alexa Use of Traditional East Asian Medicine to Diagnose and Kampo Medicine Kamishoyosan to Treat Survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011: A Retrospective Study

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Use of Traditional East Asian Medicine to Diagnose and Kampo Medicine Kamishoyosan to Treat Survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011: A Retrospective Study

Objective: In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the associated tsunami, the Japanese medical system was not adequately prepared to deal with the many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and commonly used pharmaceuticals were not always effective in dealing with the symptoms of PTSD. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the physical and mental condition of tsunami survivors by using traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) principles and examine the effects of Kampo medicine (Japanese herbal medicine) Kamishoyosan (Jia-wei-xiao-yao-san) on stress-related disorders such as PTSD. Method: The study participants consisted of 32 tsunami survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Clinical records were used to analyze (1) patient complaints, (2) diagnosis, and (3) treatment with traditional Chinese medicine. The clinical records were also used for Japanese-language version of the Impact of Event Scale – Revised (IES-R-J) assessments. Results: Thirty-two employees at the Urayasu nursing facility (7 men, 25 women; age, 40 ± 13 years) were enrolled as patients. The physical symptoms reported by the patients were insomnia, fatigue, palpitations, and shoulder discomfort; the mental symptoms included anxiety, sense of guilt, dreams, fear, anger, and irritation. Among TEAM syndromes, “liver qi stagnation” and “depressed liver qi transforming into fire” were most common. The herbal medicine Kamishoyosan was prescribed for 23 participants. The IES-R-J scores after the prescribed use of Kamishoyosan showed significant improvement compared to the pre-treatment IES-R-J scores. Conclusions: Kamishoyosan for applicable cases can be helpful as an adjunctive therapy for treatment of stress-related disorders such as PTSD following major disasters. Further investigation of the role of Kamishoyosan in reducing the symptoms of PTSD is warranted. Follow-up for survivors and rescue workers affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake is indispensable

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