Healing Trauma with Light

Printed in the  Fall 2023 issue of Quest magazine. 
Citation: Spooner, Jess"Healing Trauma with Light" Quest 111:4, pg 26-32

By Jess Spooner 

Jess SpoonerTrauma, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, leaves deep imprints on the human spirit. It can disrupt our sense of self, shatter our belief systems, and leave us feeling disconnected from the world around us. As we navigate the path to healing, we often seek various modalities that can facilitate our recovery and integration into the whole person. One powerful modality that has gained recognition in recent years is light source healing. People are increasingly recognizing the healing power of light and its integration into trauma recovery.

Theosophical teachings have long recognized the importance of light as a fundamental aspect of creation and existence. H.P. Blavatsky speaks of light as a source of spiritual illumination, representing the divine wisdom that permeates the universe. She writes, “Light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life” (Blavatsky, 1:579). This understanding of light as a vital force that carries transformative power forms the basis of light source healing.

Theosophy teaches that light is not only a physical phenomenon but a divine and universal principle that permeates the entire cosmos. It is also an inner force that can facilitate profound transformations such as spiritual awakening, healing, and integration.

The Healing Power of Light

Light source healing encompasses a diverse array of approaches that utilize various forms of light to promote well-being and wholeness on multiple levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. These modalities include phototherapy, color therapy, chromotherapy, light meditation, and energy healing with light, among many others. They all aim to activate the body’s inherent healing capacities, reinstate equilibrium, and aid in the assimilation of fragmented aspects of the self, which often arise following trauma.

As A.E. Powell notes in his book The Etheric Double, a powerful surge of vitalizing force can be used to treat individuals grappling with the repercussions of significant shocks. He emphasizes that inundating such individuals with this life-affirming energy rejuvenates them, infusing them with renewed vitality and vigor. Light is one of the preeminent sources of such a force.

The Historical Use of Light for Healing

In his book The Healing Power of Light, Jacob Liberman states, “Light is the medicine of the future.” Liberman explains that color and light can help balance our energy systems and promote healing. In his book Light: Medicine of the Future, he adds, “Color and light are the language of the universe. By speaking this language, we can bring our bodies and minds back into balance and harmony.”

Psychiatrist K.C. Adair notes that color, light, and imagery have been used to treat physical and psychological disorders throughout history. These modalities have gained popularity in the West as people seek alternative methods to complement Western medicine.

Furthermore, light therapy is gaining popularity among healthcare professionals and patients for treating depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. The American Psychiatric Association recommends the use of light therapy in combination with traditional treatments for mood disorders, as it can enhance the overall effectiveness of treatment.

Theosophy and Light Source Healing

Theosophical teachings provide a philosophical and spiritual framework for light source healing. The understanding of light as a divine force that permeates the universe, and its significance in promoting healing and integration, resonate with Theosophical concepts of spiritual illumination and the interconnectedness of all beings. Light source healing can be seen as a practical application of these principles for trauma recovery and personal integration.

Indeed Theosophy provides unique insights into light source healing. These perspectives can be found in the works of notable Theosophists such as Blavatsky, Powell, C.W. Leadbeater, Alice Bailey, and I.K. Taimni. They delve into the esoteric aspects of light and its transformative potential, offering insights into the relationship between light, healing, and spiritual evolution.

Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine posits that light is the fundamental building block of the universe, asserting that all matter consists of condensed light. Blavatsky also emphasizes the healing and transformative power of light: “The soul is essentially a beam of light.” According to Blavatsky, light serves as the “essence of consciousness” and enables the attainment of higher states of spiritual awareness and healing. She also asserts that “light is the great life-giver and the great magician” and underscores its intimate connection with the human soul.

Leadbeater also delved into the metaphysical properties of light in his writings. He explored the subtle energy structures within the human aura and their interaction with light. His insights shed light on the energetic dynamics involved in healing processes. In his book The Inner Life, he states, “The power of light is the power of healing, the power of transformation, and the power of integration.” He suggests that “the divine light, in proportion as it is made visible to us, has a powerful effect upon the character, and tends to transmute the lower qualities into higher ones.” He adds, “The use of light in healing is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. By focusing on the light, we can bring healing to deep wounds and reconcile the disparate parts of our being.”

Powell’s book The Etheric Double explores the connection between light, the subtle body, and healing: “The Etheric Double is the vehicle for the manifestation of vital force, or prana, and it is by means of the etheric body that light and color affect the physical body and the mind.” Emphasizing the importance of the subtle body in healing, Powell contends that “the aura is composed of all the finer forces of nature, and these forces are responsible for our health and well-being.”

