The English Aromatherapist


10 Reasons To Avoid Raindrop Therapy

10 Reasons to Avoid Raindrop Therapy

If you’re into essential oils, it’s likely that you will have come across “Raindrop Therapy” or the “Raindrop Technique”.

It’s almost impossible to browse aromatherapy boards on Pinterest without seeing posts like this one, which has been pinned/shared over 4800 times so far:

Is Young Living Raindrop Technique Dangerous


Or this one, which has been shared over 3000 times:


Raindrop Technique is Harmful


So, what exactly IS raindrop therapy?


In a nutshell, it’s a technique that involves applying undiluted drops of essential oil directly on to the skin, for the purpose of healing and detoxifying the body. The concept was developed in the 1980s by D. Gary Young, the man behind the ubiquitous Young Living brand of essential oils. In fact, Raindrop Technique is a registered trademark of the company. Their rival, dōTERRA, advocates a similar version of this treatment, known as AromaTouch.


What’s the big deal?


Personally, I am concerned about the way this concept is portrayed as a healthy method of using essential oils. To me, it contradicts the basics of aromatherapy advice.


I am always hesitant to “name and shame” any particular brand — particularly when it comes to YL, a company notorious for being rather bolshy about criticism. However, I feel it’s important to speak out about the dangers behind this so-called therapy that’s sweeping the internet.


10 Reasons to Avoid Raindrop Therapy


  1. Dubious background

The concept was developed by D. Gary Young, the man behind Young Living essential oils. Without going into too much detail, this guy has an extremely dubious background. Despite implications to the contrary, he is not medically qualified and has been previously charged with unlawfully practising medicine without a licence. Furthermore, he is not an aromatherapist.


2. Discredited by the aromatherapy industry

One of the fundamental principles of aromatherapy training is that essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. Raindrop Therapy flies in the face of this, by advocating the use of neat drops directly on the skin. This completely contradicts the safety guidelines of the professional aromatherapy industry. Topical application of undiluted essential oils can cause serious skin irritation, toxicity and sensitisation. The treatment has been discredited by the Aromatherapy Council, who issued a statement to formally clarify its prohibition of Raindrop Therapy due to health concerns. Respected aromatherapist Robert Tisserand has also condemned the treatment, along with the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and several other organisations. The practice of Raindrop Therapy has actually been completely banned in Norway.


3. Pseudo-science

Raindrop Therapy appears to be clouded in pseudo-science, with a number of vague and unsubstantiated statements about restoring “balance and electrical alignment” in the body. Dropping essential oils from six inches above the body is purported to enhance the electromagnetic properties of the oils, allowing them to interact with the client’s electric field before being absorbed into the skin. Does this sound dubious to you?


Worryingly, any skin irritation from Raindrop Therapy is explained as a “detoxing” effect of the treatment. It’s claimed that heat generated from the oils is positive: “The more out of balance, the more virus or bacteria activity in the body, or the more inflammation in the spine, the hotter the area will become along the spine”


4. Faux-spirituality

The Raindrop procedure is shrouded in unnecessary ceremony, such as circling the oils in your palm clockwise three times before application (what difference will that make?). YL describes the treatment as having “native American” traditions, based on ancient practices and “intuitive wisdom” — presumably to add a degree of authenticity to what is an extremely questionable procedure. As a Christian company, YL often tries to incorporate religious or spiritual elements in order to validate using essential oils.


5. Unfounded claims

YL claims that “The Raindrop Technique is one of the most effective therapies for straightening spines misaligned due to scoliosis” — despite a lack of scientific evidence. A white paper was presented by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, which criticised Raindrop Therapy for promoting unsafe use of essential oils and failing to provide any empirical evidence of its claims that it is a “tool for assisting the body in correcting defects in the curvature of the spine, such as scoliosis.”


Another popular claim is that clients can measure half an inch taller after receiving a Raindrop Therapy treatment due to its miraculous healing powers. But this happens to everyone after lying down for a period of time — it’s basic science, as NASA explains here.


