Report on disaster medical operations with acupuncture/ massage therapy after the great ast japan arthquake

Shin Takayama, Tetsuharu Kamiya, Masashi Watanabe, Atsushi Hirano, Ayane Matsuda, Yasutake Monma, Takehiro Numata, Iroko Kusuyama, Nobuo Yaegashi

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The Great East Japan Earthquake inflicted immense damage over a wide area of eastern Japan with the consequent tsunami. Department of Traditional Asian Medicine, Tohoku University, started providing medical assistance to the disaster-stricken regions mainly employing traditional Asian therapies. We visited seven evacuation centers in Miyagi and Fukushima Prefecture and provided acupuncture/massage therapy. While massage therapy was performed manually, filiform needles and press tack needles were used to administer acupuncture. In total, 553 people were treated (mean age, 54.0 years; 206 men, 347 women). Assessment by interview showed that the most common complaint was shoulder/ back stiffness. The rate of therapy satisfaction was 92.3%. Many people answered that they experienced not only physical but also psychological relief. At the time of the disaster, acupuncture/massage therapy, which has both mental and physical soothing effects, may be a therapeutic approach that can be effectively used in combination with Western medical practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalIntegrative Medicine Insights
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Acupuncture
  • Disaster
  • Great east japan earthquake
  • Massage
  • Traditional asian medicine


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