I, Peter Kadar, recently attended a certification conference for Acupuncturists Without Borders in San Francisco, CA. I have long been interested in volunteering for this wonderful organization that helps people in the U.S. and all over the world who are suffering from natural disasters, armed conflict, poverty and other severe dislocations. AWB was founded by Diana Fried, an acupuncturist from New Mexico in response to the urgent need after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Acupuncture has long been a very effective simple and low-cost medical technique that helps people relax, cope with physical and emotional pain and trauma and provides a quick and direct therapeutic complement to the heroic work that other medical and social agencies give to people in the most difficult circumstances. Please watch these brief videos for a close look at their work.
The AWB protocol consists of several acupuncture techniques that utilize auricular or ear acupuncture that stimulates the regions of the brain to create more neurotransmitters that are very effective for coping with pain, stress, fatigue and trauma that are inevitable for people who have seen their homes destroyed, loved ones killed or injured, and cultures and traditions uprooted. The AWB training is about how to navigate the extreme circumstances of refugee camps, field hospitals and other areas where people who have lost everything are obtaining basic survival needs with the help of other social service and relief agencies. In addition to learning the ear acupuncture protocols we learned how to provide loving, attentive, non-judgmental care and abide the confusing and chaotic situations a volunteer acupuncturist will find themselves in. We received certification in the basics of providing service in these situations – triage, hygiene, security, cultural sensitivity, team building, leadership, working with other health professionals, etc.
AWB is active in many cities around the U.S. where the need for acupuncture continues long after the critical time of acute care has passed. They have set up acupuncture clinics in Nepal, Greece, Palestine, Mexico, Haiti and other parts of the world. AWB provides training and support for certified acupuncturists to team up and find areas where we are needed, locally or in far-flung places worldwide. It’s a great organization and uses all donations to support their programs and field work.
Make a tax deductible donation to: acuwithoutborders.org
Post by: Peter Kadar, L. Ac., D.O.M.
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