Posts Tagged ‘Health’


Guest Post on Faber Birren by Allison Brooks

November 21, 2011

Faber Birren:

The pioneer of Color Therapy

Colors and furniture placement are easy things to overlook. Not many people understand that the color of room or object can be more than just appealing to the eye. But when one really thinks about the use of color, it becomes apparent that certain colors are picked to stimulate certain senses. This is known as color therapy, and is being utilized in healing facilities and homes all around the world.

This in not a new concept; color is everywhere and subconsciously affects a person’s emotions, health, and energy. For example, the dark, muddy colors of a landfill or dirty swamp makes one feel uncomfortable and maybe a little depressed, while a bright, vibrant field of flowers will make one feel easygoing and relaxed. A man by the name of Faber Birren noticed this natural gift and soon became the pioneer in color prescription.

Faber Birren, was a very practical man and noticed how the use of color could inhibit certain actions, healing practices, or emotions. He enjoyed picking out colors to effect change in military bases, mental hospitals, office buildings, and homes. Birren changed how many companies and human lives operated.

It was not until he solved a big problem for Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, when Faber got recognized. The company noticed that the general public was not buying pool tables, and wanted a change. Mr. Birren saw that the women of the household were turned off to the green-topped billiard tables because they reminded them of cheap pool-halls. He recommended that they change to a soft-purplish covering, which resulted in an increase of home-sales.

Faber later went on to work with military bases and set up color systems and different uniforms for personnel. He helped reduce the accident rate in industrial plants for World War II by the use of color and set up a safety color code for the U.S. Armed Forces which reduced the accident rate from 46.14 to 5.58 per thousand. The Navy adopted the practices of Faber Birren and colored-coded everything on the ship and even changed helmet colors. This simple, but impacting change resulted in the drop of accidents by 28%.

Though these are just a few accomplishments of Birren, many of these ideas are being used today. From the terror-alert color scheme to pollen amounts, color codes are used everywhere. Many doctors are also using this natural, non-invasive therapy. Doctors and patients are seeing a difference in attitude and recovery time with the use of certain colors. The colors of waiting rooms, treatment facilities, and the offering of color therapies are being adopted in clinics all around. Many patients have noticed a change in themselves to heal faster and stay more positive during treatments by the colors of their surroundings. Doctors know that an unfavorable cancer prognosis is a stressful situation, and even the smallest of things can help ease the mind.

Allison Brooks

Allison is a self-proclaimed “holistic health nut” who is very passionate about enlightening people about the benefits natural and integrative therapies can have on multiple diseases and illnesses. She went to the University of Mississippi and earned her degree in biomedical anthropology. She’s currently studying in the field to finish an ethnography on the effects of biomedicalization on Bolivian cultures.

She can be reached via email: