Masaoka Y, Takayama M, Yajima H, Kawase A, Takakura N, Homma I
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013
No previous report has described whether information regarding an odor used in aromatherapy has placebo effects. We investigated whether placebo analgesia was engendered by verbal information regarding the analgesic effects of an odor. Twelve of 24 subjects were provided with the information that a lavender odor would reduce pain (informed), whereas the other 12 subjects were not (not-informed). Concurrent with respiration recording, the subjects were administered a lavender-odor or no-odor treatment during application of painful stimulation to the forefinger. The subjects reported their experience of pain and its unpleasantness on a visual analogue scale after the painful stimulation. The lavender-odor treatment significantly alleviated pain and unpleasantness compared with the no-odor treatment in the informed (P < 0.01) and not-informed groups (P < 0.05). The no-odor treatment in the informed group significantly alleviated pain and unpleasantness compared with both the no-odor and lavender-odor treatments in the not-informed group (P < 0.05). Rapid and shallow breathing induced by the painful stimulation became slow and deep during the lavender-odor and no-odor treatments in both groups. Information regarding a lavender odor, the lavender odor itself, and slower breathing contributed to reduced perceptions of pain and unpleasantness during painful stimulation, suggesting that placebo effects significantly contribute to analgesia in aromatherapy.
Masaoka Y, Takayama M, Yajima H, Et Al. Analgesia Is Enhanced by Providing Information regarding Good Outcomes Associated with an Odor: Placebo Effects in Aromatherapy? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:921802.