Thursday, December 27, 2012

The heck is this?

A can of Badger Stress Soother
During my attendance at Paganmas, I received a product (pictured right) in my stocking. I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be. My first impression was that they packed bubble wrapping into the can. I flipped it over to see if there was some kind of explanation.

And I quote...
Good stuff to promote calm, courage, & relaxed awareness when times get tough. Massage a little into hands, temples, forehead or anywhere you need a little soothing. Think good thoughts & breathe it in.
Sounds like a placebo to me.

What, exactly, is accomplished by smearing a smelly wax onto one's body? What's the basis for this working?

Lip balm creates a cover for the lips, while moisterising the skin directly. There's some stuff that one can rub on one's chest if one has a cold. The basis for that is the vapors that evaporate from the substance that one then breathes in - like cough drops in the mouth (the key with those is inhaling the menthol vapors, not ingesting it). The basis for pain relievers is blocking nerve receptors with chemical things.

How does this thing work, though? We're not disinfecting the surface of the skin - it's supposed to calm stressed neural activity... inside the body. When rubbing this material on the temple or forehead, there's a nice thick skull between the wax and the brain. How does that work?

On the other hand, you know what could relieve stress?

  • Massaging one's temples.
  • Massaging one's forehead (or anywhere else one needs soothing)
  • Thinking good thoughts, and taking a deep breath
  • Smelling something that smells good
... all of which the instructions are suggesting you do. The basis for this smelly wax product to work is everything but the wax. 

It basically tricks you into chilling out by yourself - an application of the placebo effect.

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