Svetlosna terapija – Fototerapija – Helioterapija
Light: Medicine of the Future: How We Can Use It to Heal Ourselves NOW
by Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D.
419 pages 4-5 hours
About the book
Light: Medicine of the Future challenges the modern myth that the sun is dangerous to our well-being and claims that technological advancements, such as most fluorescent lighting, sunglasses, tanning lotions, and our indoor lifestyles, may be more harmful than helpful. Integrating scientific research, clinical experience, and his own insights, Dr. Jacob Liberman has worked effectively with more than 15,000 individuals, from the learning disabled and physically/emotionally traumatized to business executives and Olympic athletes.
The book discusses the use of light in the treatment of various cancers, depression, stress, visual problems, PMS, sexual dysfunction, learning disabilities, and the human immune system.
Published by: Inner Traditions on Oct 1, 1990
Categories: Alternative Treatment & Holistic Medicine
About the author Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D.
ABOUT JACOB LIBERMAN, O.D., PH.D.
Dr. Jacob Liberman is considered a pioneer in the therapeutic use of light and color and the art of mind/body integration. He continues to lecture around the world sharing his insights on light and life.
Light: Medicine of the Future
PART 1. LET THERE BE LIGHT
Chapter 1 The Human Photocell
1.NIGHT AND DAY
2.THE RHYTHM OF LIFE
3.THE SUN THE ORIGINAL HEALER
4.MODERN SCIENCE RECOGNIZES THE VALUE OF LIGHT
Chapter 2 The Eyes Are the Windows of the Soul
1.WHAT THE EYES REVEAL
2.THE EYES AND OUR WELL-BEING
3.NEUROLINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING (NLP)
4.LIGHT FOOD FOR OUR BODIES
5.THE SYSTEMS THAT KEEP OUR BODIES IN BALANCE
Chapter 3 The Pineal Seat of the Soul
1.THE BODY’S LIGHT METER
2.THE THIRD EYE
Chapter 4 Color The Rainbow of Life
2.COLOR, FEELINGS, AND RESPONSES
4.PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF COLORS
5.BLUE LIGHT FOR JAUNDICE
6.BLUE LIGHT FOR ARTHRITIS
7.RED LIGHT STOPS MIGRAINES
8.PUTTING PRISONERS IN THE PINK AND ATHLETES IN THE RED
9.LIGHT AND CELLULAR CHANGES
Chapter 5 Malillumination Fact or Fantasy
1.LIGHT IN OUR ENVIRONMENT
2.LIGHT AND HUMAN FUNCTIONING
3.FULL-SPECTRUM LIGHT THE WORK OF JOHN OTT
4.THE EFFECT OF FULL-SPECTRUM LIGHT ON HUMANS
5.THE EFFECT OF FULL-SPECTRUM LIGHT ON CHOLESTEROL
6.FULL VERSUS INCOMPLETE SPECTRUM LIGHTING
7.USING LIGHT TO REVITALIZE FOOD AND WATER
PART 2. LIGHT THE NEW MEDICINE
Chapter 6 The Enlightened Pioneers
1.SUNLIGHT AND VITAMIN D
Chapter 7 A New Vision for Vision Specialists
1.SEEING SPACE AS A WHOLE, NOT THROUGH A HOLE
2.THE CASE OF HARRY
3.THE NEW VISION THERAPISTS
4.BREAKING THROUGH LEARNING BLOCKS THE EFFECTS OF SYNTONICS
5.SYNTONICS CASE STUDIES
Chapter 8 Light, Color & Learning
1.WOHLFARTH’S SCHOOL STUDIES
3.IRLEN’S TINTED LENSES
4.ARE WE TREATING A CAUSE OR AN EFFECT
Chapter 9 A New Light on Cancer
1.LIGHT AND LONGEVITY
2.A DEATH RAY FOR CANCER PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY
3.LIGHT THE BLOOD CLEANSER
Chapter 10 Light Natures Miracle Medicine
1.A CONDITION KNOWN AS SAD
2.TREATING SADness WITH LIGHT
3.HEALING SEXUAL DYSFUNCTIONS WITH LIGHT
4.RESETTING THE BODY’S INTERNAL CLOCK
5.LIGHT AND DENTISTRY
6.NEEDLES OF LIGHT
7.COLOR THE BODY’S LIFE FORCE
8.NEUTRALIZING STRESS WITH COLOR
9.ALLEVIATING PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)
10.GETTING IN TOUCH WITH LIFE CYCLES
