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Smell Retraining Therapy: How to Reclaim Your Sense of Smell + Free SRT Tracker


What is Smell Retraining Therapy (SRT)?

Smell retraining therapy is a therapeutic approach designed to help individuals regain or improve their sense of smell, especially if they have experienced anosmia (loss of smell) or hyposmia (reduced sense of smell). This technique is often employed in cases where a person's olfactory function, or their sense of smell, has been compromised due to various factors, such as viral infections such as COVID-19, head injuries, or other medical conditions.

How it Works

Smell retraining therapy involves exposing individuals to a variety of pleasant and distinct odors regularly. The goal is to stimulate and reawaken the olfactory neurons, promoting the gradual restoration of the sense of smell. This therapy has shown promising results for those dealing with smell-related issues, especially when implemented consistently over time.

How it's Done

In this specific blog, the SRT method will center its attention on harnessing the therapeutic properties of essential oils.

Bottles of essential oils, aromatherapy.
Bit245 @ Getty Images

Step 1: Selecting Scents

The first step of SRT is to choose a set of four distinct scents. In choosing these four scents, it can be helpful to select ones that are personally meaningful or evoke strong memories. This can enhance the emotional connection to the scents and potentially stimulate the olfactory system more effectively. Likewise, these scents should also be easily distinguishable from one another.

While people also use food items they may find in their kitchen pantry such as coffee, cinnamon, or spices, caution is essential to prevent inadvertent inhalation of these fine powders. As such, common scent choices for people starting SRT include essential oils such as:

  • Clove: A warm, spicy scent

  • Lemon: A citrusy, refreshing scent

  • Eucalyptus: A minty, camphoraceous scent

  • Rose: A floral, sweet scent

Step 2: Preparing your Jars

In a clean jar, carefully position a small piece of paper or cotton pads infused with 2-3 drops of your selected scents. Repeat this process for three additional jars, ensuring that each jar contains a distinct and separate scent.

Opting for dense or thick paper, such as watercolor paper, can help prolong the longevity of your selected scents within the jar.

Step 3: Daily Sessions

Conduct smell retraining sessions twice a day, for a minimum of four months. During these sessions, hold the selected scent close to your nose and take short but deliberate inhalations or "bunny sniffs." It is crucial to actively focus on the scent during these inhalations. Pay keen attention to any subtle changes or sensations in your ability to perceive the scent, as this mindfulness practice contributes to the gradual enhancement of olfactory capabilities over time.

It can also be helpful to visualize the scent as you conduct your daily SRT sessions. This helps create a stronger memory of the smell. To visualize the scent, try to think of a time when you have smelled the scent before. What did it look like? What other smells were present? What emotions did it evoke?

Patience & Consistency

Committing to the therapy consistently is imperative as improvements may occur gradually over several weeks. While individual responses may vary, incorporating this therapy into a daily routine with diligence and care can contribute to the restoration of olfactory function over time.

Smell Retraining Therapy Tracker

To help people on their Smell Retraining Therapy Journey, we've developed a specialized tracker to facilitate a systematic observation of progress.

A print out of the ENT Family Smell Retraining Therapy Tracker.
ENT Family Smell Retraining Therapy (SRT) Tracker

This tracker serves as a valuable tool, allowing individuals to document subtle improvements, heightened scent perception, and any evolving sensations in olfactory experiences. Additionally, it provides a structured format for users to log their adherence to the recommended twice-daily sessions, fostering accountability and routine.

Start your journey today, get our Smell Retraining Therapy Tracker for free through the link below.

Seek Help

Before initiating SRT, it is crucial to consult with a medical professional, such as a physician or an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist, to thoroughly investigate and exclude any potential underlying medical conditions contributing to anosmia. These conditions can include chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, tumors, and neurological disorders.

If you're located in the Hollywood, Florida area, our dedicated team is eager and prepared to assist you. Schedule your consultation today!

Address: 3911 Hollywood Blvd suite 201, Hollywood, FL 33021, United States

Phone: 754-888-1368



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Dr. David Eleff, Otolaryngologist/Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist at ENT Family in Hollywood, Florida.

This article has been medically reviewed by  otolaryngologist, David Eleff, M.D.

ENT Family Blog

3911 Hollywood Blvd, Suite 201, Hollywood, FL

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