Color Therapy: How to Heal, Energize, and Soothe With Color | Kristen Palana | Skillshare

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Color Therapy: How to Heal, Energize, and Soothe With Color

teacher avatar Kristen Palana, Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Light and Color. More Influential Than You Can Imagine

    • 2. Color Therapy Through the Ages: A Brief History

    • 3. How to Use Colors For Healing -Color Properties and Applications

    • 4. Intuition: Your Secret Weapon for Choosing Colors in Your Artwork

    • 5. Thank Your For Taking This Course. Please Review

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About This Class

Working with color is a powerful practice that you use everyday to create magic in every aspect of your life. You can use color to bring your heart-felt dreams alive; to energize; to heal; to give you clear direction in your life.

By the end of this mini introductory course you will be able to:

  • Harness the power of light and color to affect your emotions, mood, and overall health.
  • Understand the history of color therapy and how it was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, and Indians right up until modern times all over the world.
  • Utilize the properties of specific colors to increase energy, soothe, or relieve aliments.

This mini course comes from a larger, more in-depth Color Therapy course co-taught with yogi and spiritual guru Sharon Ramel. Find the full, larger course on my website here.

Meanwhile, get started with color therapy today. Enroll now and let's get started building your new color superpowers!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kristen Palana

Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder


My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

I'm an award-winning artist and educator helping empower ordinary people around the globe to communicate effectively and tell their own extraordinary stories through a variety of media. I have created dynamic content for clients including UNICEF, The United Nations Population Fund, The World Food Programme, Children International, The Aid Myanmar Society, The B-52s, and The American University of Myanmar.

I have 19+ years of experience teaching digital media and creating innovative programs and courses for secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate students as well as adults and children with no formal education in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I've also been teaching tens of thousands of onl... See full profile

