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Use of Essential Oil Massage to Treat Anxiety & Depression

Essential oils are natural substances that can be extracted from plants and have various aromas and effects. Some people use essential oils for anxiety and depression, as they may help with relaxation and mood. However, essential oils are not a substitute for medical treatments and should be used with caution and guidance.

According to some studies12, some of the best essential oils for anxiety are:

  • Lavender: It has a sweet floral scent and may help calm anxiety and promote sleep.

  • Chamomile: It has a mild herbal scent and may help reduce stress and nervousness.

  • Rose geranium: It has a floral and fruity scent and may help balance emotions and ease tension.

  • Cedarwood: It has a woody and earthy scent and may help ground and stabilize mood.

  • Lemongrass: It has a fresh and citrusy scent and may help uplift and energize mood.

According to some sources123, some of the best essential oils for depression are:

  • Lavender: It has a sweet floral scent and may help calm anxiety and promote sleep.

  • Bergamot: It has a citrusy and refreshing scent and may help uplift mood and reduce stress.

  • Frankincense: It has a woody and resinous scent and may help balance emotions and enhance spirituality.

  • Ylang ylang: It has a floral and exotic scent and may help boost mood and self-esteem.

  • Rose: It has a rich and romantic scent and may help ease sadness and grief.

  • Vanilla: It has a sweet and comforting scent and may help reduce anger and irritability.

  • Nutmeg: It has a spicy and warm scent and may help stimulate the mind and body.

One way to use essential oils for anxiety or depression is to apply them to the chest, wrists, or forehead after diluting them with a carrier oil like almond or sunflower oil. Another way is to inhale them through a diffuser or an inhaler. A third way is to get an aromatherapy massage, where a therapist applies diluted essential oils to your skin while massaging you3.

Before using any essential oils, make sure you are not allergic to them or have any medical conditions that may interact with them. Also, avoid ingesting them or applying them to sensitive areas like the eyes or mouth. Always consult your doctor before using any alternative therapies for anxiety or depression.


There is no definitive answer to how often you should use essential oils for anxiety, as different oils may have different effects and durations. However, some general guidelines are:

  • Use essential oils only when you need them, not continuously or excessively. Too much exposure to essential oils may cause headaches, nausea, or skin irritation.

  • Use essential oils in low concentrations and dilute them with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. A common dilution ratio is 1 to 2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.

  • Use essential oils for short periods of time, such as 15 to 30 minutes at a time. You can repeat the use every few hours if needed, but avoid using them for more than an hour at a time.

  • Use essential oils that are appropriate for your mood and situation. For example, some oils may be more stimulating than relaxing, and some may interfere with sleep or medication.

  • Monitor your response to essential oils and adjust accordingly. If you notice any adverse effects or no improvement in your anxiety, stop using the oil or try a different one.

Some studies have suggested that using essential oils for anxiety may have lasting effects for several days12, but this may vary depending on the individual and the oil. You may want to experiment with different oils and methods of use to find what works best for you.

Essential oils can be used with other therapies, as long as they are compatible and safe. Some examples of other therapies that may work well with essential oils are:

  • Massage therapy: Aromatherapy massage involves applying diluted essential oils to the skin while massaging the muscles and tissues. This may help relax the body and mind, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve blood circulation12.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to balance the flow of energy. Some acupuncturists may use essential oils to enhance the effects of acupuncture or to stimulate the acupuncture points2.

  • Meditation: Meditation is a practice of focusing the attention on a single object, thought, or sensation, such as the breath, a mantra, or a sound. Meditation may help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve well-being. Some people may use essential oils to create a calming or uplifting atmosphere for meditation1.

Before using essential oils with other therapies, make sure you consult your doctor and your therapist to avoid any potential interactions or side effects. For example, some essential oils may interfere with certain medications or medical conditions, or cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Also, make sure you use high-quality essential oils from reputable sources and follow the instructions for dilution and application.

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