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Avens Publishing Group
t ing Innova t ions
Med Ther
May 2018 Vol.:5, Issue:1
© All rights are reserved by Bahr7, et al.
Open Access
Immediate and Lasting Effects
of the dōTERRA AromaTouch
Technique®, a Topical Essential
Oil Application Procedure, on
Autonomic Function and Salivary
Biomarkers: A Pilot Trial
Keywords: AromaTouch Technique; Essential oils; dōTERRA; Aromatherapy massage; Anti-inflammatory activity; pro-inflammatory cytokines; C-reactive protein
Objectives: To explore the immediate and lasting benefits of
the essential oils used in the dōTERRA AromaTouch Technique®, an
essential oil application method similar to a full-body aromatherapy
massage, on stress, immune secretions, inflammatory signaling, and
anxiety in healthy volunteers.
Design: Pilot trial.
Location: dōTERRA International corporate campus (Pleasant
Grove, UT)
Subjects: Healthy volunteers (n=18).
Interventions: Half of the subjects (n=9) received the technique
twice per week for three weeks. Control groups consisted of the
other healthy individuals (n=9) who received the same massage-like
technique with fractionated coconut oil instead of the essential oils.
Outcome Measures: Salivary levels of cortisol (µg/dL), TNF-α (pg/
mL), IL-6 (pg/mL), IL-1β (pg/mL), IL-8 (ng/mL), and C-reactive
protein (ng/mL) as well as the secretory rate of immunoglobulin A
(µg/min), heart rate (beats/minute), blood pressure (mm Hg), and
Spielberger state anxiety scores. Baseline measurements were taken
immediately before the first session. Additional measurements were
taken immediately after the first session and after receiving bi-weekly
sessions for a 3-week period.
Results: Both groups experienced decreases in heart rate, mean
arterial pressure, diastolic blood pressure, state anxiety scores, and
salivary levels of cortisol immediately after the first session. The essential
oil group also showed significantly decreased levels of C-reactive
protein in the saliva immediately after the technique. After three
weeks of regularly receiving the technique, subjects in the essential oil
group had significantly lower salivary levels of C-reactive protein and
three of the four inflammatory cytokines tested.
Conclusions: Because of the experimental design, many outcomes
of the technique can be attributed specifically to the activity of the
essential oils. The essential oils used in the AromaTouch Technique may
be effective for enhancing the relaxation associated with a massagelike procedure involving physical touch. The oils in the technique may
also be solely responsible for a major inhibitory effect on inflammatory
signaling. Validation of this result warrants further investigation in a trial
with a larger sample size.
EO(s): Essential oil(s); ATT: AromaTouch Technique®; FCO:
Fractionated Coconut Oil; SYS: Systolic; DIA: Diastolic; BP: Blood
Pressure; HR: Heart Rate; MAP: Mean Arterial Pressure; ANS:
Research Article
of Group
Medicine &
Invi t ing Innova t ions
Tyler Bahr*, Damian Rodriguez and Kathryn Allred
dōTERRA International, LLC, USA
*Address for Correspondence
Tyler Bahr, dōTERRA International, LLC, 389 S 1300 W,
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062, USA, Email: [email protected]
Submission: 27 April, 2018
Accepted: 30 May, 2018
Published: 08 June, 2018
Copyright: © 2018 Bahr T, et al. This is an open access article
distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.
Autonomic Nervous System; CRP: C-Reactive Protein; SSAI:
Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory; sIgA: Secretory IgA
Aromatherapy, the inhalation or topical use of essential oils
[EOs] for therapeutic benefit, and massage have been investigated
separately and in combination with positive results on various
patient populations. These results are largely due to the relaxing
effects of EOs on the autonomic nervous system [ANS] and their antiinflammatory properties. There is evidence that EOs and their aromas
decrease heart rate and blood pressure in both healthy individuals
and individuals with heart rate variability, anxiety, or chronic stress
[1,2]. Other research suggests that aromatherapy massage may help
reduce psychological and endocrine measures of stress in pregnant
women and breast cancer patients, and that it may promote immune
function in healthy individuals [3-5].
We propose that massage-like techniques involving the topical
application of EOs might have positive effects on autonomic balance
and immune function in healthy individuals, both immediately
and over an extended period of time. In this study, we evaluate the
dōTERRA AromaTouch Technique® [ATT] specifically. The ATT is
a method of applying EOs by physical touch similar to a massage.
It was developed by dōTERRA, a private company that sells EOs, to
promote relaxation, stress relief, immune function, and overall wellbeing. This is the first study to examine the benefits of the ATT. To
our knowledge, this is also the first study to investigate the benefits of
regularly receiving aromatherapy massage for an extended period of