KJ writes: “I’m wondering about an essential oil practice known as Raindrop Therapy. The inventor, Gary Young of Young Living oils, claims it can cure scoliosis. Is this a legitimate use of essential oils and does it really work?”
Great question. Raindrop Therapy is very controversial within the essential oil industry.
For those who have never heard of it, Raindrop Therapy was developed by Young Living Essential Oils founder Gary Young, and involves the application of several different oils and blends to various parts of the body in order to restore balance and alignment to the body. It allegedly stimulates body systems on both a physical and emotional level.
Young claims he based the therapy on what he learned from Native American wellness traditions.
In this video depicting a typical Raindrop Therapy session, recipients are made to disrobe to the waist and the practitioner prepares him or herself by applying a specific oil blend to their shoulders and then entering the room with a “positive mindset.” The therapy is clearly ritualistic with the pouring of so many drops of oil on a right or left palm, rubbing the oil in a certain way, applying it in a straight line or other pattern, using feathering strokes, etc.
Young Living’s rival, doTERRA, has its own version of the therapy known as Aroma Touch.
The Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) has issued a statement of policy against the use of both Raindrop and Aroma Touch and warns that it could revoke “without notice” the registration of any aromatherapist about whom credible evidence has found to be engaging in these practices.
So what exactly is wrong with it?
The ARC believes Raindrop Therapy poses a risk to public health because it is typically practiced as a “one-size-fits-all” technique without regard for those persons who may be suffering from compromised liver or kidney function, with heart disease, or who take blood thinning medication, those with allergies to aspirin, or who have other disorders who may be adversely affected by the oils.
The technique also violates an industry rule that undiluted oil not be applied directly to the skin because of the high risk of adverse skin reactions. Raindrop Therapy does use V-6 Mixing Oil to prevent discomfort, but this is only after the undiluted oils are applied to the skin.
The ARC also reports that there is “no published, research-validated clinical evidence to support any claim that Raindrop Therapy is able to assist in correcting spinal curvatures caused by scoliosis or to align electric and structural elements of the body.”
The ARC also believes that aromatherapy should only complement and never substitute for conventional medicine.
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