One year has already elapsed since a major earthquake struck the northern part of Japan on March 11, 2011. For us Japanese people, the past year has been a tremendous challenge—the biggest since the end of World War II. Under these circumstances, the Association for Flower Essence Education, Japan (AFEEJ), has continued to this day to assist volunteer relief aid work by dedicated flower essence practitioners.
I would like to express my profound gratitude to the extremely swift help and support offered to us by the Flower Essence Society (FES). The day after the devastating earthquake struck, we received a tremendously encouraging email message from Mr. Richard Katz, asking us about the safety of our staff members and expressing his intention of offering whatever help that was needed. The heartwarming letter Patricia and Richard sent to the practitioners brought relief and courage to the hearts of practitioners living in Japan. It is true that in those days, it was very difficult for anyone—no matter how solid their minds and beliefs were—to remain calm and collected. The shock was so great that our inner axes were shaken to their very foundations.
The disaster from this earthquake had two aspects: damage brought about not only from the earthquake but also from the massive tsunami, and the leakage of radiation from the accident that occurred at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
Following is a description of AFEEJ’s activities in regard to using flower essences for relief aid work in the past year. The disaster from this earthquake had two aspects: damage brought about not only from the earthquake but also from the massive tsunami, and the leakage of radiation from the accident that occurred at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Our relief activities also addressed those two aspects. The fact that the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami were located farther north of Tokyo may also have given a unique character to our relief aid activities.
AFEEJ’s education and dissemination of flower essences in the past 14 years has had the least impact in northern Japan, the so-called Tohoku (which in Japanese means “northeast”). This meant that the first task for practitioners was to educate the residents about flower essence therapy. After visiting this area, the practitioners reported that most residents had never heard of flower essences before. Since flower essences are used for attending to mental health care, they were not given first priority. The needs of the victims immediately after the disaster were to secure the basic foundation to sustain their lives, necessities such as food, clothing, medicine, and shelter to keep them warm. Moreover, ordinary people were not allowed to enter the disaster-stricken areas. It was therefore one month after March 11 that actual flower essence relief activities began to be practiced by the local practitioners and practitioners living in places other than the disaster area. It was a little after this time that public institutions of various municipalities and volunteer organizations began to accept such activities.
Some of the main flower essences that were sought, starting immediately after the disaster, were Post-Trauma Stabilizer, Fear-Less, Kinder Garden, Rescue Remedy, and Yarrow Environmental Solution (YES). Most practitioners needed Post-Trauma Stabilizer, Rescue Remedy and Fear-Less to deal with the victims’ state of shock and panic in the face of reality. Kinder Garden has helped many children and was used to allay children’s anxieties and states of panic. Especially noticeable was the fact that many children suffered such intense shock that they became afraid at night time and could not sleep. One mother who lives in Fukushima City reported her daughter suffered from nightmares, cried, and ground her teeth every night after the earthquake. However, after two weeks taking the Kinder Garden formula, her symptoms faded and she began to have good sound sleep.
Children who were especially sensitive were frightened at night that a stranger was trying to get in through a window. The practitioners advised their mothers to give these children Angelica, and to take it together with Kinder Garden. Angelica was an extremely important remedy during this period not only for children, but also for adults. Perceiving the help and support from the spirit realm can be tremendously powerful for those with extreme fear and anxiety. Angelica was a wonderful help for the children.
The fear of radiation contamination from the leakage at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant had spread like wildfire to the neighboring areas in other than the southern part of Fukushima Prefecture that were directly affected by the accident. The fear and anxieties were caused by, among others, the Japanese government failing to provide sufficient detailed information. I felt that the extent of anxiety became more widespread the farther away an area was from the affected sites. The sense of fear experienced by the people in Tokyo and in the Kanto region as a whole was also influenced in part by the strong aftershocks that lingered for more than one month after the major earthquake. This was why many people sought to use Yarrow Environmental Solution (YES). Note that Fear Less was also an important formula that was used at that time.
In addition to YES protecting the energy body from radiation and electromagnetic waves, the flowers in the formula are indicative of its use. YES is formulated entirely of composite or asteraceous flowers, which form a geometric pattern resembling a Celtic cross. Of the members of this plant family, Echinacea in particular helps restore a person’s individuality and sense of Self. I personally hoped that many people would be able to use it, and that it would foster stability that would allow them to not lose a sense of themselves amid such terrible confusion, remain centered, and be able to take appropriate action. YES was what people sought after most strongly during this period of time and this remains the same even today. YES was delivered also to people working at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, through the father-in-law of one practitioner living in Fukushima Prefecture. He is an employee of a company related to Tokyo Electric Company.
