First of a two-part series introducing the work of Peter Mandel: Light Therapy Pioneer
The application of light and color as a healing modality is a rapidly developing field with roots in ancient medicine. Color light therapy offers a pain-free, non-invasive therapy with no side effects. Light exhibits a unique capacity to effect psychological and spiritual healing while simultaneously supporting physical health.
The health systems of ancient cultures were based on an understanding that light and colors heal. The Greeks, Romans, Indians, Aztecs and Chinese all recognized the sun as a giver of light and a healing deity. Color as a part of light was known to have the same therapeutic effect as light itself. The Egyptians, for example, designed temples that split the sun’s rays into different colors, allowing patients to bathe in the appropriate color for their particular condition.
Recently, research in biophysics has confirmed the fact that light is a “language” by which our cells communicate with each other. German physicist and biophoton researcher F.A. Popp has shown that cell metabolism and communication between cells would be unthinkable without light. Popp proved that the cells of all living creatures emit biophotons or electromagnetic vibrations. This radiation represents a regulating power field that surrounds the whole organism and influences all our biochemical processes.
In his studies of cell communication, Popp demonstrated that normal living cells emit a steady stream of biophotons and act as carriers of information in living organisms. He observed that a cell will show an increased emission of biophotons whenever its functions are no longer in a state of balance. Any disruption in a cell’s homeostasis can lead to a change in the balanced flow of information (light) in the body. This transformation from harmoniously oscillating light eventually leads to incoherence, i.e. disease. Peter Mandel, a renowned German Naturopath and Acupuncturist, carried Popp’s observations forward and suggested that the resultant cellular changes also eventually affect the electrical receptivity of related zones and acupoints on the surface of the skin.
Given that human cells exhibit energetic properties of light, and that light and color have a modifying effect on the body’s system of energetic information, it seemed obvious to Mandel that the informational properties of light and color could be used to restore coherence, or health.
Light waves enter through skin receptors. These receptors respond to both light and color. According to Popp, biophotons allow a faster means of impulse communication than the transmission of electrical impulses along neural pathways. With biophotons the impulse spreads independently of nerve conduction to the smallest components of the organism through the atomic structure of the cells. In keeping with the principle of resonance, the smallest oscillation will initiate the greatest effect.
Color and light therapy utilizes this effect to address and reverse pathological processes. Colored light can transmit information to the inside of the body via the disturbed zones and help restore malfunctioning systems by virtue of their inherent resonant forces.
In the early ’70s, Peter Mandel began to use acupuncture and meridian channels to introduce light into the body. His decision to use acupuncture points and meridians was influenced by the research being done at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Nowosibirk, Russia.
The Russian physicist Dr. Sergei Pankratov proved that our body has a coordination system that always, and without exception, transmits incoming light from point A to point B. He demonstrated that the coordination ability of light in the human body exists solely along meridians and is only able to enter or exit the body on the known acupuncture points.
At the same time, scientists at the Parisian Necker Institute injected a fluid enriched with radioactive technetium into certain acupuncture points and were able to make visible its distribution within the body using an electric camera. The camera recorded gamma rays radiating from the technetium. The distribution of the fluid followed the exact pathways described as meridians in Chinese medicine.
Colors as pure vibrations represent the various frequencies of visible light. Since acupuncture points are reactive to a variety of stimuli, Mandel theorized that they would also react to stimulation by light. Through extensive experimentation, Mandel determined that certain acupuncture points display a particular relationship to certain colors. Moreover all acupoints corresponded to one of three complimentary pairs of colors: red/green, orange/blue and yellow/violet.
Peter Mandel’s color aculight instrument provides a means of affecting yin-yang balance between complimentary pairs of points. The three complimentary color pairs command the entire spectrum of the cells within which their biophotons as information carriers can transmit these vibrations to the cells.
By the late 1980s, Mandel’s early treatment protocols were established. His concept of medicine is a synthesis of key principles from ancient esoteric doctrines with the thinking of modern scientists. A common theme in many esoteric doctrines is that each human being as a soul comes to life to manifest a unique potential or “life path.” This potential can only be discovered if the individual accesses his inner wisdom or consciousness. Modern scientists, such as David Bohm or the biochemist Rupert Sheldrake, suggest that our physical material reality actually exists against the backdrop of a greater order. Bohm speaks of an all-encompassing background to man’s experience and consciousness called the “implicate order.” Bohm feels the work of each individual is to continually unfold his potential out of the greater implicate order into individual material reality.
In many cases, colors have the same indications on the psychological, as well as the somatic, level. Green, for example, has a detoxifying effect. It stimulates secretion and releases spasm. Psychologically, this color is soothing and relaxing.
For Peter Mandel, spirit and body are inextricably connected. His view is that most physical complaints have a psychosomatic cause. He feels that if we treat the cause, then this will be the end of symptomatic medicine. The difficulty is that the patient himself may not be able to reach the depth of his subconscious to bring the cause of his disease to the surface. Psychotherapeutic treatment sometimes has the disadvantage of lack of objectivity by the therapist and the client.
Light and colors, on the other hand, are pure information — genuine and penetrating. The correct use of color and light can bring deeply buried blockages, however chronic, into an acute state. In this way, they can be treated more effectively. Hence, Mandel calls his therapy “a non-verbal psychotherapy.”