6. Not for kids

I’m horrified to see this technique recommended for use on children. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of blog posts out there advocating Raindrop Therapy as a remedy for just about everything, including childhood illnesses. Firstly, it’s important to be aware that essential oils should never be used undiluted on anyone’s skin — let alone on children, whose skin is much more delicate and sensitive. Secondly, this technique involves using essential oils that are toxic and potentially extremely dangerous for children. Sadly, many people offering Raindrop Therapy have no official aromatherapy training and, as such, do not fully understand the dangers of using essential oils incorrectly.


7. Focused on profit

In my opinion, Raindrop Therapy is all about profit. YL has devised a treatment that requires you to buy a kit of seven different essential oils, plus two proprietary blends. As we know, their essential oils are known for being overpriced and you can read about why I don’t use MLM brands here. After purchasing the expensive Raindrop Technique kit, you are required to shell out further money for their 1-day training course. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that using essential oils without diluting them is going to use up those bottles a great deal quicker than if used in the normal way. So, you’ll be replacing your stock fairly soon. Can you see the $$$ adding up?


8. Uses dangerous essential oils

The Raindrop Technique involves applying undiluted drops of Thyme, Basil, Wintergreen, Marjoram, Cypress, Peppermint and Oregano essential oils, along with two YL proprietary blends called Aroma Siez and Valor. If the validity of using these oils undiluted is ever questioned, the response is usually along the lines of: “It’s perfectly safe because we only use therapeutic grade oils!” Well, as you’ll know if you watched my MLM video, this is simply a marketing term that has no scientific basis. Even good quality essential oils shouldn’t be rubbed neat into the skin. Wintergreen is a controversial essential oil that professional aromatherapists are taught to avoid.


9. Unethical

The danger of MLM-led advice is that unqualified consultants are advocating Raindrop Therapy without any formal aromatherapy training. Qualified aromatherapists spend many hours studying essential oils and their effects on anatomy and physiology. I believe it’s irresponsible and unethical to freely advocate using neat essential oils (especially Wintergreen!) all over your body. Misleading the general public about essential oils will inevitably cause people to experience negative reactions after following unsafe advice. Eventually, essential oils will be regarded with distrust, or even banned. Raindrop Therapy damages the integrity of the professional aromatherapy industry.


10. Completely unnecessary

Essential oils are amazingly powerful resources and can be used in so many ways to enhance our emotional and physical wellbeing — without resorting to gimmicks like Raindrop Therapy. Let’s start using some common sense!

What to read next: Why I Don’t Use MLM Brands


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71 Responses to 10 Reasons To Avoid Raindrop Therapy

  1. Great article which I have shared on my Facebook page (hope that’s OK).

  2. Brilliant!! As an aromatherapist I shudder everytime someone asks me about this outright, irresponsible, foolish technique! I will be sharing your wisdom with my customers and clients! Thank you

  3. As an Aromatherapist myself, it has caused me some concern in seeing an increase in posts supporting this treatment, and I find it shocking that its “advocated” for children when we are advised to take the dilution down to 1% in carrier oil for children and infirm people. Thank you for not only creating a post that covers all concerns clearly but also provides supporting links. This is a great and extremely helpful piece to be able to share 🙂

  4. WOw !!! SO glad to see this today! As an Aromatherapist/Relaxation therapist I have many people ask me about this( and other practices) and then argue when I explain it to them. 🙁 I would like to share this on my facebook page and keep a copy at the store for future use.
    Thank you
    Katherin Reid
    the wicanook

  5. Wow. That was a lot of classic negative jealous energy. Perhaps you need this therapy to lighten up.
    But thank you for enlightening me on why i have grown 1/4 inch taller since i started getting the aromatouch monthly for 3 yrs now. I cannot live without it. My joints are so much Happier.
    I wouldnt trust any other oils to be pure. You get what you pay for all the time. And i have researched many brands.

  6. Great article. I will share on my page. I’ve seen injury reports where people have actually used this dangerous practice on pets & horses. How foolish.

  7. I already had my doubts, it is even worden!
    Thanks for the artikel

  8. Why don’t you talk about cannabis oil that has helped both cancer patients ,aids and children with seizures. If you want to be fair and scientific.
    Native peoples have used plants and oils for centuries. I’m sorry u have such annomosity.
    You haven’t mentioned do terra’s procedure.hen deciede
    All products want money.
    Some of us natives don’t charge we use oils as well as native plants to educate individuals who then decide to participate in wellness. We all so combine energy work which can sometimes be looked at as religious.
    Malama Pono I ko kino.

