We’ve been very busy in the past month, bringing acupuncture and other healing treatments to asylum seekers and refugees at the US-Mexico border. AWB volunteers offered treatments in Brownsville, TX-Matamoros, Mexico over the weekend of January 24th-26th, and a team of seven volunteers just returned from a week-long service trip in Tijuana, Mexico. We did hundreds of treatments at the Espacio Migrante clinic, Prevencasa clinic, and in multiple refugee shelters throughout Tijuana. This is AWB’s fourth trip to the CA-Mexico border, and this time, we trained six midwives and other health professionals to do NADA treatments so that they can offer ongoing services in clinics and shelters.
The health status of many asylum seekers in Mexico (including many people from Central America, Haiti, and Africa) is increasingly precarious because the Mexican government stopped providing health insurance coverage for migrants on January 1st. Refugees will have to rely on services provided by clinics like Espacio Migrante and Prevencasa (sponsored by the Refugee Health Alliance), more than ever. Uniquely, these two clinics provide integrative care, including natural therapies like acupuncture and herbs. On this trip, AWB volunteers also reorganized the entire drug pharmacy and herbal pharmacy at Espacio, so that practitioners could access what they need more effectively.
We also joined the InnSpot, an AWB-affiliated Military Stress Recovery Project clinic based in San Diego, to offer treatments at the US Deported Veterans Center in Tijuana. The Center, run by Hector Lopez, Lupita Cibrian, and Robert Vivar, provides legal and social support to US military veterans that have been deported from the US. In the words of one supporter:
“These (soldiers) grew up in the US, went to school in the US, played high school sports in the US, and paid taxes in the US. They did not join the military just to become citizens, as many of them felt like they were already citizens. They joined the military because they felt like it was their duty, and the fact that they were deported after serving their country is incomprehensible.”
– Journalist Mike Tork
Mayway Corporation in Oakland, CA has donated significant amounts of herbs to our Border Project, and is the sponsor of our AWB’s Military Stress Recovery Project clinic program. Mayway’s help has been pivotal in starting and growing our work with refugees and veterans and we are very grateful. Deep appreciation to the CA Endowment, Kurt Chilcott, Pat Simpson, those who have donated, and all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help make this work possible!
With your help, AWB will continue treating people in Texas, California, and Mexico over the next months, and hopes to start a project at the Arizona-Mexico border soon. For more information contact Carla Cassler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The InnSpot, a veteran-owned clinic in Sand Diego affiliated with AWB”s Military Stress Recovery Project, brought trauma-healing treatments to deported US military veterans on Saturday, January 18th. InnSpot coordinator/owner Guy Page, himself a veteran, organized a team of AWB trained practitioners in the San Diego area to offer treatments at the US Deported Veterans Project just over the border in Tijuana.
The mission of theDeported Veterans Advocacy Project is to advocate and assist U.S. military veterans who face deportation, or have been deported by the U.S. government.
The team treated almost 30 vets, and plans to return in early February to work with other AWB practitioners who are offering treatments to asylum seekers and refugees at the CA-Mexico border.
Since 2006, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) has trained
over 6,000 licensed acupuncturists to offer trauma-healing treatments to people
affected by disaster and human conflict. Many AWB-trained practitioners have
gone on to create healing projects in their communities for veterans, active
duty soldiers, reservists, first responders, and their families.
These projects are part of AWB’s Military Stress
Recovery Project, a network of thirty free
Community Service Clinics serving wounded warriors and their families. MSRP
clinics offer over 30,000 treatments annually to help people recover
from the emotional and physical wounds of war. They offer safe haven for
warriors and their families to connect with one another, feel less isolation,
and receive support.
Stories from people served in AWB MSRP clinics in 2019:
“Healing Circle Veterans Acupuncture Project (HCVAP) is part of AWB’s MSRP network, started in Sep 2013, and since then we have served approximately 500 military and first responders including their families. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experienced by combat veterans and active duty, both its degree and severity, over time. We hope to bring healing and peace into the lives of those who receive treatment, as well as to help their families and their communities. We expect this work will help reduce anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, violence, suicides, substance abuse and other difficulties often experienced by those with untreated PTSD.”
-Ida I Mat Aris
“I feel amazing after one session. I cannot wait to go again and I’m so grateful to have met Guy (coordinator)! Thank you. Living in pain and with PTSD is manageable thanks to AWB and #theinnspot!”
– Danae Wakefield, after receiving treatment at the InnSpot, an MSRP clinic in San Diego
“I came back from fighting in Vietnam with a broken heart. I saw horrible things and did them too, so I know that mine was not the only broken heart… Until I had acupuncture, I could not sleep through the night for over 40 years. I feel like my life is coming back to me after a very long nightmare. I’m very grateful to get the acupuncture that is healing my body and soul.”
~Don Lau, Vietnam Veteran from San Francisco
Thank you to the volunteer practitioners and donors who make the AWB Military Stress Recovery Project possible!