Greater Goldenseal Salve

April 16th, 2006

An antiseptic salve that AIDS in speedy healing and helps to prevent Scarring. Use on minor cuts and other skin problems.

Ingredients

  • 2 stainless steel 1/2 quart pans or 1 cup size.
  • 10 one ounce tins.
  • 1/8 oz Goldenseal Root Powder
  • 1/4 oz Asian Yellow Ginger Powder (Absolutely Necessary)
  • 10 fresh crushed Cloves
  • 1/4 oz powdered Myrrh
  • 1 oz Olive Oil
  • 1/8 oz powdered Comfrey Leaf
  • 8 to 10 oz. petroleum jelly or Beeswax

Place oil in pan and set on very low heat. When it’s near hot-add Goldenseal. Stir well then add Cloves. Continue stirring. Let the mixture set on very low heat for 5 minutes. Place petroleum jelly in a second pan and heat it at medium until hot (but not close to smoking). (A drop of water will pop and spatter across the surface when ready.)

When hot - add Myrrh. Stir well (remember to check on first pan-it shouldn’t cool too much). Let Myrrh heat in very hot oil for 10 minutes or longer (preferably15 to 20) at low heat. Add Ginger. Let heat for 5 minutes and add Comfrey leaf powder. Stir well.

Add oil from first pan to the second. Stir and strain the entire mixture into either the first pan or another container. Now you are ready to fill your tins.

Salve will set up and be ready to use in a couple of days.

Essential Oil Blend For Bruises

April 16th, 2006

2 d. Lavender oil * 2 d. Fennel oil: in cold water.

Wring out a cloth in the water and apply as a cold compress to affected area.

Athlete’s Foot Powder

April 16th, 2006

Blend and dust on feet every morning.

Profiling Essential Oils

April 16th, 2006

How to conduct your own aroma profile on an Essential Oil.

Like most perfumes, Essential Oil aromas change over time. This easy system will help you profile your oils and keep the information for reference when formulating your own blends.

Time Required:2-14 hours

Here’s How:

  1. Dip a scent strip in a selected Essential Oil.
  2. Record time dip was taken as well as your description of the aroma.
  3. After 15 min. smell the scent strip and record your impressions and any changes you notice.
  4. After another 15 min. take a second scent strip and dip it in the same oil.
  5. Compare and record your impressions of both dips.
  6. Continue every 30 minutes until dry out of both dips.
  7. Once dip strip has dried out, note the residual aromas if any.

Tips:

  1. Some oils such as Sandalwood and Patchouli may take days to dry out. Residual odors may last for weeks.
  2. Record thoughts, emotions and feelings as well as odor descriptions and notes (see Related Resources for an explaination on notes) during each reading.
  3. Have fresh coffee beans close at hand to smell inbetween and during sessions. This will help prevent “tolerance” to picking up scent.

What You Need:

* Scent strips
* Essential Oils
* Notebook and pen
* Clock or timer

Ancient History of Aromatherapy

April 16th, 2006

Nobody knows exactly where and when the healing art of aromatherapy began. Nevertheless, it has its roots in the rites and rituals of earliest mankind. By analysis of fossilised pollens found in ancient habitation and burial sites of early humans, scientists have discovered traces of plant that have known medicinal properties.

At least some of these properties must have been evident to these early people, who would have made the discovery either by accident or by observation. Early man would soon have recognised which leaves, berries, fruit or roots encouraged wounds to heal or sickness to improve. He would also have observed which plants sick animals sought out and ate. They discovered startling proof of the early use of plants by Neanderthal man in 1975 at a cave site in Iraq.

Scientific excavation showed signs of human habitation for 60 000 years and the discoveries there have been some of the most significant and important finds to date. At this site in 1975, the burial of a Neanderthal adult male was discovered. The subsequent soil analysis showed pollen evidence that the body had been placed on a bed of a type of woody Horsetail plant and that it had been buried with a wreath of flowers. The plants used for the wreath are all well known today and still used for their medicinal properties.

They include Yarrow, groundsel, Cornflower, St. Barnaby’s thistle, grape, hyacinth and hollyhock. As several of these plants are known to have wound healing and Fever reducing properties, it is tempting to think that they were used for those same properties by the Neanderthal man, who, far from being a lumbering cretinous creature, had now been shown to have been a thinking, feeling being as demonstrated by the care of the burial ritual.

Early man would also have observed that the smoke from his fire could produce various effects. Some woods or bushes, when burnt and the smoke inhaled, can produce Drowsiness, some excitement and others hallucinations. Little wonder that smoke and fire were considered magical and formed an integral part of many rituals. They thought that some wood smoke was beneficial and the ’smoking’ by sick people was an early medical treatment.

Fumigation with aromatic plants and woods has been an accepted medical practice for thousands of years and is still used in some parts of the world today. Until as recent as, early 20th Century hospitals in Europe burnt Rosemary and Thyme as a disinfectant. Deliberate cultivation of plants began with Neolithic man and the plants cultivated included the poppy. It seems highly unlikely that early man was aware of the narcotic effects.

