Acupuncture Reduces Stress

To help the migrants pass the time and deal with stress, teams of volunteers led by Acupuncturists Without Borders, or AWB, a nonprofit that treats people in disaster zones and refugee camps and trains other acupuncturists around the world, are providing free acupuncture treatment at border towns in Mexico. 

The acupuncturists use a five-point protocol known as NADA, where five needles are stuck in specific points in the ear to reduce stress. The group has helped hundreds of migrants in Mexican border camps this year, said Diana Fried, AWB’s founder and co-executive director. For migrants who don’t want the needles, there are tiny Chinese radish seeds that can be adhered to the ear, to similar effect.”

“Fried, 61, who got into acupuncture as a way of quitting a 20-year smoking habit, started AWB by taking a group of fellow volunteer acupuncturists down to New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005. Camped out in a FEMA tent city in Algiers, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, they treated residents, first responders, roofers, construction workers and federal officials – more than 8,000 people in the course of a year.”

“Fried said she chose the NADA five-point protocol because, unlike other acupuncture treatments, it could be used in group settings and requires no talking. Started in the 1970s as a way to combat heroin addiction, the treatment requires five needles poked into specific points in the ear that, according to ancient Chinese medicine theories, alters the autonomic nervous system, lowering stress levels and enhancing relaxation, Fried said.”