Add as bookmark

Life Light - Light and Colour for Health and Healing

by Dr Penny Stanway

listed in light and colour

[Image: Life Light - Light and Colour for Health and Healing]

How to successfully approach the massive subject matters of light and colour together in one volume is a very tall order for any author. The book is divided into three main sections:

Part One Light in your life, covering the subject matter of light, (whether natural or artificial) in our lives;

Part Two Light and Colour Therapies covers thirty three types of light and colour therapies currently known to be in existence;

Part Three Light-Responsive Conditions; this section gives practical advice and tips on a range of medical or psychological conditions, ranging from skin to convalescence, which can be improved using light and /or colour.

Dr Penny Stanway has attempted to cover a very large subject area in one volume. In Part One the eight chapters move from the very scientific material such as 'How we receive light through our eyes and skin' with an electron micrograph of the human retina, to a short 22 word paragraph on page 15 on Ghosts!

"No one knows whether seeing ghosts involves perceiving a light from a paranormal phenomenon or seeing an image created by the unconscious mind."

I found the mix of 'scientific versus the mystical' information on several pages to be baffling. Trying to mix traditional scientific knowledge and information with subject matter such as 'Near Death Experience' is tricky at the best of times! The book bounces backwards and forwards from one extreme to the other, i.e. much technical and medical input followed by loose, unquantifiable statements about NDE on page 15, such as:

\ind\"Whether this is a premature view of the afterlife or a phenomenon created by oxygen-starved brain cells is unknown."

One would have hoped that the author here would have given more information on research currently being conducted in this field or more positive input. The subject of NDE is touched upon lightly and is left 'wide open', with the reader having many questions unanswered.

The second chapter 'Light unwrapped' covers traditional subject material such as sunlight, rainbows and sunsets. There are a couple of chapters here where the content could have been taken from any book on Colour Therapy, such as 'Using colour in your home'. The interior design photos showing how colour affects our living spaces, to the topic of 'Choosing colours to flatter your skin'. Again, I feel as though the subject material is being too widely spread, to cover every aspect of light and colour. Perhaps I was expecting to receive a more 'holistic' health title from Dr Stanway, rather than reading a suggestion about trying on a headscarf to see if my skin tone has any yellow in it – to help me choose my makeup colours more easily!

Chapter 5, which covers UV, rays and the importance of Vitamin D is extremely well written. Informative and interestingly presented, it adds a depth of knowledge to the book. The Chapter entitled 'How light and darkness affect what matters most' is also constructive about the subject matter. This chapter covers the effects of day and night on the body and the production of serotonin and melatonin. However, the next chapter entitled 'Lighten your darkness' moves into the subject of religion and the spiritual significance of light and colour. Perhaps a separation of the scientific and spiritual aspects of the book would have allowed the different styles of information and material in a more coherent format. I say this because in the Second Part, where the 33 Holistic Therapies are described, there are many instances of 'there is no evidence for specific healing effects' – (Coloured Light), 'There is no proof that colour acupuncture works but it could be worth trying' and 'The evidence that such therapies work is hugely anecdotal' – Crystal healing.

The final part of the book is set out in a more traditional health book format covering medical conditions related to the Skin, Eyes, Lungs and breathing, Blood, blood vessels and the heart, Digestive system, all the major body systems and Immunity and general Wellbeing. I found this to be the most constructive area of the book. My only criticism here is the over-use of the same photo images throughout the design. The two male office workers first seen on page 77 have appeared in the book no less than six times, obviously highlighting the effects of SAD syndrome, depression, Alzheimer's disease, migraine, dyslexia and multiple sclerosis. The repetition of the photographic material appeared to show a lack of understanding of the need to present the subject of colour (throughout the book) in an interesting way. The photographs used in the book are not different enough to give Dr Stanway's work the platform it requires for such a massive subject area. I also found the typeface rather small throughout, and I have excellent eyesight!


This is an ideal book for a person who wishes to expand their understanding of how light and colour interact in day-to-day life. However, there are areas where the subject matter has perhaps been too condensed in some areas, or treated very lightly, with no real answers. It is difficult to provide a book where pure scientific knowledge is expected to equally share a platform with complementary therapies where there has not been the funding for medical research into these areas to be carried out! I hope that the readers of this book will feel encouraged enough to explore the colour and light therapies contained within this book.

This book can be ordered from the Positive Health bookstore. Please click the Bookshop image at the top of the column to your right, then click on Colour Therapy

Alison Bourne
Kyle Cathie Ltd

top of the page