Taimni’s Science of Yoga provides further insights into the relationship between light, consciousness, and the subtle body: “The whole universe, including the physical body, is nothing but a play of light and energy, and it is by realizing this fact that the yogi can control and direct the forces of nature for his own benefit and the benefit of others.”

Healing Modalities: Phototherapy 

Light source healing practices, such as phototherapy, color therapy, light meditation, and energy healing with light, can support emotional healing, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and facilitate spiritual growth and transformation.

Phototherapy is a method of treatment that uses different wavelengths of light to stimulate healing and balance in the body, mind, and spirit. It is “a non-invasive and highly effective treatment modality that uses light to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.”

Phototherapy has been shown to be effective in treating trauma-related disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Phototherapy also serves as a time-tested approach for conditions like depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and sleep disorders.

There are different forms of phototherapy, including full-spectrum light therapy, red light therapy, and blue light therapy. Full-spectrum light therapy involves exposure to natural sunlight or a light source that mimics natural sunlight (sometimes called bright light therapy). Red light therapy, as its name suggests, uses red or near-infrared light to stimulate cellular function and promote tissue repair. Blue light therapy is commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder and other mood disorders.

During a phototherapy session, the individual is exposed to a light source that emits specific wavelengths of light. They penetrate the skin and are absorbed by the body, stimulating the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that promote feelings of well-being and relaxation. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have experienced trauma, as the light can help to regulate the autonomic nervous system and reduce symptoms of anxiety and hyperarousal.

A study by S.W. Porges and D. Dana explored the potential of phototherapy to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” response. Porges and Dana suggest that phototherapy could be used as a noninvasive method for regulating the nervous system and reducing symptoms of trauma-related disorders. In addition to its calming effects, “phototherapy has also been shown to improve sleep quality, which is often disrupted in individuals with trauma-related disorders.” By regulating the body’s circadian rhythms, phototherapy can help to reset the sleep-wake cycle, leading to more restful and restorative sleep. This in turn can improve mood, energy levels, and overall well-being.

With different forms of phototherapy available, individuals can work with their healthcare providers to determine the best approach for their unique needs. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action and long-term benefits of this modality, initial studies suggest that it can be an effective tool for supporting overall health and well-being. 

Color Therapy and Chromotherapy

Color medicine, often neglected or overlooked in the vast landscape of healing approaches, shares a common thread with treatment systems such as ayurveda, acupuncture, and homeopathy. These systems aim to apply vibrations in different ways to restore the body’s health. While many of them induce vibrations indirectly, a few directly employ vibrations upon the body.

One of these is chromotherapy, which utilizes colored lights to balance and harmonize the body’s energy. This therapy is based upon the principle that different colors possess distinct vibrational frequencies capable of activating and harmonizing the body’s energy centers, known as chakras. According to Azeemi and Raza, “colored light affects the body’s physiological and psychological functions in various ways, and chromotherapy is an effective method of treatment for various physical and mental disorders.” By administering colored lights, colored water, or colored crystals, chromotherapy aims to restore balance and facilitate healing in mind, body, and spirit.

Color therapy, on the other hand, is a broader term encompassing the therapeutic use of color in various forms. It goes beyond colored lights and includes the use of colored fabrics, foods, and other materials. Color therapy can be used in countless ways, including light boxes, colored filters, or visualizations.  Practitioners of color therapy believe that each color carries its own energy or vibration that can affect the body and mind in unique ways. Color therapists aim to address imbalances and promote well-being by suggesting the use of specific colors in daily life.

White light is made up of all of the colors of the rainbow. Picture a prism, with the sunlight shining through it, projecting a rainbow of seven visible colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. “Sunlight is a perfect blend of seven colors; different colors are responsible for the release of different kinds of hormones, which keeps us healthy,” write S.T. Azeemi and S.M. Raza in a critical analysis of the scientific evidence for chromotherapy. Color therapy involves the use of these different colors to balance and harmonize the energy centers, or chakras, in the human body. There are seven chakras in the body, according to traditional Indian medicine and spiritual practices such as yoga, Tantra, and ayurveda, and they correspond to the colors of the rainbow.

Both color therapy and chromotherapy offer valuable support for trauma recovery. Colors on the visible spectrum, present in white light, are utilized in color therapy to balance and harmonize the body’s energy centers, aligned with the seven chakras. Different aspects of our being are associated with each color, which can affect our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. For example, blue light is known for its calming properties, aiding in emotional healing and relaxation. Red light is grounding and associated with vitality, while green light supports emotional balance. Yellow light provides an energizing effect, addressing posttrauma symptoms such as depression and low energy levels.