The white spotted red mushroom (Fly Agaric), beloved of all illustrators of children’s fairy tales, was another of the earliest substances used by man for its hallucinatory effects. Perhaps this explains its connection with fairies and magical tales. The hallucinatory effects were evident in some of Alice’s experiences in Wonderland! Lewis Carroll was known to have studied the effects of Fly Agaric.

Evidence of the widespread use of aromatic plant substances was seen in the tomb paintings of the ancient Egyptians 5000 years ago. Plant substances were used not only for medicinal, but also for perfumes and cosmetics, in preservation and preparation of food to enhance flavour and aid digestion.

They were also used for their Anti-Bacterial and anti-viral properties to stave off illness and epidemic. Some were even found to have contraceptive qualities. The ancient Egyptians practised a sophisticated level of medicine and many of the plants that they used are today recognised as beneficial in the treatment of certain diseases. Their surgeons even developed techniques for successful brain Surgery. Evidence of this has been found on many mummified remains, which show clear signs of skull Surgery in which the bones of the skull had healed and knitted together some considerable time before death.

They cultivated fields of fruits and vegetables and gardens of Herbs. Plant substances were used extensively in pills, potions, pastes, ointments, infusions, poultices, powders and suppositories. And when the ancient Egyptian died, plant substances, bitumen’s and resins were used in the most important ritual of all - embalming his body so that his Ba, or spirit, could live for eternity. The embalming of royal bodies and High Court dignitaries involved the removal of the internal organs, which they embalmed separately and stored in canopic jars for later burial in the tomb.

The intestinal cavity was cleaned with palm wine and all hollow parts of the body were filled with aromatics and Spices. The body was dry-salted and left for 70 days. They then wrapped the body with gummed bandages and prepared it for the funeral procession to the tomb.

The famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, was profoundly moved when the sarcophagus of the king, who was 18 years old at the time of his death, was opened revealing the dried well-preserved flower garlands draped around his neck. These would have been placed in the tomb by the hands of his young widowed queen, whose footprints were still clearly visible in the undisturbed dust in the tomb. T

hree thousand years slipped away and, it seemed to Carter, that the young queen had stepped out of the tomb only moments before. He was acutely aware that he was, Breathing the very air that had last been breathed by the ancient mourners. Although Tutankhamen died at a very young age.

Many of the ancient people’s life span must have increased considerably if we consider the medicinal properties of the commonly used plants used by the Egyptians and other ancient civilisations - for example, the Greeks, Romans and Mesopatanians. Noting how very familiar these plants are to us today is interesting.

Consider this list: rhubarb watermelon Garlic Coriander Cedar grapes Cumin Cypress olives onions Thyme Mustard apples roses Caraway Fennel saffron Juniper quince Angelica Marjoram mint Parsley radishes leeks bay Tarragon Ginger Cinnamon Aniseed Frankincense poppy Yarrow

As the Roman Empire expanded, their knowledge spread widely and probably arrived in Britain with the Roman legions. In the 11th Century Arabia, Avicenna, the famous court physician recorded his use of over 800 plants in his treatments. Historically, he is an important figure in the later development of Aromatherapy because he used massage and manipulation as part of his treatment.

He was also largely responsible for the refining of distillation techniques to derive oils from plants. Medieval Europe saw the use of plants in infusions, pills, potions, pomanders and nosegays, which were sniffed as protection against epidemic and pestilence. The Herbs Lavender, Sage and Rosemary were used widely to scent linen and to protect materials against moths.

Herbs were strewn on the floors of dwellings to perfume rooms and repel fleas, flies and ticks. In times of plague, bonfires were lit at intervals along the streets in the belief that the smoke would act as a powerful disinfectant and would give some protection against infection.

Although many uses of plants through the centuries would have been extremely effective, some were not and this type of fumigation during the times of the bubonic plague would provably have been useless.

Using Tuning Forks For Sound Therapy

April 16th, 2006

Like adjusting a piano, your body can be tuned to achieve optimal physical balance. Tapping two Tuning Forks will instantaneously alter your body’s biochemistry and bring your Nervous system, muscle tone and organs into harmonic balance. In seconds … your body enters a deep state of Relaxation. Feeling centered, your mind will be at peace…

Who uses Tuning Forks?

Precision-tested Tuning Forks are easy to learn, simple to use and the healing benefits are miraculous.

Everyday people and practitioners in the Healing Arts are using Tuning Forks to positively alter the body’s biochemistry. Sound enhances the healing effects of all energy therapy practices.

People who use Tuning Forks are often involved with:

And anyone interested in alternative healing modalities and Pain Management.

Why are so many people using Tuning Forks?

  • Provides instantaneous, deep state of Relaxation
  • Improves mental clarity and brain functioning
  • Increases your level of physical energy and mental concentration
  • Relieves Stress by drawing your body into a centered space
  • Develops and refines your sonic abilities
  • Enhances massage, Acupressure, dreamwork and Meditation
  • Brings your Nervous system into balance
  • Integrates left and right brain thought patterns

Specially tuned to sacred proportions, you sit inside the space bringing two different sounds together making them one—and you feel unified, at peace, re-igniting the passion and power deep inside you. When you tap the Tuning Forks, you awaken the life energy of your cells and start them puffing, creating a centered, happy feeling inside.

