Are you awed by autumn color and the intensity of fall foliage? In this article, we explore the power of color and how it fits into ChromaTherapy and SteamTherapy to make you feel better.
The Power of Color (and How Autumn Reminds Us Of It)
Our deep-rooted response to fall foliage is inescapable. That first peek at a tree shifting from late summer green to a startling pop of color makes us all stop and stare.
As the season progresses – and particularly on brilliant days when the deep blue sky makes the colors stand out – we stand in awe at the rich hues of the autumn season: vibrant yellows and oranges, deep reds, the contrast of evergreens. Our reaction can be almost spiritual in nature: a recognition of change, of the cycle of life turning around again.
No wonder leaf peeping is such a popular activity. Heading to where leaves are at their peak and spending the day marveling at the richness of nature, taking pictures to capture how dramatically autumn paints its palette, is an experience both energizing and relaxing.
There are many ways to track peak foliage, as the turn of leaves moves from our northernmost states southward, including a variety of websites and even an app or two:
- Recreation.gov’s Find the Fall Foliage: state by state
- Foliage Network
- The Travel Network’s Leaf-Peeping Road Trips
- The New York Times describes fall foliage apps
So why do leaves change?
The Foliage Network describes two main factors – temperature and biology – at play here. Ideal foliage conditions are when autumn days are mild and evenings cool and crisp, but when the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing. Colors may be less intense if the weather is too warm, but then the leaf-changing season may last a couple of weeks longer.
The process of photosynthesis, something we all learned about in school, is why leaves are generally green through spring and summer – the green light portion is not absorbed by chlorophyll and passes through to the leaf. But as the season turns colder and signals the trees to shed their leaves – having absorbed enough nutrients for the winter in the trunk and roots - the tree ceases to produce chlorophyll, which allows other bright colors to shine through.
But the reasons behind the change of color in leaves are only part of the story.
Why do we react so strongly to autumn’s colors and what can that mean to us in other ways? Studies have shown that colors cause us to react both cognitively and emotionally.
The meanings behind color are fluid – they change based on factors such as culture and the individual’s current energy – but there is no doubt that color affects us all.
Some common color associations are:
- Red: energy, passion, action, ambition, determination, anger and sexual passion
- Orange: social communication and optimism, as well as pessimism and superficiality
- Yellow: the color of the mind and intellect, optimism and cheer, as well as impatience, criticism and cowardice
- Green: balance, growth, self-reliance and possessiveness
- Blue: trust, peace, loyalty, integrity as well as conservatism and coldness
- Indigo: intuition, idealism and structure as well as ritualistic and addictive
- Purple: imagination, creativity and individuality as well as immaturity and impracticality
Mystics have long recognized the power of color in the chakra system. The seven chakra colors provide a journey through the rainbow:
Root Chakra - Red Color
Muladhara is red, the most stimulating color, focusing our energy and attention outward. Red is the color of the life force, of blood, and is the first color we make contact with when we are born.
Sacral Chakra - Orange Color
The sacral chakra color is a color of vitality and strength, a warm color reminiscent of the sun’s heat. Orange energy is sensual, transforming ordinary experiences into pleasurable ones. But orange is also associated with gentle, positive self-nurturing.
Solar Plexus Chakra - Yellow Color
Yellow is the color of sunshine. Yellow energy, connected with the intellect, is vibrant and optimistic, the color of youth, new beginnings, birth and re-birth.
Heart Chakra - Green Color
Green, with its soothing and calming energy, is at the very center of your being, the energy of love and transformation. Green is the color of growth, life, and balance, of nature, grass, and the trees.
Throat Chakra - Blue Color
Soothing, calming, and healing, blue is the color that we associate with Heaven. Blue is also at the cooler end of the spectrum, where things slow down, allowing you to take time to be still, to listen to your own voice.
Third Eye Chakra - Indigo Color
Indigo is a color of wisdom and deep inner knowing, the color that we associate with night when our senses sharpen and a different part of us awakens. Indigo color energy connotes deep change, insight and clarity.
Crown Chakra - Violet Color
Violet, the color of spirituality, connects us with the energy of heaven. Violet is cleansing and purifying, the color of magic, ritual, cleansing, purifying, connecting, mystery, and mysticism.
Deepen Your SteamTherapy Experience With ChromaTherapy
Whether you believe in the deeper spiritual meanings of color or simply recognize that they have a profound effect on our emotions and intellect, incorporating color into our lives, particularly in those sanctuaries where we seek to renew and refresh ourselves, can raise our relaxation to a deeper level.
MrSteam brings the impact and power of color into your daily life with ChromaTherapy. Like water and heat, light is a fundamental life force which may improve your physical and mental state. The MrSteam ChromaSteam™ system integrates light with steam, creating chromatherapy environments rich with color, mood and warmth. ChromaSteam suffuses the steam shower with a spectrum of color from airy blue to sensual red.
Set the mood you desire with a single hue, or use the Chromalogic color selection to cycle from one to the next:
- Red – Vitality that sparks raw creativity
- Orange – Exploration, both physical and mental
- Yellow – Awakening to personal power and awareness
- Green – Harmony, helping you to get back in step with life’s rhythms
- Indigo – Mystic, to discover the rhythm of energy surrounding you
- Blue – Celestial, helping you communicate and share your discoveries
- Violet – Nirvana, the culmination of time, place, and being
Just as nature paints its beautiful spectrum of life around us and makes us pay closer attention to it every autumn, so you too can bring color into your personal spa experience.