By exposing oneself to specific colors, one can stimulate the corresponding energy centers, integrating different parts of the self and supporting the healing process. In trauma recovery, chromotherapy can provide a gentle and nonintrusive method of self-care. Incorporating the healing power of color, individuals can engage in a holistic approach to healing that addresses not only the physical and emotional aspects of trauma but spiritual dimensions as well.

Chromotherapy helps with trauma because of the way that light affects the nervous system. When a traumatic experience occurs, the body’s natural response is to activate the fight-or-flight response, which can create a dysregulated nervous system. Chromotherapy, in combination with other therapies, can help regulate the nervous system, promoting relaxation and allowing the body to restore balance. Colors can also be used to help individuals access and process emotions related to trauma. By using specific colors, individuals can tap into their emotional experiences and work towards integrating them in a healthy and productive way. The mind-body connection, which plays a crucial role in the healing process, is evident in color medicine; it underscores the significance of including holistic therapies in trauma integration work.           

Light Meditation

Another modality is light meditation, which uses focused light visualization techniques to access higher states of consciousness and promote healing. Light has long been associated with spiritual evolution and enlightenment, and many spiritual traditions use the symbolism of light to represent divine consciousness. In meditation and mindfulness practices, practitioners often visualize or focus on inner light as a means of connecting with their higher selves or spiritual dimensions. Meditation is a powerful tool for calming the mind, accessing deeper states of consciousness, and connecting with our inner wisdom. When combined with light, it can create a profound healing experience.

During light meditation, individuals can visualize or imagine themselves surrounded by healing white light or visualize light flowing through their bodies, cleansing and revitalizing their energy field. They can also visualize different colors of light, imagine themselves bathed in healing light, or connect with inner sources of light. These practices can help them access their own inner wisdom, guidance, and intuition and integrate trauma.

As Taimni explains in The Science of Yoga, the light experienced during meditation is not the physical light perceived by the eyes but a higher light perceived by the subtle body. This higher light represents a profound level of perception that goes beyond the physical realm and allows individuals to tap into the transformative power of their own consciousness.

Light meditation can also promote relaxation, stress reduction, connection to self, and a sense of inner peace, which are essential for trauma recovery and holistic well-being. Taimni’s Science of Yoga discusses the use of light in meditation and spiritual practice, stating that “the inner light is the true source of spiritual illumination” and that “by concentrating on this inner light, the mind becomes still and the true nature of the self is revealed.” Taimni adds, “By meditating on the light within, one can overcome negative mental states and achieve a sense of inner peace.” By meditating on the light within, individuals can overcome negative mental states, achieve a sense of inner peace, and connect with their true selves.

“Light and color can be used as powerful tools in the healing of trauma and integration of the whole person. By bringing awareness to the present moment and allowing the body to feel the sensations of light and color, individuals can access their own innate healing abilities,” writes K.C. Adair in an article on chromotherapy for the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. This concept aligns with the essence of meditation, which revolves around being fully present. Light and color, when incorporated into meditation practices, provide individuals with an avenue to connect with their inherent healing capacities.

As researcher Lynne McTaggart asserts, “Intentional healing, or the use of focused thoughts and intentions, can be a powerful tool for healing. By using the power of the mind, individuals can access their own innate healing abilities.” In this context, light meditation serves as a catalyst for accessing and processing emotions, releasing energetic blockages, and cultivating a profound sense of wholeness and integration.

Energy Healing with Light

Energy healing with light is a powerful modality that harnesses the power of light to restore balance and clarity in the subtle energy field surrounding the body.

Practitioners of energy healing may employ various techniques, such as using their hands to direct light energy, or utilizing tools like crystals and wands that emit light. The primary objective of this modality is to cleanse and harmonize the energy field, alleviate energetic blockages arising from trauma, and facilitate the unobstructed flow of healing energy throughout the body.

In her book Glamour, Alice Bailey supports this notion: “In the process of healing, the etheric body must be built up, cleansed, and strengthened, and it is in this work that the use of light is particularly effective.” The vibrational frequency carried by light is believed to be capable of harmonizing the body’s energy field and reestablishing equilibrium. The fundamental aim of energy healing with light is to facilitate the unimpeded flow of vital life force energy throughout the body, which is essential for healing and overall well-being.

Bailey further highlights the transformative nature of light: “The light of the soul dissipates glamour, bringing about freedom and release, and the healer who works with the soul is a dispenser of light.”

