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Opinion

Power of colors on human well-being

Dr. Madhav Prasad Dahal

Dr. Madhav Prasad Dahal

 |  Kathmandu

Human beings evolved under the sun. When sunlight passes through the earth, it emanates a spectrum of colors. This can be seen when it is observed through a prism. All species of animals, including man, birds, and insects have developed varieties of bodily responses to the spectral characteristics of color. Investigators have uncovered the human body's subtler physiological and biochemical reactions to colors. A human being’s well-being is determined when the biochemical and hormonal cadence of the body are synchronized directly or indirectly within the daily color pattern. Researchers claim that colors can indeed influence various aspects of our physiology in the rate it excretes melatonin, which maintains the internal clock and regulates sleep-wake cycles.

Richard J. Wurtman's 1975 experiment revealed that melatonin, known for promoting sleep, can also suppress ovulation. Interestingly, the study further demonstrated that color can impact the release of other hormones.In human blood, the amount of cortisol, a key hormone in various physiological processes, goes up and down within 24 hours because of color fluctuations. The colors we attach to our bodies have physiological effects that include entertainment synchronization, production, and so on. When the internal rhythm of the human physique is out of phase, it is supposed to be a serious health hazard. Dieter Kunz, a researcher at Charite-University, Berlin, says, “Maintaining biological rhythm is quite important to human health and its desynchronization may play a role in various diseases like diabetes, obesity, and depression”. Careful adjustment of color in the body can help maintain bio-rhythm.

Colors are not just the outward manifestations of objects; they have the power to shape our inner experiences. They communicate different cultural values. They are taken differently across the world. For Hindus, the white color symbolizes purity and sacredness. It does not arouse sensual feelings that the ‘red’ does. A child feels his mom to be the world’s best mom if she is dressed in red. Similarly, yellow is regarded as a holy and appropriate color for worship. Because of the impact of color on human anatomy, scholars have put a value on them. David C. Holzman (2010) claims that exposure to bright white light can cure depression and other maladies of mood. Research has proved that blue color light influences the secretion of hormones, the pace of the heart, sleep inclination, body temperature, and genetic expression. Moreover, in such studies, blue wavelengths have been found to exert more powerful effects than green wavelengths. In an experiment made public in 2003, Brainard, Czeisler, and Steven Lockley discovered that blue light was proved to be more powerful in elevating body temperature and heart rate and in reducing sleepiness.

The metaphysics of color is linked to different energy centers of the human body. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the human anatomy is conceived as a divine element (divya deha) that can be transformed into the perfect body (siddha deha) by awakening spiritual power (siddhi). It is believed to consist of seven energy centers known as ‘chakras’. Colors possess the ability to appeal to these ‘chakras’ and make them function at full capacity.  Madhu Khanna (2003), describing the seven ‘chakras’ mentions that the “Root Chakra” (Muladhara), the first of the ‘chakras’, resides at the base of the spine. It is associated with the earth element and represents our sense of survival, stability and security.

The metaphysics of color is linked to different energy centers of the human body. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the human anatomy is conceived as a divine element (divya deha) that can be transformed into the perfect body (siddha deha) by awakening spiritual power (siddhi).

The use of red color is supposed to enhance these qualities in the human body. The second, is the “Sacral chakra” (Svadhisthana) that lies behind the genitals. It influences our creativity, sexuality, pleasure and joy. The water element governs it. The alignment with the orange color is believed to balance these qualities in the human body. The third, “Solar plexus chakra” (Manipura), is situated at the upper abdomen in the stomach area. It is linked to personal power, confidence, and self-esteem. The use of yellow color is believed to balance confidence and control over life. The fourth one, “Heart chakra” (Anahata), is located at the center of the chest. It is associated with love, compassion, and emotional balance. The use of green color is believed to add to these feelings. The fifth is the “Throat chakra” (Vishuddha), which is located at the throat. It is associated with the ability to communicate, truth, self-expression and good listening. Incorporating the blue color is thought to enhance self-expression. The sixth is the “Third eye chakra” (Ajna), located between the eyebrows and commands various levels of meditation. It is associated with intuition, wisdom and perception. The use of indigo color is believed to balance these qualities. Finally, the seventh is the “Crown chakra” (Sahasrara), located at the top of the head. It represents the apex of spiritual connection, awareness, and the unity of the universe. Applying violet and white color to the body is believed to balance these qualities. To raise the subtle channels of the body and make them work at the highest possible level, these energy points must comply with colors that contribute energy to the body. The seven colors represent the major seven ‘chakras’ of the body.

Colors have a widespread effect on the human body. We absorb them with the help of eyes, skin, or magnetic energy fields. Their aura affects our physical, emotional and spiritual levels. They are used as a therapy to heal emotional and spiritual wounds today. They should be a part of our everyday life. All we need to do is to heighten our body's energy. In an ordinary person, the energy in its gross form, is inactive. Without awakening, it neither vibrates nor evolves. It lies in tangles posing obstructions to the passage of ‘kundalini’, the energy that lies at the root of all creations. One can explore various methods to prepare the body for awakening ‘kundalini’ energy. People engage themselves in awakening kundalini through mindfulness that contributes to harnessing cosmic power adding radiation and infusing vibrancy into the body. Religious ceremonies and performances of different rituals too, boost our spiritual happiness. If we choose suitable colors for our bodies, they can add potency and alleviate our emotional wounds. To achieve this, it is essential to identify the appropriate colors and apply them prudently.

(Dr. Madhav Prasad Dahal is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, TU)   



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