NADA Training Weekends, Summer 2023


Picture3Training in the NADA protocol seems to be increasing in popularity, year on year. Originally developed in the 1970s as a way of supporting other treatments for drug and alcohol withdrawal and rehabilitation, there is a growing body of evidence to support the use of the NADA protocol. It is now used for its therapeutic benefits in many settings – including with people who have been traumatised by war or natural or man-made disasters; people experiencing side-effects from treatment for cancer; people with a range of mental health issues and much more.

Picture1The NADA protocol works by stimulating five points on the outer ear with the insertion of very fine needles, or the application of ear seeds, beads or tiny magnets. It can help with reducing some pain, lower the “fight or flight” response to stress and increase restfulness and relaxation. Taking just a few days to learn, this simple, but powerful technique can make a huge difference to helping a person’s healing journey.

IPicture2n the Summer of 2023 two weekends were dedicated to groups of trainees, keen to immerse themselves in learning the amazing NADA protocol. All the trainees donated their training fee to World Medicine. The first weekend was held at my home practice in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Five trainees and one person taking ‘refresher’ training shared their experiences, learned new skills and engaged in conversation over a cuppa or the light lunches, in a relaxed environment. Thanks must go to the lovely local (and not-so-local) people who “volunteered” their ears for the trainees to get additional practice.

Picture4In early July, two dozen new trainees arrived at the Northern College of Acupuncture, in York, to begin their three intensive days of training. Everyone who came on the course and the ‘refresher’ course (a day earlier), worked hard to gain new knowledge and skills and practice the needling technique. Picture5It was wonderful to witness the atmosphere of open-heartedness and generosity and the desire to learn a skill which has the potential to benefit people worldwide, regardless of who they are or where they live. We had some superb assistants – Liz, Fiona and Fiona, Sarah, Sandra, Saoirse (who is one of the new graduates going on the 2024 camp in Chaparda), Jacqueline, Michele and Heather – who all went the extra mile to support the trainees. Deepest gratitude to them and also to Janet, who is now a NADA trainer – it couldn’t have happened without each and every one of you!

jude x

Judith Blair

Judith Blair has worked with World Medicine for many years, in Chaparda, India and elsewhere, and is a generous friend and fundraiser! Thank you for everything, Jude!

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Sally Oliver

What Chaparda Meant For Me

In our video link below volunteer Sally Oliver describes what it meant to her to be part of the team that ran the 2023 Chaparda Clinic in India. If it inspires you, why not consider volunteering yourself?

World Medicine is now open for applications from acupuncture students studying with accredited colleges and who graduate this year who are interested in joining us in India January 2024. Click here for more information and an application form.

Click the image below to view our video of Sally reflecting on her time in Chaparda

Sally video a





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Reflection from the Women’s Clinic

The second of our blogs from Chaparda 2023 volunteers. this one is written by Teresa Dawkes

I first heard of World Medicine during a lecture from Phil Montgomery in my first year as a student at the NCA  and I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved. I had previous experience of volunteering in Uganda in as a radiographer and knew what an enriching experience it could be both personally and professionally.

In 2021, in my 3rd year, I applied for the graduate place and can honestly say I was absolutely thrilled to hear I had been chosen to go. Unfortunately the planned trip in 2022 had to be postponed for a year due to Covid but in January 2023 we left the cold and dark of a UK winter behind and arrived somewhat tired and frazzled in Rajkot. After an overnight stay we were off in the morning to Chaparda. The journey there was full of chatter and getting to know other members of the team.

Now, I think my idea of an Ashram may have come from reading about the Beatles’ visit to one in the 1960s – I expected a very peaceful place with people meditating and practising yoga on the lawns. I was quickly disillusioned of that realising that it was a community of many people and could at times be very noisy but in general it was peaceful in the evenings, very safe and friendly.