How Tuning Forks Are Used

Tuning Forks were originally used to tune musical instruments because they emanate perfect sine wave sound patterns that allow you to fine-tune instruments to the proper pitch.

When you strike a Tuning Fork however, you’ll notice how it causes the air around the fork to vibrate, sending out very strong vibrating impulses through the air. Because of this, they have been adopted by healers who use them to increase the amount of energy on parts of the body they are trying to heal.

All you do is strike a fork and place it near any body part you wish to heal. They are also used in energetic healing, for example, by putting them in the vicinity of the different charkas or energy centers located along the spine.

These energy centers also just happen to be where the nerve centers are found along the spine that send impulses to the different organs, so by energizing these areas, you stimulate the organs into greater health-giving activity.

Treatment for Depression and Anxiety: Is Taking Prescription Medication for Anxiety the Best Option?

April 16th, 2006

Here is the good news about Anxiety disorders: They are treatable. There are a variety of treatments for Anxiety, including behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, Relaxation techniques and medication. But the question more and more patients are posing to their doctors is: Is prescription medication the best treatment option?

Anxiety is complicated to diagnose because it is often found to be a symptom of other medical conditions or a side effect of other behaviors. For example, some people react to too much caffeine by exhibiting symptoms of Anxiety disorders, including, occasionally, Panic Attacks. Other conditions that can be accompanied by Anxiety are Hypoglycemia, hyperthyroid, Insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and, most often, Depression.

When a patient who is suffering from Depression is also suffering from Anxiety disorder, doctors can often see it as a good sign. In general, it means that the person has not accepted or given in to their Depressed condition, and is Anxious about it. To alleviate the Anxiety, doctors can recommend different types of therapy, each of which can work equally well. Most doctors recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps the patient first to identify the cause of his Anxiety, talks him through it, and then slowly and carefully exposes him to situations which make him feel Anxious and teaches him how to cope.

In addition to therapy and learned Relaxation techniques, doctors will sometimes recommend prescription medication for Anxiety — most often benzodiazepines like Xanax. These medications should not be taken for more than a few months at a time and should not be relied upon as a permanent treatment option. They can be highly addictive and can also produce disturbing side effects, which makes many examine them closely before agreeing to try them.

In many cases, Anxiety can be treated without any medication at all. In cases where medication is recommended, there are also natural treatment options for those who are reluctant to begin a regimen that includes prescription medications. If you decide to pursue this route to Anxiety relief, look for remedies that include ingredients like Passion Flower, which is also used to alleviate Hypertension, Insomnia and Nervous Tension. Other effective ingredients are Lavender, which is one of the most popular Panic Attack treatments, and Lemon Balm, a natural Anxiety treatment that also serves as a general tonic for the Nervous system.

Whichever methods you employ, remember that there are many effective methods of treatment for Anxiety and Depression, and that patience and persistence will eventually lead you the healthy option that is best for you.

Using Sound To Release Emotions

April 16th, 2006

The role of emotions is very important to overall health and wellness. In my healing journey with Vibrational Yoga Therapy and in using it with the clients I assist, I have experienced the true healing power of honoring and expressing emotions and their sounds in a safe and sacred healing space, where the intent is to heal and become whole.

According to the ancient healing tradition of Chinese medicine and Yogic traditions, emotions play a key role in understanding dis-ease. The Five-Element Cycle has each element linked to a Yin/Yang organ, emotion and sound as well as other categories not mentioned here.

They are:

Wood - Liver/Gall Bladder - Anger - Shout Fire - Heart/Small Intestine - Joy - Laugh Earth - Spleen/Stomach - Worry - Sing Metal - Lung/Large Intestine - Grief - Weep Water - Kidney/Urinary Bladder - Fear - Groan

Other emotions that are powerful forces energetically are rage, hatred, bitterness, heartlessness, and shock. Many times, they also have accompanying sounds when the intent is to resolve the feelings and usher in healing and wholeness. Emotions-energy in motion-are experienced and felt on a vibrational level in the body and need a receptive, sacred space to be expressed. The emotions themselves are not the cause of dis-ease. The suppression, denial and avoidance of what is being felt ,is what sets the stage for dis-ease and imbalance.

Sound, being a vibrational energy, has a key role in overall health as well. When the sound is allowed to vibrate in relation to the emotion that is felt, energy that was blocked is freed up in the physical and astral bodies. In practice, for example, when grief is felt and the energy that often wells up in the chest, throat and eyes is allowed to move, weeping or crying may be the sound expressed. The actual sounding of the grief is a Healing Process because the energy is not blocked or held back to later manifest, sometimes years later, as a respiratory ailment, Sore Throat or Constipation. Being with the emotion and allowing it to tell its story in the form of a sound is key to resolving deeply rooted issues which often manifest physically. When the conscious awareness and intent to feel an emotion is present, and the sound is not judged or repressed, the awesome power of the vibrational energy of sound as movement is experienced. Vibration is movement, and when judgment is released on the form of that vibration or movement, authentic healing is possible.

