AWB 2020 Updates

The latest news, events & projects related to the Covid-19 pandemic & racial justice protests

AWB Stress and Trauma Healing Clinics

The need for stress and trauma reduction in our communities has never been greater. CoVid, economic devastation, and entrenched racial/social injustice has deepened the need.

As some shelter-in-place rules have relaxed, AWB has started organizing/supporting in-person community acupuncture clinics. AWB has developed new guidelines for how to do safe group clinics during CoVid (see below).

AWB affiliated clinics have been held, or will soon be held, in:

  • Minneapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Berkeley
  • Sacramento
  • Portland
  • San Diego
  • Navajo Nation
  • Southwestern Puerto Rico

We hope to expand clinic organizing to New York City, Philadelphia and Miami in the near future.

If you are interested in starting a clinic and have undergone AWB training, great! If you haven’t, or you want a refresher, take our ONLINE FIELD TRAINING COURSE. If you’d like guidance on how to set up a mobile clinic or long-term trauma healing project in your community email Carla Cassler at director@acuwithoutborders.org.

New Covid-19 Safety Manual Available

AWB has created a supplement to our standard clinic manual to support practitioners with extra safety guidance during Covid-19.  Feel free to download and use as needed.

How to Run a Safe AWB Community Acupuncture Healing Circle (aka Mobile Field Clinic) During CoVid-19

AWB International Projects


AWB continues to support ongoing projects globally. The AWB Border Project assists the Parteras midwives in Tijuana, Mexico, sponsored by the Refugee Health Alliance. AWB did four service trips to work with the midwives in Tijuana, before CoVid prevented us from doing in-person field service.

Currently, the midwives provide obstetrical care to over 80 pregnant people, as well as primary care to hundreds of asylum seekers residing in Tijuana shelters. In February, AWB volunteers trained 10 of the Parteras midwives/students to do Nada ear acupuncture treatments. Though AWB can’t resume field trips to work with the midwives yet, we are able to support their life-saving work with fundraising, herbal medicine supplies, and tele-training.

Here’s a recent message from Ximena Rojas, lead midwife at Parteras (pictured at right):

“Acupuncture is going on every day. Today I treated our clinic volunteers and we are thriving. Our 347 active patients are coming for herbs, acupuncture, prenatal care, and to have a relationship with someone in Tijuana. It is beautiful, what we are creating and the birth center is up and running too. Thank you-AWB is amazing and the Chinese herbs are so helpful for the birthing moms and the people in shelters with CoVid fevers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”



AWB-trained acupuncturist Gaia Ivri (right) has set up an AWB-sponsored clinic for refugees on the island of Chios in Greece. Gaia is part of AWB-Israel, and received her training as part of AWB’s Medicine of Peace project in Israel-West Bank.

The island, close to Turkey, shelters over 7,000 refugees from the Middle East and Africa. While conditions in the camp are dire, there are no cases of CoVid on the island, including in the camp, due to strict lock-down measures taken by the Greek government this spring.

Meanwhile in Athens, AWB is helping local acupuncturists incorporate as AWB-Greece. Once this happens, trauma-healing projects like the one in Chios, as well as treatments offered at refugee community centers in Athens, can gain funding and support from EU foundations. AWB is mentoring this effort and supplying projects with funds and supplies.

AWB – Los Angeles is Offering Free Herbal Consults
AWB C.A.R.E.S. is offering free support services to health workers, first responders, and essential workers in Southern California with herbal medicine and stress reduction tools. They are offering:

  • Telehealth herb consultations free of charge
  • Most herbs prescribed by your practitioner will be free of charge or discounted
  • How to reset your system under stress
  • Self-help techniques at home and in the field

Visit the AWB C.A.R.E.S. Website for more info and to make an appointment. 


AWB Offering Ear Seeds Kits to Frontline Workers

AWB is supporting front line/essential workers and highly vulnerable communities with non-needling stress reduction tools. We have made a short instructional video on how to apply ear seeds to yourself or to another person. We have also created Ear Seed Kits with supplies and instructions.
  • Kits are FREE for frontline/essential workers and can be ordered by writing to director@acuwithoutborders.org.
  • If you are not a frontline/essential worker, you can order Ear Seed Kits HERE.

AWB Increasing Online Training Options During Pandemic

CoVid prevented AWB from doing live in-person trainings for practitioners this spring, so we have converted our basic field training to a new online course called Healing Community Trauma in Times of Crisis. This 30-hour CEU class prepares acupuncturists and other health professionals to provide trauma recovery treatments in disaster and conflict zones.

AWB offers the training tuition-free to BIPOC practitioners – leaders who are providing healing services in communities across the US.

We also just released an online version of Module 2 of Repairing the Shattered Heart, AWB’s trauma-informed care certificate program. Module 2 offers a clinical tool kit for trauma-informed care including:

  • Ear, scalp, and body acupuncture protocols for trauma
  • Herbal medicine and essential oil therapy for trauma
  • Exercises for trauma recovery
  • Trauma-informed therapeutic touch

This summer, AWB is offering a series of live webinars on current topics of interest to acupuncturists and other health practitioners, including:


Cultivating Resilience and Strong Immunity

To help our communities deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, AWB released a series of newsletters containing numerous resources to support practitioners and patients.

You can read all the issues here


Reflections on AWB’s Work from Our Partners and Colleagues



AWB just received a grant from the Fondo Fundacion Serrales to provide trauma healing clinics in Southwestern Puerto Rico in the coming year. This part of the island has suffered devastation from Hurricane Maria, numerous earthquakes, and now, CoVid, just in the past two years. Ramon Serrano, coordinator of AWB service projects in Puerto Rico, offers some thoughts on the needs and impact of our work.


In 2017, Guy Page, an Air Force veteran from San Diego, attended an AWB training where he discovered community acupuncture. This experience compelled him to quit his job and finance a community acupuncture clinic, The Inn Spot, in which he is now healing his veteran population with free services. The Inn Spot is part of the Military Stress Recovery Project clinic network sponsored by AWB.



In May, AWB was invited to speak at the NCCAOM-ASA Town Hall , an online forum created in the wake of CoVid to support acupuncturists in the US. We presented on the topic of CoVid and Mental Health, with a shout-out to practitioners to join and create AWB projects to address trauma in their communities. The response was huge (3,000 people attended), and some of our recently organized trauma clinics came directly from the Town Hall.

As part of the presentation, Dr. Robert Woodbine, an acupuncturist/naturopath from New York and a former AWB board member, spoke about CoVid, trauma, racial justice, and how our profession can contribute to community healing.