Promoting Physical Integration

Physical sensations and symptoms are common experiences associated with trauma. Light source healing modalities can provide physical support by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing the body’s natural healing mechanisms. When the body is in a relaxed state, it is better able to repair and regenerate cells, balance hormones, and support the immune system, which can all aid in physical healing.

Energy healing with light can help release tension and blockages in the muscles, joints, and organs, promoting physical relaxation and alleviating physical discomfort. Light meditation can also aid in physical healing by promoting deep relaxation and reducing muscle tension and pain.

Color therapy can support physical healing by using specific colors to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. For instance, blue is associated with the throat chakra, which is connected to communication and self-expression. By visualizing and meditating on the color blue, individuals can promote healing in the throat chakra and support the physical healing of any throat-related issues, such as difficulty speaking or swallowing.

Emotional Integration

Emotional healing is a crucial aspect of trauma recovery, and light source healing modalities can provide powerful support in this area. Trauma often leaves emotional imprints in the subtle energy field, which can result in distress, mood swings, and emotional numbness. Light source healing modalities can help individuals release and process these imprints, promoting emotional healing and integration.

 Color therapy, for example, can be used to balance and harmonize the chakras, which are closely connected to emotions. By working with specific colors associated with each chakra, individuals can activate and balance their emotional energy, helping them release emotional blockages. For instance, orange is associated with the sacral chakra, which is connected to emotions such as pleasure, joy, and creativity. By visualizing and meditating on the color orange, individuals can promote healing in their sacral chakra and release emotional blockages there.

Light meditation is another powerful tool for emotional healing and integration. By using visualization techniques that involve light, individuals can connect with their emotions, process them, and release any emotional blockages. For example, they can imagine themselves surrounded by a comforting and nurturing light, which allows them to feel safe and supported as they explore their emotions related to the trauma. This practice can help individuals develop emotional resilience and integrate their emotions into their overall well-being.

Mental Integration

Trauma often affects mental health, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and cognitive difficulties. Light source healing modalities can provide mental support by calming the mind, reducing stress, and enhancing mental clarity.

Light meditation, for example, can help individuals quiet the mind and bring clarity to their thoughts and emotions. By focusing on light, individuals can cultivate a sense of inner peace and tranquility, which can help reduce anxiety and promote mental clarity. This can be particularly beneficial for those who may be struggling with racing thoughts or cognitive challenges.

Energy healing with light can support mental integration by balancing and clearing the subtle energy field around the body. A balanced energy field can have a positive impact on mental well-being, reducing stress, improving focus and concentration, and enhancing cognitive function. 

Spiritual Integration and Transformation

Spiritual connection is an important aspect of trauma recovery for many. Light source healing can provide support in this area by facilitating spiritual connection, deepening personal meaning, and fostering a sense of awe, wonder, and reverence for the beauty and interconnectedness of all creation, which can support their spiritual connection and sense of wholeness.

Spiritual integration is also a significant part of trauma recovery. Trauma can often disrupt one’s sense of connection to oneself, others, and the world, and light source healing modalities can help one reconnect with one’s spiritual essence and find meaning in the midst of difficult experiences.

Light meditation can be a powerful tool for spiritual integration. By using visualization techniques that involve light, individuals can connect with their inner wisdom, intuition, and higher self. They can imagine themselves surrounded by a divine light that guides and supports them on their spiritual path, helping them tap into their inner resources and find purpose and meaning in their lives. Light meditation can also facilitate a sense of oneness and interconnectedness with all beings and the universe, which can be deeply healing and nourishing for the soul.

Energy healing with light can support spiritual integration by clearing and balancing the energy centers or chakras. The chakras are believed to be responsible for the flow of spiritual energy within the body, and trauma can disrupt this flow, leading to spiritual disconnection. By working with specific colors and light frequencies associated with each chakra, individuals can activate and balance their spiritual energy, promoting alignment and connection to their higher self.

Color therapy can also support spiritual integration by using specific colors to evoke spiritual qualities and attributes. For example, violet is associated with the crown chakra, which is connected to higher consciousness, spiritual connection, and universal wisdom. By visualizing and meditating on the color violet, individuals can promote healing in their crown chakra and deepen their spiritual connection, helping them gain insights and guidance on their spiritual journey.

Stress Reduction

Light source healing can promote relaxation and reduce stress, which are essential for trauma recovery. Trauma can create chronic stress in the body and mind, leading to a variety of physical and emotional health issues. Light source healing practices can help activate the body’s relaxation response, reduce stress hormones, and promote a state of calm and relaxation, thus supporting the body’s natural healing processes. 

