Tens of thousands of people have told us that:
Some tell us that it eases their stress. Others tell us that it improves their lives in many other ways.
This Paper Addresses Why MONQ Works
Authors: Eric S. Fishman, MD, Preston Campbell, Ph.D.
Mechanism of Action
We will assume that you understand that aromatherapy is effective, and can be used to ameliorate a wide variety of both psychological and physiological issues. There are many physiological methods by which aromatherapy can assist you. The first is by activating the sensory neurons in the olfactory bulb at the bridge of the nose and the second is through absorption. Upon aromatic use, absorption can occur in the buccal mucosa, the nasal mucosa, or the alveoli. Absorption through the buccal and nasal mucosa is more important than is the absorption through the alveoli. Activation of the sensory neurons is the most important, particularly for psychological effect.
Forest Therapy has been demonstrated to provide a whole host of benefits, including:
- Lower stress levels, as indicated by lower salivary cortisol levels.
- Higher levels of concentration/focus
- Higher Natural Killer cells
- Lower pulse rate
- Improved sleep
With Forest Therapy, you immerse yourself in the forest: sights, sounds, and fragrances. It is the fragrances which we will focus on.
Naturally occurring aromatic liquids contain hundreds, if not thousands, of different organic compounds. One class of compounds, the terpenes, are of particular importance in physiological and psychological human interactions.
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Terpenes are found in forest air, and as with Forest Therapy, they have been shown to have substantial physiological and psychological health benefits when people and other animals are exposed to them. This is one of the major reasons why MONQ works.
Terpenes are a broad group of compounds found in the essential oils of many plants and serve as important biosynthetic building blocks for nearly every creature. These compounds are known to possess remarkable health benefits, including antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Recent scientific breakthroughs also indicate that terpenes are helpful for improving psychological symptoms such as stress.
Interestingly, it appears as though much of the essential oil benefits arise from activating the sensory receptors in the olfactory bulb (rather than through absorption). In line with this, recent evidence shows that the effectiveness of terpenes rapidly diminishes when laboratory animals are exposed to zinc, a chemical well-known to reduce olfactory bulb sensitivity.
Olfactory Sensory Adaptation
Our olfactory system is constantly bombarded with chemical stimulation. To maintain high sensitivity, yet remain responsive to a wide range of scents and concentrations, we must possess some means of adjusting our behavioral responses to all this information.
More precisely, a fundamental feature of all animals is the ability to respond to new changes in our chemosensory environment. For most organisms, chemical cues guide behaviors crucial for survival, including finding food, reproduction and avoiding predators. Nevertheless, to effectively navigate our complex and changing surroundings, our sensory neurons must continuously filter repetitive signals. This characteristic is both necessary and vital because it allows us to remain attentive (and thus, reactive) to novel stimuli.
One such mechanism used by the olfactory system to enhance detection of new, transient stimuli is olfactory adaptation — an essential property of all sensory systems. Its primary function is to attenuate neural and perceptual responses to sustained and redundant stimulation. Adaptation is a critical process that relies heavily on temporal precision. If this process is too rapid or too slow, the consequences can be devastating (particularly for animals).
Above all, this mechanism has a powerful influence on perception.
In the presence of repeated stimulation, adaptation prevents saturation of the olfactory transduction machinery by selectively inactivating olfactory receptor neurons. With each successive stimulation, the cell reduces activity until it eventually stops firing.
Importantly, these cellular changes are automatic and begin occurring within seconds.
WELCOME TO MONQ – Where Every Breath is Your First Breath
Now that we have explained the scientific background, why does MONQ work so well?
We are hardwired to respond to scents. They provide us with emotional meaning and the visceral experience of feeling transported through memories and time. The pleasure we derive from these vivid sensory details can provide significant benefits to our health and overall well-being. Unfortunately, however, the transformation is often short-lived. Because our olfactory neurons rapidly adapt, the sensation quickly disappears.
This is why conventional desktop diffusers lose appeal. After a few minutes, our brains have processed the information, and the scent becomes just another transitory echo. Needless to say, this poses numerous limitations for aromatherapy.
How, then, can we experience these health-promoting, aromatic benefits when our brains seemingly possess a different agenda?
Although our olfactory cells adapt quickly, they also rapidly recover. For instance, most people have experienced the sensation of being in a particular room all day. Perhaps you spent hours exposed to intense perfume but eventually stopped noticing. Even so, if you leave the area for even a few minutes, your olfactory cells will reset, and the scent will become apparent again upon re-entering the room.
Thus, instead of providing a constant air stream, MONQ bathes the olfactory bulb with a single breath. What emerges is the ability to experience these powerful essential oils without over-saturating the olfactory machinery. Instead, you take that single breath, drink in the sensation, and put it down. Thus, in essence, every breath still feels compelling and new.
So, while ancient documents and historical evidence suggest essential oils have been an integral part of health and wellness for many thousand years, and although aromatherapy has been used extensively throughout history for medicinal purposes, the number of supporting double-blind studies is still small.
This finding is not surprising, however. Given that the “gold-standard” for double-blind studies is that neither the examiner nor the subject can know whether they receive the active compound or placebo, this poses a substantial challenge for aromatherapy research.
However, the facts are clear. Millions of people rely on aromatic compounds to improve their sense of well-being, and now there is a more powerful, a more effective method of doing so.
Simply put, filtering outside distractions is now within your personal control. So, go ahead, enjoy this fresh approach and benefit from a concentrated whiff of nature. Or, as we say at MONQ: Feel Nature®.