JAPAN - July 2011 Music Therapy for Tsunami Victims
After several meetings with Japanese officials including, Shiro Kitajima, COO of Panasonic Corp. of North America and Hon. Ambassador Peter Hiroki, a detailed proposal was submitted to our sponsor, Mr. Kitajima, which included music therapy, feeding programs, medicine supplies for infectious diseases, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts. With radiation levels above the safety limit of exposure at the time, our team decided that we start immediate relief efforts with music therapy.
After extensive research we came to understand that music therapy has been used as a tool for healing since ancient times. Traditional Chinese and Indian practitioners have used music for healing since ages. Music has been passed down all generations to influence physical, emotional, cognitive, social well-being and improve quality of life for healthy people as well as those who are disabled or ill. Therapy may involve either listening to or performing music, with or without the presence of a music therapist.
In treating symptoms of trauma, music therapy can improve the overall quality of life by enhancing the relaxation response, a physiological state that speeds up many of the body’s healing responses.
Relaxation leads to reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and tension, as well as many other beneficial changes.
We also learned that music therapy has been shown to enhance relaxation, improve morale, mood, self-esteem, daily functioning, general well-being and other related issues. Recognizing these medicinal effects, our team created thousands of CD’s which included songs native to the land, and gave them to Ambassador Hiroki of Japan in July 2011 for distribution to the victims of the tsunami and earthquake.
We later began mobilizing the medical team and other members but unfortunately had to hold off on our retreat as radiation levels remained elevated and had spread to Tokyo, several hundred miles away from the disaster site.
As of April 2012, experts in Japan still struggle to identify the extent of the damage and how to best reduce radiation levels back to within safety standards. Once this happens, IMMUSA remains committed to following through with their proposed mission in Japan if requested by the Japanese authority and we are available.