CREATIVE SENSES – C.A.N Therapy Sessions

CREATION HIGH is proud to present Canada’s first C.A.N. (Colour~Art~Nature) Therapy program for seniors. This program creatively combines these three key elements, all of which have been proven to enhance our overall heath and quality of life.

Research shows that contact with nature has significant therapeutic and transformative effects, but often it’s simply not possible for the elderly to spend as much time as they would like outdoors communing with nature.

In addition to lessening depression and improving our overall mood, one of the most valuable aspects of time spent in nature is that it’s arguably the purest form of colour therapy.

Colour Therapy has been used for thousands of years to enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being. CREATION HIGH’s C.A.N. Therapy classes help people re-engage with the restorative powers of colour and nature.

The class is led by Colour Therapist and Photo-Artist Karen Zila Hayes. In the first part of the class, colour-nature slide shows are shown, followed by a discussion group in which participants are encouraged to share what the colours and photo-art have evoked, as well as past memories about their experiences with nature, i.e. gardening, camping, nature walks, etc.

Each week a specific colour is highlighted, along with an explanation of that colour’s health values. In addition, the colour of the week is examined from an art history perspective, as we discuss examples of prominent works in which it is featured. Studies have also shown that art appreciation enhances our quality of life by stimulating dopamine production in the brain and promoting positive emotions.

C.A.N. sessions provide social and intellectual stimulation while re-vitalizing participants through colour, art and nature.

Click below for more on how Colour Therapy works.


“Modern science validates light and color therapies in promoting full-spectrum health” by Carolanne Wright

 (Colour Therapy) has been used since 2000 BC (in) ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and India…The ancient practices of phototherapy and chromotherapy are gaining momentum as valid science. Researchers are now able to study how light and color not only affect psychological behavior, but also physiological systems of the body…

As reported in The New York Times, light and color both powerfully affect the body and mind. Take the color pink. When violent juveniles under detention in San Bernardino County, California are placed in a cell painted bubble gum pink, they relax, stop banging and yelling, and often times fall asleep within 10 minutes. It is estimated that 1,500 hospitals and correctional facilities throughout America have also implemented the shade bubble gum pink in at least one room.

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology nutritionist Richard J. Wurtman, research has shown that individual colors
influence respiration rates, blood pressure, along with biorhythms and brain activity. Due to these findings, color is used as a treatment for a wide-range of illness and disease.


“A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution” by Samina T. Yousuf Azeemi* and S. Mohsin Raza

Chromotherapy is a method of treatment that uses the visible spectrum (colors) of electromagnetic radiation to cure diseases. It is a centuries-old concept used successfully over the years to cure various diseases…

Every creature is engulfed in light that affects its health conditions. The human body, according to the doctrine of chromotherapy, is basically composed of colors. The body comes into existence from colors, the body is stimulated by colors and colors are responsible for the correct working of various systems that function in the body. All organs and limbs of the body have their own distinct color. All organs, cells and atoms exist as energy, and each form has its frequency or vibrational energy. Each of our organs and energy centers vibrates and harmonizes with the frequencies of these colors. When various parts of the body deviate from these expected normal vibrations, one can assume that the body is either diseased or at least not functioning properly…in every organ there is an energetic level at which the organ functions best. Any departure from that vibratory rate results in pathology, whereas restoring the appropriate energy levels to the physical organs results in a healed body.

Chromotherapy is a narrow band in the cosmic electromagnetic energy spectrum, known to humankind as the visible color spectrum. It is composed of reds, greens, blues and their combined derivatives, producing the perceivable colors that fall between the ultraviolet and the infrared ranges of energy or vibrations. These visual colors with their unique wavelength and oscillations…provide the necessary healing energy required by the body. Light affects both the physical and etheric bodies. Colors generate electrical impulses and magnetic currents or fields of energy that are prime activators of the biochemical and hormonal processes in the human body, the stimulants or sedatives necessary to balance the entire system and its organs


“Research Review on Color Light Therapy”By Darren Starwynn, OMD, Lac

There has been a huge amount of recent research into the healing effects of light on our bodies. What once seemed like the practice of fringe healers is now firmly moving into mainstream medicine. Various forms of light therapies have been around since ancient times. There are accounts of healing temples from ancient Egypt and Greece.

