by K R I S T E N L E E
This year’s Design Thinking program has just begun, and if you’re looking for a topic that is not only helpful to everyday life, but has easy to obtain materials and a fun and interesting testing process, then the topic of aromatherapy just might be for you!
Last year, this topic was extensively researched in Design Thinking by a group that was later invited to teach the Design Thinking program to students in Taitung. The group explored how certain scents could promote quality of sleep; with the start of a new school year, and for the seniors, the beginning of an arduous process college applications, many students reportedly suffer from insomnia, stress, and the compulsion to eat. While some might try to alleviate these symptoms by listening to music, reading a book, or doing exercise, research shows that there is a lesser-used, but more effective way to fulfill a healthy lifestyle.
Tired of Counting Sheep?
A study presented by the Eastern Psychological Conference in 2011 analyzed 20 people who slept in rooms scented with jasmine, lavender, or nothing. Those who smelled jasmine moved the least during sleep and reported lower anxiety rates. Subsequently they performed better on cognitive tests, which led researchers to say that jasmine could help students or athletes who have trouble sleeping before a big test or game.
A U.S. Study revealed a satisfactory way to lose weight. In the study, more than 3000 overweight people sniffed scents like banana and green apple when they felt hungry. Over six months, people with good olfactory ability lost weight without actively dieting. Certain odours, such as the odour of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fennel, and grapefruit, can also trigger the release of hormones that give the perception of feeling full.
Multiple studies show that using lemon essential oil helps reduce nausea and vomiting, apart from elevating one’s mood. On a similar vein, raw ginger -- whether cooked, brewed with tea, or eaten in the candied form -- has proven to be an effective remedy against diarrhea and stomachache.
A Fit-For-All Solution?
Regardless of the benefits, there are still risks in aromatherapy and applying essential oils to your skin. Some people suffer from allergic reactions that could be worsened when continuously agitated, so a fundamental understanding of your own body’s allergies is needed before trying anything new.