The Legacy of Fukushima: Addressing PTSD before it sets in

I’ve been researching the effects on the collective psyche 30 years after Chernobyl.  It looks like the psychological impact has been the most lasting.

Residents in the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have developed fatalistic attitudes compounded with a victim mentality.

In my observation, the media coverage of that accident called the people who had survived that tragedy ‘Chernobyl victims’ and that labeling in and of itself has contributed to the collective mindset. 1

The initial radiation levels were quite high in the first year and years following the incident, especially in the milk that was drank from cows who had eaten contaminated soil.  As time went on, you saw a decrease in radiation levels.  But what remained elevated were peoples own fears and distrust.

Japan has repealed its warning for infants to not drink tap water, and it may very well be that the radiation levels have gone down, but I can only imagine if it was me, I’d be pretty wary to take a drink a day later.  I’d be wary of tap water, the rain, and ban or no ban on eating leafy vegetables, I might not eat them at all.

Living in a world where there is a lot of uncertainty-the long term effects of the radiation, the effect of the disaster on the economy has and will contribute to a fractured psyche manifesting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It happened in the years following Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Radiation Effects Research Foundation reported the following:

“Symptoms reported by A-bomb survivors included recalling the occurrence and becoming upset, experiencing an increased sense of unresponsiveness and immobility, and feeling guilt and discouragement in addition to demonstrating such physical symptoms as dizziness, unconsciousness, headache, and nausea.” 2

Having worked with veterans of the foreign wars and conflicts the US has been involved with, I can say that teaching the veterans Reiki has provided them with a tool to help in managing the after effects of PTSD.

Reiki is not a cure, but it is a method that promotes a relaxation of the nervous system, which is where I feel PTSD gets rooted.  Reiki offers a way to access and develop inner peace.

Reiki as a technique has its origins in Japan.  I’d like to see Reiki being taught in addition to all the noble work that organizations like the Red Cross and Red Crescent society are bringing to a country shattered by disaster.

I have several Reiki masters (teachers) who live in Tokyo.  I’m hoping to start to arrange Reiki for Inner Peace sessions to be offered in the months and years to come.

Inner peace is needed to assist in helping to heal the generations affected by Japan’s tragedy.

Sources:  1  http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernobyl/chernobyl.pdf

http://www.rerf.or.jp/radefx/late_e/psycholo.html

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