back to Health Tips

Color Healing  

Color therapy is basically very simple: shine a light through a filter. But it is necessary to understand it too. Therefore I am giving a summary of the entire theory behind color healing, because it is not only very interesting, but it allows you to reflect about the nature of color and light and how we, human beings, are so affected by it. I think Dinshah Ghadiali laid a good foundation of color healing, which can be taken even further in my opinion. in any case, he cured many people with a simple colored light, serious cases, even terminal cases. Thus, he deserves our full attention.


Short biography of Dinshah Ghadiali

Dinshah Pestanji Ghadiali (1873-1966), an Indian American, pioneered vegetarianism and chromotherapy (healing with color) in twentieth-century America. Born November 28, 1873, into a Zoroastrian family in Bombay, India, he developed an early interest in chemistry and trained himself through his reading. He was only 11 when he became an assistant in math and science at Wilson College.
During his teen years Ghadiali became a rational materialist, then in 1891 he encountered the Theosophical Society. At the time of his initiation he had a visionary experience of one of the mahatmas, the superhuman entities who are believed to guide the work of the society. Ghadiali studied with a Hindu neighbor and gave up meat and alcohol. Through the society, he was introduced to the world of religion, and for a time became a student of Hindu guru Swami Murdhan Shastri.
After finishing college, Ghadiali practiced medicine. He moved to the United States in 1911 and was naturalized in 1917. His medical degree was not recognized in the United States, and he was also alienated from medicine as it then existed. He had adopted the Hindu virtue ahimsa, harmlessness, as a basic principle of living and was led to naturopathy, which had developed out of older natural schools of healing. In 1919 he became vice president of the National Association of Drugless Practitioners and actively participated in efforts to have the government recognize alternative medical practices.

Dinshah Ghadiali

In 1920 Ghadiali announced that he had perfected the techniques of spectro-chrome therapy, a method of healing using attuned color waves. Color beams of light were projected upon the body of an ill person. In addition, Ghadiali received his medical degree in chiropractic, naturopathy, and several other healing practices, and two years later he purchased land in Malaga, New Jersey, and opened the Spectro-Chrome Institute. He wrote several books over the next few years, but his primary text, the three volume Spectro-Chrome Metry Encyclopedia, was finished in 1933. Meanwhile, Ghadiali faced a series of court actions as the government moved against his healing practices. He was arrested for fraud in 1931 but was acquitted. In 1934 an attempt was made to strip him of his citizenship, as had happened to so many Indian Americans under provisions of the 1924 anti-Asian immigration law. He argued that though he was an Indian, he was of Persian ancestry, and thus was able to retain his citizen's status.
During the next decade, Ghadiali was able to train more than 100 students in the techniques of spectro-chrome therapy, but in 1945 the government acted again. Ghadiali faced charges that he had made false claims about his spectro-chrome healing device. In 1947 he was convicted but not sent to prison on the condition that he cease practicing chromotherapy. His books and unsold devices were destroyed, and those that had been sold were confiscated from their owners. In the 1950s he resumed his healing practice and operated quietly until his death on April 30, 1966. His son, H. Jay Dinshah, continues Ghadiali's work, but concentrates on veganism, a strict form of vegetarianism. Dinshah founded and heads the American Vegan Society.

Spectro Chrome Therapy, or Healing with Light.

Dinshah, like many other alternative healers of this time (first half of the 1900's) was having a hard time with the established medical profession, and especially the American Medical Association. Healing with light is very simple, very cheap, and effective. Dinshah cured many people, even people who were given up by the orthodox doctors, and all that with a simple light bulb and colored glass plates.
I have always noticed that effective healing always results when affecting the energy body of a person. This can be done in many ways, for example, acupuncture, homeopathy, Bach Rescue remedies. Even the mind of the person can affect one's energy body in a positive way. Healing with light has been found to be very effective, not only by Dinshah, but by many others up to this day. Although it is very simple to apply, one does need to understand its principles. Dinshah wrote two books: Let There Be Light, and Spectro-Chrome Metry Encyclopedia. They are available at the Dinshah Health Society. These books are a bit cumbersome to read, because they are intended as study material. Dinshah put all his knowledge in these books, so they do give a comprehensive overview. After so many decades the Dinshah Health Society still cannot sell any equipment or color filters. They can only provide information, the filters you have to buy somewhere else.

