How To Utilize Essential Oils In Coaching

How To Utilize Essential Oils In Coaching 

By Rina Poerwadi

Essential Oils

Essential oils have been around for a long time in medicinal, perfume and cosmetic applications. Before the distillation process was discovered, essential oils were extracted through enfleurage and maceration techniques.

In the past, enfleurage is a method where flowers, resins or splinters of wood were steeped in oil for days. The materials were then placed in a cloth which was wrung until every last drop of fragrance had been retrieved. Maceration involved boiling of the aromatic substance in the oil ( Battaglia, 20031 ).

A Little History

Aromatherapy has been around for centuries.  We can trace it to Egypt 3000 years ago. Do you remember famous Queen Nefertiti and Cleopatra?  The Egyptians invented deodorant, perfume for anointing and for their religious offerings for their Gods and for mummifications. Frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, cinnamon, cedarwood, juniper berry and spikenard are known to have been used to preserve royal bodies in preparation for the afterlife. Most of their perfumes had a potent narcotic and sedative properties.

Early aromatherapy is not only found in Egypt, but also in many civilizations around the world.

What Is Essential Oil?

Essential oil is derived from therapeutic plants through the distillation process. Every essential oil contains chemical constituents with therapeutic benefits to us on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Essential oils are the tools of aromatherapy.

There are hundreds of essential oils available to be used at different levels of expertise. Those who are interested in using essential oils need to use them with respect and have knowledge of benefits and contraindications as well as the synergy between us and the oil or between the oils themselves.

‘It takes two to tango’ applies when you are working with essential oils. Once you master your steps, essential oils can be your personal and professional loyal partners.

Essential Oils and Coaching

Like any other relationship that involves clients and practitioners, life coaching would benefit from the use of essential oils to support you and your client during the coaching session. You can use different essential oils for each session depending on the session topic. Observe and take notes on how your client and you respond to the aroma from essential oil(s) during your session. This will help you to analyse the development of your session and build up your case study.

A simple introduction is to use a single oil at a time. Then you can build up by blending two different oils, then three different oils.

Please be aware, using essential oils in coaching means focusing on mind – body interactions that include emotional, spiritual and probably metaphysical benefits. Although we know that essential oil can also be medicinal, at this point we do not focus on clinical benefits.

Your ‘Tango Dance’ with Essential Oils


If you never bought essential oils before, the first thing is to buy essential oils from a reputable brand. There are several brands that are good in New Zealand and Australia. Good grade essential oils are not cheap. If you are not sure or have limited budget, buy a sample, many oils are available in 1 to 5 ml bottles.  Perhaps discuss your requirements with the seller.

Step 2:

For safety, as well as efficiency from your oils, use a diffuser over a tea light oil burner. A cold steam electric diffuser is popular today. A cold steam diffuser is friendly, efficient and safe to use. You can leave it in the room and it will stop / switch off when the water disappears.

Step 3:

As your ‘starter kit’ consider purchasing three of the following essential oils:

Sandalwood – santalum album/spicatum

The most common Sandalwood variants available in the market are Sandalwood Indian (Santalum album) and Sandalwood Australian(Santalum spicatum).

Both of these oils have relaxing effects on nerves which can help to alleviate nervous depression, fear, stress and difficulty to slow down, conditions that can result in headaches, insomnia and nervous tension. Both oils help to create serenity, aiding the client to feel in charge of their emotions and becomes aware of their direction in life, even overcome isolation.

Use 3 or 4 drops in a diffuser for a 1-hour session.

Black Pepper – piper nigrum

Black pepper essential oil has a very subtle aroma. You may have difficulty to smell it. But do not worry, when it diffuses in the air you and your client will inhale it through your breathing and the benefits will take effect. Black pepper is good for clients who experience differences with someone and have difficulty to ‘warm up’ the relationship. This situation can be triggered by life changes, lack of interest, lack of vitality, lack of expression of their feeling.

Use 3 or 4 drops in a diffuser for a 1-hour session.

Kanuka – kunzea ericoides

Kanuka is a stimulant. It imparts a zest for life that will overcome lack of drive, low self-confidence, anxiety and feelings of weakness. When Kanuka is present, clients can help themselves to get back the power to trust their own abilities. Of course, this will not happen overnight. Kanuka strengthens the psyche, increases concentration and is soul comforting.

Use 3 or 4 drops in a diffuser for a 1-hour session.

Step 4:

After using each oil for at least two weeks, start blending 2 oils together for your client session. Choose oils that suit the topic of the session. So, it could be 2 drops of Sandalwood and 2 drops of Kanuka. Use two different oils for another 2 weeks.

Step 5:

Then after the second 2 weeks end, start blending 3 of them all together for example, 2 drops of Sandalwood, 2 drops of Black pepper and 1 drop of Kanuka.

Do not forget to take notes for your own observation.  Be curious to how it can impact your coaching.


  1. Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, 2003.
  2. Saunders, APA Essential Oil Pharmacy, 2nd Edition, 2004.

Rina Poerwadi

Rina is a Holistic Aromatherapy Practitioner with 16 years’ experience in practice and currently practicing in her home clinic. She taught aromatherapy in tertiary education institution and also through tailor made workshops. Rina recently received Life Coach Certification from ANZCAL and currently working with a client who is interested in embarking on Aromatherapy business.

Rina can be contacted through email  if you have ‘aromatic queries’.