You might not consider red to be a color brought into a healing environment, yet red brings us many benefits. Red is a warm, sometimes “hot” color that can raise blood pressure and temperature and stimulate circulation. It is the color of blood, a primal color relating to survival and base chakra of foundation. Use red to increase appetite, assist with patients with fatigue, paralysis, and anemia. Avoid when a patient has hypertension and is over-active. Red can help with vitality, energy, sexual activity, and depression. This is used very sparingly in hospitals, yet has many qualities to consider in certain situations.
Orange is a very popular color to use in color healing therapy. It is found in hospitals, and in pediatric rooms and gathering places. It is a color of joy and community. Orange is a warm color and also brings vitality to the body and mind. It is connected to the kidneys, reproductive organs and urinary system. Orange, oranges and even vitamin C uplift the body’s ability to boost immunity.
Yellow is very popular in hospitals for its many qualities. Yellow is the color of the sun, connecting us to our main source of light. It has a bright happy influence and stimulates intelligence. It is known to act as a detoxifier for the body and mind thus assisting with faster healing. Yellow is recommended for cancer patients, and patients with skin problems. It aids with arthritis and has antibacterial properties. In many ancient systems such as feng shui. Yellow is considered the color of health.
Green is known as a powerful facilitator of growth and healing. It is a color connected to the heart, promoting balance, rest and renewal. Green is used with heart and blood problems, muscles and cellular regeneration. Heart, lungs and circulatory issues benefit from green. Green would be avoided around patients with cancer. Green is often used in operating rooms, as green enhances concentration, increases judgment and promotes security.
Blue is a very popular color in American culture and it has many color healing properties. Blue lowers the heart rate, and cools the body. Blue can relieve stress, anxiety, migraines, insomnia and high blood pressure. This relaxing color brings calm to the mind and body. Think of blue skies and beautiful blue water. Blue connects to the senses of sight, sound and scent.
Pink is a healing color. Think Pink, and you think of love, calm and nurturing. Pink is a color associated with “mother” and invites compassion and a feeling of protection. As with all colors, the saturation and hue of the color will shift it’s properties. Bright pink such as in Pepto Bismol will reduce stomach nausea and reduce arguments and violence. Pink is used often in hospitals and also in prisons to reduce anxiety and encourage calm.
Purple is a color associated with spiritual connection and higher perception. The purple shade and scent of Lavender has been noted for years for it’s healing properties. In health, purples connect to the nervous and cerebral systems. Purple color healing calms the nerves, and is associated with the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. It aids with sinus issues and head congestion.
With an understanding of color therapy and conscious design, we can begin to create a plan for a healthcare space that will accelerate healing and uplift the human healing journey.
Colors will impact a person’s experience with their surroundings. Color choices in health care are guided by the purpose of the room or area. Color selection in a patient’s room will influence the length of their stay. Intensive care units are soft and neutral to bring in calm and security. Medium shades of paint create a feeling of trust, and lighter shades create acceptance. The color brown is often utilized for grounding and comfort.
Colors and deeply integrated with human psychology and can influence the body and mind. Colors can uplift and beautify our spaces to a new level.
By Renae Jensen