Chapter 11 UV or Not UV That Is the Question
1.KINDS OF ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION
2.SUN AND ULTRAVIOLET THERAPY
3.BENEFITS OF UV LIGHT
4.STILL … IS UV BENEFICIAL OR HARMFUL
5.THE PROBLEMS WITH INDOOR LIGHTS
6.UV STUDIES THAT CREATED A CLIMATE OF FEAR
7.ARE WE CREATING OUR OWN BLINDNESS
8.CURRENT BELIEFS ABOUT SKIN CANCER
9.CHANGING BELIEFS ABOUT SKIN CANCER
11.HAS SCIENCE MADE A MISTAKE
Chapter 12 Getting Well with the Rainbow Diet
PART 3. LIGHT YEARS BEYOND
Chapter 13 A New Paradigm for Health & Healing
1.DOCTOR, HEAL THYSELF
2.BIOLOGICAL RECEPTIVITY THE BODY’S RADAR
4.HUMAN HOMEOPATHY HOW NATURE HEALS US
Chapter 14 Becoming Illuminated with Light
1.WHAT I WAS TAUGHT
2.HOW WELL SYNTONICS WORKED
3.EXPLORING THE UNEXPLORED
4.THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
6.DEVELOPING NEW METHODS
7.COLOR RECEPTIVITY AND THE CHAKRAS
8.THE CASE OF NANCY
9.KAY A MIRACLE STORY
Chapter 15 Light The Final Frontier
1.BRINGING IN THE LIGHT
2.WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE
Appendix A Full-Spectrum Light Sources & Other Related Products
Appendix B College of Syntonic Optometry Practitioners
Appendix C Wohlfarth’s Colors for Walls
Appendix D Clinical Investigators Utilizing Phototherapy and Photofrin in the Treatment of Cancer
Appendix E Partial Directory of Practitioners Working with SAD
About the Author
About Inner Traditions • Bear & Company
Books of Related Interest
Copyright & Permissions
Figure 1. Sunlight sustainer of life
Figure 2. The sun’s electromagnetic waves
Figure 3. Physiological effects of sunbathing versus physical exercise
Figure 4. The eyes are the windows of the soul
Figure 5. Iridology chart
Figure 6. The eyes are an extension of the brain
Figure 7. The complexity of the human eye as compared with the space shuttle Columbia
Figure 8. Visual accessing cues for a normally organized right-handed person
Figure 9. Major functions of the eyes
Figure 10. Model of the autonomic nervous system
Figure 11. The hypothalamus as the body’s chief executive officer
Figure 12. ANS model with endocrine system
Figure 13. Descartes’s depiction of the pineal gland
Figure 14. Melatonin rhythm
Figure 15. ANS model with endocrine system and pineal gland
Figure 16. Etheric link between chakra, personality type, and endocrine secretions
Figure 17. Change in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration rate in response to various colors
Figure 18. Chloroplasts under full natural sunlight
Figure 19. Chloroplasts under light source lacking ultraviolet light
Figure 20. Chloroplasts at rest
Figure 21. Dinshah’s tonation chart
Figure 22. Tree’s root system as compared with human’s visual field
Figure 23. Trimmed root system as compared with partially constricted visual field
Figure 24. Loss of stability as a result of extremely limited root system or very constricted visual field
Figure 25. Hand’s visual-field charts prior to treatment
Figure 26. Hand’s visual-field charts following treatment
Figure 27. Robert’s visual-field charts before and after treatment
Figure 28. Case 3 visual-field charts prior to treatment
Figure 29. Case 3 visual-field charts following treatment
Figure 30. SADness and light cartoon
Figure 31. Bar graph of color receptivity
Color Plates 1-4. Sunrise.
Color Plates 5-8. Sunset.
Color Plates 9-12. Seasons.
Color Plate 13. Prism.
Color Plate 14. Plants growing under different lights.
Color Plate 15. Peppers.
Color Plate 16. Scarlet macaw.
