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.