I see many clients with depression and the first oils I turn to is Bergamot with it’s refreshing, uplifting citrus aroma. It’s one disadvantage is that clients have to avoid direct exposure to bright sunlight/sun bed rays for 12 hours afterwards. While it is possible to buy bergamot oil which is free of furo-coumarins, the constituents of the oils which heighten sensitivity to sunlight my instinct is to go for the raw essential oil.
How big a risk? I have found it difficult to quantify this but am not prepared to take any chances with it, having read anecdotal evidence of severe reactions.
If I knew a client was particularly at risk and suspect they might not follow advice I would use one of the other citrus oils that is safer in this respect. Clary sage is another useful oil for depression, particularly where the client has very low energy levels as in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Frankincense is another good oil for this condition and is particularly good for those with a more agitated form of depression.
Jasmine is the oil of choice for those whose depression is secondary to emotional hurt, including bereavement and sexual abuse among other triggers.
All these oils can be used in conjunction with others to treat other aspects of the clients condition. There are also several other oils that can be used.
Massage is often good for depression because it can help create a sense of being cared for and held, both physically and emotionally. When working with the depressed client I will usually spend more time working on the meridians as in Traditional Chinese Medicine depression is usually characterised by blocked Qi or energy and helping to smooth the flow of energy can be very helpful.
Of prime importance is that I do not blame the client for their condition and accept them for who they are in the moment.