Acupuncturists Without Borders -  Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort
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Acupuncturists Without Borders is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Our Beginnings
Acupuncturists Without Borders was formed in September 2005 in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. From October of 2005 to November 2006 AWB provided free community acupuncture treatments to survivors of the hurricanes in Louisiana, including evacuees, residents, first responders, emergency personnel, volunteers and other care providers. AWB treated close to 8000 individuals in New Orleans and the surrounding areas with a tremendously positive response and high demand to expand its services. We organized over 25 teams to travel to New Orleans with over 75 acupuncturists participating in the program. AWB worked successfully with mental health organizations, free medical clinics, homeless shelters, New Orleans firefighter, police and SWAT teams, the military and Coast Guard, FEMA and a variety of recovery groups to provide free acupuncture treatments to the Greater New Orleans area. For a complete listing of our New Orleans venues you can Click Here.

Current Projects
With the experience and expertise of bringing community style acupuncture to the people of Louisiana, AWB is looking forward to taking its service to a different population, U.S. Veterans. The Military Stress Recovery (formerly Veterans) Project is being designed to provide free acupuncture treatments for veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, but also welcomes veterans from all other past conflicts or wars as well as the veterans' family members. Our intention is to help the recovery process from the enormous impact of war, thereby helping those individuals as well as their families, communities, the country, and the world by intervening in the cycle of trauma. For more information about this program please visit the Military Stress Recovery Project page.

As part of our mission we are also hoping to initiate public trainings in the New Orleans area to teach Simple and Effective Acupressure Techniques to the layperson so that this work may continue into the future. We currently are raising funds to intitiate this phase of our work in New Orleans.

AWB is also conducting trainings around the country to familiarize acupuncturists and other care providers with our work and to train individuals to participate in AWB programs. For more information about these training programs please visit our Trainings page.

Why Acupuncture and Why the NADA Ear Protocol?
Why has there been such a positive response to AWB¹s work in Louisiana? To answer that question, it is necessary to briefly provide the background for AWB¹s model for community based acupuncture in the United States.

Acupuncture is part of 2000 year-old medical tradition which originated in China and continues to function as the main health care system in place for hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. While for most of its long and notable history its practice was confined to Asia, in the past half century, its use and acceptance in the United States, Canada and Europe has seen an unprecedented growth.

One application of acupuncture which has attracted tremendous interest in the scientific community in recent years is in the chemical dependency (alcohol and drug addiction) field. The work of Dr. Michael Smith at Lincoln Hospital in New York City in the late 1970's led to the formation of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) and the codification of the NADA protocol ­ five needles inserted at specific points in the ear. Research has shown that before individuals can overcome chemical addiction, attention must be given both the alleviation of the diverse array of mental-physical stresses impacting their lives, as well as comprehensive restoration of the community infrastructure. Further research demonstrated that the NADA protocol addressed both the addictive component and the stress component of drug dependency. And, if the treatments were administered in a group setting, support from a community was available.

In brief, recovery from chemical addiction mirrors the recovery path for individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress. This is precisely the situation that Gulf Coast residents and responders face ­ enormous mental and physical stresses upon not only the individual, but larger social systems ­ the family, and community, all amidst an almost unprecedented breakdown of social infrastructure.

Our Vision
Knowing that unresolved trauma can have repercussions for decades, we offer the services of volunteer acupuncturists to provide treatment to interrupt this cycle of pain and chaos and relieve suffering. By partnering with local organizations and treating with community style acupuncture in group settings we can support the healing of the whole community.

We provide services and training in local communities that will have long-range benefits after we leave. We seek to do this in a way that respects and enables the communities to direct the recovery and rebuilding process in a way that best supports their needs.

Our Mission
Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) provides immediate disaster relief and recovery to communities that are in crisis resulting from disaster or human conflict. AWB is committed to creating alliances with local community based organizations and treating all who have been affected - survivors, first responders, emergency personnel and other care providers.

AWB uses community-style acupuncture to provide caring, compassionate treatment in a group setting. This model of treatment allows everyone treated to experience relief from stress and trauma together. When the entire group feels calm and quiet, hope, determination and resiliency rises powerfully within it.

NOTE: We are not affiliated with Acupuncture Sans Frontieres or Acupuncture Without Borders

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