    • Thanks for your comment Cattee. I’m certainly not against using plants and oils for wellness. I am pro-aromatherapy 🙂 I’d just like to see safe and sensible use.

  9. I had this done once and it released years of emotions I did not even know where there. I am not a crier and with no words being said..I full out cried for 30 each PART OF MY BODY HAD THE OIL APPLIED ANOTHER MEMORY EMOTION WAS RELEASED.. I think it is something you cannot appreciate until you do it.

  10. I’m sorry, but as much as I love Aromatherapy and essential oils, they do not make you grow taller! Please!! Great article that I will be sharing as much as I can. Thank you!

  11. I have been using yl oils for about a year. Somebody recommended them to me. It’s not the first time i am reading about that brand not being as great as i was told they should be. I contacted customer service once to let them know sombody tested yl cinnamon oil and according to the test results the oil wasn’t pure. I sent them all the information. They ignored me by telling me to that I shoud thrust them
    This is really upsetting as this oils are not cheap at all.
    Could you please recommend any brand ?

    • Hi Aneta, thanks for your comment. I am not criticising the quality of YL oils at all, just their method of using them undiluted on the body. Personally, I believe YL oils are too expensive, but I have no reason to doubt their quality. If used in proper dilution, they’re probably fine. I’m not tied to any particular brand, but I prefer to use smaller aromatherapy suppliers that are not MLM-based 🙂 Hope that helps x

  12. Great that thera are more people less positive about the raindrop or aromatouch method. In Holland it is really amazing how much people are using the oils now without any knowledge. I have shared yiur article on fb too.

    Friendly regards

  13. Pingback: How much is one drop? – The English Aromatherapist

  14. Pingback: Why I Don’t Use MLM Brands – The English Aromatherapist

  15. I think this is all a crock of crap! Funny how Doterra was started off of YL and no one wants to run them through the ringer. Newspapers and media lie so give real proof for your accusations. Get a life and report on something important like pharmaceutical companies killing people with side effects every single day!

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for your comment. Well, actually I did mention doTerra’s version of Raindrop Therapy in the article, which is called AromaTouch. So I’m not singling out just one company. It’s the concept itself that is flawed.
      I agree, newspapers and media are often misleading, but I haven’t actually quoted them, only science-based research which I believe does constitute “real proof”.
      Seems like perhaps you have fallen prey to Raindrop Therapy marketing hype. Personally, I prefer to take a more balanced and objective opinion, based on my professional training and experience.
      Anyway, it’s always good to hear different opinions. Each to their own!
      Kind regards,
      The English Aromatherapist

    • Never fails…after years of reading responses from MLM’ers on blogs and FB almost all are crude in language, rude in their comments and really can’t give an educated response. Personally, I would never buy into something which seems to be so dominated by such angry individuals without the common sense to question beyond whoever signed them up.
      Goes to show the goal really is to sell and get a down line rather be educated to really help others safely with knowledge and kindness.

      • Thanks for your comment, Brenda. Unfortunately, some people seem to be brainwashed to the extent where they are not prepared to listen to any other points of view.

      • Amen!
        They will come at you!

      • I had raindrop done today to try to understand it’s use…. I’m a massage therapist. I’ve been so sick all day! NEVER AGAIN! And I will NEVER bring this technique into my responsible massage practice. It’s dangerous and in my opinion, was performed by a quack.

        • Thanks for sharing your experience, Angela. I’m sorry to hear that 🙁 I agree, it’s not a safe practice, and not one that is ever offered by reputable, professional aromatherapists.

        • I also am a LMT & had raindrop done recently bc I was curious. I felt great afterwards. So much more energized & lots of fresh energy lasting into the next day. I did have a minor tingling from 1 of the oils that i’m told was probably pooling a bit on my neck during it though.

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  24. “Thanks a lot for the article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.”