Trusting the process, being willing to let go of “being in control” of a situation and honoring the space as safe and divinely protected are key in experiencing the healing benefits of sounding and emotional expression. Exploring parts of the self that may often be overlooked, misunderstood or judged can bring clarity, growth, and change for a healthier and more fulfilling life. By balancing the Charkras with Tuning Forks,and then taking the client thru a emotional release process, using vibrational Yoga therapy, one can get tremendous release, and bring ones self back into wholeness. The client is also inside a sacred healing space created for the process to unfold in a safe manner.

About the author

Charles Lightwalker is a Metis shaman, author, medical intuitive, and healer. For more information visit the web site: www.thefamilyoflight.com.

Introduction To Progressive Healing Methods

April 16th, 2006

Overview

Progressive healing is a form of Alternative Health care that integrates the whole person in the healing process: body, mind, emotion, spirit and life force (chi) energy. Energy related modalities include a diverse array of techniques ranging from crystaline reiki, to a variety of interactive mind-body explorations. All energy related modalities work from a fundamental concept that the body contains, and is surrounded by, electromagnetic fields and energy centers which make up an individual’s energy body system.

Although this energy body is no more visible to many of us than the wind is visible to our eyes, science and medical research are beginning to document that it is an integral part of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. We are able to maintain life in our physical bodies due to the presence of “life force energy” flowing though it. This energy has different names in different cultural traditions. Common terms include chi (China); ki (Japan) and prana (India). Each of our energy centers correspond directly to the physical body’s organs, glands and systems.

The extent to which our energy is able to vibrate, flow and circulate freely without blocks and constrictions determines to a large degree the extent to which we are able to maintain health at all levels of body, mind and spirit. An abundance of medical research has determined that Stress greatly affects the body’s natural ability to maintain health. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75%-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for Stress related complaints, and that 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to Stress. Stress also is a major factor in the strength and flow of our life force energy.

Effects of the stressful conditions we encounter in our lives and environment such as fear and Anxiety, worry, grief, anger, pollutants, etc. are registered first in our energy body system. If uncontrolled, they then move into the physical body and may manifest in conditions ranging from minor ailments to debilitating or chronic disease. Energy healing modalities are excellent for working with physical body conditions. Even more importantly, they serve as a great preventative to clear energetic disturbances before they manifest as physical, emotional or mental illness. Energy bodywork, like most holistic therapies, is cumulative. An initial period of regular sessions build on each other and can help us quickly reach a point where our bodies and energy fields can more easily maintain balanced states for longer periods of time.

SPIRITUAL HEALING

The healers assist individuals in understanding that their attitude and emotions have the greatest effect on their energy field. Intuitive techniques are used to scan and interpret the individual’s energy flow and blockages. The healer then utilizes visualization, channelled energy, harmonically balanced Tuning Forks, Aromatherapy, and creative suggestion. Healing energies are directed to induce the most beneficial effect on the energy field to assist with Chakra balancing, the release of past life and emotional issues, as well as other interdimensional benefits

STONE HEALING

Stone Healing is an ancient Native American healing art which is now being shared with the Western world. The stones act as a bridge from which energy is transmited from healer to client. They are heated & when applied to the body feel wonderful. This treatment is probably one of the most deeply relaxing, yet at the same time energizing modalities of healing available today.

QUANTUM TOUCH

Quantum Touch utilizes Breathing & focusing techniques that raise your energy level to a point where spontaneous healings may occur. It is specifically great for back & Joint Pain & inflammation, & healing is profoundly accelerated.

SHAMANIC HEALING

Shamanic Healing is deep soul work. It is a journey where we reach back into the wounded places of our hearts and minds, our bodies and spirits, to release negative energies and beliefs that are causing us distress. Spirit guides assist us and may appear in the form of animals, plants, minerals, angels, mythic beings, ascended masters, ancestors or elemental forces. With the help of the healer, we can reconnect with lost parts of ourself, journey to heal a past life that is holding us back, or cut cords to people, places or things that no longer serve us. This type of healing can help us release the past, clear our energy field of negativity, reclaim lost power

Reiki

The origins of Reiki, pronounced “ray-key”, the Japanese word for universal life force energy, can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Tibet. Much of the Western teachings of Reiki, however, come from the work of Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan who discovered this technique during a Fasting/meditation retreat. The method he developed is known today as Usui Reiki. Reiki is applied through gentle touch over the body’s energy centers. It facilitates the body’s ability to heal itself by removing blocks and balancing the body’s energy system.

This process provides deep Relaxation, a sense of peace and well-being and supports other therapeutic modalities. Reiki is an effective and safe complement to any other healing method a person may be using. It is becoming much more common to find Reiki incorporated as an enhancement to other modalities such as Massage Therapy, chiropractic, psychology, Hypnotherapy, and in major U.S. hospitals.

