If putting the clocks back has brought on the gloom, here’s a bright thought for darkening days: a new therapy that employs bright light and uplifting aromas to dispel the winter blues.
Kodobio Sensory Therapy – its name is a nod to the calming effects of Japanese incense – has just launched exclusively at the Michaeljohn Medispa in Belgravia. Brainchild of neuroscientist Tim Jacob, professor emeritus at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, the treatment is the result of extensive research into the positive effects of smell on our wellbeing. And reduced heart rate, blood pressure, depression and anxiety were all noted during clinical trials into light therapy published earlier this year in the medical journal Physiology & Behavior.
Kodobio’s three programmes combine essential-oil blends with the 10,000-Lux light used for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to greater effect than either could elicit individually, according to tests. Unwind with a lavender aroma to alleviate stress, or hone your competitive focus with a fresh, get-up-and-go mint blend.
Professor Jacob says results are similar to those achieved through mindfulness and meditation, but without the faff of learning a technique – a definite plus if much of your stress arises from lack of time. Treatments last 15 (£35) or 30 (£65) minutes, and trials show that having them on five consecutive days achieves the most profound results. However, top-ups can be as often as you like – at the end of a stressful day, perhaps, or before a tricky meeting.
As one who could be accused of being a seasonal Eeyore, for me the Mood Boost programme seemed a timely choice. Lying cosily with an LED screen curving around my field of vision, I inhaled the citrusy aroma. So far, so pleasant – but was anything really happening? It wasn’t until I got off the treatment bed and involuntarily broke into a beaming smile that my mood shift became apparent. This sensual treatment packs a spirit-enhancing punch that left me feeling lighter, indeed almost giddy, well into the following day.
Professor Jacob has distilled the euphoria of spritzing on a favourite cologne on a perfect blue-sky morning into a therapy with impressive results. Channelling my inner Tigger, I bounded down the road. Undoubtedly, I’ll bounce back for more…