A study has recently been published confirming that the smell of sweat may be useful for treatment social anxiety. Sounds too simple to be true, so it begs the question to what extent it makes sense. And the truth is that if we analyze the studies, we will see that much should be taken with a grain of salt. Actually, even the authors of the study themselves warn about this.

It should be noted that social anxiety is not mild nervousness due to isolated situations in which many people are involved. Those who suffer from it experience great anxiety and stress. almost any social contactno matter how small it is, so it greatly affects your daily life.

To begin with, social anxiety is usually treated with psychotherapy. type cognitive behavioral This is the one that has shown the most utility with these people. In addition, in more extreme cases, you can resort to medication, which is usually prescribed by a psychiatrist. What does the smell of sweat have to do with all this? Let’s see what this study says.

The smell of sweat and emotions

There are many studies linking the smell of sweat with emotions. In fact, there was one that won the Nobel Prize for the famous joke, better known as the Ig Nobel Prize, for demonstrating that you can recognize the theme of a movie just by looking at it. movie smell.

That would be a somewhat tricky name, as it’s not something that the human nose can discern. In fact, the authors of this study analyzed chemical profiles of volatile organic compounds released by the sweat of viewers of films that were especially appreciated for their level of fear, violence, or the presence of sex scenes. His goal was to find a more biological criterion for determining recommended age from the movie. And the truth is that they found another profileaccording to the prevailing emotions in the film.

But does this mean that the smell of sweat can affect the emotional state of a person? This is the question asked by the authors of the study just presented.

echo anxiety, fear, post-traumatic stress

A curious study of social anxiety

The authors of a study recently presented in European Congress of Psychiatrists in Paris they took armpit sweat samples from a group of people who, like the other study, had to watch several video clips beforehand. The first group is shown. Horrorwhile the seconds looked at the images of the tape a lot happierHow sister act.

One day they took armpit samples, a group of women who were undergoing psychological therapy for the treatment of social anxiety were sent to the laboratory. All of them were treated with full attention and they were divided into three groups. Some have experienced the smell of sweat from those watching a horror movie. Others to those who have seen happier clips. Finally, the control group went out into the fresh air.

It was observed that those who were exposed to the smell of sweat had a reduced score for anxiety symptoms. by 39%. On the contrary, those who sniffed clean air only lowered the same score. by 16%. There were no differences between movie types. This is what leads the study authors to conclude that the smell of sweat can be beneficial. Whatever type it is. Now, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Gaps in research

To begin with, the study involved total 48 women. This is a very small number of participants. If there are a lot of them, then it is easier to eliminate randomness, and if there are less than 50 people, then it is difficult. On the other hand, the fact that the psychological therapy they receive is based solely on mindfulness, which is not the preferred type of therapy for social anxiety, may also change the results.

But, finally, there is a detail that should be taken into account. Even if women were not told which group they belonged to, it would be easy for them to know in the control group or in the group with the smell of sweat. Any type. This means that there may be some Placebo effectwhich is possible in all types of disorders, but predominantly in conditions related to mental health.

Finally, the authors of the study, which has only been presented at the congress so far, acknowledge that it would ideally be replicated by other independent scientists. At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that the smell of sweat can treat social anxiety. If you find yourself in such a situation, consult a psychologist. The smell of the subway at rush hour will not do you any good.

Source: Hiper Textual

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