In addition to providing general well-being and disease prevention, some conditions for which Healing Touch and Reiki have been used as complementary therapy include: Pain Neck Pain and Back Pain Anxiety and Panic Disorder StressFracture and Wound Healing Female Reproductive Conditions Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Mood Swings, Skin Problems Pre and Post Surgery Headache & Migraines Diabetes Cancer HIV/AIDS Allergies Fatigue Arthritis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Autoimmune Disorders Rehabilitation Hypertension Grief Depression Hyperactivity

For a very nice beginning introduction to Reiki, I highly recommend Essential Reiki. This was the first book I ever read about Reiki, and I still find myself looking at it from time to time.

Flower Essences

In the 1930’s, homeopathic physician, Dr. Edward Bach of England, discovered that overall health, emotional stability and well-being could be improved through use of the essences of specific flowering plants. Through many years of research he discovered corresponding links between medical conditions and psychological or mood states.

Flower remedies balance vibrations in the body’s energy system and open energy channels to help transform emotional states, attitudes, or patterns of behavior which hinder our wholeness and development of our full potential. Today there are several varieties of flower essence products developed from the basis of Dr. Bach’s original work.

Two of the most widely known and researched include the FES Essences produced by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz at the Flower Essence Society of North America and the Perelandra Essences produced by Machaelle Small Wright at the Perelandra Center for Nature Research. Flower remedies can help combat stressful, chaotic times; balance the energy centers; dispel and prevent retention and storage of Trauma in the body, mind and emotions; provide excellent overall support during times of change or spiritual expansion; and safely complement all therapeutic modalities.

They can be taken orally under the tongue, placed in a glass of drinking water, used in a relaxing bath, applied topically, or blended in a dosage bottle for extended use. If you’re a “do it yourself” kind of person, or just want learn more about flower remedies and how they are used, I highly recommend Bach Flower Therapy: Theory and Practice by Mechthild Scheffer.

To better understand both the Bach essences and the FES line, you may want to order the Flower Essence Repertory. Written By Patricia Kaminski, a founder of the Flower Essence Society of North America, this definitely is the “bible” work for those seriously interested in flower essence use and practice. Aromatherapy In brief, aromatherapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including Essential Oils, for psychological and physical well being.

Sound Healing

Everything, including the human body, is composed of various frequencies of sound energy.

All things in nature vibrate to sound, light and color. Knowing that the human body is energy that is held together by sound, Sound Healing can correct imbalances in the body. A disease tells us that some sound within the body is out of tune. Each sound has a corresponding color. When sound and color healing techniques are used together, particularly when they are connected with chakra balancing, the effect on the body can be profound.

COLOR HEALING

Color has been used in healing since ancient times. There are many ways that it may be used to help calm and heal distressed and/or diseased people. Each color corresponds to a certain body areas or organs. For example, red is a powerful color to invoke when the patient is experiencing a blood dysfunction, whereas Orange may be called in to vitalize a sluggish kidney, etc.

A common form of color healing is for both the healer and patient to visualize the sun’s rays shining through a colored glass or filter onto the location of the discomfort or illness. Another method is for the patient to drink water that has been sitting in appropriately colored glasses.

Kinesiology

Kinesiology is defined primarily as the use of muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical, emotional or other energy, to establish the body’s priority healing needs. There are various branches of Kinesiology. All use the basic muscle-testing principle.

Each Kinesiology very much reflects the interests and personality of its developer resulting in various techniques that follow these same ‘Muscle testing’ principles

Medical Intuition

Medical Intuition is intended to be used as a tool of intuitive insight. It traces the nature and roots of conditions that have manifested themselves in physical discomfort and disease within a client’s unique energy field. In this work there is only one expert, the client’s body. The role of a Medical Intuitive is to pay attention to the body without censoring, questioning, analyzing or bringing any preconceived frames of reference. This work is particularly helpful for providing information regarding conditions that may have eluded traditional methods of diagnosis or comprehension.

About the author

Charles Lightwalker is a Metis shaman, author, medical intuitive, and healer. For more information visit the web site: www.thefamilyoflight.com.

The History of Color Therapy

April 16th, 2006

The effects of color on life must have been of great significance to early human beings, whose very existence was governed by light and darkness. Most living things appear to be vitalized by the bright reds, oranges, and yellows of daylight — and calmed and rejuvenated by the blues, indigos, and violets of the night.

For the ancients, the colors that make up sunlight were each considered to show a different aspect of the divine and to influence different qualities of life. Color is therefore an important feature in the symbolism of ancient cultures throughout the world, and the origins of Healing With Color in Western civilization can be traced back to the mythology of Ancient Egypt and Greece.

IN THE ANCIENT WORLD

According to Ancient Egyptian mythology, the art of Healing With Color was founded by the god Thoth. He was known to the Ancient Greeks as Hermes Trismegistus, literally “Hermes thrice-greatest”, because he was also credited with various works on mysticism and magic. Teachings attributed to him include the use of color in healing. In the Hermetic tradition, the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used colored minerals, stones, Crystals, salves, and dyes as remedies, and painted treatment sanctuaries in various shades of color.Interest in the physical nature of color developed in Ancient Greece alongside the concept of the elements — air, fire, water, and earth. These fundamental constituents of the universe were associated with the qualities of coldness, heat, wetness and dryness, and also with four humors or bodily fluids — choler or yellow bile, blood (red), phlegm (white), and melancholy or black bile.

