Specific colors were used to restore health among ancient cultures in Egypt, Greece, China and India. During those civilizations, the windows of healing rooms were covered with cloth dyed red, blue, etc. to capture the healing qualities of color. Later, in the fourteenth century, a priest and physician in England, John of Gaddesden, wrote a treatise on the use of red color to treat smallpox. The patient was wrapped in red cloth and red window drapes were used to diffuse the light.3,4

Skip ahead to nineteenth century Denmark and the work of Dr. Niels Ryberg Finsen. In 1892, he reported the successful use of red light to prevent scar formation from smallpox. He was honored with a Nobel Prize in 1903 for his pioneering work with light therapy. This time he had successfully healed tubercular skin lesions with ultraviolet light.5