Color Plate 17. Rocks.
Color Plate 18. Hands.
Color Plate 19. Electromagnetic chart.
Color Plate 20. Spectral power distribution charts.
I first met Dr. Jacob Liberman in 1975 while I was lecturing at an optometric conference in Miami that he was attending. Since that time, our relationship has developed into a regular and ongoing exchange of ideas, a sharing of our personal discoveries and mutual excitement about light and its effects on all living things.
Jacob has been like one of the members of a relay team to whom I passed the baton and who is now running with it very fast, as well as passing it on to others.
In reading his book, Light Medicine of the Future, I became completely fascinated with both his personal and professional stories. He comprehensively summarizes the scientific knowledge now known about this new, rapidly developing science of phototherapy and transforms it into understandable common sense. In addition, he points out some very important factors often overlooked by science, based on his own experience and case studies.
Modern researchers must realize that a review of the existing scientific literature on a subject is not a substitute for real experience. Too often, important findings are prejudged as crazy or considered merely anecdotal because they do not yet exist in the scientific literature of the day. Are we to totally discount our own abilities to see, hear, and feel our everyday experience, trusting only the findings of others who differ from us in their view of reality Magellan, for example, discovered that the Earth was round only by physically sailing around it, despite the prevailing belief of the day that the Earth was flat and that a ship would fall off over its edge if it sailed too far.
Even today, discoveries are too often considered invalid unless they fit into the realm of cold, hard science. Recently, the editor of a health-related newsletter sent a letter to a leading cancer-research center in New York City requesting copies of their research to supplement his understanding, with a check to cover their expenses. He also included a copy of his well-documented newsletter on the benefits of ultraviolet light, about which I had been consulted prior to its printing. To his surprise, he immediately received his check back with a letter stating that they refused to send him any of their publications because some of the work reported in his newsletter had been discounted by M.D.s throughout the world. It is difficult for me to believe that in 1990 scientists would refuse to share their knowledge with other interested parties based on a difference of opinion.
Life on Earth evolved under natural sunlight and has existed for quite some time under the full spectrum of light that it contains. Many prehistoric tribes and even entire civilizations worshiped the sun for its healing powers, using its full spectrum of light to treat physical and mental problems, a practice known as heliotherapy“ Yet modern scientific medical research now claims that sunlight is hazardous to people’s health, and all sorts of special eyeglasses and sunscreen lotions are marketed to give complete protection. Major financial interests have come into play, sometimes making the truth even more obscure.
Unfortunately, the natural heliotherapy of the past has been replaced by many artificial approaches, such as hemotherapy. It seems as though many of today’s therapies are in some ways like taking a magic pill. They will either eliminate the symptoms or numb the senses sufficiently so that the problem won’t be noticed anymore.
As discussed in chapter 12 of the book, a car’s engine requires fuel, oxygen, and a spark to create internal combustion, which makes the car run. The human body also requires fuel (in the form of food), oxygen, and a spark (in the form of light) to ignite the process of metabolism. If the ignition system of the car is not functioning properly, fuel additives will not solve the problem. The same is true in the human body. Vitamins will not solve the problems caused by a lack of the appropriate wavelengths of light necessary to create complete metabolism. There is no question in my mind that the visible portion of the spectrum as well as certain portions beyond, especially the ultraviolet, act as the ignition system for all human biological functions.
Combining his many years of personal and clinical experience with the frequently amazing results achieved by his patients, Dr. Liberman has developed a foundational model for a new medical paradigm. As I observe the growth and constant evolution that has occurred in this emerging field of which I have been a part, I applaud the work of people like Jacob Liberaian, who continue to carry the torch forward and believe, as I do, that light is the medicine of the future.
John Ott, Sc.D. (Hon.)
Dr. John Ott is considered a pioneer in the field of photobiology. He is author of Health and Light; Light, Radiation and You; and My Ivory Cellar.
