We make the first stop on our journey through the rainbow spectrum with a focus on the boldest, most mesmerizing of the seven major colors visible to the naked human eye – red! Part of red’s power comes from the ambiguity of its extreme alerts. Sometimes it indicates a warning, other times it tantalizes with attraction. Red influences our most basic instincts.
Red meaning is so much more
It’s almost impossible to ignore red as it creates a physiological response when we are exposed to it. Blood pressure and respiration can increase and brain activity can fire up. The human experience with red is primal. While our internal clocks have been derailed by the proliferation of artificial light our DNA recalls our cave-dwelling ancestors who thrived on and were energized by the fiery oranges, yellows, and reds of the morning sun. Hunters and warriors killed and died by the spilling of red blood. Food was cooked and bodies warmed by the flaming red embers of campfires. Art was expressed on cave walls with black charcoal and red ochre from clay.
Nature too has much to teach us about the language of colors. As we study the magnificent displays of flora and fauna we continue to demystify color’s power. The little tree frog’s green skin easily blends in with its lush surroundings yet its eyes are a menacing red. Many creatures invoke the power of red to issue warnings to potential predators or to distract them and catch them off guard. Red’s also a color of attraction as seen in the sexual displays of the female rhesus monkey’s signature scarlet bottom and the reddish-orange breast of the male robin. Plants display colors to indicate safety or danger for eating. Evolution has taught us by trial and error which signals to trust. Flowers and fall leaves change their displays with the seasons, with the brilliant red leaves of fall signaling winter’s imminence. The entire cosmetic industry has adopted nature’s tricks for drawing attention to the human face through red lipsticks and cheek blushes.
What about infrared?
Next to red but outside the visible spectrum is the infrared frequency. While we can’t see it we can feel its heat as it is applied to warm and heal sore muscles and joints. We don’t have to see light with our eyes to experience its powerful effects on our body and spirit. Color light has been used as a therapy throughout the ages because exposure to light is essential to wellbeing.
The seven spectral colors are associated with the seven main chakras aligned along the spinal column. These chakras are invisible spinning energy vortices that influence the endocrine system, our body’s chemical factory. Red is associated with the root chakra at the base of the spine. This chakra charges the adrenal glands at the top of the kidneys that produce adrenaline for fight or flight situations and cortisol for responses to stress. Exposure to red light can help deal with repressed anger and tension, and move unaddressed emotional blocks out of the way opening the path to more of life’s opportunities and potential. Red is also used to restore depleted energy. The root chakra symbolizes safety, survival, grounding, and nourishment from earth’s energy.
All creatures including humans are chameleons that express themselves through the use of color as they match or stand out from their environment. The next color we will focus on will be the joyful color orange.
Please share this article on your social media platforms. This series about the spectral colors supports your professional practice and educate your patients, clients, friends, and loved ones about the enlightening modality that Lumalight offers.
© 2017 Julianne Bien. Spectrahue Light & Sound Inc. Canada. No medical claims made or implied.