We regularly see the term loss of smell therapy in emails and questions from our customers. Smell therapy is the same as smell training or olfactory training but is less commonly used as a term. The most commonly used name is smell training. On this page background information about loss of smell therapy.
What is loss of smell therapy?
With smell therapy you train the sense of smell by smelling different scents. Therapy often means treating disease or relieving symptoms, in this case treating loss of smell. In case of loss of smell, it is useful to smell different odors in order to restore the connection between the olfactory organ and the brain. Smell therapy is a useful tool to accelerate this recovery process. In people with loss of smell, the MRI scan shows that the brain responds to odors even though the people smell nothing. This indicates that the sense of smell is still present, but that the connection between the olfactory organ and the brain is no longer working correctly.
How does smell therapy work?
With smell of loss therapy, the basis is to smell 4 different scents twice a day. This can be done with the help of our smell training sets. We have a smell training set with 4 essential oils or a kit 4 different scented sticks (Duft Quartett). Our advice is to perform the training in the morning and evening. You must smell each scent for 20 seconds. When you start smell training, there is a good chance that you will not detect any smell at first. However, it is important to focus on the little bit of scent that you may smell and try to visualize what the scent should smell like so that the connection between your olfactory organ and your brain is restored.
Take a short break between the different scents so that your sense of smell can really detect the difference between the scents. It is of course allowed to train more often and with different scents, the more your olfactory organ is stimulated, the better! For an optimal effect, you must continue the training for several months, studies have shown that approximately 6 months of training gives the best effect.
Is this useful for everyone?
Losing or lacking the sense of smell can have various causes. Some people are born without a sense of smell (congenital anosmia), and other people lose their sense of smell after an upper respiratory infection, traumatic brain damage, or a long-term cold.
The effect of olfactory therapy has been investigated in various clinical studies and shows that it is especially effective in people who suffer from an olfactory disorder as a result of an infection of the upper respiratory tract, such as in the case of a corona infection, a cold or the flu.
In addition, research also indicates that therapy has a positive effect on restoring the sense of smell in traumatic brain injury. The effect depends on how serious the original injury was. In all cases, it is advisable to start smell training as soon as possible after losing the sense of smell. Even in cases of anosmia and in post-viral patients who have no sense of smell, it can be useful to carry out olfactory therapy for stimulation.
What do the doctors say?
Smell therapy (under the name smell training) has been included in the COVID-19 medical guideline in the Netherlands since the beginning of 2022. This means that general practitioners and/or ENT doctors can advise smell training for patients who have persistent smell or taste complaints for more than 4 weeks after COVID-19.
Would you like more information about smell of loss therapy and the associated smell training sets? Then click on the following link: