A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

A fast ( and natural ) way to alleviate DIZZINESS brought on by earthquake aftershocks

Use your index fingers to press at the base of the skull (the BON NO KUBO pressure point)- on both sides of the neck

By Avi Landau


On March 11th, miles beneath the Pacific Ocean floor off the shore of North-Eastern Honshu (the largest of the Japanese Isles), the tectonic plates which meet there shifted, suddenly and dramatically. This movement sent a geological shock wave through the region, resulting in one of the most powerfull earthquakes EVER recorded, and in a devastiting tsunami, as well.

More than a week has passed since that fateful day, and still the earth has not settled into a comfortable position. That means that there have been aftershocks of varying degrees of force several times everyday. We have grown so accustomed to them by now, that  we dont give a second thought to the slight tremors. We have even grown numb to the larger shocks,  many of which, if it were  before March 11th would have been considered big earthquakes in their own right.

Whether they are frightening or not, these aftershocks can have a disrupting effect on some: dizziness- something  very much like seasickness.

In fact, I was a victim of this phenomenon today, just after a hardly noticeable tremor ( I guess the building I was in must have been swaying alot). I felt like I would lose my balance, and maybe even throw up.

When I told my friend about my sudden symptoms, she told me how to get rid of the feeling using self applied ACUPRESSURE and a special ( yet simple) form of breathing.

Since it worked for me right away, I thought I should share the technique with you- since there are probably many more aftershocks in store for us in the near future.

Here is what you do:

Use the index fingers of both hands to press at the base of your skull. This is an important pressure point ( tsubo) in oriental medicine called the BON NO KUBO in Japanese ( see photo above for exact location).

While applying firm pressure, breathe in through your nose for a five second  count.

Then, breathe out your mouth while you count to ten.

And…… thats all!

It should do the trick!

So even though the ground beneath our feet has still not settled down- you can keep your head from spinning using this simple, natural, and very effective  technique.

For more on what the impact of the earthquake on Tsukuba has been like, read my onrunning TsukuBlog Post ( detailing the earthquake itself, as it was felt in Tsukuba, and the following two weeks):



  • Dan Waldhoff says:

    Aloha Avi and Welcome Back!

    Happy to know that you still have your typing fingers – as do we.

    Your message is timely because I was quite off balance today and thinking of a Hitchcock vertigo scene while wondering what deep, deep motion had triggered it. I had just stood up to move from one room to another and hadn’t felt a tremor.



  • kaori kakuta says:

    I was really relieved when I knew you and your family are safe by reading your survival story on this blog.
    And today’s information is helpful for me,because my mother has trouble of dizziness recently. After the earthquake, she fell over a step,and hit her shin.I try it for her as soon as possible.
    I am looking forward to seeing you in April!
    Please take good care of yourself.

  • daliza says:

    Hi Avi,
    I have been a silent reader for almost a year, but today, I must say thank you, Thank you for not being selfish, and keep sharing your experience living in Tsukuba.
    After March 11, i notice i become dizzy easily. My method is simply going to bed and get some sleep.:))

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    Thank you Av-san! Now I feel easy I am not an only person feeling DIZZINESS also knew how to cure. I have been thinking my stocked Sake of every night-friend became stronger while swaying.

  • alice says:

    How’s the water situation at your place? In Yokohama, bottled mineral water are already sold out. I am down to my last box of tissue due to the heavy bouts of hay fever in my family. Substituting toilet paper for tissues. As soon as the stock comes in, it’s snapped up and one customer can only buy one item at a drugstore near my place – either a twelve-roll toilet paper or a five-box tissue paper. Hubby came home with toilet paper only.

  • ginni-California North Coast says:

    Hello – Avi & All!!!
    ~ from the North Coast of California, USA ~
    It’s SO Good to hear your voice!!!

