Friday, October 30, 2009

Color Therapy and The Power of Pink

I have a love affair with the color pink. I buy everything in pink, if it comes in pink that is. My cell phone, camera, purse, overnight bag, clothes, shoes, slippers, lingerie....well you get the's all pink. I even have a pink leather couch and matching love seat.

I've never studied color therapy, nor am I an expert on the subject. But recently I made an observation, completely by accident, that can lift my moods a bit when I’m feeling especially low. I suffer from bipolar depression, so my life is a roller coaster of emotions. My emotions change literally from hour to hour, and sometimes minute to minute (it's called rapid cycling, but that's another story). One day when I was in one of my very down moods, I found myself, as I often do, surfing the internet for sites relating to shabby chic decor, antiques and romantic cottages.

After doing this for about an hour I noticed that my mood had lifted. It wasn't so much the items in the pictures, it was the colors. I loved all of those pastel pinks, blues, and lilacs. I even made a folder on my desktop and downloaded some of the photos so that I could go back and look at them anytime I am feeling down. I decided to do a little research on the subject of color therapy, and found out that there was a reason for the mood boost I got from those colors.

For years scientists have studied how color affects our moods and way of thinking. Your favorite color preference could be related to how that color makes you feel.

The Pink Study

In 1979, Alexander G. Schauss, Ph.D, after experimenting with hundreds of shades of pink, found that the use of a particular shade of pink, which he named "Baker-Miller Pink", did in fact have an effect on mood and behavior.Some of these effects are as follows:

  • Short-term decrease in aggression. When detainees were put in a pink admissions room for 15 minutes or less, they exhibited less aggressive behavior, an effect which lasted at least another 30 minutes after they left the room. But it had to be that very specific shade of pink to be effective. Brighter shades of pink tended to have the opposite effect! In spite of these powerful effects, there is substantial evidence that these reactions are short term. Once the body returns to a state of equilibrium, a prisoner may regress to an even more agitated state.

[Times photo: Chris Zuppa]Senior Detention Officer Matthew Barfield stands inside the Pink Room at the Hillsborough Regional Juvenile Detention Center West. Anthony Schembri, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, hopes that rooms will reduce the number of hard to manage youths and the use of force in juvenile facilities.

  • A natural appetite suppressant. Johns Hopkins Medical University in Baltimore, as part of a weight control program gave patients a color square called "bubble gum pink." The reason for this is that pink has shown to suppress appetite as well as snacking related to stress.
  • Relaxation-was observed in subjects who stared at an18 by 24 inch card-board plate of Baker-Miller pink. It was found that there was no other color that could consistently result in the same relaxation.
  • Stress relief. Schauss recommends printing a page with Baker-Miller pink on it and carrying it with you to look at in times of stress.
  • A Reduction in heart rate, blood pressure and pulse when intentionally elevated by physical activity.
  • Reduction in Strength
  • Calmness
How does color directly influence our moods and behaviors? Each color has a different vibration and frequency. When the color frequency enters our bodies, the vibrations affect the pituitary and pineal glands, which in turn stimulates hormone production. These hormones have an effect on several physiological processes.

So whenever you're feeling stressed and need to calm down and relax, click this
link and gaze at this beautiful pink, and see if it has an effect on you.

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