Marika Fleri (photo by Child Magazine)

More sense


Lately there has been a series of coincidences that verge on the intentional. The fruit of such ‘cosmic’ intervention is a collaboration with Marika Fleri, a clinical aromatherpist who apart from her own private practice, supports patients going through treatment for cancer and also during palliative and end of life stages. Together we have planned to include the sense of smell with the audio-visual experience of Deep Shelter Project. The research to be carried out soon within St. James Hospital Sliema will thus provide auditory, visual and olfactory stimuli which aim to interact so as to provide a comforting and empathic experience during chemotherapy.

The following is a concise description of aromatherapy by Marika Fleri:

The sense of smell is our most primitive sense and is located in the same part of our brain that effects emotions, memory, and creativity. Olfaction is the body’s initial and most definitive tester, instantly evaluating whether an environment is good or bad.

The human sense of smell affects 75% of daily emotions. When inhaled, odour molecules travel into the nose and interact with odour receptors. These transmit the information to the olfactory bulb, which is located in the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system also controls memory and emotions, and is connected to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus area which in turn controls the release of hormones that affect our appetite, nervous system, body temperature, stress levels and concentration. The sense of smell is closely tied to memory, mood, stress, and concentration.

Academics and researchers agree that scents are effective simply because they create a mood which validates intentions.

Essential oils are capable of crossing the blood brain barrier thus making inhalation of same oils invaluable in affecting a patient’s mood, emotions, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. By creating a Master Blend which will accompany patients through their audio-visual art journey we will be adding another dimension of healing to the whole experience.

Our Master blend will include precious essential oils proven to aid in creating a serene environment, lower the breathing rate and aid in the release of pent up emotions.