Modern light medicine got its biggest boost from the pioneering work of an Indian physician named Dinshah Ghadiali. Ghadiali did a great deal of research into the use of color light for healing after moving to New York in 1911. He trained over 800 professionals between 1920 and 1924.

Light therapy has now come of age, redeeming Ghadiali’s vision. Here are a few examples of recent research findings:
Cancers:… Eyesight:… Bone-marrow transplants:… Depression:…Fungal infections:…Repairing genes:…Wound healing:


Color has a powerful effect on behavior, researchers assert” By Lindsey Gruson

When children under detention at the San Bernardino County Probation Department in California become violent, they are put in an 8-foot by 4-foot cell with one distinctive feature – it is bubble gum pink. The children tend to relax, stop yelling and banging and often fall asleep within 10 minutes, said Paul E. Boccumini, director of clinical services for the department.

This approach to calming manic and psychotic juveniles contrasts sharply with the use of brute force favored as little as three years ago. ”We used to have to literally sit on them,” said Mr. Boccumini, a clinical psychologist. ”Now we put them in the pink room. It works.”

Many scientists have become convinced that light has a far greater impact on health and behavior than previously thought. (Chromotherapy is now called photobiology or color therapy….”It seems clear that light is the most important environmental input, after food, in controlling bodily function,” reported Richard J. Wurtman, a nutritionist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Several experiments have shown that different colors affect blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates as well as brain activity and biorhythms. As a result, colors are now used in the treatment of a variety of diseases.

Within the past decade, for instance, baths of blue light have replaced blood transfusions as the standard treatment for about 30,000 premature babies born each year with potentially fatal neonatal jaundice.

Meanwhile, in England, London’s Blackfriars bridge was repainted blue in an attempt to reduce the number of people who commit suicide by jumping from it. The Soviet Union, one of the leaders in photobiology, showers coal miners with ultraviolet, which they believe prevents black lung disease, and supplements the fluorescent lights of schoolrooms with ultraviolet lamps.


“Study on Color Art Therapy Techniques” by Ikeda, Chitose

At this facility, there were existing restrictions concerning painting materials and treatment areas, and although art therapy using a large number of colors was not currently being performed, colors are often tied to memory and can be used for psychoanalysis for this reason, so the decision was made to implement art therapy techniques focused on the use of colors. Dee, Taylor, et al. (2006, pp.6-10) described how colors each have individual meanings, and can have an effect on behavior and state of mind, operating on both conscious and subconscious thought. Also, Suenaga (2001, pp.110-115) introduced color therapy techniques for the elderly which was shown to have effects such as improvement of patients’ stimulation, expressive power, concentration, and memory, as well as contributing to a recovery of self-awareness.


Tips on using colour therapy for the elderly By Joan Timpson

Colour therapy, otherwise known as chromotherapy, is the use of colour energy to evoke positive changes to our wellbeing. Colour sends a particular message to your subconscious and affects your whole being…As we age, we tend to look at life differently and we literally see it differently as well. The lenses of our eyes begin to yellow, causing a reduction of clarity. Pale tones become more difficult for the aging eye to distinguish objects; hence a higher contrast or brighter colours may help us to better discern various items around us. 

This is why it is important to surround your loved one with colours that are intense and warm. Avoid exposing your loved one to pale surroundings with little contrast as they may find themselves feeling depressed by the drabness of colours they see.  
Certain colours can evoke certain types of feelings…each colour has its own healing properties and emotional attachments. 


