Cocoro – Founded by Aromatherapist Takiko Ando | Mary Atkinson

Cocoro – Founded by Aromatherapist Takiko Ando


The founder of Cocoro Charity is Takiko Ando, a Japanese citizen and qualified aromatherapist, who was herself a victim of the Hanshin earthquake in Kobe, Japan, on 17th January 1995. The Hanshin earthquake measured 7.2 on the Richter Scale. 6,434 people were killed in this disaster. Many people suffered mental health care problems in the aftermath of the disaster as there was so little recognition of the importance of the need to heal emotional wounds.

Takiko felt a deep sadness at the way that dozens of victims died alone in temporary accommodation, especially affected were elderly victims who had become estranged from their families due to bereavement and distance from each other.

As soon as Takiko heard the terrible news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the north east coast of Japan in March 2011, she was determined to do something to help. Through her experience as a therapist both in U.K and Japan, she realised that aromatherapy could act as a calming influence. She decided to embark on a new charity project offering the benefits of massage and aromatherapy to individuals affected by the tragedy.

With the invaluable help, advice and support of REST UK, a charity providing on-site chair massages to emergency service workers at prolonged emergencies, Takiko was able to sort out paperwork, including the necessary documentation such as consultation forms, and set up Cocoro (the Japanese word for mind). The local social welfare council in the disaster area recognised the importance of Cocoro and accepted Takiko’s help. In May 2011, Takiko first traveled to the prefecture of Iwate, the hardest hit disaster area, to offer 15 minute massages to the victims. She offered a choice of massage – either hands, feet or neck and shoulders.

Takiko Ando, Professional Aromatherapist, MIFPA

Takiko is Member of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapist. She is a graduate of the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy  and has gained a U.K. Diploma in Clinical Aromatherapy and Holistic Massage. She is a qualified instructor on the Massage in Schools Programme. She can be contacted directly on: info@aroma-jubilee.com


Sharing our experiences of working with Cocoro

In April 2012, my husband and I travelled to Rikuzentakata to work with Cocoro Charity bringing healing touch to the victims of the tsunami through a Positive Touch for Children programme. You can read more on the blog feature Our Experiences of Volunteering in a Tsunami Disaster Area.

We are also happy to share our experiences and photographs with local groups. All proceeds will be donated to Cocoro Charity to help maintain their important work. We are already booked at several events including local holistic therapy support groups, W.I. groups, St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Chichester, and the Japan Society in Petersfield. Please contact Mary Atkinson if you would like to arrange this.

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