shade of blue that was used most on the third eye.

I found the fourth through seventh chakras required treatment much more frequently than the lower three chakras. I believe this was because the lower three chakras are active in all people, while the upper four chakras hunger for stimulation of their latent spiritual energies.

Another statistical analysis of the data that proved meaningful was the percentage of time a chakra received one of the 60 colors falling within a spectral band. The following table illustrates this for the upper five chakras, as the first chakra, second chakra, spleen chakra and temples were not treated often enough for a valid interpretation.

  7TH 6TH 5TH 4TH 3RD
Red 5% 5% 5% 11% 8%
Orange <0.5% <0.5% <0.5% 0 0
Yellow 20% 19% 12% 13% 10%
Green 36% 17% 12% 26% 26%
Blue 27% 32% 35% 19% 23%
Indigo 4% 7% 9% 21% 25%
Violet 8% 20% 27% 10% 8%

In looking at the data this way, we again see that green and blue are the most commonly used colors, with the blue coming out on top. Orange remains the least frequently used color.

Practical In-Home/Office Application
A simplified form of color therapy that you could make for using over your healing table involves purchasing an eight-bulb light bar that is typically used over the sink in a bathroom. These are available at hardware or home improvement stores. A company in California called Tools for Exploration (1-800-456-9887) sells colored 40 watt light bulbs. Purchasing a red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and a pink bulb allows for treatment of the first seven and the eighth chakra. The eighth chakra is nine inches above the crown chakra. The light bar is suspended from the ceiling using two ceiling plant hanger hooks and the chain that comes with them. When your average height client is positioned on your healing table, align the light bar so the orange bulb is over the second chakra and the indigo bulb is over the sixth chakra.  With my light bar I added a dimmer switch, and I highly recommend this feature. If a certain color is not desired for a certain client, simply unscrew that bulb. Don't worry, consciousness determines how we take light in and what portion we take in. This is a simple, inexpensive way to begin using generic high-tech, color therapy in your home or office.

Fire agate as a gem essence is useful to be taken prior to the application of color treatment as it facilitates receptiveness to the benefits of color therapy. It can be purchased from Pegasus Products in Boulder, Colorado (1-800-527-6104).

Colored light and healing go hand-in-hand.  Light is the purest physical manifestation of God. For the client, colored lights make the chakras more tangible. It opens ways of knowing.  Having colored lights shining on the clients helps them feel the emanations of the rays.

The qualities of the seven rays (as described in Theosophy and by Alice Bailey) can be applied through the lights. Both client and healer can peek at the lights to help visualize a color or open the corresponding chakra or level of the field. In conclusion, color therapy makes a wonderful adjunct to any energy medicine practice.