  25. I love how people say ‘I only use YL or DoTerra because I have done my research’ Guess what, I have done my research too – research that goes further than trusting what YL and DoTerra has fed me and includes a friend at UCLA testing 15 similar types of oils from 20 different companies.

    Yes, YL and DoTerra ARE good quality oils….but so were most of the others tested – ones that are half the price – for the same quality!

    We emailed both these companies asking why the huge price difference and got a response back from both giving the standard ‘ our oils are high quality blah blah…’ to which we responded back that our question wasn’t regarding the quality, it was the price….DoTerra sent us back the EXACT SAME oils high quality, obviously canned response while YL never did respond to our follow up question.

    I am so happy to have good quality oils in my life – and ones I haven’t paid a fortune for!

    • Thanks for your comment, Erika! I agree with you. I’m sure their oils are lovely, but I disagree with the way they are marketed. To be honest, it’s almost cult-like…!

  26. Appreciate it, Ample information!

  27. Pingback: What To Do When Friends Give Bad Advice – The English Aromatherapist

  28. This article rocks! Thank you.

  29. I certainly do not pretend to be an expert as I am not an LMT or trained in the technique and have only had one RT massage performed but the LMT that performed mine DID NOT use the oils neat. The kit actually comes with a carrier oil for dilution.

    • Thanks for your comment, Christina. I’m glad that some people are listening to safe advice! But, even if they are diluting the essential oils before applying to the skin, it’s still important to ensure that they are being diluted properly – not just 1 drop of essential oil to 3 drops carrier oil, which is often what people are told.

  30. everyone has the right to their own opinion…. but you should also understand. 1) aromatherapy school tells you the oils are bad internally and undiluted because of so many oils produced with chemicals etc.
    YL is pure, they are not over priced.. have you visited a farm and seen how they are made? IF not then you have not done your research. If you see the work that goes into making one bottle of YL Oils you would not think they are over priced. They are made with purpose and love. I Use Young living on my self and my animals… we have awesome results. It’s all about using with common sense and following the instructions on how to use. Young living never tells you to use the oils undiluted nor do they tell you to use more then a few drops.

    • In YL’s Raindrop Technique instructions, they might not tell you to use the oils “neat”, but they most certainly don’t tell you to dilute them with carrier oil. In fact, the only time they mention the V6 oil is when looking for any irritation areas on the person’s skin.

  31. “One of the fundamental principles of aromatherapy training is that essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin.” Aromatherapy is referring to regular essential oils not the higher grades. When using them only for aroma/smelling purposes, they are made differently. Those kinds of essential oils are harmful to put on skin or eat. As you know they’ve been around for very many years, used as perfumes etc. Diluted to make go farther not made from native grown plants and tested and checked for their purity, quality, and safety. This isn’t actually comparing apples to apples in these cases. Not all essential oils are created equal. In the last few years since 2008, we now have found even the higher quality then companies from 1980’s. We noe have very pure oils. In fact, doTERRA is now number one worldwide. Our oils are being used in health care settings. It’s a newer growing thing, as they discover how great they are and how beneficial to our health because they work. I agree with you about false claims “straightening spines misaligned due to scoliosis by.” Things like that give all oil companies a bad name. Anyways, you may be surprised and impressed if you dig deep enough. doTERRA is working with medical professionals, doctors, scientist. We are working together with mainstream doctors not spreading “anti-doctor” as some are doing. For myself personally, my doctor appreciates when we take an active role it self-health improvements and eating better and using natural herbs as helpers. Together with our doctors we can truly receive much better results in our health and wellness goals. We are starting to open Health Clinics that mix our oils into the treatment plans. This will help give more proof of how they help us. The first clinic will be in Utah. How exciting, to have natural healthier choices to finally be available, beyond organic without the bad side effects. We have the safest essentials oils out there CPTG. Ours are safe enough to eat. And most defiantly safe to put on our skin. Our number one seller is our healthy Supplements which are full of these pure grade essential oils. Just like the benefits received from fresh herbs. Our oils are 50 -70 times more powerful than regular herbs this is why they work so well. They have life changing health aids. They changed me and turned around my health which was going way downhill for years. I finally have a better quality of life back again which means so much to me!