I would be lying to say I had not had many doubts about my ability and experience to be able to treat patients, over the time from being accepted on the trip to actually arriving in Chaparda. Barbara, Emma, Ruth and Fleur were all so encouraging and gave me the confidence to think I could actually do this! So on my first day in the Women’s Clinic I had the confidence to just crack on knowing that there was always someone more experienced on hand if I needed advice. I quickly realised that the number of questions we would normally ask patients was not going to work and trimmed down the questions to gain maximum information in a short space of time.

I was really impressed by how slickly the clinics run, with the admin staff controlling the flow of patients outside the clinic and the translators bringing through the patients as soon as there was a bed free and helping the acupuncturists determine what the patient’s problem was. It all created a very calm environment to treat in.

Before I went to Chaparda I struggled to believe how one person could deliver 20-30 treatments a day but quickly realised that it was possible, with the more experienced acupuncturists exceeding this. I will admit to it being very tiring at times but the sense of achievement and camaraderie of the team helped immeasurably.

I treated many patients but 2 stand out , one was a woman who made bricks from 3am – 9pm each day. Her hands were so sore and painful and I really hope that she found relief not only from the acupuncture but from the love and attention she received from Steph who gently massaged her hands. The second patient was a young woman from the school for the blind in the ashram. She arrived in the clinic absolutely terrified about needles and visibly recoiling from any touch. After a lot of gentle persuasion and reassurance she allowed me to do some acupressure and the satisfaction of seeing her visibly relax was amazing. On subsequent visits she started to laugh and even sang for us which reduced Batul, the translator and myself to tears as it was so beautiful.

The amazing experience of working with World Medicine at Chaparda will stay with me forever. I can appreciate it may not be for everyone but if you are thinking of applying be assured that you will be surrounded by a brilliant team who are so supportive of each other. Thank you to the acupuncturists, translators, therapists, admin and hospital staff who made it such a memorable trip and reminding me of why I re- trained to be an acupuncturist.

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Reflection from the Men’s Clinic

The first of our blogs from Chaparda 2023 volunteers. this one is written by Fleur Clackson-Foney

I heard about the charity World Medicine when I was doing my Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture training. A friend, who was two years above me in college, applied for, and went with, them to India. I was impressed with their project and their work. I determined to contact them when I graduated.

Fast forward two years and I did graduate… in the midst of the Covid pandemic. When things opened up a bit, I went to Wapping where World Medicine take over a room once a week and offer acupuncture for refugees.

There I met Barbara and Najma, two of the Trustees. I did a bit of acupuncture with them that afternoon and mentioned, “Should you ever return to India I’d love to interview for the team.” (They hadn’t been able to travel to India during the pandemic.)

In July 2022 I got an email from Barbara asking if I’d still like to interview to go to India. Yes, I’d like! And so interview I did. I was subsequently offered a place on the January 2023 Acupuncture Camp to Chaparda, Gujarat.

Flights were booked pretty sharpish and then in the ensuing months, there were various updates on things such as what visa we needed, what insurance, a list of general things to take, how many needles to take, and so on.

We had a ‘hello’ zoom meeting with the team (six acupuncturists and eight translators) and then an in-person all-dayer in London around October. On that day we all met face-to-face for the first time and Barbara went through everything in detail.

When you travel to India with World Medicine your accommodation and food are taken care of through the charity. World Medicine will also reimburse you for your acupuncture needles, moxa and another. What you need to do is raise your own travel costs. I created a Crowdfund page, with information about the Charity, the Project, and what I’d be doing. Friends and family kindly came together and pledged enough money to cover not only my travel costs, but my acupuncture kit costs too. So rather than charge that cost back to  World Medicine I was able to offer this expense in kind to the Charity as a donation.

Crowdfunding also became a platform to share the details of the charity and the experience. I wrote a weekly email to the 36 people who donated, describing where we were, the work we were doing, and the friendships we were making. 