Most practitioners who carried out activities in disaster-afflicted areas have reported that Self-Heal Creme and the Seasons of the Soul herbal flower oils were the first items that they were willing to use. Many disaster victims are of advancing age, and the majority of the people who live in shelters suffer a variety of health problems including stiff shoulders and lower back pain. Of all the oils, Dandelion Dynamo and Benediction Oil appeared to be especially popular, as the people enjoyed receiving hand massages using Self-Heal Creme mixed with flower essences. Even people who are unfamiliar with flower essences had no resistance toward massage oils and creams. The oils also have a relaxation effect through their aromas. The Flourish formulas, which contain fragrant essential oils, also were accepted by people for this reason.
The practitioners who live in disaster-affected areas found helpful Rescue Remedy and Post-Traumatic Stabilizer, especially immediately after the earthquake. Once they began providing individual flower essence therapy, Bleeding Heart and Sacred Heart became extremely important flower essences used by them. These remedies played an important role for the practitioners themselves while providing care to disaster victims, for maintaining a stable frame of mind, for not being influenced by their clients’ anxieties and worries, and for maintaining protection for their hearts. One particular practitioner stated that for her, in addition to these two remedies, Red Clover was very much needed. Practitioners, as flower essence healers, are often more sensitive to energy and more vulnerable than other people. They tend to be the ones who are the most affected by the environment around them as well as the energy of other peoples’ emotions. During times like this, Red Clover as well as other Yarrow flower essences proved to be very useful.
These remedies played an important role for the practitioners themselves while providing care to disaster victims, for maintaining a stable frame of mind, for not being influenced by their clients’ anxieties and worries, and for maintaining protection for their hearts.
It is crucial to care for those providing care to others. Ms. Shinobu Hiwatari, an aromatherapist, visited a hospital at Minamisoma-City in Fukushima Prefecture with her students in July 2011, again in November, and she will visit there April 29 and 30 this year. One of the resident doctors understands the role of alternative and holistic therapies, and she requested that Ms. Hiwatari do aromatherapy massage using flower essences for nurses, doctors and other staff working at the hospital. According to her report, the number of healthcare professionals has been insufficient since the earthquake. They are under severe working conditions and very tired. Minamishoma-City was severely affected by both the tsunami and radiation, and there is a shortage of workers because many people left to go to other prefectures.
Magenta Mantle was also one of the important formulas used after the disasters. A practitioner living in Fukushima Prefecture and a practitioner who has a friend there, sent YES and Magenta Mantle to several farmers working in the area, as well as to a friend whose family runs a local fruit farm. There are many cases in which the formulas helped revive weakened plants or made them stronger, and cleansed the energy around and inside the devastated buildings and houses. The effects of Magenta Mantle on farms contaminated by radiation, and the vast tracts of land that were devastated by the tsunami must be followed up on a long term basis. Going forward, they will continue to be extremely important formulas.
The practitioners carried out a wide variety of activities, such as providing care to friends who had been affected by the disasters and visiting evacuation shelters and makeshift housing to care for the residents. I believe that full-scale care provided by flower essence therapy to individual clients will truly begin now, one year after the disaster.
Ms. Kaori Nagata plans to ask people if they would like to receive flower essence therapy for the long term to help them through their emotional process.
Each practitioner has continued to visit the victims and makeshift housing on a regular basis, either on a personal basis or in small groups. Requested by a volunteer center, in May Ms. Kaori Nagata will visit six temporary houses at Miyako-City in Iwate Prefecture. This visit will be the third time providing aromatherapy massage and flower essence therapy for the people living in the temporary houses. She plans to ask people if they would like to receive flower essence therapy for the long term to help them through their emotional process. AFEEJ will help coordinate in that effort by contacting practitioners who register with AFEEJ as relief aid volunteers and send them regularly to the temporary housing communities.
AFEEJ has held three classes to date entitled “Mental/emotional care after the earthquake disaster” targeting practitioners who carry out relief work. As a textbook, we used the Relief Aid with Flower Essences guidebook published by the Flower Essence Society. These study sessions have proved to be extremely helpful for the practitioners. AFEEJ will continue offering assistance on an ongoing basis.
In February of this year, AFEEJ was officially certified by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as a non-profit organization. I feel that our NPO status will enable us to more realistically and effectively assist not only the activities of AFEEJ itself, but also the activities of the practitioners in educating Japanese people in regard to flower essence therapy. Among all the work we do, volunteer relief aid activities using flower essences in disaster-stricken areas will continue to be a major priority.
Experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake
Volunteer Disaster Relief Aid
Mitose Komura lives in Tokyo and is the Executive Director of the Association for Flower Essence Education, Japan (AFEEJ). AFEEJ has recently been approved as a non profit organization. Ms. Komura also is an FES certified flower essence practitioner. She began introducing FES flower essences to Japanese people in 1998. Since that time, flower essence therapy has achieved status as a holistic and alternative therapy in Japan. Flower essence use is continuing to spread to a much wider group of people and it’s foreseen that many more will use them in the future. Ms. Komura continues with great joy to devote her life and time to teaching and educating students, and supporting practitioner activities in Japan.
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