Volunteer aid workers use flower essences in the aftermath of disaster

 

practitioner's account of earthquake

By Kumi Tamagawa

 

Distributing flower essences in the midst of chaos

Addressing the fear and trauma underlying disturbed sleep patterns

Yarrow Environmental Solution for radiation exposure

Introducing the people of East Japan to flower essences

 

Working with those unable to leave Fukushima

 

Note by Mitose Komura, the Association of Flower Essence Education, Japan (AFEEJ):

On March 11, the day the massive earthquake struck, I watched a horrific scene live on television: a huge tsunami engulfing the city of Sendai. I became deeply concerned about the safety of two practitioners living in Sendai. I have been friends with both of them for over ten years, have worked closely with them to promote flower essences; they are wonderful colleagues. Two days later, I was tremendously relieved to learn that they were both safe, and fortunately had sustained no injuries.

Ms. Tamagawa is one of my two colleagues. She herself had been affected by the incident, and although she was concerned about her family and relatives, she took action immediately after the earthquake, and carried out relief aid activities with numerous victims. I have great admiration for her selfless love and dynamic energy.

On March 11, 2011 at 14:46, a major earthquake of unprecedented scale occurred, which was later to be called the Great East Japan Earthquake. At the moment the quake struck, I was in the city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, located about 180 km from the epicenter. The shake was so violent that I felt as if Japan would really sink.

I was away from home, so by the time I reached there, it was late at night. All the lights in the area were out; I saw lots of stars shining in the sky. This was a scene I will never forget.

On the day of the disaster, I gathered information from radio and digital broadcasting on my mobile phone. I could not believe my eyes when I saw televised scenes of the Sendai Airport being washed away by a tsunami. The earthquake caused considerable damage of course, but the huge tsunami left devastating scars that will not go away anytime soon.

Destruction caused by the tsunami

The following day, I went to the office where I conduct my practice. It was a mess inside with half of all the Aura Soma bottles shattered, and I could smell the aromas in the air. Fortunately, the flower essences escaped major damage, and I became determined to somehow use them to provide care to my clients and students.

The fact was however, that the lines of communication were almost cut off. Even mobile phone text messages could not be sent or received. I found that tools such as Mixi (a social networking service) and Twitter were helpful. I used them to check the safety of my friends and acquaintances.

Distributing flower essences in the midst of chaos

Two days later, telephone calls finally got through, so I contacted Ms. Komura of AFEEJ, the Association of Flower Essence Education, Japan. I explained to her that compared with the coastal regions, the area around the Sendai Station sustained only minor damage. I also told her that the coastal regions were wiped out by the tsunami and could not be accessed because of traffic restriction, and that distribution of goods had stopped. Ms. Komura told me that FES was ready to provide backup. I felt extremely reassured and grateful.

I thought about how I could deliver these essences to everyone henceforth. To begin, I decided to send a bulk email message to my clients, then to the students, and to whoever might need them. I drew up a basic list of essences, and asked the people to select the ones they wanted.

After postal delivery services resumed, I sent flower essences to everybody I possibly could. The first batch was delivered on March 28, about two weeks after the earthquake

It is possible to create a combination dosage bottle for each case using the various flower essences, but in situations such as this, I found pre-formulated combinations to be extremely useful. Among FES’ Flourish formulas, I often used Post-Trauma Stabilizer, Grief Relief, Flora Sleep, and Kinder Garden and, for companion animals, Animal Relief Formula.

In addition to many others, I also frequently prescribed Angelica, Red Clover, Scotch Broom, St. John’s Wort, Borage, Chamomile, Five-Flower Formula, Star of Bethlehem, Mimulus, Mustard, Olive, and Red Chestnut.

After postal delivery services resumed, I sent flower essences to everybody I possibly could. The first batch was delivered on March 28, about two weeks after the earthquake. Also, I worked very hard to clean up my office so that I could have my clients come to me directly, and I finally reopened in April.

Using flower essences to ease the fear and trauma underlying disturbed sleep patterns

Ms. K. said that she began regularly talking in her sleep at night. She would even scream, but she had no recollection of having a nightmare. Her husband told her that she had done so just the previous night, although that had never happened to her prior to the disasters. Although Ms. K’s house was not affected by the tsunami, areas that were devastated were only a short walk from her home. She therefore lived in an area where the surrounding circumstances could be directly felt.

To guarantee sound sleep during the night, I felt that St. John’s Wort, Angelica, and Aspen might be a good combination. However, after I consulted with Ms. Komura, I decided on creating a dosage bottle with the combination of Angelica, St. John’s Wort, Mariposa Lily and Alpine Aster.

I had bought an Angelica seedling before the earthquake, and it was growing on my apartment balcony. It struck me as a mysterious coincidence that makes me wonder if it had been a premonition of sorts.

Ms. Komura said, “Angelica is an essence that is needed greatly during this period.” I had the same feeling. When I look back now, I realized that I had bought an Angelica seedling before the earthquake, and it was growing on my apartment balcony. It struck me as a mysterious coincidence that makes me wonder if it had been a premonition of sorts.

Ms. K emailed me later and told me that she had stopped talking in her sleep three days later, and that she was able to sleep soundly through the night. I feel that Angelica may have provided her with a sense of being “protected.”

I believe that St. John’s Wort helped achieve a balance between light and darkness; Alpine Aster helped maintain a balance with the spiritual world; and Mariposa Lily enveloped her with warmth and security. I gave this combination to a number of people; they all told me that they have now been able to sleep soundly.

