Medical support with acupuncture and massage therapies for disaster victims

Masataka Miwa, Shin Takayama, Soichiro Kaneko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster (GEJED) and Joso City Flood (JCF), a number of people were relocated to evacuation centers. In situations following a large-scale disaster, acupuncture can be applied for various health problems in evacuation centers. In this study, we report the medical support operation for evacuees with acupuncture and massage therapy (AP/MT) and its effectiveness. In addition, we propose an experience-based guideline for AP/MT in such situations. Methods: We retrospectively investigated the treatment with AP/MT after GEJED and JCF based on the medical records that were coded. We performed AP/MT for evacuees or supporters in Iwanuma City, Shiogama City, and Natori City after the GEJED (total number of 1042), and in Joso City after the JCF (total number of 110). Results: The most common complaints, shoulder, back, and knee pain, were reported in 67.6% of patients after the GEJED and 80.9% of patients after the JCF. Acupuncture and massage therapy (AP/MT) significantly decreased the median Face Scale score of subjective symptoms in evacuees (before, 3.0 vs after, 1.0, P <.001) and supporters (before, 3.0 vs after, 1.0, P <.001) in the JCF. Conclusions: Evacuees and supporters in affected areas could benefit from AP/MT for relief of subjective symptoms. For proper management and safety support, we proposed a guideline of AP/MT for postdisaster situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General and Family Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan


  • acupuncture
  • disaster
  • evacuees
  • massage
  • supporters


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