Color therapy is another of the alternative modalities that works with energy, or vibrational, fields. Even though the “how” of the energy work may seem obscure, its gentle effects can benefit our rabbits. Though it should not be used in lieu of veterinary care, color therapy can be a useful adjunct, aiding healing and calming stress.
Sunlight is the source of all colors, and its benefits have long been recognized. Color therapy utilizes specific colors of the spectrum to effect change in the emotions and the physical body. This interface takes place in the energy field (aura) that surrounds all living beings and is especially focused in the seven main energy points of the aura, called chakras (or energy centers).
Selke Eichler, PhD, an animal therapist in Germany who is trained in various alternative modalities, explains further:
The chakras act like wheels (circles) of energy in the aura, in turn attracting energies from outside into the body and letting go of those energies not needed. Each chakra corresponds to a specific color and can be influenced by this color. In that way, every color has a unique vibration that can interact with the electromagnetic field of the body, thereby helping to adjust imbalance caused by disease or emotional discord.
This adjustment, or balancing, aids in strengthening a rabbits’ energy field, and in this way color therapy helps them heal. But it’s important to recognize that color therapy may not heal a particular disease. Attempts to couple specific healing colors with particular diseases have been imprecise – a clear and consistent correlation does not seem to exist.
Some animals see parts of the color spectrum that are outside our perception. For example, the unassisted human eye cannot discern energies that lie beyond our visible spectrum (e.g., ultraviolet and infrared light), but these colors – as energy vibrations – still exist around us, whether we can see them or not.
Our visible color spectrum is made up of seven basic colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), but it also contains many shades of those colors, each with its own wavelength or energy. A simplistic approach to color divides the spectrum into two sides: the blue side more calming and the red side more invigorating.
Red, the warmest of colors, stimulates (increases) circulation and energy. Thus, it should not be used either excessively or on rabbits with inflammation or an overly excitable nature. On the other hand, red is the color to influence the root chakra, located at the base of the spine, thereby balancing the whole being. Dr. Eichler adds this:
As the root chakra normally absorbs balancing energy from the earth, the color red can be used very effectively with rabbits who do not have safe outdoor access that would allow them to walk on the ground. Offering red carpets, cushions, or blankets to your rabbit allows them to seek out this vibrational energy whenever they need it. In my work with rabbits and other animals, it’s very evident that they love to lie on the red when they lack regular contact with the outdoors.
In contrast to red, blue is cooling. It calms and soothes and acts as an antidote for too much red. The characteristics of the color mean that it should not be used with a rabbit who is already depressed or suffering from a chronic condition. Dr. Eichler also suggests:
As the calming effect leads to a peaceful state of mind on the spiritual level, blue color may well be used during the death process to calm animals, including humans.
As already noted, color therapy should not be used in lieu of veterinary care, but it can be a wonderful way to help support our animals during times of healing and stress. As with some of the other complementary modalities (e.g., massage, reiki), it’s important not to force the therapy on an animal – allow your rabbit to select the color as well as the length of treatment.
Dr. Eichler, who employs various healing modalities to treat her rabbits, adds from her experience:
I generally use color for physical treatment, and I sometimes combine it with soft music. All my bunnies especially love orange light in winter, which helps to strengthen their immune system. Each loves to choose their seating on colored cushions or towels.
I use color therapy as a complement to veterinary care and other alternative modalities, and my rabbits have really benefited. There are times I offer the wrong color, but since my rabbits are never caged they simply hop away and avoid the colored area. I do not recommend color therapy for any rabbit who lives in a confined space. Always our furred companions should have the option of moving away from the energy field.
However, I think the best use of color is before the rabbits show signs of illness. One reason my rabbits remain healthy is because, in addition to good diet and lots of space to run free, I regularly treat them with Reiki, color, and peaceful music.
Based on work with her rabbits, Dr. Eichler feels that color therapy has a long-term effect as well. In her opinion, it can help animals who experience the trauma of abandonment and/or shelter life, especially when they suffer residual emotional problems. Dr. Eichler shares this from her personal experience:
When my rabbit, Luno, came to me from an animal shelter, he exhibited many signs of unusual behavior. He was unable to share food with others, was very nervous and at times aggressive, and definitely needed a lot of time for himself. Initially he was not able to bond or become a member of my rabbit group.