Christmas came and was a whirlwind. And then, on Jan 5th, I met up with eight of the team (some had traveled at different times) at Heathrow Airport. We left the UK on Thursday afternoon. We arrived at the ashram that would be home for three weeks, on Saturday lunchtime. That sounds arduous, and yes it was two days…But there was a whistle-stop tour around Delhi during our stopover and a night in a hotel in between.

A couple of us acupuncturists were quite newly qualified and were feeling some trepidation. The clinic, we were told, could get very busy. To put that into context, that means you can find yourself, in a multi-bed setting, treating circa 22 patients a day! On Sunday we went to the local hospital, where the clinic is based (we had two small wards to work from – one for men and one for women) and set up. It helped greatly to calm the nerves, seeing the location and getting all our gear ready.

On Monday the clinic began. It was sort of quiet at the start. I think for the Trustees it’s always slightly guesswork on how efficiently the clinic has been advertised to the local villages. There was no need to worry by the afternoon we were busy and the Tuesday and Wednesday we were very busy!

Obviously, we were working in a very different way from at home. We were not taking a detailed case history. We were asking a few pertinent questions about the main complaint. We learned quickly that questions should be simple and straightforward, both for the translator to understand, what they were asking the patient and for the patient to be able to clearly answer.  

I worked in the men’s clinic with Barbara, two male translators, and two male assistants (nurses) from the hospital. I worked mostly with the same translator for three weeks. By day two or three we’d started to get into our rhythm of working together. He’d know when to bring in the next patient, whilst I was still treating the last, and he could ask the basic preliminary questions.

The two assistants were great, doing copious amounts of moxa and some massage too. Barbara and I worked each of us on one side of the ward treating between the five beds we each had. 

Although the clinic is busy, it is paced very kindly for us. We work 8.30 to 12.30, walk ten minutes back to the ashram for lunch and return for a 2pm start until 5.30 pm. It never felt too much and, if for a moment it felt a lot, I’d look at the farmer who’d been toiling all his life and think, “Fleur you think this is too much? Really? Come on?

The patients were mainly farmers and their families, diamond polishers, or OAPs. They were for the most part poor or very poor. We treated a lot of knee and shoulders and local pain but there were digestive issues, headaches, and even spirit-related issues too. The results we got, especially given the limited intake info were pretty amazing. Much better than those I’d have got for the same complaints in the UK I reckon… why that is I don’t know.

It is humbling and gratifying work. I was moved by the patients and their dignity. This made it effortless to approach each man with the utmost respect.

In addition to the work, Saturday afternoons and Sundays are free. There’s generally a trip to a local town arranged for a bit of shopping, or to go see a temple. And Sunday (of which you only have two once you’ve started) is a good day to chill and rest and make sure you’re ready for Monday.

Our team was great,  warm, friendly, funny, encouraging, and capable. I have made friends with whom I’ll stay in touch. The team makes it fun – which is needed after a full-on day. You may have heard stories that break the heart but there’s often a sweet moment after work when we stop at the café outside the hospital gates and have a chai or coconut water. There’s no hierarchy or judgment from the longer-standing acupuncturist about what points you did/didn’t use or why. They are solely helpful and encouraging. 

Life is put into a new perspective by doing this work. I felt pretty lucky and pretty grateful. Also, there’s a kind of ease in not having to think about what you are doing tomorrow. You are being fed three times a day and you have a place to sleep. Your job is to keep up your energy even and do the work and create as much value and benefit as you can with your skills. That feels pretty special.

It was an incredible opportunity and I feel fortunate I got to work with World Medicine on this project. It’s true, I was knackered at the end, but in no way broken, in fact, quite the reverse.

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Chaparda 2023

By Emma Vaughan

This week sees a team of practitioners, clinic assistants and translators heading to Chaparda for our first visit since 2020. It is with much anticipation that we will make our way from our homes across the UK and meet up with the whole team on Saturday 7th of January. We have had much time to prepare for this trip and we are all ready to meet the challenge of the 3 weeks of work that lie ahead for us. We never know quite what we will find, who we will meet or how things will unfold but we go in good faith that we will be met with plenty of patients who are eager for our help and ready to embrace the wonderful benefits that acupuncture and its adjunct therapies can bring.


