Each of our senses is equally important to help us exist and get through our daily lives. Just imagine if one of your basic senses is not functioning, how do you think will this affect your life? One may seem insignificant but talking about senses, it is a different story.
Take for instance losing your sense of smell. Our sense of smell helps us determine the flavor of a dish even before actually tasting it. The smell of its aroma would give us the initial idea of how it tastes like. Thus, losing your sense of smell would greatly affect your appetite as dysfunctions in the olfactory system could adversely affect your food preferences.
Also, it is our sense of smell that helps us identify a lot of things through smell detection; it could be dangerous without it. Why? Because you can no longer smell danger coming your way such as trash, airborne pollutants, cigarette smoke, leaking gas, and spoiled food, among others.
Now, while acupuncture has been proven effective to treat a wide range of ailments, especially on women’s reproductive health, recent studies have shown that Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) is also a valuable alternative treatment for post-viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD).
Olfactory dysfunction, otherwise known as Dysosmia, happens when a person’s olfactory stimuli processing is impaired and the dysfunction can be varied. Some patients suffering from Dysosmia can either have a deactivated olfactory bulb or may interpret odors differently otherwise known as “hallucination of smells.” On the other hand, the complete loss of the sense of smell is known as Anosmia.
But how can these olfactory deficiencies happen? What can cause olfactory dysfunction and how can we avoid or treat it?
Most often, viruses such as a common cold can affect a person’s sense of smell and may cause adverse effects to a patient’s health and lifestyle.
As earlier mentioned, the loss of sense of smell can have an adverse impact towards a patient’s food intake and preferences, which could lead to malnutrition and depression.
A recent study however, showed that acupuncture can be an alternative treatment for PVOD. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art of healing that stimulates the acupuncture points located in the body’s meridian pathways to help the body heal naturally and restore the normal energy flow of the body known as Qi.
The study involved 15 patients with PVOD, eight of whom underwent 10 weekly 30-minute sessions of TCA, while the rest were treated with vitamin B complex. The TCA sessions applied subjective olfactometry using “Sniffin” Sticks test set. Those who were treated with acupuncture showed improvements in their olfactory functions compared to those who just got vitamin B complex supplements.
Although the researchers said further studies are still needed to affirm the claim, the high response rate of those treated with acupuncture opens the possibility that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for post-viral dysosmia.