THE SCIENCE BEHIND CALMIGO
The Science Behind CalmiGo
When we are anxious or feel stress, our sympathetic nervous system is activated, and as a result, our breathing rate increases ; specifically, the duration of our exhalation becomes shorter . A few symptoms caused by the high breathing rate are:
- Increase in the sense of threat
- Increase in the cortical and limbic activity in our brain (which manifests as increased arousal/alertness)
- Decrease in PCO2 level (caused by hyperventilation), which may lead to several physical symptoms, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, tingling in the hands or feet, accelerated heart rate, and nausea
- The decreased PCO2 level can also lead to several cognitive symptoms, such as low concentration levels, fatigue, “unreal” feeling, fear of madness, and poor cognitive performance
CalmiGo is based on a synergy of three established methods: exhalation prolongation, relaxing scents, and grounding (multi-sensory stimulation).
Scientific research has shown exhalation prolongation:
- Decreases distress feeling and induces relaxation
- Balances the PCO2 level, which is responsible for many symptoms related to distress as detailed above
- Decreases the physiological symptoms of alertness
Our sense of smell has a unique relationship with our brain’s emotional system (see box). Lavender, which is the dominant scent in the scented plate of CalmiGo, was shown to:
- Decrease sympathetic activity
- Reduce physiological stress measures that indicate objective reduction of stress level
- Elicit relaxation and increase performance
As seen from the above, the accumulated effect of the two methods- exhalation prolongation and relaxing scents- addresses many distress related symptoms. This helps attain calmness quickly and effectively.
The combination of these two methods together with multi-sensory stimulation in one device, which can be easily used during the moment of distress and is adaptive to the user’s performance, grants CalmiGo its uniqueness.
Smell Sense and Aromatherapy
Aromas have been used throughout history for their medicinal and mood-altering properties. Aroma molecules have diverse effects on human behavior and physiology, ranging from activation of memories to change in mood or emotional state and even to a change in brain activity measured by EEG . This is often attributed to the close connection between the olfactory system (sense of smell) and the limbic system (the brain network associated with emotions and memories ). Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic essential oils to promote a required psychological and physiological state. The essential oils involved in aromatherapy are highly concentrated essence, extracted from plants through the process of distillation.
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- Saeki, Y., & Shiohara, M., (2001). Physiological effects of inhaling fragrances
- Toda, M., & Morimoto, K., (2008). Effect of lavender aroma on salivary endocrino-logical stress markers
- Diego, M., A., Jones, N., A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., McAdam, V., Galamaga R., & Galamaga M.(1998). Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations
- Zald D.,H., & Pardo J., V., (1997): Emotion, Olfaction and the human amygdala
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