Emotional Release 

Light source healing modalities have been found to be effective in promoting emotional release and healing. They can be used to create a safe and nurturing space for individuals to process and release emotional pain, grief, and other unresolved emotions. These methods can enable individuals to tap into the healing power of their emotions and allow them to flow freely.

During meditation, individuals can visualize themselves surrounded by a warm and comforting light, inviting any suppressed emotions to surface. This can help release pent-up emotions, allowing individuals to process and heal from emotional wounds. The gentle and nurturing nature of light source healing can create a sense of safety and trust, enabling them to delve into their emotions without fear or judgment.

These methods can also assist in emotional healing by clearing stagnant energy and promoting the flow of positive, healing energy throughout the body. Trauma often leaves energetic imprints that contribute to emotional distress. Light source healing can help release and transform these stagnant energies, promoting emotional relief, renewal, and healing.

Moreover, light source healing modalities can support people in developing emotional resilience and coping strategies. By regularly engaging in light meditation or energy healing practices, they can cultivate a greater awareness and understanding of their emotions. This awareness empowers them to respond to their emotions in healthier and more adaptive ways.

Self-Compassion, Self-Love, and Forgiveness

According to research, light source healing modalities can help heal emotional wounds by promoting self-compassion, self-love, and forgiveness. Light and color can be used to cultivate positive emotions such as love, compassion, and gratitude, which can counteract negative emotions such as fear, anger, and shame.

Through light source healing, individuals can cultivate a deeper sense of connection with themselves and others, fostering a sense of unity and oneness. The use of specific colors, such as pink or green, is associated with promoting love, compassion, and heart-centeredness. 

Self-Discovery and Empowerment

Integrating light source healing into trauma recovery can facilitate self-discovery and empowerment, providing a unique opportunity for individuals to connect with their inner selves, explore their strengths and values, and rediscover their sense of identity.

Through light meditation, individuals can access their inner wisdom and intuition, gaining valuable insights into their own healing journey. This self-reflection and introspection can reveal hidden strengths, passions, and purpose, empowering people to reclaim their lives and move forward with renewed purpose and direction.

Energy healing with light can further help individuals reclaim their power and autonomy. By working with specific colors and light frequencies, people can activate and balance their energy centers, restoring a sense of personal empowerment and resilience. This can be particularly beneficial for trauma survivors who may have experienced a loss of control or power over their lives.

Additionally, light source healing modalities can foster a sense of connection to something greater than oneself. They can help individuals tap into their spiritual essence and connect with a higher power, universal energy, or a sense of collective consciousness. This spiritual connection can provide comfort, guidance, and a broader perspective on the healing journey, enhancing overall well-being and empowerment.

Connection with Strength and Wisdom

By engaging in light source healing practices, individuals can cultivate a deeper connection with their inner light and wisdom. This connection becomes a source of guidance and strength throughout the healing journey. Recognizing the divine nature of light and its role in healing helps people approach trauma recovery from a spiritual perspective, integrating their experiences into a larger framework of personal growth and evolution.

Light source healing can facilitate profound spiritual growth and transformation. By understanding the inherent connection between light and consciousness, individuals can harness the power of light to reconnect with their inner selves, find meaning in their trauma recovery journey, and experience a deeper sense of purpose and connection with the divine.

Benefits of Light Source Healing

Light source healing can empower individuals to take an active role in their own healing process and facilitate their journey toward wholeness and integration.

Nonetheless, light source healing is not a replacement for conventional medical or psychological treatments for trauma. It should be used as a complementary modality in conjunction with professional medical and psychological care. Used in this way, light source healing can be integrated into an overall trauma recovery plan.

Through practices such as visualizing inner light, energy attunements, light meditation, color therapy, and engaging in light rituals and ceremonies, individuals can cultivate a sacred space for healing and transformation. By incorporating these practices into their lives, they embark on a transformative path, where the light becomes a guiding force, illuminating their spiritual journey and helping them transcend limitations, embrace their true essence, and awaken to the higher realms of existence. As they reconnect with their inner light, they unlock the potential for growth and transformation, allowing them to find solace, meaning, and connection in their trauma recovery journey. By embracing the power of light, people can navigate the depths of their being. In doing so, they can emerge with renewed vitality, purpose, and a deeper understanding of their spiritual path.


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Jess Spooner, JD, MSW, LSW, is the Founder of IntegralPTSD and a highly regarded trauma healing and grief and loss coach as well as a dedicated part-time therapist. With expertise as a licensed social worker, professor of social work at Rutgers University, and a respected writer and business consultant, Jess brings a wealth of knowledge and transformative insights to guide others on a path of healing, growth, and empowerment.