My close relationship with light began in 1974, when a powerful experience laid the foundation for my future direction. Seven-year-old Aileen was brought into my office by her parents for a vision examination. The young girl had been referred to me for evaluation and possible treatment of a lazy-eye condition. She had 2020 uncorrected vision in her better eye, but only 20200 best corrected vision in her poorer eye. Although I had been practicing optometry less than one year, my interest in vision improvement, beyond the mere prescription of glasses, led me to experiment with a new technique utilizing light to treat her particular condition. The technique consisted of flashing a light source into a person’s better eye and allowing it to travel through the brain, eventually stimulating the opposite eye. Since the eyes are connected neurologically, I found that I could use the better eye to train its counterpart to see more clearly. Using this approach, I was able to improve the vision of Aileen’s poorer eye to approximately 2025 within 30 minutes. Although the initial improvement was not permanent, after five sessions Aileen’s vision in the poorer eye reached 2020 and remained that way. She is now 22 years old and still has 2020 vision in both eyes.
That same year I had another stimulating experience. While at a party, I had my hands photographed by an innovative method known as Kirlian photography. This technique photographically reveals some of the energetic emissions from the body.
The experience not only showed me that the body gives off light, but that by changing the way in which we use our minds we can actually increase, decrease, andor direct the flow of the body’s energy.
In 1975, I began to develop a vision improvement procedure that I called open focus. I soon realized that this method affected a lot more than vision. The technique was based on a specific aspect of human behavior that I had observed for
many years—behavior that deals with the way in which we habitually approach our life experiences and consequently learn. I noticed that most people were always looking for something specific in life and that in this process they missed everything they weren’t looking for. Since it appears that most of life’s revelations occur when we are not looking for them, I began to realize that the way in which most of us were seeing was only allowing us to view, and thereby experience, a partial reality.
Based on this awareness, I hypothesized that if we looked at nothing, perhaps we would see everything. Experimenting with this supposition in my own life produced dramatic results. In addition to expanding my field of vision, reducing my nearsightedness, improving my eyesight, reducing pain, and changing my point of view, it allowed me to see things that I never previously saw or even thought existed. My first discovery was that changing the way I saw occasionally allowed me to see auras around peoples’ bodies. I then noticed that the air was not invisible,
as I had thought previously, but in fact had visible energy that could be observed in both particle and wave form. These discoveries led me to realize that people are meant to see passively, not actively, and that our eyes are meant to see for us, if we let them. In other words, vision is meant to be effortless. We need to learn to view life in the same way we view a movie—without any effort. To put effort into an effortless function only gets in the way of its fluidity, efficiency, comfort, and performance. Unfortunately, most people habitually use much effort for seeing and therefore never see many of the visible miracles of nature and life.
As a result of these insights, I decided to stop wearing my glasses, and I began to actively experiment with the workings of my mind. The major aspect of my experiments dealt with the integration of my mind and my eyes. Specifically, I was interested in how people actually see and why they see that way. During the several years I spent investigating these questions, I came to a number of powerful insights. One of the most important was that if we allow our eyes to see for us as they are meant to see, they will always bring our attention to anything in the environment that is out of place or not flowing with that experience.
An example is the way in which an artist works. While producing a painting, he or she frequently steps back and openly gazes at the piece to get a feel for how it is progressing. Although the artist is not specifically looking for anything special, his or her eyes seem to direct themselves to anything that is obviously out of place.
This not only supports my belief about how our eyes work, but seems to indicate that perhaps all of our sense systems, as well as our entire physical system, work the same way.
Soon I began to realize that there was great purpose in the way I saw and that anything I was intuitively drawn to was important and required my attention. I started using this experimental premise in my practice and discovered some surprising things. For example, while taking a case history I would gaze casually, with an open focus, at the person with whom I was working. At first I noticed nothing, but after a few random gazes I began to realize that my eyes were being purposely led to certain parts of the patient’s body. As I looked at these body parts, I noticed that something seemed to be stuck there and that the body’s energy appeared to be rerouted through an adjacent area. Initially, I didn’t understand the meaning of my observations, but as I questioned my patients I began to realize that their significant physical and emotional traumas seemed, not so coincidentally, to be located in those same body parts.
The wisdom of the body started becoming very clear to me. Soon, I began to trust precisely what I saw and would ask patients questions related to my observations. Their response was frequently one of amazement. They would ask, How did you know Much of the time I didn’t fully understand the information that I was receiving or even why I was receiving it. Nonetheless, a definite correlation seemed to exist between what I saw and what patients revealed. The foundation for
a new knowing was being created.