These were thought to arise in four organs — the spleen, heart, liver, and brain — and to determine emotional and physical disposition. Health involved the proper balance of these humors, and disease would result if their mixture was in an unbalanced proportion. Color was intrinsic to healing, which involved restoring the balance. Colored garments, oils, plasters, ointments, and salves were used to treat disease.By the end of the Classical period in Greece, these principles were included in the scientific framework that was to remain largely unchanged in the West until the Middle Ages. In the first century A.D., Aurelius Cornelius Celsus followed the doctrines established by Pythagoras and Hippocrates and included the use of colored ointments, plasters, and flowers in several treatises on medicine.

DURING THE MIDDLE AGES

With the coming of Christianity, however, all that was pagan was exorcised, including the healing practices of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. The progress of medicine throughout Europe was effectively halted while those who clung to traditional principles and practices of healing were persecuted. The ancient healing arts, preserved by secret oral tradition passed on to the initiates, thus became hidden or “occult”.It was an Arab physician and disciple of Aristotle, Avicenna (980-circa 1037), who advanced the art of healing.

In his Canon of Medicine he made clear the vital importance of color in both diagnosis and treatment. Avicenna, noting that color was an observable symptom of disease, developed a chart which related color to temperament and the physical condition of the body. He used color in treatment — insisting that red moved the blood, blue or white cooled it, and yellow reduced pain and inflammation — prescribing potions of red flowers to cure blood disorders, and yellow flowers and morning sunlight to cure disorders of the biliary system.

Avicenna wrote also of the possible dangers of color in treatment, observing that a person with a nosebleed, for example, should not gaze at things of a brilliant red color or be exposed to red light because this would stimulate the sanguineous humor, whereas blue would soothe it and reduce blood flow.

The Renaissance saw a resurgence in the art of healing in Europe. One of the most renowned healers of the period was Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), known as Paracelsus, who attributed his understanding of the laws and practices of medicine to his conversations with witches (women who were primarily pagan healers purged by the Church).

Paracelsus regarded light and color as essential for good health and used them extensively in treatment, together with elixirs, charms and talismans, Herbs and minerals. A great exponent of alchemy, Paracelsus insisted that its true purpose was not to make gold, but to prepare effective medicines. He used liquid gold to treat ailments of all kinds, apparently with a good deal of success. Consequently his fame as a great physician spread throughout Europe.

ENLIGHTENMENT, SCIENCE & HEALING

However, after the Middle Ages Paracelsus and other alchemists lost their prestige when mysticism and magic were overtaken by rationalism and science.

By the eighteenth century, “enlightenment” had taken on a new meaning. It was the name given to a philosophical movement that Stressed the importance of reason and the critical appraisal of existing ideas. Reason dictated that all knowledge had to be certain and evident; anything about which there could be doubt was rejected. As a result the divine gradually disappeared from the scientific world view.

By the nineteenth century, the emphasis in science was exclusively on the material rather than the spiritual. As medicine came under the umbrella of science it, too, focused on the material physical body, ignoring the mind and spirit. With the advent of physical medicine, and such treatments as Surgery and antiseptics, interest in Healing With Color declined. It didn’t resurface until the nineteenth century, and then not in Europe but North America.

In 1876, Augustus Pleasanton published Blue and Sun-lights, in which he reported his findings on the effects of color in plants, animals, and humans. He claimed that the quality, yield, and size of grapes could be significantly increased if they were grown in greenhouses made with alternating blue and transparent panes of glass. He also reported having cured certain diseases and increased Fertility, as well as the rate of physical maturation in animals, by exposing them to blue light.

In addition, Pleasanton maintained that blue light was effective in treating human disease and pain. His work gained supporters but was dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific.However, in 1877 a distinguished physician named Dr. Seth Pancoast published Blue and Red Lights, in which he, too, advocated the use of color in healing.

Edwin Babbit’s The Principles of Light and Color was published in 1878; the second edition, published in 1896, attracted worldwide attention. Babbit advanced a comprehensive theory of Healing With Color. He identified the color red as a stimulant, notably of blood and to a lesser extent to the nerves; yellow and Orange as nerve stimulants; blue and Violet as soothing to all systems and with Anti-Inflammatory properties.

Accordingly, Babbit prescribed red for paralysis, consumption, physical exhaustion, and chronic Rheumatism; yellow as a Laxative, emetic and purgative, and for bronchial difficulties; and blue for inflammatory conditions, sciatica, meningitis, Nervous headache, Irritability, and sunstroke.

Babbit developed various devices, including a special cabinet called the Thermolume, which used colored glass and natural light to produce colored light; and the Chromo Disk, a funnel-shaped device fitted with special color filters that could localize light onto various parts of the body.Babbit established the correspondence between colors and minerals, which he used as an addition to treatment with colored light, and developed elixirs by irradiating water with sunlight filtered through colored lenses.