This year we will be making a concerted effort to blog our experiences in order to showcase the breadth and richness of our work in Chaparda. Look out for these blogs on World Medicine Instagram and here on our website.

Finally, every trip we make to India always serves as a reminder of how much support we have from so many people for both our projects abroad and at home in the UK. Some of that support comes in the way of admin and practicalities ( special shout out to Chris, Sally, Alison and Amir) and some of it comes in fundraising and grants. Recently we had an amazing donation of £5000 from The Clarkson Foundation for which we are enormously grateful. Sarah Clifford, one of our dedicated volunteers at Wapping was instrumental in facilitating this grant. Thank you Sarah, this has been invaluable – you are a wonderful friend to World Medicine.

We also want to say a special thank you to two exceptional fundraisers this year who have supported the work of World Medicine so wonderfully – Jude Blair and Amy Moore. Jude has put a huge amount of effort into delivering training courses to facilitate NADA practitioners in volunteering for World Medicine projects. This takes a lot of time and planning and has resulted in not only an increase in volunteers but very generous donations to World Medicine. Thank you Jude!

Amy, as some of you will know is part of our 2023 team. Sadly, Amy is unable to travel with us this time and we are sending her much love. Despite this Amy has raised a huge amount of money for World Medicine and has been a great advocate for our work through her commitment to volunteering in the UK in 2022, in Wapping. A superstar!!

And so back to packing, fretting over baggage allowance, worrying if I have packed enough teabags, who will win THE game…..

da17dd19-171f-40ea-8b3d-2367746a342b       Emma is a World Medicine Trustee

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NADA fundraising training


imagesSeptember, 2021 saw a group of fifteen student, and recently-graduated acupuncturists and clinic supervisors undertake a three-day fundraising training in the NADA protocol, at the Northern College of Acupuncture, York. 

Jude Blair, who organised the event and led the training said, “I have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity. My thanks must go to Richard Blackwell, College Principal, who kindly provided room space for the training; to Phoenix Medical, for donating needles and other equipment and to an anonymous donor who provided all the printed learning materials. Also, special thanks must go to Janet Stevens and Ami Micklethwaite – graduates of Nca who recently took the NADA protocol training with me – for their time, energy, support and assistance both before and during the training and for helping to make the course so successful. There were also a few trainees who helped with the smooth running of the course by quietly working behind the scenes, disseminating information about the training, co-ordinating people who were interested in taking the course, providing transport to and from York and donating beverages for the breaks. Thank you all!!! 

Picture2“Everyone on the course worked hard to increase their knowledge and skills over the three days. I feel privileged to have been working with such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of people, who worked so well together, and I was humbled by how hugely supportive participants were of each other, openly and generously sharing their wide-ranging experience and expertise from other areas of their lives. Deep gratitude!”

A number of trainees have already expressed interest in volunteering for World Medicine and many are actively exploring ways to develop their practice to incorporate the use of the NADA protocol, to the benefit of their patients and clients. 

Funds raised will support the work of World Medicine in ongoing projects such as the 3 week annual acupuncture ‘camp’ in Gujarat, the weekly clinic for refugees in Wapping and to the development of further projects, both at home and abroad. 

If you are interested in taking the NADA training or volunteering for World Medicine projects, please get in touch by emailing



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News From Gujarat

We’ve recently heard from our friends at the Jay Ambe hospital in Chaparda and share this news…

The first wave of Covid-19 was relatively benign in India, however, as we have all seen on the news, the second wave ‘Indian variant’ has been devastating with medical services across the country unable to cope and desperately short of oxygen supplies.

