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Color My World: Chromatherapy Explained
By: Maggi Cameron
Posted: January 7, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
This article originally was published in the July/August 2008 issue of Professional Beauty magazine. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
The influence of color on the human mood has been documented for centuries, but it may truly be coming into its own in the frenetic world of today. The electromagnetic energy found in light is body-compatible and is easily absorbed by the tissues. Visible incoherent polarized (VIP) light rays range from 480–3,400 nanometers (nm) and possess every color of the spectrum while avoiding ultraviolet (UV) rays. As wavelengths decrease, radiation increases, culminating in cosmic radiation, the highest energy of all.
Sunlight is natural, full-spectrum light. If you shine full-spectrum light on a prism, it splits into the colors of the rainbow, each possessing a different wavelength.
Light, color and the body
The human eye contains approximately 137 million photoreceptors—rods detect black and white while cones detect colors—which transform light into electrical impulses. These impulses travel along the various pathways to the hypothalamus, one of the brain’s key control centers. The hypothalamus regulates the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the internal functions of the body, such as fluid balance, heat regulation, circulation, breathing, growth and maturation. It also controls the secretions of the pituitary gland, located directly underneath it, which, in turn, regulates the body’s endocrine system. The pineal gland, described as the third eye by Indian mystics, also acts in direct response to light energy received via the eyes. It is the body’s light meter and controls the secretion of the hormone melatonin. It is recognized as playing a key role in almost every aspect of human function.1
Unlike most light systems, VIP light can be applied to the eyes. Research carried out during the past 15 years, primarily in Hungary where VIP light was first introduced and trialed, has demonstrated that VIP light applied through the skin or directly to the blood is bio-stimulatory. In other words, it has a direct influence on cellular function. Recent trials also show that it affects the immune system.2,3 A study at Guy’s Hospital in London showed the T lymphocytes increased by 50% after two treatments lasting four minutes each. VIP light also produces collagen, a key component of skin, tissue and bone.4,5