Spectrum of Light:

color spectrum of light


A Summary of Dinshah Light Theory and Healing Practice.

What is light? Light is an energetic state. It is invisible. A misconception about light is that white light contains all seven colors. Light is not white, it is invisible. When light from the sun hits the atmosphere, it atmospheric molecules reflect the light and we perceive a white color. But it does not contain the seven colors in it, like a container contains seven color balls. The colors are a different states of energy. Light is an energetic state that travels through space in a three-dimensional way. In science electromagnetic waves are only used in a two-dimension way. It propagates forward in a linear way, and moves up and own in amplitude. It is easy to work with and sufficient for what we need it for in practical applications. But nothing in nature is two-dimensional, everything moves in three dimensions. So does light. When it moves forward linearly ( X-axis) and with amplitude (Y-axis), it also has a third movement in the Z-axis, which is circular (actually spirally because it is moving forward). This is oscillation, which has a 360 degrees turn.
When light from the sun passes through a yellow colored filtered, the coloring agent in the glass 'twists' the movement of this oscillating to a certain degree and then continues with the yellow frequency. Dinshah points out that the term 'filter' is a misnomer. A filter implies that one part is let through while the other parts are held back. In this view the yellow part is let through and the other color parts are held back. Thus when the yellow light beam continues and hits a green filter, then nothing should come out at the other side of the green filter. Reality is different. When the yellow light hits the green 'filter', a lemon light beam comes out at the other side, the result of another 'twist' that happened, creating the frequency of lemon color light.
This is quite different from what I learned in school. I was taught the traditional color wheel with yellow, blue and red as the primary colors and green (yellow and blue), violet (blue and red) and orange (yellow and red) as secondary colors. What they forgot to tell me was that this is a color wheel for pigments! It is used to mixing pigments. It does not apply to light colors. When you take a a red light beam and project it on a screen, and then you shine a second, green light beam and project it on the same spot on the screen, then at that spot the color yellow appears. Primary and secondary colors are different for light.

refraction of white light through prism

Also, the refraction of white light through a prism resulting in the seven colors, is a linear way and is incomplete. It was noticed a long time ago, that this method does not show the color magenta at all. Nevertheless magenta is a real color and exists in nature.

production of green color

a light beam passes through a prism and produces the a light spectrum, of which the overlapping beams at the edge of the light cone produce green
production of magenta color

when the shadow of an object is passed through a prism, the surrounded light produces a spectrum, of which the overlapping beams at the edge of the dark cone produces magenta.



Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), when studying colors through a prism, also discovered that with a dark spectrum (i.e. a shaft of shade is surrounded by light), we find violet-blue along the top edge, and red-yellow along the bottom edge - where these edges overlap, we find magenta. So it possible to bring magenta out of the light spectrum, just not in a linear fashion. It was Goethe who first discovered the color magenta

So what is the color wheel for light colors?


The Spectro-Chrome Color Wheel

(because the illustrations in Dinshah's books are of poor quality, I have redone the color wheels with photoshop to give you a much better quality, which also will allow you to print them on your printer)

The following is the Spectro-Chrome color wheel Dinshah put together based on the light colors (and not based on pigments):

color wheel


The primary colors are Red, Green and Violet, forming a triangle.

The secondary colors are Yellow, formed by Red and Green

  • Blue, formed by Green and Violet

  • Magenta, formed by Red and Violet.

The tertiary colors are Orange, formed by Red and Yellow

Lemon, formed by Yellow and Green

Turquoise, formed by Green and Blue

Indigo, formed by Blue and Violet

Purple, formed by Violet and Magenta

  • Scarlet, formed by Magenta and Red.

Thus we have twelve colors, neatly arranged in a symmetrical form. What we usually call complimentary colors (Dinshah called it color affinities) are all opposite each other in this color wheel.

Notice the circle of degrees which represent the oscillation degree of each color, starting at red and 0 degrees. The colors broken down with a prism does not the 360 degree oscillation of light and its transformation into other degrees of oscillation (=colors). We just have to stop thinking in a linear way, and look at the more complete 3-D aspect of light, which is circular, or spiral, and oscillatory.