He claimed that this “potentized” water retained the energy of the vital elements within the particular color filter used, and that it had remarkable healing power. Solar tinctures of this kind are still made and used today by many color therapists.

Chromopaths then sprang up throughout the country and Britain, developing extensive color prescriptions for every conceivable ailment. By the end of the nineteenth century, red light was used to prevent Scars from forming in cases of smallpox, and startling cures were later reported among tuberculosis patients exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays. Nevertheless, the medical profession remained skeptical of claims made about Healing With Color.

Investigations into the therapeutic use of color were carried out in Europe during the early twentieth century, notably by Rudolph Steiner, who related color to form, shape, and sound. He suggested that the vibrational quality of certain colors is amplified by some forms, and that certain combinations of color and shape have either destructive or regenerative effects on living organisms. In the schools inspired by Steiner’s work, classrooms are painted and textured to correspond to the “mood” of children at various stages of their development.

Rudolph Steiner’s work was continued by Theo Gimbel, who established the Hygeia Studios and College of Color Therapy in Britain. Among the principles explored by Gimbel are the claims of Max Luscher, a former professor of psychology at Basle University, who claimed that color preferences demonstrate states of mind and/or glandular imbalance, and can be used as the basis for physical and psychological diagnosis.

Luscher’s theory, which forms the basis of the Luscher Color Test, rests on the idea that the significance of color for man originates in his early history, when his behavior was governed by night and day. Luscher believed that the colors associated with these two environments — yellow and dark blue — are connected with differences in metabolic rate and glandular secretions appropriate to the energy required for nighttime sleep and daytime hunting. He also believed that autonomic (involuntary) responses are associated with other colors.

Support for Luscher’s theories was provided in the 1940s by the Russian scientist S. V. Krakov, who established that the color red stimulates the sympathetic part of the autonomic Nervous system, while blue stimulates the parasympathetic part. His findings were confirmed in 1958 by Robert Gerard.Gerard found that red produced feelings of arousal, and was disturbing to Anxious or tense subjects, while blue generated feelings of tranquility and well-being A.D.H.D.a calming effect.

The discovery that blood pressure increases under red light and decreases under blue light led Gerard to suggest that psychophysiological activation increases with wavelength from blue to red.Although cautious about his findings and insisting on the need for further research, Gerard highlighted the possible therapeutic benefits of the color blue, and recommended it as supplementary therapy in the treatment of various conditions.

Among other suggestions, Gerard pointed to the possible uses of blue as a tranquilizer and relaxant in Anxious individuals, and as a way of reducing blood pressure in the treatment of Hypertension.

Dr. Harry Wohlfarth also showed that certain colors have measurable and predictable effects on the autonomic Nervous system of people. In numerous studies, he found that blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates increase most under yellow light, moderately under Orange, and minimally under red, while decreasing most under black, moderately under blue, and minimally under green.

Subsequent research on plants and animals conducted by the photobiologist Dr. John Ott demonstrated the effects of color on growth and development. Plants grown under red glass were found to shoot up four times quicker than those grown in ordinary sunlight, and to grow much more slowly under green glass.

However, although red light initially overstimulated plants, their growth was subsequently stunted, whereas blue light produced slower growth initially but taller, thicker plants later.

Rodents kept under blue plastic grew normally, but when kept under red or pink plastic their appetite and growth rate increased. If kept under blue light, animals grew denser coats.

During the 1950s, studies suggested that neonatal jaundice, a potentially fatal condition found in two-thirds of premature babies, could be successfully treated by exposure to sunlight. This was confirmed in the 1960s, and white light replaced the high-risk blood transfusions in the treatment of this condition. Blue light was later found to be more effective and less hazardous than full-spectrum light (the most common form of treatment for neonatal jaundice).

Bright white full-spectrum light is also now being used in the treatment of cancers, SAD (seasonal affective disorder — so called “winter Depression”), anorexia, bulimia nervosa, Insomnia, jet lag, shift-working, alcohol and drug dependency, and to reduce overall levels of medication.The blue light found to be successful in the treatment of neonatal jaundice has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

In studies by S. F. McDonald, most of those exposed to blue light for variable periods up to fifteen minutes experienced a significant degree of Pain Relief. It was concluded that the pain reduction was directly related both to the blue light and the length of exposure to it. Blue light is also used in healing injured tissue and preventing Scar Tissue, in the treatment of cancers and nonmalignant tumors, as well as skin and lung conditions.

In 1990, scientists reported to the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the successful use of blue light in the treatment of a wide variety of psychological problems, including addictions, eating disorders, Impotence, and Depression.

RECENT APPLICATIONS OF COLOR

At the other end of the color spectrum, red light has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Migraine Headaches and cancer. As a result, color is becoming widely accepted as a therapeutic tool with various medical applications. A new technique, which has been developed over the past two decades as a result of pioneering research, is photodynamic therapy, or PDT.

This is based on the discovery that certain intravenously injected photosensitive chemicals not only accumulate in cancer cells but selectively identify these cells under ultraviolet light. These photosensitive chemicals then exclusively destroy the cancer cells when activated by red light, whose longer wavelength allows it to penetrate tissue more deeply than other colors.

