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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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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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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Super Skater Steph!

By Emma Vaughan

downloadKeeping it in the family, Rafe’s Aunty Steph has also been busy!

She recently skated 26 miles during the virtual kiltwalk weekend and raised £809 which means with the extra Hunter foundation contribution an amazing total of £1213.

This is fabulous fundraising and again we are hugely grateful. This fundraising effort has come at a time when India is facing a devastating crisis and indeed our own friends and colleagues at Jay Ambe hospital are facing mounting pressure as the local community suffer from a second wave of Covid infections.

This week we have been able to make a contribution to a direct appeal from the hospital for life saving oxygen and so the commitment of our volunteers and their families has been particularly poignant and welcome.

Our collective kiltwalk efforts have raised £2577, giving us £3865 in total once Sir Tom Hunter has bolstered our own efforts.

Brilliant achievement, thank you everyone who has supported our efforts either by participating , cheerleading our team or contributing directly to the fundraising!

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Remarkable Rafe!

By Emma Vaughan

a894f606-5459-4929-89c2-fbbc91df288fRafe is the 6 year old grandson of Barbara and Dave, with the former being a World Medicine trustee and volunteer.

He is indeed a remarkable boy as this is now his second year dedicated to helping fundraise for our charity, and both years he has done it with some style! Considering the size of his legs, we are all amazed at his stamina and his commitment. Together with his parents he has been a prolific fundraiser and this year alone he raised an incredible £890. With the Hunter foundation contribution this means that Rafe’s efforts will have generated £1335. This is a massive achievement and we are hugely grateful to him and all his generous sponsors.

Thank you Rafe!

Barbara recently interviewed Rafe before the kiltwalk to get some tips and motivation!

Enjoy our wee video..


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Scotlands Virtual Kiltwalk

Kiltwalk 2021

By Emma Vaughan

The 23rd of April heralded the start of Scotland’s virtual Kiltwalk challenge ! Over the weekend, Barbara, her husband Dave, daughter Stephanie and 6 year old grandson Rafe plus Emma in Scotland embarked on various walks and in Stephanie’s case skated, yes skated their way on the 26 mile challenge!


a894f606-5459-4929-89c2-fbbc91df288fThe weather was uncharacteristically kind to all of us which is remarkable as we are spread across 3 nations, and we were able to complete our journeys within the time frame allowed. This is Rafe’s second walk for World Medicine and we are are incredibly proud of him. You’ll read all about him in our next blog which gives a fuller picture on his fundraising efforts with a lovely video introducing him.

Stephanie also deserves a special mention as her unique challenge was incredible as she hadn’t put a pair of skates on for 30 years! An amazing effort, backed up with awesome fundraising! We feared for her safety but can report that she is still in one piece and uncomplaining!

So far our team has raised over £2500 which will be bolstered by 50% thanks to the Hunter foundation. A fantastic achievement which allows us to continue our work both in the UK and abroad! Donations can be accepted until May 2nd so please support us if you can.

Well done everybody, and also thank you to all the supporters in the background who helped us with our individual challenges.

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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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Emma on 2021

Hello everyone!

Although we have been very quiet over recent months, much has been going on behind the scenes as it were! Firstly, we hope that all our friends at World Medicine are safe and well. 2020 was a very difficult year and so far 2021 continues to be challenging. We were unable to continue any of our projects due to COVID restrictions and so both the work at Grenfell and Chaparda were put on hold. Many members of our previous Chaparda team keenly felt the loss of being in India this year and so we were delighted that Barbara has managed to maintain regular contact with Babubhai at the hospital and have been reassured that the pandemic has not overwhelmed the community there. We intend to return in 2022 but will be cautiously planning for a few months to come before we make a final decision. We also have another exciting London based project in the pipeline which will be announced in due course.

This brings me onto FUNDRAISING! On Easter Day we are going to launch our CHAPARDA challenge fundraiser. Our intention is to walk, swim or cycle the entire length of the journey from our HQ in York to the Jay Ambe hospital in Chaparda. We aim to complete the challenge virtually, logging our journey onto an online platform which will help us map the journey ! Please don’t be put off if you think this sounds complex. Barbara, Dave, Jude and Emma walked a virtual West Highland way last week to road test the system with our IT support Chris supporting us ( literally) every step of the way. It is very straightforward! We will be looking for folk to sign up to our teams at a cost of £12 per person. This will cover everyone’s admin and registration cost etc. We will then link you to a fundraising platform in the hope that your friends and family might donate a little money to spur you on to help us complete our truly epic journey! More detailed information will follow but in the meantime if you or anyone you know are interested in taking part please contact emma@ world and I will add you on to our fundraising what’s app group for easy access to information and support. All money raised will be used to support all World Medicine projects and not exclusively Chaparda.

We hope you feel inspired to join us, it’s going to be amazing.. !!!!

Let’s make 2021 a fabulous year of getting fit, being outside as much as possible and RAISING money for World Medicine!!

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