National (USA) Programs
Learn more about our ongoing programs in the US below or donate to our national disaster relief fund which enables us to quickly mobilize after events such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes in the US.
Our disaster relief work in the United States focuses on responding directly to traumatic events and supporting local practitioners in their relief efforts. This work started after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and, since then, we have responded to hundreds of other disasters including earthquakes, floods, mass shootings, wildfires, Covid-19 and more. We only mobilize efforts if our presence is requested in the local community. We prioritize supporting local practitioners and partnering with organizations on the ground. Our Healing Community Trauma training program aims to equip acupuncturists around the country to respond to these events with compassion and skill.
If you would like to request AWB presence or support in the aftermath of a disaster in your community, please contact Carla Cassler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARE (Community Alliance for Resilience & Equity) Mobile Wellness Clinics for Farmworkers
CARE – Community Alliance for Resilience & Equity is a collaborative project led by Acupuncturists Without Borders, Livity Rising – Holistic Wellness Services, and the Integrative Healers Action Network (IHAN). We provide stress, pain, and trauma relief care in California communities affected by disasters, environmental devastation, poverty, health inequity, and social injustice.
For the past year and a half, our collaborative has worked closely with the Center for Farmworker Families to provide mobile wellness clinics in Watsonville, CA. Our approach is integrative and trauma-informed, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, herbal indigenous medicine, and other traditional, culturally aligned therapies that address the physical and emotional health needs of migrant workers. CARE services are free of charge, and are provided in Spanish and English by licensed health professionals in community settings where farm workers live and work.
Farm worker communities in California have continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping maintain food security for all Americans by producing over half the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of our fruit and nuts. They have been disproportionately affected by wildfires, high COVID infection rates, harsh living/work conditions, pesticide poisoning, fear of deportation, and inadequate access to quality medical and mental health care. They often experience physical pain related to their jobs, and suffer high rates of trauma-related conditions such as anxiety and depression. Undocumented farm workers face even greater physical and mental health risks due to their migratory status.
This unique, trauma-informed, integrative health care project helps mitigate pain, stress, and trauma; builds greater physical and emotional resilience; and provides essential physical and mental health scaffolding for vulnerable migrant workers. We hope to expand this model program throughout California in the coming year.
Alternatives to Opioids
In 2019, Acupuncturists Without Borders launched a national program to address the Opioid Crisis through specialized trainings and treatment protocols provided by licensed acupuncture practitioners in authorized clinical settings.
The urgent need for non-pharmacological alternatives to opioids drives this effort which will include:
- specialized trainings led by a pharmacist/acupuncturist who has devoted her career to this issue
- teaching of unique, opioid response treatments that provide a time-tested alternative to the prescribing of pain medications
- working with families and communities impacted by this crisis
- support for creation of clinics around the country to address this crisis\partnerships with others in Asian medicine doing this work
- partnerships with allied health professions
- national media outreach and education
Community Service Clinics
AWB’s Community Service Clinic Program grew out of its Military Stress Recovery Program, which offers treatments for stress and trauma to veterans, active military and their families. Each community service clinic affiliated with AWB serves a unique audience within the local community, including populations such as: elders, people with limited access to healthcare and refugees.
The Inn Spot Community Acupuncture Clinic in San Diego offers free treatments to first responders
Military Stress Recovery Program
The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) provides free acupuncture treatments for veterans, active military personnel, reservists and their families.
The MSRP began in 2006 with a pilot clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently includes over 30 AWB-affiliated clinics across the country.
AWB created the MSRP program during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because so many soldiers and veterans were suffering the effects of trauma without effective treatment within the military medical system. Pharmacological treatments for post-traumatic stress (PTS) have been shown to be relatively ineffective and can create chemical dependence with devastating side effects, including increased suicide rates. AWB has pioneered the use of acupuncture as a safe, effective, non-pharmacological therapy for returning soldiers that fills this trauma treatment gap.
Clients at MSRP clinics experience benefits such as a full night’s sleep for the first time in years and fewer bad dreams. They experience improved mental clarity, less anxiety and depression and a renewed interest in social relationships and community. Many subsequently report that they are able to reduce medication dosages for a wide variety of symptoms that are co-morbid with stress and post-traumatic stress, including pain and insomnia.
The potential of this program is enormous. History has shown that the long-term impact of war takes a tremendous toll for decades. By providing free acupuncture to veterans who have recently returned from war, we can play a part in preventing history from repeating itself. By offering treatment for veterans from previous wars and conflicts, we take part in helping mend the psychological wounds of the past.
The beauty of acupuncture is that it is a simple, low-cost modality offering immediate, effective, easily accessible support for large numbers of people. It can also work harmoniously with other more conventional treatment modalities such as counseling and medication.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Military Stress Recovery Project please send an email to email@example.com.