During the energetic healing sessions for Luno, I discovered that his heart chakra was adversely affected by his experience of abandonment and subsequent life at the animal shelter. So, in addition to my healing sessions, I offered him blankets and towels in pink and green (both colors match the energies of the heart chakra). He chose the pink color at once and has ever since been keen to lie on a pink surface. It took months of regular treatment for Luno to become a healthy, sociable, and happy rabbit. Today he is part of my rabbit group, and there are no traces of his previous unsocial or nervous behavior.
I also notice that my other rabbits look for a pink blanket whenever there is a little quarrel inside the group and someone got offended by one of his rabbit friends. They definitely look for something to soothe their heart chakra afterwards.
There are other ways to employ color therapy, including colored light bulbs and glass. Dr. Eichler gained experience in using Aura-Soma® during her animal therapist training, and she offers the treatment bottles to her rabbits.
Two colors are layered in the liquid, and my rabbits communicate to me the color they want during a healing session. I then clearly see before my inner eye a combination of colors that matches a certain bottle. A trained Aura-Soma practitioner or a certified animal therapist would propose a bottle only after obtaining a thorough case history and analyzing the symptoms. Emotional resistances, tensions, and physical symptoms are energetically dissolved in this supporting therapy.
I link the different balance bottles to specific chakra areas. This is where I feel bottles are so helpful for rabbits. For example, my Luno is very content to lie next to an unopened bottle, soaking up energy from the colors.
I have used this product in cases where nothing else seemed to help. It has a strong effect on mental and emotional blockages. When a rabbit seems resistant to other therapies, I try to release these blockages using Aura-Soma and then restart the other medication or therapy. I combine various treatments but do not administer them all at the same time. For my rabbit Donni’s hind leg problems, I gave a veterinarian-prescribed homeopathic medication in the morning, an Aura-Soma treatment in the late afternoon, and a long Reiki session in the evening. This combination, in conjunction with veterinary care, helped him tremendously. [Read more about Donni in “Reiki for the Health and Well-being of Your Rabbit.”]
Individuals interested in delving deeper into the healing art of color therapy will find some resources listed below. Consider researching and using alternative therapies as a wellness measure to prevent illness or, if your rabbit is already ill, to facilitate healing. Keep in mind a rabbit’s low tolerance for pain and the potentially life-threatening problems that can quickly arise if pain and underlying issues are not treated in a timely manner. Consult with your veterinarian as necessary, discuss the diagnosis, and seek appropriate treatment. When your rabbit needs a veterinarian’s help, alternative modalities can act as a complement to standard veterinary care.
Carefully select the professional who will provide care for your rabbit, reviewing training and qualifications. Consider also the condition of your rabbit as well as the physiology, nature, and needs of these small creatures. Be clear and realistic about your expectations and goals for treatment, which should prioritize your rabbit’s comfort and quality of life.
Individuals interested in researching color and other energy therapies may wish to peruse material written by individuals who work with energy fields on a professional level; there are books on natural healing as well as on specific treatment modalities. The following short list (not inclusive) may also be helpful.
- Aura-Soma® (www.aura-soma.net)
- International Association of Color (www.iac-color.co.uk)
- Color Therapy Healing (www.colortherapyhealing.com)
by Marie Mead with Selke Eichler, PhD
Copyright © 2013 by Marie Mead. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Selke Eichler, PhD, for sharing her expertise in this article. Warm thanks also to Cheryl Abbott, Sandi Ackerman, Heidi Anderson, Dr. Stephanie Crispin, Nancy and Gary McConville, and Karen Witzke for their suggestions. – Marie Mead
Marie Mead has been involved in various capacities with animal rescue, advocacy, and education for over twenty years. She has made a home with special-needs rabbits and other animals, all of them rescues. Author (with collaborator Nancy LaRoche) of Rabbits: Gentle Hearts, Valiant Spirits – Inspirational Stories of Rescue, Triumph, and Joy, Marie has also written rabbit-related stories and articles for other publications. Additional writings have covered topics such as aging and the environment.
Selke Eichler, PhD, is an animal therapist, Reiki practitioner, and interspecies communicator who works with Divine Healing® and angelic energies; she also teaches meditation. A citizen of Germany, she actively participates in animal welfare organizations, focusing on rabbit care, general animal rescue, and the care of larger domestic animals. Dr. Eichler lives with rabbits, and she specializes in treating giant breeds and those with special needs.