Colors are part of nature, therefore of everything. Our planet is known as the Blue Planet, because of the color of its oceans, colors are a way of conceptualizing, interpreting and expressing the reality in which we live.
We could not imagine a world without color, from psychology, marketing, political campaigns, fashion, automobiles, architectural design, food, graphics, sports, printing and many other areas of life, they would be incomplete.
Color is a natural way of communicating for humans, plants, and animals. There is a lot of information and research that arises when we talk about colors, that is why we propose in this post to address basic concepts about the perception of color and its possible meanings.
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What is the color? How is it perceived?
Color is perceived by an impression that light generates on the human retina.
The human eye, and some animals, has photoreceptors called rods and cones, capable of measuring electromagnetic wavelengths that reflect light and communicate with the brain from nerve signals that it interprets as color.
We can see thanks to two properties of light: reflection and absorption on objects. The cone photoreceptors are responsible for color vision, perceiving the hue, they are divided into three types forming the primary colors:
- sensitive to red light
- sensitive to green light
- sensitive to blue light
The value is called the amplitude of the light that defines the color, the luminosity, there are only two: the white maximum value perceived of frequencies of light waves, fullness of color and the black that total absence of light perceived by the human eye is the minimum value. They are used on the chromatic scale to lighten or darken colors.
The saturation in the color corresponds to the intensity to the degree of vividness with which we perceive a color.
Therapeutic meanings of colors
For philosophies such as Yoga or Ayurveda, colors are of vital importance.It is known that colors come from sunlight, so it is believed that through the use of colors vital energy or prana is incorporated.
Also related to western science, we see in hospitals they have blue or green blankets, a lot of white and very light colors. Since blue symbolizes healing, therapy itself, and white symbolizes peace, cleanliness and tranquility.
In kinesiology and physiotherapy, for several years the therapeutic bandage technique called ‘taping‘ has been used, which is effective in analgesia, applied to the skin and activated by movement.
There are different colors to generate variation in therapy, your choice is based on following the criteria of chromotherapy: it is based on the fact that warm colors concentrate the temperature and the cold ones disperse it.
- Acute injuries: in case of edema or inflammatory processes, it is advisable to use cold colors.
- Chronic injuries: in cases of a circulatory deficit or processes that need the contribution of heat, the use of warm colors is recommended.
- Psychology: In cases of alteration of the psychology of the person it is advisable to use green, orange and white colors.
Color in food
The color of food tells us about its appearance and reveals information about its essence. What nutrients they provide us and what vital parts of the body they benefit. They attract us and provide nutrition.
What do they represent?
According to the criteria of chromotherapy and Ayurvedic medicine, the colors of foods can be classified and associated with their benefits:
- Orange: pigments provided by betacarotenes and other carotenes. They are related to benefits for the skin and eyes and the strengthening of the immune system. Represents energy and creativity.
- Yellow: These foods act in the regeneration of cells, regenerative processes in the body, antiallergic. Flavus is yellow in Latin and flavonoids are transmitting pigments of this color. Represents power, freedom and joy.
- Green: Represents plants and vegetables due to chlorophyll, it is related to the release of serotonin, a natural hormone that generates well-being in humans. Green foods are associated with healing, stress release, and detoxifying actions for the body. Represents compassion and cleanliness.
- Red: it is a warm, hot color that generates activation. Red foods are associated with optimism and vitality, pigments such as lycopene or anthocyanins provide this color to fruits and vegetables. Its benefits are related to good blood system health, good digestion (healthy digestive fire red). It represents survival and instinct.
- Blue: Blue and purple fruits or vegetables have anticancer properties, their color comes from pigmented phytonutrients.Related to the increase of the body’s defenses and protection due to the contribution of vitamins. Represents communication and speech.
Colors in the animal and plant world
If we talk about colors in nature, flowers are experts in the art of color. Colors are an advantage, a virtue in the animal and plant world, one of the typical examples that we can observe is pollination, where color plays a fundamental role in attracting bees to flowers.
Not all animals have complete vision of all colors, some see black and white, but colors in animals work too. For some, like the chameleon, it is a form of defense against predators, and for others, they interpret the information of the food they can eat.
Don’t miss the next blog posts on The Power of Color.