Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Can You Smell That Smell?

The day we went over the powerpoint "What's That Smell? Subliminal Self-Help", I could not help but laugh throughout the lecture. Aromatherapy has taken the simple pleasure of smelling certain scents and has made it into another money making business. I did my research and found several websites that are dedicated to selling essentail oils, incencse, massage oils, and even accessories and jewelry. Did you know that you could buy a piece of jewelry that comes with "inner peace oil"? There are even directions on how to use this product. Apparently, you are supposed to pour the oil into the locket and say the following affirmation, “As I breathe in Inner Peace, I am reminded to live with love and forgiveness towards myself and to others.” Wow! For only 20 bucks, I may have to consider investing in such a product. If you would like to take a look, here is the website where I found this amazing discovery... http://www.puritan.com/accessories-and-jewelry-682/celtic-cross-locket-scent-chamber-jewelry-with-inner-peace-oil-031345?NewPage=1
Aromatherapy often uses the term "essential oils". But are these oils really that essential? According to our lecture, benefits of aromatherapy include stress, depression, insomnia, and so on. These findings may be due to the confusion of correlation and causation. For example, what if a person lights up incencse or plugs in a diffuser, lays in bed, and suddenly feels better after a long, exhausting day. Wouldn't anyone feel better laying down with or without the use of aromatherapy?
Even the definiton of aromatherapy used in our lecture makes me a skeptic. If you take a look back on the powerpoint "Whats That Smell? Subliminal Self-Help" you will see all kinds of sophisticated words are used like "aromatic essences". It even says that the use of these smells help with the "health of body, mind, and spirit". I find it very hard to believe that something so simple as the sense of smell intergrates my mind, body, and spirit. According to Wikipedia, "The effectiveness of aromatherapy is yet to be scientically proven, however some evidence exists that essential oils may have therapeautic potential." http://http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatherapy
Yes, it is nice to "stop and smell the roses". Certain smells like laundry detergent, candles, and so on may remind us of certain things and may have a calming effect. In the end, is the sense of smell so powerful enough to make a therapy out of it? We must stop and examine the different claims that are made for aromatherapy. There are endless amounts of correlations that can be found between aromatherapy and everyday aspects of our lives.
Brandi Reinhard

1 comment:

  1. I find that certain smells are more appealing than others, but I associate that with preference, not aromatherapy. When I get home from school and light a candle that smells like sugar cookies, my mood may change, but only because I really love cookies. It's interesting to see shoppers at the mall stop at the "aromatherapy" carts and listen to the explanations of each scent before spending tons of money on them. In reality, these scents are great for covering up odors or making a house seem fresh. As far as being a therapy, well, that is a bit of a stretch.