You know how a certain smell (good or bad) can bring up positive or negative emotions and memories?
And you know how (after many years of not smelling that smell) you suddenly get a whiff of it and remember the exact place and time in your life when you smelled it?
As a child, my friend Rachael often accompanied her grandma to the doctor’s office where her granny received regular treatments for an ongoing heart condition.
You know what she remembers most about that time period spent at the doctor’s office?
Yep, the smells…
Those overwhelming odors of toxic cleaning agents, alcohol and the antiseptics used at the time permeated every facet of the physician’s environment.
Now, as a middle aged adult, Rachael still associates those smells with visiting the doctor.
So much so that every time she pulls into the parking lot of a new healthcare office, her mind and heart prepare her for that not-so-friendly smell (and its associated negative feelings), even though the smells may not be there.
Lucky for all of us, many of those toxic cleaning agents have been banned and replaced with more earth (and human) friendly ingredients.
(Thank you green design and organic health movements.)
The point of my note to you today?
The way your healthcare practice or medical office smells is a super big deal and a huge part of creating a sustainable healing environment.
As Esther Sternberg shares in her book, Healing Spaces, The Science of Place and Well-Being, “People–like dogs, rodents, pigs and lobsters–smell in stereo.”
Let me repeat that. We humans smell in stereo which is the equivalent of watching a movie in an IMAX theater.
Apparently those little filters in our nose have a big connection to our nervous system and have a lot to say.
Here are 3 easy ways to keep your healing space smelling good (and in stereo):
1. Use essential oils (like eucalyptus, rose and orange) as part of your physical cleaning of the space.
2. Ask the last person to leave at the end of the day to generously spray rose water throughout the practice (available online and at Whole Foods) and repeat first thing in the morning.
3. Purchase a few essential oil diffusors and strategically place them throughout the practice.
Place a few drops of a subtle relaxing scent (like lavender) in the diffuser and keep it on all day (replenishing regularly), especially in high traffic areas like your waiting room, exam and treatment rooms.
Here’s some interesting news:
Aromatherapy in healthcare environments is now being incorporated into a new field called, Environmental Aroma. (Google it.)
Since certain aromas are known to evoke pleasant memories, subtle mixtures of such scents from nature can be combined with ventilation system technology to provide a wonderful experience for patients and clients.
Now we’re talking.
Easy peasy. Low maintenance.
You get to pick the scents and then your diffusion system does the rest.
This affordable technology is already being used in hotels and other commercial settings to help create a relaxing experience for visitors.
And it’s working…
Pretty cool, right?
If you have any questions, head on over to my Facebook page and post away. I answer quick!