Since 2016, AWB has provided acupuncture to migrating people in Greek refugee camps and community centers. We have supported a core group of Greek acupuncturists to work in the Athens area with people transitioning from refugee camps to family housing. Every Monday, AWB acupuncturist Artemis Karnezi offers treatments at the Melissa Network, an amazing social service support center serving women and children from 45 different countries.
Many Melissa program participants have experienced war and poverty in their countries of origin, as well as gender-based violence, displacement, potential deportation, and unemployability in Greece. They suffer from insomnia, nightmares, body pain, hormonal imbalances and skin conditions related to stress. Regular acupuncture for the women at Melissa has helped immensely. Program participants and staff alike are emphatic when discussing the benefits of acupuncture in their lives.
In the words of Melissa director Nadina Christabou:
“The response (to acupuncture) is incredible…if the women could have it everyday they would have it. It’s probably one of the best experiences they have. It stays with them when they go home. And then when life is difficult again they want to come back to have acupuncture again, to feel this release from all the stress and anxiety they are facing.”
The Melissa Network and AWB are discussing a collaborative wellness program that includes acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, yoga and Qigong for its staff and program participants. AWB is committed to helping make this happen!
Photo by: Enri Canaj