Cocoro brings positive touch to victims of the tsunami in Japan | Mary Atkinson

Cocoro’s 9th Visit to Tsunami Area – November 2013

Cocoro Charity continues to offer aromatherapy and positive touch to the victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Indeed, as time progresses the need for help with healing the emotional wounds left by the tragedy becomes even more important. Nearly three years on, local people are still living with desperate loss, unemployment and a lack of any clear vision for the future. We hope that the work of Cocoro and its supporters offers some peace of mind and a ray of hope.

Comfort of Massage

On the ninth trip to the area in November 2013, the Cocoro team of therapists were very busy with requests for ‘comforting’,’relaxing’ ‘calming’ hand, foot or back aromatherapy massage. The team set up a base at a hot springs centre, spent time in kindergartens and also visited local people in temporary houses. At present, there are no new homes being built – indeed in some areas, they cannot find a solid enough foundation on which to build – and so people continue to live in uncertain and uncomfortable conditions into temporary houses.

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New Initiative for Local People – Aroma Care Workers

On this visit, the team of Cocoro therapists were joined by nine Aroma Care Workers who had been trained by Cocoro to provide basic hand, foot and back aromatherapy massage. This new initiative from Cocoro offers local people the chance to learn a new skill to share with family, friends and others in the community. Many of the newly trained Aroma Care Workers had previously experienced the healing power of massage from a Cocoro therapist and were pleased to have an opportunity to help others who are still experiencing considerable trauma following the tsunami.

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From the smiles on their faces, the local people certainly seemed to benefit from the caring touch of the Aroma Care Workers.

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Funds raised by Cocoro UK will go towards organising practice sessions to offer support for the new Aroma Care Workers and ensure they continue to grow in confidence and maintain their skills. As local people themselves, they understand the needs of others in the community and are already making plans to make more visits to the temporary houses where victims will still be living for several years to come.

Story Massage for Children

In the meantime, the children continue to enjoy positive touch through story massage as a peer activity in kindergartens. It is so uplifting to hear how children take the comfort of story massage home to share with their families, many of whom are living in temporary housing.

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But story massage is not only for children. Below you can see employees at Asahi Beer Company, supporters of Cocoro in Japan, taking part in a story massage session at work to help raise awareness of the benefits of positive touch activities for the victims of the tsunami. Men and women joined in the session – and thoroughly enjoyed it too!

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Heartfelt Thank You

Cocoro are so grateful for all the support from the UK which makes a huge difference to the work of the charity. We have held several fund-raising and awareness events this year and many of you have bought felt hearts to share with local people in the tsunami area.  If you would like to send  any message of support or could help raise funds in any way, then please do contact me Mary Atkinson, Cocoro UK Representative. You can find out more about the history and work of Cocoro here: Cocoro Information.

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Above is a wonderful tree of support organised by Megumi, one of the Cocoro therapists.

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