“A therapeutic environment for dementia care” By Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust


Are people with dementia disabled by their condition or by their environment? This intriguing question was raised by Stuart Bertram, an occupational therapist (OT) at the Woodlands Unit, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup.

 “People with dementia need more light to help with clarity of vision and have a diminishing ability to differentiate between colours and difficulty seeing in three dimensions. For example, if floors, skirting boards and walls do not contrast, a person with dementia may not be able to perceive where the floor ends and the wall begins. This can be incredibly disorientating,cause undue stress and anxiety, worsen symptoms of dementia and increase risk of falls. So, when designing the new colour scheme for Camden Ward, we concentrated on providing contrast so that each object could be clearly perceived. Bathrooms with white walls, sinks and toilets are a particular problem so we used strongly contrasting colours for toilet seats and handrails. As well as minimising risk, this encourages people to use the bathroom by themselves, thus promoting independence.”


“What is Colour Therapy?” by BHIA.ord

Colour therapy is a non-intrusive form of vibrational healing which introduces the optimum balance of colour energies into the human organism in order to promote harmony between the body, mind and spirit.

Light is the purest healing force in the universe. Pure white sunlight contains all the elements necessary to keep every living thing in perfect health. Just as we need a balanced diet if we are to be healthy, so too do we need a balance of all the colour vibrations in sunlight to nourish us energetically. When there is too much of one colour energy in our system it literally makes us feel ‘off colour’, and we need to redress the balance.

Colour has a profound affect on our moods and emotions, and we find some colours depressing and others uplifting. The way we deal with stress and our feelings are directly affected by our hormones as well as the brain chemicals circulating in our body. Coloured light travels to the pituitary, the master gland of the endocrine system, affecting our entire metabolism. Our mental state is also directly related to the quality of the light we receive through our eyes. Certain colours calm our minds, while other stimulate mental activity. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is now well documented and light treatments are used successfully in alleviating many systems such as depression, nausea, mood swings, lethargy and general exhaustion.

Colour therapy …is one of the fastest growing areas of natural health with an explosion of scientific development in the use of light to heal. This therapy is now use extensively in Asia Europe and America as a complementary treatment of many physical ailments including: asthma, arthritis, nervous and mental disorders, depression, eating disorders, skin diseases, digestive ailments, blood and circulation problems, fevers, rheumatism, shock, relief of pain as part of the treatment for many serious illnesses such as paralysis, multiple sclerosis, M.E., cancer and Aids.




“Do You Need a Nature Prescription?” by Carol Sorgen

The benefits of nature for both body and soul are finding their way to the prescription pad as more health care providers are telling their patients to take a hike — literally.

Many health care researchers and practitioners say that ecotherapy (also known as green therapy, nature therapy, and earth-centered therapy) — a term coined by pastoral counselor Howard Clinebell in his 1996 book of the same name — can have regenerative powers, improving mood and easing anxiety, stress, and depression.

But that’s not all. Health care providers are also giving their patients “nature prescriptions” to help treat a variety of medical conditions, from post-cancer fatigue to obesityhigh blood pressure, and diabetes….

In a 2010 Japanese study of shinrin-yoku (defined as “taking in the forest atmosphere, or forest bathing”), for example, researchers found that elements of the environment, such as the odor of wood, the sound of running stream water, and the scenery of the forest can provide relaxation and reduce stress; those taking part in the study experienced lower levels of cortisol, a lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure.


“Therapeutic Photography” by Pamela Hale

Have you heard of therapeutic photography? This is a brief explanation of how photography is used for insight, healing and transformation, and how it might come to touch your life …photography—an activity to which almost everyone has access—can help us learn, grow, heal and enjoy life… photography can benefit all of us…When we look at a photograph, we can pay attention to what we see, think, and feel, and ask ourselves why. Often we will see things more deeply in a photograph than we do when we encounter these same things in daily life.


