What is the most powerful sense system the human body has? The sense of smell since it is connected to the the limbic system by the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system and directs our bodies emotional response and our memories.
One of the most profound ways that aromatherapy can impact the workplace and improve the experience is through the reduction of stress, says Art Health Solutions in their article Aromatherapy in the Workplace. Stress in the workplace has shown to increase absenteeism, lower productivity, and create widespread patterns of dysfunction in the workplace1.
A study done by Chen, Fang and Fang2, showed that the use of aromatherapy to be a convenient, non-invasive and simple method of stress relief.
The basic premise is that when the aromatic molecules of essential oils enter the olfactory bulb, and activate the limbic system, that presence of different essential oil molecules show statistically compelling reduction in stress, improved self esteem, and can reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood stream. Interestingly, research has shown that lavender can decrease work performance, while simultaneously improving mood and stress related outcomes, so it's use at work is not a foregone conclusion.
Scents that have been shown to help with workplace productivity and an improvement of workplace outcomes include rosemary(enhancements in cognitive performance), jasmine & peppermint (enhanced memory, increased alertness, and improved typing speed and accuracy3,4,5. Citrus oils have also demonstrably shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood state6.
These studies show that there can be clear benefits to utilizing aromatherapy in the workplace, and which may influence employee satisfaction, morale, happiness, productivity, and performance.
This information originally appeared in the the following article:
Art Health Solutions (November 25th, 2019). Aromatherapy in the workplace. Art Health Solutions. https://arthealthsolutions.com/aromatherapy-and-the-workplace/
- 1. Anderson, P., & Pulich, M. (2001). Managing workplace stress in a dynamic environment. The Health Care Manager.
- 2. Chen, M. C., Fang, S. H., & Fang, L. (2015). The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 21(1), 87–93
- 3. Barker, S., Grayhem, P., Koon, J., Perkins, J., Whalen, A., & Raudenbush, B. (2003). Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 97, 1007–1010.
- 4. McCaffrey, R., Thomas, D. J., & Kinzelman, A. O. (2009). The effects of lavender and rosemary essential oils on test-taking anxiety among graduate nursing students. Holistic Nursing Practice, 23(2), 88–93.
- 5. Moss, M., Hewitt, S., Moss, L., & Wesnes, K. (2008). Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. International Journal of Neuroscience, 118(1), 59–77.
- 6. Watanabe, E., Kuchta, K., Kimura, M., Rauwald, H. W., Kamei, T., & Imanishi, J. (2015). Effects of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn.) Essential Oil Aromatherapy on Mood States, Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity, and Salivary Cortisol Levels in 41 Healthy Females. Complementary Medicine Research, 22(1), 43–49.