Raindrop therapy

By Tiffany Hansen
Photography by Fagan Studios

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.” ~ Unknown

As this summer—with no shortage of rain—comes to an end, you can still embrace the healing power of this natural phenomenon through a session of raindrop therapy. It’s hidden in the hills of northern Rochester at Garden of Massage. Rosemary Schliep has owned and operated Garden of Massage for 18 years. She also taught massage therapy at Minnesota State College Southeast for eight years. She first heard of raindrop therapy when she was studying for her massage therapy degree. The power of the essential oils became immediately evident, and she chose to study aromatherapy further.


“Have you ever just felt ‘blah’—not feverish or really sick but just achy, stuffy, tired and generally worn out?” LeAnn Lake asks. “I feel that way on occasion, so the first time Rosemary suggested a raindrop session to me I thought ‘What good will that do?’ Little did I know; besides being very relaxing and smelling wonderful, I could feel my sinuses open and everything that ached started to relax. I sleep deeply after a raindrop session. Raindrop for me has been my go-to treatment for when I am feeling a cold or sinus infection coming or just feeling achy and tired. It always invigorates me and often shortens or eliminates the cold symptoms,” says Lake.


Schliep says raindrop therapy is all about the proper application of appropriate essential oils. The oils are dropped like raindrops along the spine and lightly worked in with specific massage techniques. This is then followed by a hot moist compress to encourage the oils to enter the body more quickly. Oils are also applied to the lower legs and the “spine” of the feet using a specialized technique. In doing so, raindrop therapy helps bring balance to the body, boost the body’s immune system and fight off viruses and bacteria. Each oil used is based on its qualities:

  • Thyme: Antiseptic; overcomes fatigue and exhaustion, especially after illness
  • Oregano: Antimicrobial; works against viruses, stimulates the immune system and balances metabolism
  • Wintergreen: Relieves joint and muscle aches; elevates the sensory system
  • Basil: Relaxes the muscles, including smooth muscles (heart, digestive, etc); great for mental fatigue
  • Cypress: Antimicrobial; wonderful for the circulatory system
  • Marjoram: Soothes the muscles and the respiratory system; calms the nerves and muscle spasms; antimicrobial and antiseptic
  • Peppermint: Soothes digestion; improves concentration and mental accuracy; aids in weight loss

Other oils incorporated into raindrop therapy are a blend of frankincense, blue tansy, rosewood and spruce in almond or coconut oil. This blend is known for balancing electrical energies in the body, boost immune system and energy.  It also lowers stress, anxiety and inflammation and induces sleep. A second, relaxing blend of basil, marjoram, peppermint, cypress and lavender is applied with a light massage to complete the application of oils.


Pam Ryerse says, “Raindrop therapy is my ‘go to’ therapy when I need to release emotional baggage or when I find myself feeling overwhelmed. Rosemary has a wonderful treatment room that sets the stage for a relaxing session no matter what the therapy. I recently called her for a raindrop treatment after I had driven long hours and had a busy schedule, so I was beat. Rosemary took care of me, and I was able to release a lot of tension and fatigue. I don’t pretend to understand the principle behind the use of essential oils and their application, I just know I was in good hands, and the results were magical.”

Tiffany Hansen works as a mental health practitioner and is interested in the medicinal benefits of essential oils.