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1. Light and Color. More Influential Than You Can Imagine: So what is color anyway? It's like an energy. There are many wavelengths of light, so you have both visible way, such as the color we can see with our eyes and non visible light, such as X rays and ultraviolet rays. All types of les affect us both visible and non visible. It also matters what kind of eyes you have. We humans have three types of cones in our eyes that allow us to see more colors than other mammals, except some primates and marsupials. But then certain types of rodents and bats, for example, who are only able to see in shades of black and white. They only have one type of cone in their eyes. Other types of animals, such as birds and bees, can see into the ultraviolet range of colors again. It depends on the number of cone types you have in your eyes and also how your brain interprets what your eyes see. There are many accounts by spiritually mediums who report that the colors of the spiritual realm are more intense than what we have here on Earth and can even be described with human words. Light as well as color has the power to affect us. One example is in the wintertime, when light levels are lower, many people suffer from a mild depression called sad, seasonal effective disorder. When I used to live in Massachusetts, I had a sad light for this very reason. That's a light you turn on for about 30 minutes a day. That simulates the bright light off the sun, but like the sun, you should never stare directly at it. I also used to always have a warm orange lamp on to brighten up, energize and warm up the room and my spirits, particularly in the colder months. Anyway, the sun's rays contain all the colors of the rainbow mixed together. This is what's called white light. So way is actually all the colors mixed together. Black is the absence of all color, so artists may call black a color. But scientists don't because it's actually containing zero color. It's the absence of color. All light rays contain color. We see different colors because each color has different light wavelengths. The longest wavelength of light that humans can see is red. The shortest is violent. Ultraviolet light has an even shorter wavelength, but we humans cannot see it. An infrared has a longer wavelength than red. We humans also can't see that, but we can feel the heat that infrared generates. So now that we know more about the visible and non visible colors, let's learn more about how they affect us seeing the next lesson. 2. Color Therapy Through the Ages: A Brief History: color therapy, also known as chrome Oh, therapy has been used in various cultures for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, Greece and China, rooms called color halls were painted different colors in an attempt to cure ailments. Egyptian color therapy was mainly conducted using focused rays of sunlight through colored glass so it would shine on the body in specific locations. Practitioners believed, as do many alternative therapists today that the body needed certain colors in order to stay healthy. Ah, papyrus from Egypt in 15 50 BC lists a wide variety of colored cures. The Chinese would always diagnose illnesses by reading the color off pulses, complexion and the appearance of the body's tissues and organs. Color was also important to the doctrine of the four humors. That's a system of medical thought that may have originated in Egypt and was commonly used throughout Europe from ancient Greek and Roman times, right up until the Renaissance, color was also deeply embedded in ancient Indian medicine and remains today an integral part of our your vet IQ medicine in Europe and the U. S. A. Interest in the therapeutic use of color began to gain in popularity in the late 18 hundreds. In 18 78 Dr Edwin Babbitt published the Principles of Light and Color, where he recommended various techniques for the use of color and healing. In 1933 and Indian scientist named Dinesh, a gaudy Ali Rohan influential work called the Spectral Chroma Tree Encyclopedia. This was a landmark publication and laid the foundation for most of modern color therapy. Around the same time, another form of color therapy called Sin tonics, was developed in the US by Dr Harry Riley Spitler. He found he could produce profound physiological and psychological changes in his patients by altering the color of light entering their eyes. Today, interest has been growing steadily in color therapy around the world. There are thousands of practitioners today using a wide variety of color related therapeutic techniques, and color therapy is a well accepted, complementary medicine. 3. How to Use Colors For Healing -Color Properties and Applications: hi there. So this lesson is all about using color as a way of healing or as therapy. So this is a rather interesting topic, and one way that you can help heal yourself and others is by exposing yourself through many different ways to various colors. So they're the main colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. And each of those colors releases a different frequency and can be absorbed by the body. So many people use color therapy, a za way to bring energy to soothe to hell, to heal ailments, to bring the body back into balance. So basically, you may hear in my nose, actually that I've had a cold all week. And so, for example, to help give myself strength and to bring my body back into balance. One very useful color for helping to heal a cold is actually read. So red is a color that gives us more energy. It increases adrenaline and gives more strength, and it raises the body temperature. So it's especially useful against things like colds and pneumonia, because it's actually warming up the body and bringing in better energies. So how would we then use color to bring about healing. There are different ways, so you could wear a certain color to have more exposure to that color. You could visualize that color by doing a meditation exercise. You could eat more color, more colors found in particular foods, and you can also shine colored lights on afflicted areas of your body, much like the ancient Egyptians did. So I'm gonna go through the main colors and we'll talk about what the specific healing properties are. Okay, so as I was speaking earlier about red, red is a color that brings energy raises adrenaline. It's a very useful color to use if you are about to have a demanding day and you need a burst of energy. So red is a color that will help infuse you with more life force and better equip you to handle the demands of a stressful day. Read also connects us to our physical body. Orange is a very useful color to use in color therapy because it brings about good