Dinshah calls all these colors attuned color. One cannot take any blue or any red for example. All the colors have to be specific. This has to do with the filters used. He used five glass filters of very specific colors, nowadays 12 plastic filters are used with the same result. Because one has to combine filters to create the other colors, if one filter has a slightly different shade of that color, then when combining with other filters, it might create a totally different color than the one desired for healing. One could discuss if it is really important if a colored light is slightly different than the one used in Dinshah Spectro-Chrome system. I think it will still have a healing value. However, there is a strong argument to keep all colors as in the color wheel shown, the so-called attuned colors. Why? Well, Nature likes harmony, symmetry. Music, for example, is harmonious and healing when all notes are in a particular relation to each other. When one note is off, it will sound odd, and affect us in a disturbing way. There is also the effect of harmonics. With the attuned colors it is primarily a question of having the right filters, although our bodies might prefer the attuned colors more than just any other color. It is something worth considering, and worth further study.

What brings us to the question of how do colors affect the human body?


Color Therapy is Energy Medicine

Energy healing systems are based on the principle that everything has a vibrational frequency, frequencies. Altering these frequencies in the human body promotes health or creates disease. Many different things can cause an imbalance in the frequencies present in the human body: environmental issues, toxins, medicines, electromagnetic fields, microwaves, sun light, and so on. we live in a ocean of vibrations. But what are we talking about when considering the human body? Dinshah grew up in India and was well familiar with its esoteric viewpoints of the human body. He makes an interesting division of the human being:

  • The visible physical vehicle   = the body

  • The invisible physical vehicle = the aura

  • the vital vehicle                   = the breath or prana

  • the emotional vehicle           = the psyche

  • the mental vehicle               = the mind

  • the causal vehicle                = the mediary

  • the cosmo-energy                = the spirit

In relation to color healing we concern ourselves with the aura. Dinshah tells us that all matter has emissions, or radiations, of one kind or another. Thus, all matter of our physical body are emitting their individual radiations and together they produce an ovoid of iridescence around the body, what we call the aura, or the auric vehicle. It has been known by other gifted people that health and disease shows up clearly in the auric colors, even before disease has manifested itself into the physical body. Colored light will affect the auric vehicle directly and restore the balance. The aura will absorb what it lacks, and once it has accomplished balance, it will just discard the rest. Thus when shining colored light on the body, one cannot overdo it, unless, of course, you overload it. In other words, the energy body has a reasonable protection mechanism for overloads.

Dinshah treated people by shining a light (with an ordinary light bulb) through a colored filter (or combination of filters) on a person's body in a dark room. He divided the body in sections, to make it easy for people who want to treat themselves. He also made an extensive list of health conditions and their corresponding healing colors. An attunement (his term for a healing session) lasts at least one hour.

In his book Let There Be Light, he explained the practice in a clear and understandable way for the lay person. The book is practical and easy. In his second book, Spectro-Chrome Metry Encyclopedia, he goes into detail about a whole lot of issues, he explains the actions of the colors on the body, gives many examples from his practice, and more. This is more a study book.



I mentioned that Dinshah bases color healing on the theory that the auric vehicle is a color light emanation of the physical vehicle. The physical body is composed of molecules and atoms. Each element (element as in the Periodic Table of Elements) has its own color radiation. It may sound a little esoteric, but there is a basis for this theory. Science has shown that each element radiates photons (=light) with very specific frequencies in the light spectrum. They are called spectral lines. When an element gives off its photons, the spectral lines are always the same for each element. Spectral lines are highly atom-specific, and can be used to identify the chemical composition of any medium capable of letting light pass through it. The emission of photons is related to the jump of electrons in the outer orbit of the atom.

Visible spectrum of hydrogen:

Visible spectrum of hydrogen


Thus it is easy to see that the human body is giving off colored light radiations, although it might be very faint, and not observable by most people. But there are some gifted individuals who can clearly see the auric colors.

Dinshah went so far as to attribute each element to a specific color in his color wheel. But I think this does not hold up, because more than one color can be emitted by one element. For example, the emission spectrum of carbon (which he attributes to the yellow color) has several color frequencies:

light spectrum of carbon


How to Interpret the Color Wheel in Healing

Although Dinshah gives us a comprehensive list of ailments/diseases and what color to use, it is important to understand why a color is used in a particular case. Here we have the color wheel again, but this time with the characteristics of the colors:

color wheel of Dinshah


Green is a physical equilibrator and is used in everything that needs balancing. Infra-green colors, that is, the colors before green, are stimulating, and are used in cases where, for example, there is not enough activity. The ultra-green colors are used when a part of the body has too much activity, like in burns, inflammation.