Picture2Two weeks ago, WM responded to a call to help fund an oxygen generator for the Jay Ambe hospital at Chaparda.  While we are always very careful how charity funds are used, the WM team were very motivated to help the community hospital which has hosted so many acupuncture camps over the years.  Because of covid, we were not able to travel to India last January so we decided to donate the funds we would have used as a way of helping the same people we would normally have seen from local villages.

The oxygen generator is now installed, working, and supplying oxygen to the hospital and the isolated covid wards that have been set up adjacent to the hospital.

Government attempts to roll out a vaccination programme has been severely affected as Cyclone Tauktae hit the west coast wreaking havoc with many lives lost.  The 120 mile/hr winds damaged 16,000 houses in Gujarat alone, ripping up trees and downing power lines. A second cyclone is expected to follow hitting the east coast of the country within the next few days.

In the wake of this there are additional worries: there is a growing awareness that many post covid patients, particularly diabetics and others with immunosuppressed conditions are very susceptible to Mucormycosis, referred to as ‘black fungus’ which can have fatal consequences if not treated promptly.

India is indeed suffering – with the poorest suffering the most, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

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Graduates Welcome!

For the past few years World Medicine has had an active policy of encouraging new graduates to apply for a volunteer post in our yearly Chaparda project. Although it may seem like a stressful idea to emerge yourself in a demanding multi bed clinic with a big daily caseload, there is something of the “baptism of fire” approach that has proved very successful and rewarding for our past graduates. There are few environments early in clinical practice that will provide the breadth and scope of experience that Chaparda affords. Our graduates will work either in the ladies or men’s clinic alongside 2 experienced practitioners. Generally, we would pair a graduate and practitioner for the first couple of consultations and treatments to ease into the pace and style of treatment and then we encourage them to begin their own work, under a nurturing eye!

The good thing about the setting is that no one is isolated, which means that if anyone is a bit anxious or struggling to establish a treatment strategy there is always someone to cast a quick eye and make a suggestion. We trust our graduates and they never fail to amaze us with their capacity to get stuck in and become valuable members of the team. Learning is always a 2 way dynamic and whilst we hope to model good practice for our graduates we are always up for learning from them too! One of the important things to remember is that multi bed treatments will always be different to the treatments that would be provided in a private, one to one session. The emphasis is on extracting the key information from our patients and providing a targeted treatment that best matches their need.

Because our patients return up to 6 times there is an opportunity to refine treatments, or add an adjunct such as cupping, moxa etc. Not everything needs to be done on that initial treatment! There is no denying that the clinics are very hard work. We put in a full day Monday to Friday and a half day Saturday. We definitely are looking for our graduates to be robust, flexible and grounded! The trade off is that we also have a lot of fun, our teams the last few years have been picked to encourage a sense of team stability and cohesion, and for sure the welfare of our graduates is extremely important to us.

Sally, Gary, Marta and Catherine, some of our more recent graduates have written blogs that can be found on the website that give a fuller flavour to the graduate experience.They are all thriving in their own practices now but am sure each of them would tell you that they absolutely loved their time in Chaparda with us, remaining very much part of our World Medicine family.

So, if you feel INSPIRED, up for a CHALLENGE and can spare 3 weeks to VOLUNTEER and are about to graduate from an accredited college ( or have very recently graduated) please do get in touch with us to request an application form. We generally interview over the summer with a view to travel in January of each year. (self funded*)

This year there will be an opportunity to volunteer with a more local project based in London, so if the idea of India is rather overwhelming but you would like to still be involved with World Medicine, than please do still get in touch. We definitely would love to hear from you!

*Every volunteer with World Medicine needs to be able to self fund their travel costs to and from India. Accommodation and meals ( and fabulous vegetarian meals they are too) are provided at no additional cost. We strongly support fundraising efforts to pay for your costs and every year engage the team in various activities in order to help you achieve this.

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Local Sustainability

Blog post by Emma Vaughan, Trustee of World Medicine

The struggles of introducing local sustainability into our work in India.