cheer. Harmony engages the senses. It brings excitement and energy to your day. So orange is a great color for lifting spirits, bringing about more inspiration and creativity, and engaging you so that you feel more like you're ready to participate in life Full of optimism and positivity. Orange is also the best emotional stimulant, and it helps you to overcome inhibitions. Yellow is an excellent color for overcoming nervousness, anxiety or inhibitions. Yellow is a color that connects us to our mental state and helps bring about clarity. It's good for learning for participating in tests and exams, and it also brings about good cheer. Yellow helps to stimulate interest and curiosity and helps us maintain clarity of thought. Green is a very powerful color for healing. It helps relax and soothe the body. It helps soothe frayed nerves and to bring about more balance and harmony. It's a color obviously found in nature, and it's very, very useful for, um, problems with blood disorders, high blood pressure and that sort of thing. Green has an energizing effect, as well as a moderate, soothing effect and us of one of the most popular colors to use in color. Healing blue is a very powerful healing color. It relaxes yet energizes, and it's especially useful against things like fevers, ailments from the sun, such as heat, stroke and heat exhaustion helps decrease fevers and is good against bleeding. So because I have had a cold, if I were to try and heal myself with blue, it's actually the kind of color that would make my cold worse. So you want to use blue for things that actually need the cooling effect of blue, so cold would not be one of those situations. Blue is a relaxing color that has a pacifying effect on the nervous system, and it's really good to use for problems with communication and the nervous system. It's also ideal for hyperactive Children and four sleep disorders. Indigo is a color that as a purifier of the blood stream and also benefits mental problems . It's a freeing and purifying agent. Indigo Energy connects us to our highest self and also to our universe. It's a very wonderful color for creating a sense of connection with the entire universe. It strengthens intuition, imagination, psychic powers apparently, and it also helps increase dream activity. Violet is the color connected to divine spirit. Violet is primarily used for spiritually related problems and is not often used to treat actual physical ailments. Basically, Violet purifies our thoughts and feelings, gives gives us inspiration and all undertakings and violent energy connects us to our spiritual self, bringing guidance and wisdom. White is also a very powerful color for color healing because it contains all of the colors . You may have heard of some spiritual practitioners and color therapists directing white light of healing and protection to their patient to basically help bring about healing from within the person's self. So wait is a very powerful color for healing, and it helps stimulate the person's own divine nature into healing of the self. This was a general run down on the major colors used for color healing. Please do have a look at the downloadable resource to get more details on the properties of each specific color and how you can use them to bring about healing. So remember, you can. We're colors, eat colors, visualize colors and also shine colors for a certain amount of time on parts of the body. All of these things will help bring about positive change by using the power and influence of color and its vibrations. I hope you found this helpful. See in the next lesson 4. Intuition: Your Secret Weapon for Choosing Colors in Your Artwork: Hi there. So in this lesson, I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I choose colors when making are in design. Color is so important to me. And you may know from some of my other courses what a color geek I just happened to be. So my very first online course that I ever did in 2014 is called Life Hack with color psychology. Increase your influence and color is something that I've been using in my artwork and teaching my students how to use so they can better help get their audience and viewers to feel a certain way and to act a certain way. And I use it strategically and pretty much everything I dio. But I also have had this very strong, um, for lack of a better word intuition about color. It's when picking a color. And then all of a sudden, I get this feeling in my solar plexus that just says yes, this is the color choice. And so I know that's very hard to explain. Very hard to put in towards and very hard to teach others how to do. But, um, I can at least ah show you how I use it. So I've brought you to my website, which I did redesign not too long ago, about a year ago now and you may have noticed that I use color very strategically in my website. Basically, when I when people visit my website, I want them to feel a certain way. And so ah, for example, this first light here with the online courses, I took a photo of my students from the university and tinted it blew almost indigo color. This is a color that is very spiritually good with communication, good with trust, but also it's just a breath of fresh air. I'm I for one. When I see this color, I just feel refreshed and invigorated. And when you put it together with colors like red like you see in my website Reds, pinks, oranges. That's the energy going up against the blue. Now I talk a lot about complementary colors in my color psychology course, and those are colors that are opposite on the color wheel. So, for example, blue and orange are complementary colors. Green and red and purple and yellow are opposite on the color wheel. I tend to use lots of complementary colors just because when you put them next to each other, they tend to pop and really awaken the senses and make yourself and your viewer feel alive . So just in my own website, I used this light warm warm for agreed, actually light green. For me, it's calming, but it's also energizing. And then you'll see in my other slides here, use a green for calming nice deep greens, healing nature. And then even in this book cover, for example. You see, I'm using blue and orange together those complementary colors, so I'm gonna take you to my portfolio. Okay, so we're in my portfolio, and actually this is one of my favorite slides. It's for a website that I've done that helps raise money for Children in developing countries. Um, for things like education, housing, health needs, etcetera. But, um, again, I just took one of my photos from Classroom that was built in the Philippines and tinted it blue because it's such a soulful color. And then I just love putting this blue next to this bright, vibrant, energetic