Then, in 1977, a dear friend told me of his experiences with a specific form of light therapy called Syntonics. Developed in the 1920s, Syntonics therapeutically utilizes different portions of the visible light spectrum to treat, by way of the eyes,
an array of bodily conditions. I attended one of the College of Syntonic Optometry’s annual courses, purchased their equipment, and thus began my present life’s work.
My first patient, my mother, had recently lost the vision in her left eye due to an optic nerve disease. The frightening aspect of this was that 25 years earlier she had lost part of the vision in her right eye from the same condition; and her mother was totally blinded by this same disease. Terrified by the dismal prospects, my mother submitted herself to six months of medical treatment by several top ophthalmologists in Miami, as well as at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. With no improvement, she was told to adjust to her new condition, as nothing more could be done for her. At this point, she could see only a few blurry fingers directly in front of her eyes and had totally lost her peripheral field of vision.
My research told me that the color turquoise acts as an anti inflammatory agent.
I had my mother look at a specific turquoise light in one of my instruments for 20 minutes per day. After four days, I began to measure an improvement in her eyesight. By the eleventh day, she was emotionally uplifted, feeling much better, and beginning to see things to her sides. On the twentieth day of treatment, she was able to read a four-inch letter at 20 feet—a massive improvement—and had regained 80% of the peripheral field of vision in her left eye. She also noticed a significant improvement in her right eye, which had been impaired for the past 25 years. From these miracles evolved my life and the work presented in this book.
What is important is not just that we use our knowledge and tools to be better fixers; rather, it is imperative that we evolve ourselves, integrating everything that allows us to become whole, more relational, and aware of our global community. Our task is to take in and utilize light so that we may merge with our true selves and our destiny, thus facilitating the healing of our planet. As each of us becomes whole, we radiate light—light from within—unimpeded by our self-imposed emotional and physical blocks. The medicine of the future is light. We are healing ourselves with that which is our essence.
Fasten your seat belt. You are about to embark upon a journey—one that may amaze you, teach you, stimulate your mind, and captivate you. You are going on a journey of healing with humanity’s oldest friend in the universe light.
This book presents the story of an ancient yet newly emerging science the science of light. This science bridges the gap between scientific knowledge, intuitive knowing, health, and personal evolution, thus acting as a foundation for a new paradigm in healing. It ushers in a new era in medicine. Light, a nonintrusive, very powerful tool, resides at the core of the new medicine energy medicine. What will become very evident during the 1990s is that light is the basic component from which all life originates, develops, heals, and evolves. This has been expressed by wise sages and metaphysical texts of the past and present. However, we are about to see a new marriage—between the intuitive and the rational
sciences—a marriage that is bonded by light.
There is no such thing as treating the body as a separate collection of parts, to be fixed when broken. Human beings are the embodiment of light; our troubles and ills result from our inability to take in and use light as a launching pad from which to heal and evolve. In my private practice, I have seen literally thousands of times that this is true. Miracle after miracle has convinced me that this science of the future is an investigation of inner space rather than outer space.
Part 1 serves as a foundation. It describes the body as a living photocell, stimulated and regulated by light entering the eyes—the windows of the soul. The eyes are the entry points through which light has its profound effect on the regulation of human physiological and emotional functioning and the development of our consciousness. This part examines the role of the pineal, the body’s light meter, and how it assists us in becoming synchronized with nature and thus one with the universe. It explores the world of color and how we use color to heal, and introduces the concept of light as food—the nutrient that catalyzes biological combustion in humans, just as it catalyzes photosynthesis in plants.
Because of humanity’s haphazard approach to life, we have set ourselves up to experience chronic malillumination, which, like the epidemic of malnutrition, creates major imbalances in our ability to function as healthy, whole humans. Modern technological advancements, such as most fluorescent lighting, sunglasses, tanning lotions, and our general indoor lifestyles, may in fact be harming us more than helping us.