35258766-645e-4967-bc2c-1af0452f43a3For anyone reading our blogs about World Medicine’s long term project in Chaparda, India, they will certainly get a flavour of the enormous popularity of this project. This is true for our hosts, the community we serve and the volunteers that commit their time and energy to it. There is a special energy and palpable buzz during our time there and over the years we have built up close relationships with the staff at the ashram and Jay Ambe hospital where we run our clinic.

Every year we have local staff that assist us for the duration of our work there… this may be clerical staff who book patients in and organise the waiting area, physiotherapists who come to assist in the clinic and more recently student nurses who we train to help us with specific treatments, such as cupping or moxabustion therapy. We see their input as enormously valuable to both us and to themselves. We try to model good practice in clinical care but also to demonstrate that empathy and respect should be part of the work when treating patients. Last year particularly we were able to see our local students gain confidence in their skills and witnessed their growing commitment to good patient care.

028This is incredibly important to us as a charity since we are mindful about our wider aims when delivering a complex project such as our Chaparda one. In the past, previous teams had explored ways of trying to encourage a self sustaining dimension to the project. We had been hopeful that by training local staff to use a microsystem, namely Auricular acupuncture, that they could continue to run a meaningful service for the community in between our visits. This was an ambitious target especially as acupuncture as a profession is rightly regulated to a high professional standard. ( we are self regulated within our professional body which requires adherence to a robust code of ethics and practice, professional accountability and a requirement for continuing education) This made it complex when considering safety and supervision in our absence. However, the other big issue that is a real block to local sustainability is migration of local staff. We find, that with exception of a few staff, many of the hospital staff do not have long term posts. Younger female staff often leave the area after marriage and other staff leave for opportunities in the cities. It is always lovely to see familiar faces but we also have to accept that sometimes we will only work with staff for one visit.055

I believe the future of our work in Chaparda is very much on a firm footing. The communities surrounding the hospital are familiar with our work now and we do see returning patients to our clinics which is also wonderful. We always remain open to ideas that will make the project more expansive and inclusive.. it’s important that we continue to build strong relationships there that support opportunities for local staff to develop their own skills and knowledge, so that wherever they end up working they take a sense of professional pride with them which we hope they achieve during their time working with us. We certainly value them!

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Barbara Feb 18 Turqu Jacket

A Spring in your step …

Yes, we are walking again.  Our eagle-eyed observers have commented that most of our fundraising involves walking, and there is a reason for this: its accessible to so many people.  The essence being that it doesn’t have to be an arduous marathon slog over swampy terrain in rubbish weather – all you have to do is step outside your door and put one foot in front of the other.  How easy is that?

Of course, you might want to check the weather forecast and put on some sturdy shoes – but its all about getting out into the fresh air.  Maybe your luck will be in and you glimpse a bit of early Spring sunshine, robins scrapping in flower beds, sparrows twittering in hedgerows.  Snowdrops are out there nodding their heads waiting for the first bees to venture out of their hives ……………..  and we too should venture out, breathe deeply, sun on face – and take the first step of many.

I’m fed up with talking about lockdown, the challenges and restrictions; you know them all as well as me, so I’m not going to. I am going to tell you about a brilliant challenge being created by WM that is accessible to everyone!  It’s a virtual journey from our HQ in York to the Jay Ambe hospital in Chaparda, Gujarat, where we run our annual acupuncture clinic. That’s almost 6000 miles!  Before you say “I couldn’t possibly walk that far” – well, of course you couldn’t – by yourself: but this is all about contributing to a team effort, so however many, or few, steps you take could all add up to getting to India in time for the next clinic in January 2022.

Your personal goals have a part to play here – its about getting out for a walk regularly, making it a habit and reaping the rewards of better health, having a (distanced) chat to neighbours and feeling your mood rise.

So, watch this space – details coming soon and perhaps you could raise some small amount to help our fundraising.  All money raised will be used to support World Medicine projects, and not exclusively Chaparda.

I hope you will feel inspired to join us, its going to be amazing!  Let’s do this!

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