orange. It just boom awakens the senses, so even just making choices about the kind of borders that you have. So I mean, it's not like I put a tinted the whole image orange. That may have been overkill, but just putting a little bit of color and so that you get this complementary colors next to each other, making a nice visual pup for yourself in your viewers. Okay, so let me take you into some illustrations, then. Okay, so here's some illustrations from a Children's book that I illustrated not too long ago called Laurie Leak travels to Paris and you'll see just from these two sample images that the main character, the thing that we want the viewer to focus on, is in the brightest, most vibrant colors of the entire piece. So sometimes I choose a specific color that kind of goes against all the other colors just to make the main character stand out more. Now, obviously, there's also this really bright stripe of red here, and her mother is wearing a golden skirt, etcetera. But all of your attention goes to Larry Leak, the main character because of her bright orange vest and her bright red skirt and her bright red shoes. Um, if you're reading the story, you'll also know that she has a bright orange suitcase which, if you look closely, you can see, is being loaded off of the airplane here. So this orange and red connects to this orange, which then connects to this orange, and it kind of helps move your eye around the picture. These again are intuitive choices. I just very lucky in that. I know what colors to choose, based on what I know about color psychology and also how I want my viewers to feel, even if I want them to feel energized or to have some kind of healing effect in this image . Our main character has jumped on the stage at the Moulin Rouge and joined the, um, the girls for a dance on the stage in this, uh, in this image, you see that the the girls are actually dressed in a very vibrant reds and oranges, very bright colors against this blue into go and purple in the background, and you'll notice that all of your attention again goes to our main character because this time I placed her in the opposite colors of blue and green. So also just the way that the composition is set up. You have this main dancer here and then her parents in the audience. That kind of moves your IRA own in a bit of a triangle as well. So, again, this was all done strategically, but also just using solid intuition. Okay, I'm going to show a few more examples from more recent illustrations that I've done for a language learning website. Okay, so now we're on my Facebook page and you'll see that I love colors so much that it had to be in my Facebook banner as well. This is actually a photo I took in Ethiopia when I was teaching in Addis Ababa back in December of 2015. This was in a louder part called Bahir Dar. Ah, nice remote island that I went to off of Bahir Dar. And there was, ah, traditional artist and he had all of the ingredients that he made his paints out of. So I had to take a photo off his paints and also the, um the actual ingredients that he uses to mix his painting colors. But anyway, that's not why I brought you here. I have a new album of images that I made for a language learning website back in May, and you can see from the small thumbnails that color is very, very important to me. Let's see, let's go to actually one that doesn't have very much coloring at all. This is these air characters are meant to be a bit stylized, and they're meant to represent countries. And so this is Aida. I named her after my mother in law. Who is Russian? Eso This is Aida out for a walk. Okay, so there she is. And the colors in this piece are very subdued. Lots of gray's lots of winter colors, a little bit of orange in that background and just really playing around with cool colors. I see colors and then kind of this. Ah, sharp, a blast of red. And then these turquoise tights slash pants that our main character has on, and just the self assured look that she has on her face. All of these colors are working together nicely in this image, and again you'll notice that you know, there's so much blue that if I didn't have this orange in here, would probably be a little bit less interesting. So just again, putting complementary colors together will awaken the senses. But I don't know. I feel like this pieces. I'm not someone who loves winter, but this kind of gets me in a winter mood. It feels a little bit moody, but it's also has, Ah, I don't know, for lack of a better word, a comforting effect. So let's take a look at some other ones. Okay, so this is my German character. I named him Gun Tha My husband's German, By the way. I love German summer German a file, and this is him hiking out in the German countryside in the fall and again, color and light are so important, But the predominant colors of this scheme are greens and oranges. Fall colors, even in the sky, you'll notice, is quite a bit of orange, and then the yellow of his shirt connects him with the yellow in the foliage. In the background. He's got the most German of hair colors, though bluntest blunt that you could possibly imagine. I don't know if you've read a wonderful award winning book called All the Light We Cannot See, but there's a main character in there. His name is Virna and his the hair of my Gunther character was inspired by that literary character. Weren't Virna from all the light we cannot see has what's described a snow white hair. So there's a ton of light coming from his hair that is only matched by the light off the fall Sudden rise coming up over here. And then, of course, the brightest colors you have are of the German flag that happened to be on his coat. So I won't bore you with all the different colors from from all these different pieces, Just to give you a sense of how I choose color color is so important to me. I'm so grateful that I'm not color blind. Although if I were, I would find other ways to, uh, to express myself. I'm sure. Anyway, so I hope this is helpful. See, in the next lesson 5. Thank Your For Taking This Course. Please Review: thank you for taking this course. I hope you found my tips and tricks helpful, clear and easy to use for yourself. Please remember, you can always ask me a question by starting a discussion or by contacting me through my website or Facebook page. If you did find value in this course, please do take a moment to leave a rating or review. Your feedback helps me best provide a high quality course experience for you and your online classmates. I also look forward to giving you personal feedback on your project. Click the project, but and under the video lessons to start. Thanks so much for being a student in my online classroom. I hope to see you again soon.