I went shopping with my mother yesterday. She loves this store called Aveda. So we went in to the local shop and while my mum was picking out her favorite shampoo I was browsing the displays.
That’s when I saw a sign that made my brain hurt.
From the sign: 83% felt more balanced after a chakra™ aroma.
I had questions.
First, how do you determine if someone’s chakras are more balanced? Do you push them? Do you weigh them against other people?
Second, how do you get the balls to try and claim trademark of the word, “chakra”? And have all the Hindus and Buddhists been informed?
I was intrigued, so I asked the sales girl how they got the number of 83% and how they tested the balancing effects on the chakras.
She said, “Uh, they hooked people up to a machine and tested them. There is more info on the website or you can call Aveda.”
So I came home, and I looked! And sure enough, there is a website! And there is even a phone number you can call 24/7! (800-644-4831*) Sadly, I couldn’t muster up the desire to actually pick up my phone and talk to an Aveda sales person, but I DID search online. I did also think to myself, WOW what if maybe we have it all wrong! If there are chakras, we don’t need to worry about health care anymore. We just need body mists and candles. This could be HUGE! The world will have romantic lighting and smell wonderful. So I settled in to investigate further on the site in hopes of finding something that would revolutionize my understanding of modern medicine and physics and what I found was this:
the art and science of pure flower and plant essences is the core of aveda. our beauty products are alive with the life force of plants, and contain pure essential oils. our solutions are so powerful we call them purescriptions™. while we specialize in hair care, we offer other plant-based products—skin care, makeup, pure-fume™, aromas and lifestyle—that are all professionally developed, clinically tested, and go to exceptional lengths to be respectful of the earth. our professional network, nearly 7,000 salons and spas worldwide, shares our commitment. ever since a hairdresser founded aveda in 1978, our products have been harvested with respect for the earth, in harmony with the web of life.
Marketing that is intended to appeal to the rebel or the free-spirit in us because it doesn’t use capitalization brought to us by a company founded by a hairdresser so it’s also non threatening in a totally relatable way. I totally know hairdressers, ZOMG! Do you know hairdressers too? No way! Then, they make up their own words that sorta sound like science. It’s not as scary or as complicated as real science but sounds
important and authoritative stupid. They also have a fun appeal to ancient wisdom aka alt-med and Ayurveda*.
But I couldn’t find any actual studies.
I even did a detailed search on their site.
And another search:
Sadly, I have yet to find any evidence to support that aromas or aroma mists will make you 83% more balanced (whatever that means) nor have I found a single, quantifiably measurable piece of evidence for an actual chakra™.
Have you seen any ridiculous claims while out shopping? And how balanced would you say you and your chakras are feeling today?
*I did not call the number because I had better things to do today (no, really) but if any of you have time to kill, please let us know if they have any published studies they would like to share in order to explain their balance claims and how they came to their 83% conclusion.
* If you don’t know what Ayurvedic medicine is you can go here.
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.