    We are thinking of you All The Time, and our hearts are with you every moment. Listening to the news all day every day, googling for Tsukuba & Ibaraki – waiting & hoping to see you post again – I’ve been SO Worried about you all. I’m Very Glad you are mostly safe – but just the thought of all those aftershocks makes *me* dizzy! Thanks for the acupressure – I tend to be kinda “dizzy” myself sometimes… har.

    We are especially sad here in my hometown, as our Sister City, Otsuchi has been devastated… We share the same latitude, and the Bay is more lovely even than ours. Now I can barely stand to look at it… Any info/images of Otsuchi are Greatly Appreciated – Avi has my e-mail address, so please send to him. Our prayers are with you constantly. Sending You Much Comfort, Compassion, Friendship.

    loads o’ gentle love,
    from “The Other Edge”
    aka ‘Flower Mountain’
    [please send kanji & pronunciation? oh, thanks forever thanks!]

    please, if convenient – I’m very interested in the area of Matsushima Bay, its exceptional beauty, culture, temples, etc. I’ve tried to google for lovely images and also for news of the outcome there of the quake & tsunami. Can anyone provide a few good links for me about Matsushima? !Arigato!

    Please Take VERY GOOD CARE of Your Sweet Selves.

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    Near the area in which I live in Tsukuba,
    Two supermarkets are selling 2 liter Pet-bottles of water, one or two for each customer, with a written explanation about the situation. The situation is better compared to yesterday (sold out). Toilet paper is in full stock, with no limits on sales.

    It reminds me of 1973, when the Yom Kippur War ( The Fourth Middle Eastern War, in Japanese) broke out, and the oil embargo occurred. At that time people rushed to buy toilet paper and detergent even though they had no connection at all to oil. A toilet-paper panic.

    In our house we always keep some stock of these materials for this kind of disaster (common sense for some Japanese people like my elder daughter who is extremely earthquake-savvy: we felt much gratitude for her help at this time).

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    The Mayor of Otsuchi Town in Iwate Prefecture, Mr. Kato Koki was found dead after the earthquake on March 20th.
    • According to the Iwate Prefectural Government, there are 463 persons are dead and 1032 missing from the town. In addition, 5992 person’s are taking shelter in 41 different asylums. There is great damage all over the town. The 3 story high hospital which was damaged by the Tsunami up to the second floor could not be used.
    • Almost all houses in the town were severely damaged.
    • A relief headquarters has been set up at the central town hall.
    • Only a small area has electric power now. There is no water supply system working in the city.
    • Telephones are working in some areas.
    • The towns roads have been knocked out and it is only possible to leave in one direction.

  • MioL says:

    Hello Mamoru san. I learned today that the evacuees staying at the kokusaikaigijo in Tsukuba have been told to leave Tsukuba by April 1st. They can go to Ryugasaki if they need.

    What is the situation at the Doho koen gymnasium? Must the evacuees leave there also.

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    There is no request that the evacuees in The Doho-koen gymnasium leave.. But they will not accept any more evacuees. Ibaraki prefectural goverment is responsible for these matters.
    So I do not know any detail yet.

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    The Doho Koen gymnasium for evacuees will be closed as of April 17th. At present there are 31 evacuees staying there and they will have to leave by then and finf a suitable hotels(if they have lost houses) or Ryugasaki-city’s Tatsunoko-arena(I made a research and found that 21 evauees are staying there). I do not like this decision by Tsukuba City Hall. Why cant they wait not until the nuclear plant situation is under control. If I were an evacuee from Iwaki-city I would have to choose to go back to Iwaki because I wouldnt have any way of knowing about Tatsunoko-arena because the officers of Tsukuba do not explain about it. Apparently they do not even know about it. Nor wpuld I have had access to a PC or internet.
    I am awfully afraid of radioactivity. What about reactors No.s 1,2,3 now? Even though there are so many Japanese enjoying OHANAMI, I am worrying about the nuclear plant in FUKUSHIMA. Bigger than the Three-smile case and less dangerous than Chernobyl?