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Please Relax with a Massage, Specialist Dispatched: Noto Peninsula Earthquake


A physical therapist massages a man

A physical therapist massages a victim at a meeting place in Wajima, Ishikawa, January 27, 2024

It has been almost a month since the Noto Peninsula Earthquake struck, and more than 10,000 people are still living as evacuees in Ishikawa Prefecture. In addition to the prolonged water outage and the bitter cold of winter, lack of exercise and stress are becoming serious problems for the evacuees, and AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) has started to provide expert massages to help them relax even a little.

On January 27, AAR’s emergency support team, together with partner acupuncture and moxibustion massage therapists and physical therapists, visited a meeting place in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, where nearby residents gather. Located far from the city center, the meeting place has become a place where survivors who have been evacuated from their homes can receive relief supplies.

“The massages felt really good and warmed me up,” said one of the participants. “I have been so tense for the past month that my body has become stiff. After the massage, my blood flow improved and my body felt lighter.” There are many elderly people in this district, and the two specialists gave shoulder and back massages to about 20 people, which were very well received. During the careful massages, AAR staff members prepared coffee for the gathering, and the aroma of the coffee made everyone feel relaxed.

An acupuncture and moxibustion masseuse massaging a man

An acupuncture and moxibustion massage therapist, gives a massage to a victim

In addition to the massages, a tea party with coffee and sweets was also held, providing an opportunity to hear about the evacuees’ lives and the support they need, to exchange information with other residents, and to get together and relax.

People sitting around coffee and sweets

People relaxing at a tea party with coffee and sweets

AAR has been involved in soup kitchens, provision of relief supplies, and support for foreign residents in Japan since immediately after the earthquake. As the evacuation period continues to lengthen, we will continue to support the victims while taking care of their health and well-being.

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