Study suggests sniffing other people's sweat could help treat social anxiety

A recent study suggests that sniffing other people’s sweat could treat social anxiety.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that using mindfulness as an anxiety therapy was more effective when combined with sniffing armpit sweat from volunteers who had watched either happy or scary film clips.

The study involved 48 women with social anxiety. The researchers exposed some of them to clean air and others to body odour. Patients who completed a mindfulness session while exposed to body odours saw a 39% reduction in social anxiety. While without body odour there was a 17% reduction in anxiety scores.

The researchers believe that human sweat affects the response to treatment. However, they need to conduct further research to confirm this.  Lead researcher Elisa Vigna said the team was “a little surprised” by the results. Elisa stated more work is needed to confirm the link. Social anxiety is a mental health condition that affects people’s ability to function in social situations. Current treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy, guided self-help and antidepressant medicines.

Do you think sniffing other people’s sweat to treat social anxiety is the way forward?

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