Biz Bits: How aromatherapy can help your career

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

In an increasingly competitive job market, many Americans are seeking every edge they can get to find a job, or keep the one they have. Stimulating the mind and memory function can help professionals feel more alert and "on their game." Aromatherapy can be one more weapon in a professional's business arsenal.

Aromatherapy works to stimulate memory and the mind because our sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to the central nervous system. The nasal bulb, an area of densely packed neural receptors, sits near the center of our heads and interfaces directly with the brain. By contrast, miles of nerve pathways sit between the ears, eyes and the brain. Tying visual and auditory experiences to a distinct aroma can help us process, retain and recall visual and auditory data more effectively.

Essential oils, the essences plants use to attract pollinating insects or ward off disease and predators, are the core of aromatherapy. They are completely natural, widely available and can be great tools for stimulating mental clarity and the enhancement of memory.

The oil most associated with memory is rosemary. The scent invigorates and refreshes while it stimulates the mind. Tom Havran, product developer for Aura Cacia pure aromatherapy, makes this suggestion: Try occasionally sniffing a small bottle of rosemary essential oil while studying for an exam or preparing for a work presentation, and then smelling the oil again during the test or presentation itself.

- ARA

BBB Watch

With more than 500 million active users in July 2010, Facebook has become the most used social network by worldwide active users. However, messages and wall posts from your "friends" may contain hidden scams promoting diet supplements or other pricey products. The Better Business Bureau warns consumers to use caution with these messages before friends become scammers.

"Sites like Facebook are extremely popular because they allow us to connect and reconnect with people we know and trust," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau. "Scammers know that they can take advantage of that trust by masquerading themselves as friends, family members and coworkers in order to easily disseminate viruses or steal personal information such as bank or credit card numbers."

The BBB offers the following tips for staying safe on social networking sites:

- Be extremely wary of messages from friends or strangers that direct the user to another website via a hyperlink.

- Social networking sites are about sharing information; however, the BBB recommends users to take steps to keep important information private through many privacy policies offered on the websites.

- Be smart and selective when choosing friends. While a user might not want to be rude, it's best to decline a request for friendship if the user doesn't actually know the person.

- Always make sure your computer's operating system and antivirus and firewall software are up to date.

For more advice on staying safe online, visit www.bbb.org.

The List

Here are the best cities for working moms, according to Forbes:

1: Minneapolis-St. Paul

2: Washington, D.C.

3. Boston

4: Pittsburgh

5: Baltimore-Towson

6. Denver

7: Hartford, Conn.

8: New York metro

9: Seattle-Tacoma

10: Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.

For more details and the full list, go to www.forbes.com.

Number to Know

$5.4 billion: Amount of earnings reported by Chevron in the second quarter.

GateHouse News Service