Scent to the Emergency Room – The Perils of Air Freshener and Other Masking Approaches

What I saw happen last week was a classic case of non healing approaches creating a cascading downhill path to a crash.

It started off pretty simply, with a woman whose house had air quality issues, including those caused by someone’s smoking. She also had some other stressful things going on in her life.

So what did she do? Did she heal the situation? Did she do something about the underlying issues?

Oh no.

She whipped out a can of air freshener, and blasted away, a classic example using of a masking approach, one which covers up problems without really solving them.

“good for me” she said.


Now with the air quality issues buried under a haze of probably toxic chemicals made to smell good and other issues still causing stress in her life, sure enough the woman developed a heavy cough, which kept her up at night.

Did she react by dealing with the underlying issues and healing the situation? To a degree she actually did. She started working to get some of the stress and air quality issues dealt with.

At the same time she hurried down to the local pharmacy to pick up some medication. Once again she was choosing a masking approach.


At one point after taking the medication, she lost her footing somehow and somehow was not even able to break her fall.

Slam, she planted her face on the floor, hard, possibly hard enough to crack her skull, and that’s why she decided to go the the emergency room.

The whole thing seemed connected. Was it the lack of sleep, or an effect of the medication or what that had caused her to fall in a way that she had not fallen in years.

However exactly it worked, it seems clear that masking issues rather than resolving them once again led to a crash as it so often does.