“Scientrific Evidence” by Elaine Poggi

Scientific evidence is clear and convincing. Viewing nature scenes plays a key role in creating a healing environment which can improve patient outcome.  Research suggests that nature art can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, reduce need for pain medication, increase patients’ trust and confidence, be a positive distraction for patients, visitors, and staff.

“Beyond traditional treatment… establishing art as therapy,” was conducted in collaboration with the Italian Oncology Group of Clinical Research (GOIRC), coordinated by Prof. Francesco Di Costanzo, director of the Oncology Department of Careggi Hospital in Florence, Italy. Three cancer centers in Italy – Ancona, Perugia, and Messina – participated in the research.  345 patients from these centers were tested on their perception of the hospital environment before and after the display of Elaine’s nature photos in the treatment rooms of their Cancer Centers. .. Results show that the great majority of patients prefer art on the walls of hospitals, instead of white, sterile walls.  The art preferred, in order of preference: Nature landscapes (most popular), animals, scenes of everyday life, portraits, urban landscapes, abstract (least popular).


Art does heal:  Scientists say appreciating creative works can fight off disease.” by The Telegraph,

Researchers from California University in Berkeley say studies show great nature and art boost the immune system.


Seeing such spine-tingling wonders as the Grand Canyon and Sistine Chapel or listening to Schubert’s Ave Maria can fight off disease, say scientists.

Great nature and art boost the immune system by lowering levels of chemicals that cause inflammation that can trigger diabetes, heart attacks and other illnesses…

Psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner, of California University in Berkeley, said: “That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests the things we do to experience these emotions – a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.”

Cytokines are chemicals necessary for herding cells to the body’s battlegrounds to fight infection, disease and trauma but too many are linked with disorders like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s.


“Art that heals & reduces stress”  by Koral Martin


… fine art nature photography has the wonderful ability to help calm the stress of patients, staff and clients; heal patients faster and helps them require less medicine…

It’s becoming common knowledge that images of nature (often enlarged fine-art color photographs of nature’s works of art appropriately mounted and hung) in health care facilities are an essential element in the well being of patients and contribute positively to the mental state of both the staff and visitors. The next logical step in this progression is the realization that images of nature can contribute to the mental and physical well being of the general population. If a beautiful image of one of nature’s works of art helps a patient in the hospital by lowering stress levels and blood pressure and speeding the healing process, doesn’t it stand to reason that such images can have positive effects on our lives in environments other than just hospitals and clinics? What about corporate offices, government facilities, schools, retirement communities, rest homes, and of course our own, personal homes? These are all places where the therapeutic effect of beautiful nature photographs would be welcome. It’s exciting to think that fine-art nature photographs can have such a positive affect on our emotional and physical well being that they could help to make everyone’s daily life less stressful and their trips to the doctor less frequent.


“New health initiative takes nature into hospitals”  by Centenial Parklands
The potent power of nature has been understood for many millennia….Contact with nature, and working with the ebbs and flows of the seasons, has been part of human culture since early days. However, with the dawning of the industrial age and the growth of urbanisation in developed nations, there has been a gradual disconnect between humans and nature.

In 2007, for the first time, urban population exceeded rural population globally…Today, for many, to visit nature is an effort. Many children born today live in high-rise apartments or high-density suburbs with no backyards, no leafy parks to visit nearby, and competition for their attention is intense….

Nature, is one of the greatest allies we have to good health – physically and mentally. In recent decades there has been an increasing research focus on identifying and quantifying the health impacts of contact with nature.

Evidence has come from fields as diverse as ecology, biology, environmental psychology and psychiatry, and showed that access to nature plays a vital role in human health, wellbeing and development.

This research indicates that humans are, among other things, dependent on nature for psychological, emotional and spiritual needs that are difficult to satisfy by any other means.

While visiting nature is the most effective, there is now substantial empirical and theoretical evidence for the positive effects that simply viewing natural scenes can have on human health. The healing effects of a natural view (such as those provided by parks) are increasingly being understood in stressful environments such as hospitals, nursing homes and places of confinement.