Acupuncturists Without Borders -  Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort
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Efforts by acupuncturists and ADS activists operating under the name of CRREW (for Community Relief & Rebuilding Through Education &Wellness) continue to bring the healing effects of acu detox to new groups of trauma survivors and associated health professionals. According to Wendy Henry, licensed acupuncturist and NADA member, programs run by the American Red Cross are among the latest to invite more demonstrations of the NADA needling protocol.

Some of the New York area trauma-involved agencies have employed acupuncturists and acupuncture detox specialists to provide care, including St. Vincent’s Hospital in lower Manhattan, some sectors of the fire department, public schools located near the 9/11 attack site and the United Services Group, an umbrella organization for many agencies offering counseling and direct help to those impacted directly by the events of “9-11”. Informal arrangements were made at many other sites set-up immediately following the disaster, such as disaster relief centers in neighborhoods.

Henry explains that her activist colleagues were able to use their status as volunteers to offer needling in these settings without having to deal with many bureaucratic obstacles. The result, she says, was to expose large numbers of people to the possibilities of acupuncture for the first time.

She was attending Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Manhattan on 9/11, and completed her NADA training at Lincoln Recovery Center the following January. She explains that her willingness to become involved right away with the trauma victims may have stemmed in part from her prior experiences in Second Generation groups of survivors of the Shoa (Holocaust) both in the USA and Germany. In the early 90's, she served as an editor of a book documenting the experiences of Jewish women living in post-World War II Germany.

“On the morning after the World Trade Center attack, I felt like I could do something, I didn’t know what! I was not afraid to be around people who had been through something. I was able to respond.”

Henry explains that she and Marcella Robinson, LMT, L Ac, have been consistently assisting Red Cross activities for the last year and a half. One of the latest opportunities to serve people under Red Cross auspices is working with two of the agency's 9/11 Family Support Groups. One event will be serving a largely Southeast Asian community of WTC survivors and/ or bereaved family members in New Jersey. The organizers wanted wellness activities other than talk-based therapy and counseling. In addition to acupuncturists and ADSes, the CRREW workers include body workers and other types of therapists. Over 50 emergency responders and members of the bereaved community living in the Poconos areas of Pennsylvania will attend another event. The New Jersey and Pennsylvania events mark the first time the Red Cross has invited this kind of help outside of New York City.

CRREW's recent appeals for volunteers have generated new interest in the work. The group's roster currently totals approximately 50 individuals.

In recognition of CRREW’s work, the NADA board of directors invited Wendy Henry to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2004 annual conference in Denver.

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