by Steven M. Rachlin, M.D. & Harvey Rachlin
In this second of a six-part series based on our new book Color War, we continue to tell the dramatic story of Dinshah P. Ghadiali and his light-healing science called Spectro-Chrome, which he introduced in 1920.
Dinshah’s lecture audiences on the science of colored-light healing were filled with skeptics, but as he discussed his own trials and errors with the science—and his ultimate successes—many began to open their minds to the idea that there could be validity behind the science. Some physicians in the audience purchased his light projectors and subsequently reported excellent results with their patients, but other physicians and laypersons requested formal, extended courses to be held. At the conclusion of one such course, a reserved woman introduced herself. She was Dr. Kate Baldwin, the senior surgeon at Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Thinking there might be something to Dinshah’s light-healing science, Dr. Baldwin installed one of his machines in Woman’s Hospital. Soon after, an eight-year-old girl named Grace Shirlow was rushed into the hospital with severe burns over four-fifths of her torso. Her skin was so severely destroyed after her clothes caught fire that her muscular tissue was exposed. The day after young Grace was brought into the hospital, Dr. Baldwin returned from a business trip. An attending physician who served in World War I told her “We don’t try to treat one of those. We give them a big dose of morphine and push them off to the side.”
In an act of desperation Dr. Baldwin resorted to using Spectro-Chrome on the incapacitated girl. Using color wave slides, she irradiated the prescribed colors over the dressed wounds to relieve pain and used scarlet over the kidneys to stimulate urine output since Grace had complete suppression of urine. Very soon, the girl began to void urine. Other colors were applied to promote the separation of necrotic tissue so new epithelium could grow. Within a short time, the girl who attending physicians thought would soon die, was jumping on her bed. She was becoming healthy again!
An open-minded physician, Dr. Baldwin had previously been using Spectro-Chrome on simple cases. But now, with indications that Spectro-Chrome might be a valid medical science, she installed additional light projectors in the hospital to be more active in using Spectro-Chrome in treating sick people. She requested a meeting with the hospital’s board to discuss Dinshah’s healing science based on color and light and afterward it was reported in the board’s minutes: “The Spectro-Chrome is used in no other hospital and great credit should be given to Dr. Baldwin for developing its use here.”
Other physicians who also used Spectro-Chrome began reporting excellent results with the science and it looked like it might start gaining recognition in the established medical community. But then an article appeared in the January 26, 1924 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association ridiculing Spectro-Chrome and Dr. Baldwin, leading to repercussions that no one could have foreseen.