Part 2 presents the works of some of the early pioneers who, ridiculed for their work and frequently thought to be mad, were actually such far-reaching visionaries that science is only now catching up with them. Over 50 years ago they suggested ideas and treatments that have only recently been investigated and applied clinically. Today, leading-edge, highly respected physicians and scientists are doing some of the most advanced research and performing many of the clinical applications in the therapeutic use of light. These present applications include the treatment of various cancers, clinical depression, stress, visual problems, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), sexual dysfunction, and jet lag. Part 2 also shows how light can effectively enhance learning abilities, reduce learning disabilities, strengthen the immune system, and even play a role in life extension.
You have probably heard or read recently about the harmful effects of sunlight and, specifically, ultraviolet (UV) light. This issue is explored in part 2, and a comprehensive view is presented. You will discover that, in fact, UV is one of the most biologically active and important portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
This part looks at many of the approaches science has taken in proving or disproving the value of our most powerful ally light.
Light and color contain the essence of what humans attempt to gain by eating food and taking vitamins, and, in fact, act as catalysts for the absorption and use of these nutrients within our bodies. Although light is being researched and utilized therapeutically in a variety of medical and nonmedical fields, its most powerful role may lie in its ability to unlock and unclog the mind with great expediency.
Part 3 presents this new medicine as a holistic approach to healing the physiological, emotional, and spiritual bodies, thereby giving new meaning to the term psychoneuroimmunology (the mindbody healing connection). My work deals with healing the body and mind simultaneously as a direct effect of making the subconscious conscious, and thereby transforming old cellular memory into a new experience of enlightenment.
This part explains why we are open and receptive to certain aspects of our lives, why we are partially or totally closed down, or allergic, to other aspects of our lives, and the way that we act as each other’s healing medicine—which I call human homeopathy. Colors, specifically those with which we are most uncomfortable, can become our most powerful allies, and they can be used to access old unresolved emotional traumas, which, when brought to the conscious level, act as springboards from which we can pull out, by the roots, the weeds we call disease. Light is the medicine of the future that will propel humankind into the age of enlightenment.
To support your own further investigation into this new medicine, I have also included listings of products, practitioners, treatment centers, and sources of more information.
PART ONE Let There Be Light
1 The Human Photocell
Have you ever wondered why we call the process of profound human evolution enlightenment or why the portion of the galaxy in which we live is called the solar system Doesn’t the term solar system imply that human beings are of, or derived from, the sun Why do people frequently make statements such as Lighten up or You light up my life How does living in the light differ from experiencing the dark night of the soul Is it possible, as renowned physicist David Bohm states, that all matter is frozen light¹ Could it be that our evolution, in some deep way, is related to our ability to take in and utilize light on a spiritual level as well as a physical level These questions, and many others, are now being looked at scientifically, rather than just metaphysically or spiritually. The visions of clairvoyant sages of the past may not be so different from the scientific discoveries of the present. We are now in an era of accelerated scientific discovery, and the gap between scientific knowledge and intuitive knowing is gradually being bridged.
The idea of light as an integral part of all life and creation has been evident since the beginning of time. Sunlight, our major source and provider of light, warmth, and energy, not only sustains all life on Earth, but it sustains the Earth itself. It not only provides plants with the energy for photosynthesis, which in turn sustains the lives of all animals and humans, but also is the source of much of our knowledge, since most learning occurs by way of our eyes.
Figure 1. Sunlight sustainer of life.
Sunlight is composed of a variety of energies that are transmitted to Earth in the form of electromagnetic waves. Only a small portion of these waves actually reach the Earth’s surface, and only about 1% of the total electromagnetic spectrum is thought to be perceived by the eye. This visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, containing all the colors of the rainbow from violet (with the shortest wavelength) to red (with the longest wavelength) is a most important key to human functioning and evolution. Our lives, health, and well-being are truly dependent upon the sun.
NIGHT AND DAY
When early humans first opened their eyes in the morning, they must have recognized that the light of each day brought with it a new beginning. Throughout history, we have recognized that this new beginning couples inspiration with increased physiological activity, heightened energy, and action. Each sunrise, a transition from the restful darkness of night to the energetic brightness of day, infuses life into all living things. (See color plates 1-4.)
