Just like drumming, mandalas, even some iPads apps, and other healing arts, essential oils (EOs) can be very powerful as a complement to music therapy. I’ve got a few ideas for you. But first keep in mind to use caution with people who have auditory sensitivities or mental health diagnoses. *Always ask the parent, guardian, or facility for permission to use EOs.

Scroll down for more than a dozen ideas!

First, know that the essential oils industry is unregulated. The FDA requires that only a minimum of 5% actual essential oil is inside of a bottle labeled “100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.” You’re always safe with Young Living, which is the company I use and recommend. I have many reasons why, and you can read them here. Now, the ideas flow below!


  1. Explain why you’re using EOs. Describe the benefits of EOs.
  2. Match your description with a challenge s/he is working on.
  3. Provide the rationale behind the desired result of EOs usage.


  1. Peppermint & Lemon are uplifting for the spirit.
  2. Stress Away & Lavender provide a soothing and calm environment.
  3. Panaway is great to diffuse when emotions are heightened or out of control.
  4. Purification & Thieves promote a clean environment.
  5. Any Frankincense blend would suit a community workshop.
  6. Thieves & Lemon or Thieves & Copaiba are good for keeping the winter-time germs at bay.


  1. Provide two EO choices to the person at a time.
  2. Invite the person to choose one of his/her favorite oils.
  3. Repeat the choice exercise 3 times.
  4. Blend those 3 oils in a roller ball and create a label that states “The [NAME] Blend”
  5. Use that person’s blend every session! You can use the blend for a reward, for a break time, for a hello greeting, for a transition, or for a closing.


  1. Invite the person to identify the emotion that s/he would like to release.
  2. Offer a choice of 2 EOs, and ask which one creates the strongest response (positive OR negative).
  3. Place a drop of the oil into the person’s hand and invite him/her to swirl it between hands. Inhale 3 deep breaths.
  4. This is where you can get creative with your work. You can use art, improvisation, imagery, crystal bowls, drumming, or guided meditation to help the person release the emotion.
  5. At the end of the experience, drop a relaxing EO in the palm to swirl and cool down. Lavender, Stress Away, Copaiba, and/or Panaway work great.

Here’s a story from Briana Priester, MT-BC, music therapist who uses essential oils in her practice:

I don’t want my clients to have any limitations on their experience. So, I have a sign on my door that says “Essential oils used here. Ask how they can enhance your music therapy session.” What I offer to my clients is ownership of their session in a new way. It allows them to be their own navigator, to be responsible for their own emotional experience in that moment. 

I had a pre-teen who came in and for 6 months, he chose the same 3 drops of this and 3 drops of that. One day I said “Hey bud! Let’s make a sticker and put your name on it.” We took an empty bottle, put his name on a sticker on it, and he loves it!

Here’s my protocol, which I learned from an aromatherapist: I offer essential oils. I work with the parents and obtain consent if it seems to be a good fit. I have my client unscrew the lids to frankincense, lavender, and lemon. As my client begins to smell them, s/he rates them. Then it turns into an equation or formula for the blend. And I preemptively support my clients in the space by diffusing in the beginning as s/he gets settled.

Here’s a story from Susan, a music teacher and healer who uses essential oils in Canada:

Last week I was in a session with a 10 year old and she couldn’t stop scratching a couple of bug bites. Her mom was there telling her to stop. 

Because I carry a blend of lavender, lemon and peppermint for my allergy symptoms at all times, I asked her mom if she would like me to dab her bites with it. Her mom said sure. The itching stopped almost immediately. 

I left my mini rollerball there. 

The mom texted me to thank me because it was working miracles for her daughter. 

Was it part of a lesson? Well…no but it sure made a difference to the child’s focus. If she had needed Kleenex or a snack I would have shared that too. 

When I worked on teams with speech therapists and OTs we all gave extra….whatever it took to bring life to the clients sessions . We demonstrated caring for one another too. 

Being human is what it felt like 


Get your Oils and get a treat from me! 

When you purchase your Starter Kit, you’ll receive a 77-page educational handbook so you feel confident using essential oils. You’ll also receive 3 workshop session plans that combine drumming and essential oils.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.

4 Steps To Integrate Essential Oils Into Your Work

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