Yarrow Environmental Solution for radiation exposure

Fukushima City is one of the areas where I carry out activities, so I know the city quite well. After the earthquake, a hydrogen explosion occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, putting the people of Fukushima Prefecture under a tremendous stress. I am sure it is a stress that is truly immeasurable.

In early April, I held a class on flower essences in Fukushima City. I had already held similar classes several times at the same location, so the students have become quite knowledgeable about flower essences. As I continued to listen to the students’ stories, I learned that many of them wanted to receive advice about their children who had begun to cling to them, as well as their becoming easily fatigued and having trouble sleeping soundly. They also told me of their wish to have hope for the future.

The city of Fukushima is an area that was not affected by the tsunami; the people are more worried about the aftermath of the nuclear power accident than the earthquake. I therefore asked Ms. Komura to send Yarrow Environmental Solution (YES) to give to the residents of Fukushima Prefecture, to address the issues relating to the earthquake disaster. YES is a formula that the students had used before, but I described in detail once again to them the contents and decided to give it to those who wished to use it.

Those who used YES informed me that they have become less easily fatigued than before. They also told me that they now felt secure and safe, and that by using YES, they felt as if the protection of their auras was reinforced. One comment that left a strong impression on me was this: “Before using YES, I felt as if my feet were not firmly planted on the ground. I spent my days not knowing what I should think or how I should act. After using YES however, I became able to think about things realistically, and act accordingly.” Even now, I have everyone continue to use YES in small quantities.

For children, I divided the Self-Heal Creme into smaller portions, and mixed small amounts of Lavender essential oil and gave it to about fifteen families. Before giving it to them, I told them to rub the cream onto their children’s chests, and do a massage before they went to sleep at night. Several days later, the mothers told me that their children became able to sleep soundly through the night, and that they were able to leave their mothers and play on their own, just as before the disasters. The women added that having the cream applied was something the children looked forward to with pleasure. I’m sure the children felt good; after all, children are honest and straightforward.

... the mothers told me that their children became able to sleep soundly through the night, and that they were able to leave their mothers and play on their own, just as before the disasters.

I also had the chance to give sessions on flower essences together with an aromatherapist who lived in the Yuriage district that was devastated by the tsunami, as well as people engaged in holding free bazaars, selling children’s clothes. I listened to their stories while giving a hand massage, and chose a number of flower essences. I also carried out similar activities in the Iwanuma district.

Introducing people to flower essences

One thing I learned was how little flower essences were known among the people in general. I’m sure that those who are fond of the spiritual world are familiar with flower essences. Most people living in areas I visited recently had never heard of flower essences, but they all said that they wanted to try using the essences, so I made formulas in spray bottles, and gave them to people to take home.

One question that was on my mind throughout these activities was: How should I describe and convey flower essences so that people could understand them easily?  I also thought deeply as to how I would carry out my activities henceforth.

Most people living in areas I visited recently had never heard of flower essences, but they all said that they wanted to try using the essences, so I made formulas in spray bottles, and gave them to people to take home.

Once the disaster victims begin living in temporary housing units, their lives change drastically from the days when they were in evacuation shelters. Since they have more time to themselves now, they may be able to hear the voices from within even more than before. Provision of mental care needed in the wake of a major earthquake may have just begun now. I feel it is important to provide psychological care not only to those who became victims of the tsunami, but also to those living in the city areas. I would be happy if I could be of help with flower essences to the people in this region, however little it might be.

Working with those unable to leave Fukushima

I visited Fukushima every three months after the earthquake, and gave flower essences formulas I made to those who needed them. One year after the earthquake, eight people who live in Fukushima Prefecture continued to use flower essences. There was a common feeling amongst them and that was to “live now.”

They have various reasons for why they cannot leave Fukushima. They all have the same issues in regard to radiation, agricultural plants they grow and many other matters. For six months after the earthquake, they only had negative thoughts about not being able to leave the area. However as they continued to take flower essences, they gradually began to think more objectively, and then their point of view changed to “live fully now, here.” One woman said that for a time she went days without smiling, but the light of Mustard and Gorse helped her to smile once again.

There are still many people who worry and are anxious in the disaster areas. I would like to help them ongoing to become to help brighten their souls with the use of flower essences.

We continue still to work for reconstruction and restoration here in Japan. We are happy if you in the world send us prayers of hope…

About Kumi Tamagawa

Ms. Kumi Tamagawa is a resident of Sendai City. She is a flower essence researcher, Grade 1 Technician of Flower Decoration, certified lecturer of Myki Healing Herbs Advanced Course, and AWAJ Aromatherapy Advisor.

Ms. Tamagawa began her active and successful career in the world of flower design about 17 years ago. While working with the plants, she felt a very deep connection with the energy of them, and has since entered the world of flower essence research. After encountering the Healingherbs flower essences, she decided to continue her research with them and then also with the FES flower essences. Ms. Tamagawa participated twice in FES practitioner seminars, in 2004 and 2010. She is a flower essence lecturer who is considered to be very close to the world of plants. She is also engaged in professional studies of astrology. Visit her website.

Back to the main page


 


[ About FES | Online Repertory |Class Offerings | Research & Case Studies | Interviews and Articles]
[ What's New | Publications | Membership | Find a Practitioner | Members' Pages | Home ]

 


P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA  95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163    fax: 530-265-0584

E-mail: mail@flowersociety.org

Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.