Flowers open, animals and humans awaken, the world is energized, and a new day begins. Day is conceived and represented by the yellow of the sun, the blue of the sky, and the green of the Earth. As the day progresses, environmental color changes become evident, as well as their corresponding effects on all living things. The end of the day, beginning with the red-orange of sunset flowing into the dark blue of night, initiates a gradual slowing down of all physiological activity, followed by tranquility and rejuvenation. (See color plates 5-8.) The occurrence of this colorful transition from day to night dramatically represents the internal shifting of gears taking place within all living things. As nature gradually moves from one end of the color spectrum (red-orange of day) to the other end (dark blue of night), our bodies also shift from one mode of function (work) to another (rest).
Just as the shifting of gears in an automobile requires passing through the gear called neutral, so this same phenomenon occurs in nature. Prior to the brightness of day shifting into the darkness of night, a well-known flash of green is frequently reported. Green, the center of the visible color spectrum, signifies the neutral zone or drift course through which all living things pass prior to entering a new phase of functioning or of life itself. From humanity’s experience of the very first sunrise to the sunsets of the present, we continue to be awed by the beauty, power, life-creating, and life-sustaining properties emanating from light. It would appear, then, that our physiological and emotional centers are synchronized with nature by way of light, and that we truly seem to be the offspring of nature.
THE RHYTHM OF LIFE
Based on the awareness that daily color variations in the environment are intimately connected to the body’s daily rhythmic changes, humans have recognized that seasonal color changes also reflect biological alterations within all living things. For instance, traditional Chinese acupuncturists, recognizing these biological alterations, routinely recommend treatments at the change of the seasons.
Thus, the seasons and their characteristic color changes have become a universal reflection of the role that color plays in different aspects of life experiences.
(See color plates 9-12.) For instance, farmers have always known that there are different seasons for planting, growing, and harvesting. They have observed that seasonal variations and intensity in daylight control the budding, growth, and dormancy of plants. It is also apparent that animals are as involved as plants in this solar connection, inasmuch as their hibernation, migration, and breeding occur seasonally and thus appear very much related to changes in ambient lighting.
In humans, exposure to sunlight significantly influences a host of physiological and psychological functions. Among these, fertility and mood are two of the most profoundly affected. This can be seen in many northern European countries, such as Norway and Finland, where months of darkness occur annually. In these countries, a direct correlation has been found between decreased exposure to sunlight and a higher incidence of irritability, fatigue, illness, insomnia, depression, alcoholism, and suicide. Interestingly, it has been found that in Finland more children are conceived during the months of June and July, when the sun shines approximately 20 hours per day, than during the winter months.²
THE SUN THE ORIGINAL HEALER
From the initial biblical statement let there be light to the idea of being enlightened, light has played a consistent role in the development of all living things. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and other major cultures made significant medical uses of light. Although Egyptian physicians were the first to use color for healing,³ the Greeks were actually the first to document both the theory and practice of solar therapy.⁴ Heliopolis, the Greek city of the sun, was famous for its healing temples, in which sunlight was broken up into its spectral components (colors), and each component was used for a specific medical problem.
Herodotus, the father of heliotherapy (a medical therapy involving exposure to sunlight) wrote that
exposure to the sun is highly necessary in persons whose health needs restoring and who have need of putting on weight. In winter, spring, and autumn, the patient should permit the rays of the sun to strike full upon him; but in summer, because of the excessive heat, this method should not be employed in treating weak patients.⁵
Color, being a manifestation of light, held a therapeutic as well as divine meaning
for these historical cultures.
MODERN SCIENCE RECOGNIZES THE VALUE OF LIGHT
The therapeutic uses of light have been known to many cultures for thousands of years. What are the effects of light deprivation Probably the first direct reference in modern scientific literature regarding the influence of the sun’s light on normal human growth is found in the book Macrobiotics, written in 1796 by Hufeland. He wrote, Even the human being becomes pale, flabby, and apathetic as a result of being deprived of light, finally losing all his vital energy—as many a sad example of persons sequestered in a dark dungeon over a long period of time has demonstrated. Can you imagine how you would feel if every day was cloudy, with no direct sunshine Or if you lived in a country with several months of darkness yearly How about if you were confined to spending most of your time indoors Isn’t this, in fact, what most people do, and consider normal, from early childhood on Could this possibly be the reason why people who work indoors frequently become overweight, pale, and lacking in vitality Have we sentenced ourselves, through our lifestyles, to living as prisoners in modern-day fluorescent dungeons As actor Tom Hanks says in the movie Joe vs. the Volcano, These fluorescent lights are sucking the life out of me!
