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Colour and Health

Diamonds may well be a girl's best friend and may men may also consider
wearing diamonds, but for sheer volume of trade, for more coloured stones
are sold. This is because the colours of most precious and semi-precious
stones have always attracted the greatest attention. Rubies and emeralds as
well as blue and yellow sapphires are sought after rather than clear white
zircons or light coloured topaz. The reasons for this arise from the
profound interaction of colour with human moods and behaviour.

To begin with,the sun radiates mny colours. When the sun goes behind the
black clouds of the monsoon or is less visible during the long winter of
northen latitudes, a profound depression settle on all living beings. Bears
hinbernate and birds migrate to sunnier climates. Social scientists aver
than even the human psyche is affected. Sunlight appears to alleviate almost
every affliction and chronic disease. Once recommended as a cure for
tuberculosis, solar radiation improves digestion and nutrition, quickens
blood and lymph circulation and increases the elimination of impurities
through the skin. when light enters the body (through the eyes of the skin)
it generates signals that travel through the nerves to the pineal gland
attached to the brain. In turn this controls our daily physio-biological
rhythms. The gland responds to light levels by producing melatonin that
determines metabolic rhythm.

Scientific research has proved that the colours worn in clothing can alter
mood, physiology and fate to some extent. According to psychologists, colour
appears to affect well-being and behavior in a combination of biological,
physiological, phychological, social and cultural factors. Each individual
is attracted to some colours more than to others and his or her total
reaction to that hue appears to improve and balance his or her emotional
state. On the average, magenta, red, orange, yellow, and yellow green are
regarded as warm colours and are associated with excitement, happiness and
comfort. The colours at the blue end of the spectrum tend to be cold and are
connected with sadness, sleep and discomfort.

Coloured objects can therefore relieve emotional stress and even cure
ailments. Red light is known to increase blood pressure, respiration and
heart rate in men and women, and statistically, is more likely to produce
epileptic seizures than blue light. Violet, blue, light blue, cyan and sea
green are cool coloures that induce calm and peace but and excess of these
shades encourage sadness, withdrawal and repression.

Colour can help heal illness by adjusting the light in the room. Wearing
coloured gemstones can also help the healing process. This method of
treatment, called chromotherapy, restores the colour imbalance of the
individual by appliying it externally to the body. Chromotherapists say that
coloured light gemstones have innate healing energies and do change one's
mood. The mixture of coloures in sunlight establishes equilibrium of mind
and body and causes a sense of well being and this is why sunbathing is
advised and is so popular in northern climes.

Chromotherapy is not a recent fad. The ancient Egyptians believed that the
god Thoth started the practice of healing through colours and advocated
remedies, and cures using colored stones, minerals. crystals and dyes. The
method of healing through colour, spread to ancient Greece where it was used
in combination with other elements like air, water, fire, earth and ether.
They believed that colours represented bodily fluids, yellow was choler or
bile. The blue of lapis lazuli, turquoise and aquamarine related to the sky
and water.

A healthy person was one who balanced all four colours and so treatment with
colour removed and imbalances. Ayurvedic doctors today administer colour
therapy to their patients in the belief that each colour has specific
healing properties and the vibrations from each colour establish a balnce
that is necessary for holistic well-being.

There is an enormous range of colour found among minerals and even within a
single mineral species, there is great subtlety in the variation of colour.
Tourmaline, beryl, quartz, and spinel are some minerals that occur in a wide
range of colours. In these cases, the value of the mineral is directly
linked o the fashion of the times, that is, what colour is cosidered most

Although chromotherapy is not very widely practised as a branch of medicine,
the traditional link between the colours of gemstones and the mood of the
wearer persists. The colour of the stone that an individual wears can
determine mood for that time. There is also a belief that the colored light
from the stone on it's wearer betrays his or her inner mind, that he has
lied or is unfaithful or that he may be ill or going to die.

Today, jewelles and therpists prescribe coloured gemstones to alleviate
chronic diseases as well as to effect changes in the life of an individual.
Experience has shown that wearing particular gems appears to bring on
physical, mental or spiritual relief, and aid one's pursuits in life.
However during the Middle Ages, the rise of logic and logical thought
altered sensibilities all over Europe. Medicines that removed symptoms of
disease immediately were preferred. Traditional practices of healing were
dubbed 'wichcraft' and 'sorcery' and so were forced into disuse and to some
extent, oblivion. It was an Arab physician, Avicenna who re-invented
chromotherapy by prescribing naturally occurring colours to check the spread
of disease; the advised patients againts the malevolent effect of unfriendly
colours. This method of treatment became popular for a short time during the
Renaissance and short into fame in the nineteenth century in America after
experiments conducted on plants and animals proved beyond doubt that colours
had a strong influence on them. Prison cells were then painted blue to calm
their inmates while pink became the prescribed colour for nurseries.

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