Magenta is considered to be the beginning of a higher octave, that in the human being corresponds with the emotional vehicle, and is thus used to straightened out emotional problems. Scarlet is the circulation stimulant wave; and purple is the circulation depressant wave.

This is the general outline, and one can extrapolate from here. Stimulating colors are also warming, promoting circulation, etc, and cooling colors promote slowing down of systems, and are calming.

An example from Dinshah: "The moment you are told the case is one of burns or see it, your finding is automatic; burns means heat, heat means the red side of the spectrum; hence in our language, the oscillatory frequency of the affected areas is predominant on the red color. look at the affinity attune color wave of the Red and you will find blue, and in less than an hour, the burn heat will totally subside and the pain will disappear, never to return. This was proven in all cases of burns."


An Overview of the Effect of the Attuned Colors

The descriptions in Dinshah's book give a lot of medical terms (which he does explain in lay terms). When redoing the following color wheel, I have resorted to terms that are understandable by most people. If you click on the image, a letter-size 479 kb image will appear that you can download and print.

Overview of the Effect of the Attuned Colors


The Present and Future of Light Therapy

In my opinion, color therapy should be further investigated.  But for this, we do need to change our view on what disease is, or better how the human body really works. This implies a wholistic study into vibrations, oscillations, balance, and all kinds of energy that affects the body. Light is an energetic state that has made it possible for life to form on this planet, and it is probably necessary to keep it healthy.

Dinshah Ghadiali has proved that light therapy works, and is very effective. Unfortunately it has been totally erased by the medical establishment. However it is making a comeback, and some therapist are starting to use it again. Dinshah's books are a valuable basis, but I think we should be able to further explore the characteristics of light and its influence on the body. Dinshah only used the method of shining colored light onto the body. The method of drinking water that has been exposed to colored light has been used by contemporary people, who reported that this was also a successful method. So there is still room for more experimentation.

The Food and Drug Aministration (FDA) has cleared a light therapy device, called the Bioptron, which works on polarized light.

Russian researchers at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, have shown that light applied to the human skin penetrates the body between 2 and 30 mm, depending on the color frequency (another explanation for the individual color attributes). They were able to track the light by magnifying it with a photomultiplier, and measuring it with a photometric unit. The researchers found that only certain areas of the body were able to transfer light beneath the surface, and that these areas corresponded to the acupuncture points. Not only that, the light was conducted within the body along the acupuncture meridians. Although light penetration may be superficial, deeper physiological processes may be stimulated. It seems that the meridians are a light transferal system in the body somewhat like optical fiber. Just as light through fiber optics is being used to store information in computers, and transfer it almost instantly around the globe, perhaps the meridian system as a conductor of light provides the coherent unified theory of a subtle energy information system within the body. This could be the missing link, uniting materialistic medicine with subtle energy healing modalities, and bridge the gap between physics and metaphysics. The transmission of photons, which you recall, travel at the speed of light within the meridian system, may be a more fundamental aspect of Qi than electromagnetic energy which deals with relatively inert ions or electrons. from: (link not active anymore)

Light as a healing method is presently used in hospitals to treat jaundice in babies, Jaundice occurs when there is a build-up of a naturally occurring substance in the blood called bilirubin. Bilirubin is an orange/red pigment in the blood.  special blue lights are used on infants whose levels are very high. This is called phototherapy. These lights work by helping to break down bilirubin in the skin.

There is also a study being done of the apparent positive effect of ultra-violet light on mental patients.

Light therapy is also use to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder by exposing patients to full spectrum bright lights.

At the  Hammersmith Hospital in London they found that a combination of blue and red light helps to reduce acne. Based on this study, a company, lumie, launched Lumie Clear™. The new LED based light provides effective treatment for acne that is both safe and without any known side effects.

Pulsed light is used by Dr Duncan Anderson of The Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London to treat migraines and PMS.

Another study showed that light therapy is effective in Parkinson's disease.

A study at the University of Iowa showed that blue light therapy can help treat and reduce the number of precancers, and hopefully reduce the number of full-fledged skin cancers and possibly help in photo-rejuvenation.


The material in this site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for consultation by a healthcare provider. Please consult your own physician or appropriate healthcare provider about the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your own symptoms or medical conditions.