    • If DT oils are so pure and safe, how come they feature highly in the 2016 Aromatherapy Injury Report? You might find it interesting to read:

      Even pure oils can cause adverse reactions, and shouldn’t be casually ingested in large quantities. Encouraging people to liberally apply neat essential oils to their skin on a daily basis, as well as casual regular ingestion, is fundamentally unethical and irresponsible. I’m pleased you’re enjoying a better quality of life using essential oils, but I do believe it’s important to use them in moderation. You can become sensitized to ANY essential oil, no matter what brand.

  32. Hello. I have just now found your post on Raindrop Therapy Massage/Essential Oils. Thank you for this! I have had training in the Raindrop Therapy Massage Techniques/and Young Living Essential Oils. I could not agree more with what you have written here!
    I am a trained massage therapist and although not a certified aromatherapist we did receive basic training in aromatherapy.
    Having used the Young Living Essential oils for the Raindrop Therapy Treatment – let me tell you – they made me very sick. (same as Angela) I suspect the trouble I had was with Oregano, Majorum and Wintergreen. I do not believe in using undiluted essential oils. Some people have more sensitive systems – what might work for one person does not for the next. Also – essential oils are powerful and many of them should not be used “neat”. Added to this, as a certified massage practitioner – the “Vitaflex” massage technique – honestly – is a joke. This type of so called massage is for people that do not know how or are not properly trained in massage therapy. How they have managed to get their “training and essential oils out there” is beyond me. On this note, let me say once again thank you for sharing your information – too many people are mislead and have misconceptions about essential oils. They are medicinal and highly effective and should only be used by trained professionals.

    • Thanks Ina. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Raindrop Therapy. Let’s hope we can spread the message that these practices are unsafe. Kind regards x

  33. I think that’s very interesting that they claim that this is part of a Native American tradition, used for thousands of years, when they really didn’t have a way to distill the herbs and plants, they would have used the plants either fresh or through burning them.

  34. Mary Howell-Brown

    Thanks you rerunning this article, very informative. I have just recently entered the “oil craze” (September 2017). This article highlights some questionable points made by the MLM companies regarding their products and procedures. When I began this journey I jumped into purchasing using oils without doing the proper research. I am now rectifiying that with studying several books on essential oils and aromatherapy written by independent certified aromatherapist.

  35. Your article is fascinating and informative- including your responses to the comments. Thank you for the time and effort that you put into this.

  36. Ok, having been trained, I have performed several raindrop therapies on my friends and family all with fantastic results!! Smartly and with a carrier oil. On the claims that essential oils make your back straight, of course they don’t! However the relaxing of the muscles and the massage done along the sides of the spine causes the back to relax, space is created between vertabea that have been compacted due to gravity. I measure everyone I give a raindrop to before and after. They’re taller, and there spines are straighter! My brother who has had chronic back pain much of his life feels his very best, able to function through the day and sleep at night, after receiving raindrop therapy!! Done with common sense I see NO reason to bash this technique. There are irresponsible users of natural medicine, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!!

    I might add, there is such a thing as a healing crisis! After adding anything healthy to your routine be it the use of essential oils, a massage, or adding a healthy food, tonic or remedy, sometimes you feel worse before you get better! Especially if it triggeres detox! Drinking water is SO important so you body can move releases toxin out of your body!!!

    Just my 2 cents. From a lover of essential oils, herbs and healing foods!!

    • Sorry about my typo there at the end. ‘So your body can remove released toxins out of the body!’

    • Thanks for your comment, Clementine. I’m glad you’ve experienced good results so far. Unfortunately, in my experience most Raindrop therapists are not diluting the essential oils and believe it is safe to apply them neat on the spine.

  37. I stupidly let someone use Equine Raindrop technique on my horse. He has sensitive chestnut skin and had minor raised lumps at the end. Apparently that was toxins being released………. I put a saddle on him two days later, he reared and I hit my hand on the saddle. I now have a broken hand and an upset horse. Not happy and annoyed with myself for being so naive.

    • Sorry to hear that, Jo. Unfortunately there are too many untrained “experts” around who are recommending this for humans and animals. I would go back to them and give them the feedback! They need to know this isn’t safe.

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