Effects of a massage-like essential oil application procedure using Copaiba and Deep Blue oils in individuals with hand arthritis

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 Nov:33:170-176. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.10.004. Epub 2018 Oct 10.


Background and purpose: Existing research suggests that both massage and essential oils may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. We investigate the benefits of the AromaTouch Hand Technique® (ATHT), a procedure that combines a moderate pressure touch with the application of essential oils to the hand, in individuals with hand arthritis.

Methods and materials: Thirty-six participants with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and/or chronic inflammation received ATHTs with either a 50/50 preparation of Deep Blue® and Copaiba oil or a coconut oil placebo twice daily for 5 consecutive days. Changes in maximum flexion in finger and thumb joints, items from the Arthritis Hand Function Test, and hand pain scores were evaluated.

Results: Participants treated with the essential oil preparation required significantly less time to complete dexterity tasks and showed about 50% decrease in pain scores, increased finger strength, and significantly increased angle of maximum flexion compared to subjects treated with coconut oil.

Conclusion: The ATHT with Copaiba and Deep Blue may have ameliorative effects on hand arthritis.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; AromaTouch Hand Technique; Aromatherapy hand massage; Arthritis; Beta-caryophyllene; Essential oils; dōTERRA.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Arthritis / classification
  • Arthritis / physiopathology
  • Arthritis / therapy*
  • Fabaceae*
  • Female
  • Hand Joints / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils