Aromatherapy Oils: Two Schools of Thought

Before we get into talking deeply about specific aromatherapy oils, it is important to know some overarching concepts about how to use them.

Learning how to use aromatherapy oils can enhance massage and create a more therapeutic massage experience.

Each aromatherapy massage oil has a different effect.

The key is to know how to use them correctly and which one is perfect for your massage?

Two Schools of Thought

When I got started with therapeutic oils, I was taught two conflicting theories about using them. Each school considered itself to be the most therapeutic and this lead to a lot of confusion and hesitancy regarding their use.
Here’s an overview of the two opposing arguments. Please use your wisdom and do more research when making your choice. If in doubt… use the English method.

England & UK

This theory proposes that all oils should be severely diluted before being applied to the body (generally 3 – 5 drops in a neutral carrier oil) and that low-strength blends are better for
optimum healing to occur. U

sing stronger blends could overpower the body and irritate the skin.

This is the method that is primarily taught in American schools.

So if I were going to mix an essential oil with a carrier oil, I may take a tablespoon of carrier oil like jojoba oil, which is basically unscented, and mix it with 10 drops of lavender aromatherapy oil.


This theory teaches that most oils can go directly on the skin of a healthy person (except for a few that are known to be irritants.)

If you have ever heard of the very well known and highly reputable company Young Living (and for which I am a distributor, so if you want anything please let me know), who produces high-quality essential oils, they agree with the German philosophy of essential oil usage.

The technique Raindrop Therapy is especially known to use a series of powerful aromatherapy oils on the spine which are said to root out many issues that contribute to a host of maladies that seem unrelated to the spine.

I have both received and given Raindrop Therapy and my clients love it and I feel great afterward as the giver.

However, I don’t list that as one of my services anymore, as I have come to realize that body as its own delicate ecosystem and while I will suggest it when I feel the moment is right, I feel that the oils are too powerful to receive on a regular basis for most of my clients.

My Opinion: Err On The Side Of Caution

For safety and frugality, I pretty much follow the English school of thought when applying aromatherapy oils, however, I have not had one person react to adversely to a stronger treatment.

Not to say it couldn’t happen, but it’s best to use caution in this department.

Even though I prefer the English methodology, I will sometimes use the oils in a stronger way, though often it is only on a small part of the body.

For example, I have a varicose vein on my leg and I often apply cypress essential oil on that area which not only alleviates the discomfort but also is said to fade the vein over time.

I will often use peppermint essential oil directly on my hands to clear up my sinuses (holding the hands over my face) and to alleviate a headache (same way).

Keep It Pure

One more thing I should briefly mention …

Years ago, I would have said to check the label to make sure there was nothing added… no additional ingredients like “fragrance”, but today sellers can be dishonest without consequence.

As you go looking for essential oils, you have to remember that there are a lot of imposters out there. The first thing you need to do is buy from a reputable company.

Young Living and Doterra are both good. Health food stores and Whole Foods should also provide you with good essential oils.

I would caution you about buying from unknown companies on Amazon. I have purchased a few that were very reasonable in price, only to discover that when the oil arrived it smelled so bad or it smelled good but not what the oil was supposed to smell like, that I had to return the oil or throw it out.

You also don’t know how old the oils are when you buy from a mystery seller from Amazon or eBay and that can affect the therapeutic qualities of the oils.

Bottom Line: Respect aromatherapy oils. They are very powerful tools for healing. Use the English Style of Aromatherapy until you know what you are doing.

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