Cocoro – Training Aroma Care Workers in Rikuzentakata

The latest initiative of Cocoro charity (providing aromatherapy and positive touch for the victims of the tsunami in Japan) is to train local people in basic aromatherapy and massage skills. This successful venture has been planned and organised by Ms Sugawara, Cocoro’s local co-ordinator, and Ms Gill, Principal of Japan Ecole de Aromatherapy in Tokyo, who have worked long hours to design a suitable course for such a remote area, especially one so damaged by the tsunami.


Since the disaster of March 2011, Cocoro charity has been arranging visits of therapists, from other areas of Japan, to offer 15 minute aromatherapy massages to the victims of the disaster. These massages have helped bring comfort and reassurance to the local people who are suffering the long-term mental health effects of trauma. Cocoro members recognised the need for local people to gain a new skill and decided to facilitate a course so those interested can train in basic aromatherapy and massage and help support their own family, friends and neighbours.


The course offers a real ray of hope in the area. People feel haunted by memories of the past, and these feelings have become stronger as time progresses. Learning a new skill and being able to help others can be a step towards a more positive state of well-being. Students on the course have ranged in age from twenties to sixties, and have studied hard to learn the massage moves. Follow-up seminars have been held on a monthly basis to assess their knowledge of massage and essential oils, and discuss ways of using their skills.


In order to support the new Aroma Care Workers, Cocoro is providing training free of charge. The Aroma Care Workers will also be given a beautiful T-Shirt, specially designed by the very talented Mr Akiyama. Cocoro has built a name locally for reliability and comforting massage, and we hope this T-Shirt will be a mark of quality. Some of the students on the course enrolled because they had benefitted from an aromatherapy massage from a Cocoro therapist.

Cocoro T shirt

Despite some hesitation initially, the new Aroma Care Workers are now passionate about their work and study with commitment and motivation. They have started to grow in confidence as they recognise how good it feels to see someone’s smile after a therapy session.


Can you support Cocoro’s work?

Cocoro will be visiting Rikuzentakata again on November 20th 2013 for a few days, and will be training eight more Aroma Care Workers in basic massage and aromatherapy skills. If you like to know more about Cocoro or have any ideas for fund-raising opportunities, then please contact me Mary Atkinson, Cocoro UK Representative. Read more about Cocoro here: Cocoro UK Website.



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