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Kenichi Kume

Kenichi Kume

Chunichi Beauty College, Japan

Title: Beauty therapy for palliative care in Japan


Biography: Kenichi Kume


Appearance is important for people’s QOL.  Both the diseases itself and the treatments negatively impact the patients’ appearance.  And the changed appearance influences the willingness for the treatment, and the patient’s social activities in general.  This often has a negative impact on the treatment. 

The socio-esthetique, which has started in Tours, France in the 1970’s, uses the beauty therapy treatments as a part of the medical care.  In order to prepare the beauty therapists for this task, the training courses are developed to give the knowledge about the patients’ body and mind, the communication skills, how to work effectively as a member of the care team, and other relevant knowledge. 

The socio-esthetician training started in Japan in 2007.  For the last 10 years, there have been nearly 100 beauty therapists who got trained to work as a socio-esthetician.  The socio-estheticians are effective in the variety of medical fields; and we have found that it is most effective in the palliative care.  If an experienced beauty therapist with proper training and careful planning is in the palliative care team, it improves not only the patients’ physical appearance but also their willingness for the other treatment.  It helps the patient to be active in their daily life.  It also enables the palliative care team to get more information from the patients, and the patients feel more comfortable with the beauty therapist. Adding a trained beauty therapist to the palliative care team has a great potential to improve the quality of the palliative care.