Monday, September 22, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Smell?

To Sleep, Perchance to Smell?
Odors can affect the emotional tone of dreams, study finds

By Serena Gordon
Reproduced from HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Can the smell of rotten eggs or roses change the type of dream you have?

Quite possibly, new research suggests.

German researchers are reporting that when people smelled the scent of rotten eggs while sleeping, the nature of their dreams turned decidedly negative, while those who got a whiff of the scent of roses had more positive dreams.

"We were able to stimulate the sleeper with high concentrations of positively and negatively smelling odors and measure if the stimuli were incorporated into the dreams and changed the emotional tone of dreams," said the study's lead author, Dr. Boris Stuck, a professor of otorhinolaryngology at Heidelberg University.

"We found that the sleeper hardly ever dreamed of smelling something. Nevertheless, the emotional tone of the dream did change depending on the stimulation," he said.

Stuck said that previous research had shown that other types of stimulation, such as sound, pressure or vibration, could influence the content and the emotional tone of dreams.

The difficulty in conducting such research, he said, is finding the point where you can introduce a stimulus that's strong enough to influence a dream, but not so strong that it wakes the sleeper. Certain odors, such as peppermint, not only stimulate the sense of smell, but can irritate the nasal passages as well.

To overcome this, Stuck and his colleagues used chemicals that simulated either the smell of roses or the smell of rotten eggs.

The study included 15 young, healthy females. As the women entered rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, when dreaming occurs, they were exposed to either a non-odorous control smell, the rose smell or the rotten egg smell. Each woman underwent three REM "awakenings," so they were exposed to each test once.

Once awakened, they were asked to report the content of their dreams. In 40 of the 45 awakenings, dreams were reported.

The researchers asked the women to assess the content of their dream on an emotional "coloration" scale that measured the tone of their dream. They were asked to rate the positive or negative coloration of their dream on a scale of 0 to 3. Zero was no coloration and 3 was strong coloration.

After the control stimulation, there was a slightly positive average coloration of 0.5; after the rotten egg smell, the coloration averaged -0.4; and after the rose smell, the coloration was +1.2, according to the study.

"When stimulating the subject with a positive smell, the emotional coloration was positive in nearly every case, while with negative stimulation, the emotional tone was shifted to negative," Stuck said.

The findings were expected to be presented Sept. 21 at the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation annual meeting, in Chicago.

Pamela Dalton is an expert on odor perception and a sensory psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. She said, "We are aware at some level of our odorous ambient environment at all times, and I don't think we appreciate that. At some level, our brains are always aware. If this study shows that we can alter the emotional content of dreams, think about what an odor can do to your mood without you even being aware."

Dalton said the study findings could be a first step in finding a way to change people's perceptions of emotionally disturbing places, such as hospitals or nursing homes. But, she added, it's also possible that a reverse association could occur, and people might simply begin linking the good smell with the bad place.

"Odors become associated with good and bad very readily," she said.

More information

Learn more about your sense of smell from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

SOURCES: Boris Stuck, M.D., professor, otorhinolaryngology, Heidelberg University, Germany; Pamela Dalton, Ph.D., sensory psychologist, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia; Sept. 21, 2008, presentation, American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation annual meeting, Chicago

Last Updated: Sept. 22, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

ACHS Featured in AHHA's Good News Column

ACHS's announcement of achieving the first and only accredited and state approved online Associates and Masters degrees in Complementary Alternative Medicine was featured in the May 2008 issue of the American Holistic Health Association's (AHHA) newsletter.

Read about ACHS's achievement in the Good News column of AHHA's newsletter online here.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

ACHS Announces New English Composition Courses

New English Composition Courses at ACHS

ACHS is delighted to announce the launch of its new English Composition courses, with the first class starting November 17, 2008.

“Required for the ACHS Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine degree program, English composition is also vital for anyone in the holistic health industry,” says Co-Education Director Erika Yigzaw. “Many graduates have enjoyed success authoring books, magazine articles, blogs, e-magazines, and newsletters. The English Composition classes will strengthen students’ skills for their career and provide vital life skills in English composition.”

The English Composition classes use ACHS’s dynamic online classroom format, with extensive interactive multimedia activities and peer to peer and instructor interaction. ACHS has worked with international publisher Pearson Education to develop the online content for these user-friendly yet content rich courses, and we are sure they will delight both new and existing ACHS students.

View more information about these accredited, fully online English Composition courses online:

ENG 101 English Composition I
ENG 201 English Composition II

ACHS is also delighted to welcome new faculty to ACHS to teach the English Composition classes, the first of which is Sarah Louise.

Sarah Louise holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, an LL.B., and 24 graduate hours toward a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing. She also teaches online writing courses at DeVry University and Baker College and comments that “these online classes have been among the most enjoyable experiences of my career.” She has developed and taught courses in English Composition, Literature, Technical Writing, Writing the Research Paper, Developmental English courses, Business Writing, and Creative Writing at Northern New Mexico College as well as the University of New Mexico. She has also directed the writing lab at Northern New Mexico College, which provides computer-assisted learning, individualized tutorial aid, mentoring, and study groups.

Additional faculty appointments to meet the expected demand for these courses are pending and will be announced shortly.

Monday, September 01, 2008

ACHS Welcomes Susan Belsinger & Tina Marie Wilcox's Creative Herbal Home Workshop to the ACHS Campus

The Creative Herbal Home Workshop featuring Susan Belsinger & Tina Marie Wilcox

Wednesday, September 10, 11 am to 3 pm.

So, you know about using essential oils for aromatherapy. Wouldn’t you like to learn many other ways to use herbs and essential oils in your everyday life? Then this fun and inspiring class is just what you need!

Join authors Susan Belsinger and Tina Marie Wilcox, authors of The Creative Herbal Home, while they discuss using herbs and essential oils to create “green” household cleaning products, insect repellents, care for the gardener, first aid preparations and how to make herbal spa products.

This workshop is divided into two parts:

  • The use of herbs in everyday life, where Susan and Tina will show you some of their favorite herbs and demo how to make a variety of products. Includes hands-on experience of making an herbal sugar scrub, preparing an herb-infused oil (featuring Herb of the Year Calendula) , and blending your own herbal bath bag.
  • Demo and lecture about using essential oils to create herbal spa products as well as how to use essential oils for household uses. You'll create your own blends for an aromatic spritzer, an apple cider vinegar for cleaning house or toning skin and also therapeutic bath salts.

This enthusiastic, entertaining and exciting workshop will give you confidence and know-how to lead a healthier, happier, and greener lifestyle! Recipes and handouts are included with the workshop. A book signing will follow the workshop and the Apothecary Shoppe will be open offering herbs, essential oils, equipment and supplies that we used in class.

Don't miss the opportunity to learn in-person with Susan Belsinger & Tina Marie Wilcox.

Class cost: $50, includes supplies. Space is limited. Be sure to register by calling 503-244-0726 or register securely online here to reserve your place today!

Note: This is a non-credit workshop.