PDT can be used for both diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Thomas Dougherty, who developed PDT, reports that in a worldwide experiment more than 3000 people, with a wide variety of malignant tumors, have been successfully treated with this technique.

OTHER THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS

Color is also used therapeutically in a variety of non medical settings. In some cases its effects have been quite accidental, as in a report to me by the governor of a newly built prison in which each of its four wings had been painted a different color. Both he and his staff found that the behavior of the prisoners varied significantly depending on which wing they lived in, although their allocation to each had been random. Those in red and yellow wings were more inclined to violence than those in the blue and green wings.

Experimental research lends support to these observations. Viewing red light has been found to increase subjects’ strength by 13.5 percent and to elicit 5.8 percent more electrical activity in the arm muscles. For this reason it is now used to improve the performance of athletes. Whereas red light appears to help athletes who need short, quick bursts of energy, blue light assists in performances requiring a more steady energy output.

By comparison, pink has been found to have a tranquilizing and calming effect within minutes of exposure. It suppresses hostile, aggressive, and Anxious behavior — interesting given its traditional association with women in Western culture.

Pink holding cells are now widely used to reduce violent and Aggressive Behavior among prisoners, and some sources have reported a reduction of muscle strength in inmates within 2.7 seconds. It appears that when in pink surroundings people cannot be aggressive even if they want to, because the color saps their energy.

By contrast, yellow should be avoided in such contexts because it is highly stimulating. Gimbel has suggested a possible relationship between violent street crime and sodium yellow street lighting.Research has also shown that color-tinted eyeglasses can be highly effective in the treatment of learning difficulties, notably dyslexia. This was first discovered by psychologist Helen Irlen, but was regarded skeptically until recent investigations by the British Medical Research Council confirmed Irlen’s claims.

In June 1993, a new optician’s device called the Intuitive Colorimeter was made available to British opticians so they could measure which tint — bright pink, yellow, green or blue — best helps people who normally see text as swirling, wobbling, or with letters appearing in the wrong order.

PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF COLOR

Until recently, the function of light was thought to relate largely to sight. However, it is now well established that color need not actually be seen for it to have definite psychological and physiological effects. It can also be distinguished by blind, colorblind, and blindfolded subjects.

This phenomenon, referred to as eyeless sight, dermo-optic vision, or bio-introscopy, has been researched since the 1920s, when it was established that hypnotized blindfolded subjects could recognize colors and shapes with their foreheads, and that non hypnotized blindfolded subjects could precisely describe colors and shapes presented under glass.

Research in Russia during the 1960s was stimulated by studies of Roza Kulesheva, who, when blindfolded, could distinguish color and shape with her fingertips, and could also read this way. Other experiments found that Kulesheva was not exceptional; one in six experimental subjects could recognize color with their fingertips after only 20-30 minutes training, and blind people developed this sensitivity even more quickly.

Some subjects who could distinguish color correctly by holding their fingers 20-80 centimeters above color cards described experiencing sensations varying from needle pricks to faint breezes, depending on the color. Even when heat differences, structural differences in dyestuffs, and other variables were controlled, people were still able to distinguish colors accurately, whether they were put under glass, tracing paper, aluminium foil, brass or copper plates. The phenomenon remains something of a puzzle.

Understanding of these effects has come about only as a result of research into the hormones melatonin and serotonin, both of which are produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin is known to be the crucial chemical pathway by which animals respond to light and synchronize their bodily functioning with diurnal, lunar, and seasonal variations. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter in the brain, whose action has been linked with mental disturbances such as schizophrenia and hallucinogenic states.

Serotonin, a stimulant, is produced by day, whereas the output of melatonin — which is linked with sleep — increases when it is dark and has a generally depressive effect. This is reversed when it is light and production of melatonin drops. Its main site of action appears to be the hypothalamus, the part of the brain involved in mediating the effects of various hormones and regulating emotions. However, changes in the output of melatonin in response to light influence every cell of the body, notably the reproductive processes, which are very sensitive to such variations.

Very high levels of melatonin have been found in women with Ovulation problems and anorexia nervosa (a characteristic feature of which is amenorrhoea, or absence of periods), in men with low sperm count, and people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which usually occurs during winter.

Depression in general appears to be closely linked with melatonin levels, and sufferers tend to show rapid improvement in response to natural sunlight or light therapy using full-spectrum lamps. Research has also confirmed that certain parts of the brain are not only light sensitive but actually respond differently to different wavelengths; it is now believed that different wavelengths (color) of radiation interact differently with the endocrine system to stimulate or reduce hormone production.

It might be thought that modern-day Healing With Color is based on the discoveries of Western science over the past few decades. However, it is based on an altogether more ancient and esoteric science whose principles and practices have yet to be acknowledged, much less verified by Western scientists. Healing With Color is rooted in ancient mysticism, the major principles of which are common to many different cultures throughout the world.

About the author

Charles Lightwalker is a Metis shaman, author, medical intuitive, and healer. For more information visit the web site: www.thefamilyoflight.com.



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