More recently, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winner and the discoverer of vitamin C, has recognized how profoundly light and color affect us. From his work he concluded that all the energy which we take into our bodies is derived from the sun.⁶, ⁷ He saw that, through the process of photosynthesis, the sun’s energy is stored in plants, which are in turn eaten by animals and humans. Digestion and assimilation by animals and humans are concerned with breaking down, transferring, storing, and utilizing this light-created energy.
Szent-Gyorgyi discovered that many enzymes and hormones involved in processing this energy are colored and very sensitive to light. As a matter of fact, when they are stimulated by selected colors of light, these enzymes and hormones frequently undergo molecular changes that alter their original colors. These light- induced changes significantly affect the power of these enzymes and hormones to cause dynamic reactions within the body. It also demonstrates that the apparent color of something might be a strong indicator of its molecular structure. Szent Gyorgyi is saying that light striking the body can literally alter the basic biological functions involved in processing the body’s fuel, which powers our lives. If color and light have such a powerful effect on us, what, then, might be the effect of living under light that is significantly different from sunlight Perhaps this might be similar to the difference between running a car on inexpensive, regular fuel versus premium, high-octane fuel!
Similar conclusions were reached by Martinek and Berezin in 1979.⁸ They found that light and color can play a remarkable role in how effectively certain enzyme systems regulate biological activity within the body. Specifically, they found that (a) some colors of light can stimulate certain bodily enzymes to be 500% more effective; and (b) some colors can increase the rate of enzymatic reactions, activate or deactivate certain enzymes, and affect the movement of substances across cell membranes. These findings seem to place light in a very powerful position as a regulator of many biological functions within the body.
Color may also indicate a person’s stage of life or state of consciousness. I believe that light not only affects us, but that our state of consciousness determines how we use light. Consider how feeling ill seems to cause someone to lose all of his or her vital color, while embarrassment usually causes someone to become red in the face. Perhaps the state of mind of these people has altered their ability to take in, utilize, and give off light.
The human body is nourished directly by the stimulation of sunlight or nourished indirectly by eating foods, drinking fluids, or breathing air that has been vitalized by the sun’s light energy. This light energy not only affects our physiological activities and moods, but recently it has been shown to produce an effect in the body similar to that produced by physical training and its resultant improvement in physical fitness. Dr. Zane Kime, in his book Sunlight, states that a series of exposures to sunlight will produce decreases in resting heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, blood sugar, and lactic acid in the blood following exercise; and increases in energy, strength, endurance, tolerance to stress, and ability of the blood to absorb and carry oxygen.⁹
Figure 3. Physiological effects of sunbathing versus physical exercise.
In summary, these findings, along with those of many other highly respected scientists and physicians, seem to indicate that the human body is truly a living photocell that is energized by the sun’s light, the nutrient of humankind. Since light is recognized as having a profound effect on all living things, and since our perception of light is by way of our eyes, it becomes evident that the function of the eyes may not be for seeing alone.
2 The Eyes Are the Windows of the Soul – WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Figure 4. The eyes are the windows of the soul. Adapted from illustration by Elio Penso.
The eyes are wonderful tools for the examination and understanding of the universe, as well as primary sources of social contact and self-expression. Have you ever noticed, when you first meet people, how much their eyes reveal about them If they’re sad, their eyes will show it, and in the same way happiness and joy are immediately visible—by a gleam in their eyes. A person’s eyes, as they subtly inter act and synchronize with someone else’s eyes, regulate the language of communication.¹ It isn’t only the verbal interchange within a conversation that conveys a message, but the fluidity of the invisible dance occurring between the two pairs of eyes that allows the communication to flow and conveys the feelings that are felt.
Shakespeare said, The eyes are the windows of the soul. It is now known that the eyes truly are a mirror of our physical and emotional health. Acting as the body’s Yellow Pages, they function as an accurate index of what is occurring within the body and mind. Their examination can inform us of approximately 3,000 different functions or conditions pertaining to our physical health, as well as accurately indicate our mental states and individual styles of operation.
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