China Frontiers for the Father of a Wellness Industry in the US: Robert Tisserand, Essential Oils and the Chinese Market

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Can an entrepreneur and expert from the west successfully work in China to bring new ideas to market and to industry players?

Robert Tisserand presenting "How to Harness the Healing Power of Essential Oils."

Presenting "How to Harness the Healing Power of Essential Oils."

There is real demand in China for information about the therapeutic and cosmeceutical effects of essential oils, both at the consumer level and in the beauty industry and the burgeoning spa market.

On Tisserand's first visit to Beijing this November he spoke on "How to Harness the Healing Power of Essential Oils" to several hundred attendees and over 40 journalists, including one of the leading beauty websites in China, Yoka.com

The event was organized by Darren Moore of Organic Earth, a China-based holistic health company. According to Moore, it was a wide-ranging talk, touching on essential oils in pregnancy, wound healing, acne, photo-ageing, obesity, sleeping difficulties and psychological stress. Tisserand noted the recent emergence of research relating to essential oils and serious conditions such as post-surgical pain, skin cancer, diabetes and antibiotic-resistant infections. 

"In a market typically inundated with urban myths, misinformation and a lack of scientific understanding, Robert's discussion provided much-needed clarity in regards to the proven benefits and applications of essential oils… an historic first in China,” says Moore. Tisserand, currently based in Ojai, California, published the first major book on aromatherapy and essential oils, in 1977: The Art of Aromatherapy. He is currently looking for a publisher in China.

According to Tisserand, "Aromatherapy as a concept is quite well known in China, especially with regard to the impact of fragrance on the psyche. However many aspects of aromatherapy are poorly understood, and there are few aromatherapy practitioners or companies in China that use essential oils. There are several aromatherapy books in Mandarin, but I’m told that they don’t contain very much original information." 

He sees the Chinese market for essential oils as greatly underdeveloped, and perceives a need for education, especially on safety issues which have recently been topics of discussion in the US and Europe. "There is real demand in China for information about the therapeutic and cosmeceutical effects of essential oils, both at the consumer level and in the beauty industry and the burgeoning spa market."

"The reasonably new Chinese Spa market is booming," confirms Geraldine Howard, President of Aromatherapy Associates.

Tisserand has just been invited to Hong Kong to give a two-day spa oriented aromatherapy seminar in June 2012.

An industry white paper on aromatherapy, essential oils and the Chinese market and spa industry will be published by Tisserand in mid-2012.

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Michael Lommel
Karina Library Press
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