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!

NADA Training Weekends, Summer 2023 Read More »

Nada Training Day

NADA Weekend, July 2022


The NADA protocol was originally developed in the 1970s as a way of supporting other treatments for drug and alcohol withdrawal and rehabilitation. Stimulating five points on the outer ear with the insertion of needles, or application of ear seeds, helps to increase the body’s production of endorphins, whilst lowering the response to stress and increasing relaxation. Today, in addition to its use in addiction units, the NADA protocol is used as an adjunctive, supportive therapy in a wide variety of settings, including with people who have been traumatised by war or natural or man-made disasters; people undergoing treatment for cancer; mental health settings and more. It is little wonder that taking the NADA training is becoming increasingly popular with acupuncturists and other complementary therapists.

Picture1In July, 2022 another NADA training took place at the Northern College of Acupuncture in York. Trainees and people who were undertaking the ‘refresher’ course all applied themselves with enthusiasm to immerse themselves in learning and gaining new skills or practicing their technique. Everyone was incredibly supportive of the teaching team and each other. I was humbled and impressed by the stories from NADA practitioners of how this simple, but effective protocol had helped as part of the support for people with whom they had come into contact, in their work. Thank you all, for your hard work and diligence – on the hottest weekend of the year! – for making the whole weekend so successful and enjoyable and for your much appreciated donations to World Medicine.Picture2

I was also blown away by people’s openhearted kindness and generosity. My special thanks must go to all the assistants – Janet and Teresa, who worked tirelessly for all four days and Kath, Jacqueline, Michele, Hayley, Liz and Sarah who supported the trainees and freely shared their knowledge and skills. The directors of NADA GB have been hugely supportive of this event, so thanks must go to them, too. Once again, there was an anonymous donor who undertook all the printing of the learning materials and whose work and generosity is very much appreciated. Thanks too, must go to Richard Blackwell, Principal of the NCA for kindly allowing us to use space in the College and to the Practitioner Hub team and NCA staff who dealt with all the bookings, endless admin and making sure the rooms were clean and in good order and also for supporting the weekend with providing much needed refreshments. It was the hottest weekend of the year!

Thank you to everyone – it couldn’t have happened without you!

jude x



NADA Weekend, July 2022 Read More »

Pic 5

Setting up a free-to-user clinic? Things to think about

 Trustee Barbara Robinson takes us through what will be required to set up a free-to-user clinic, using a World Medicine Acupuncture in Action Grant.

What will your clinic look like? WM’s experience at Grenfell, Wapping and in India has provided us with a few tips and considerations for setting up and managing clinics such as this, which we are happy to share.  (Staff at JRS Wapping refer to patients as Refugee Friends or Friends, and we have adopted that.)

Clinic type:
Multibed? Seated? This will depend on space, equipment, daily setting up time, personal inclination and targeted beneficiary group.  WM’s experience is that good results can be achieved with seated auricular treatments and is time efficient for stress/trauma/anxiety/insomnia treatments. It is also more suitable for mixed gender groups. Where full body qualified acupuncturists are volunteering they can also offer distal points to great effect.

In our India clinics where 80% of complaints are musculo-skeletal we have access to hospital beds, and this has some benefits – not least it prevents patients wandering around with needles in!
Where space is limited, think carefully before running a mix of seated and couch – we have found that patients directed to seated areas perceive they have been short-changed compared to lying down on the couch, which they think implies a more thorough treatment.  Explaining the workings of acupuncture points regardless of physical position becomes difficult when there are translation issues.

Space and equipment:
A large roomy space with plenty of natural light that does not have through traffic is ideal.
Is it accessible for both volunteers and Friends?
Community spaces are often already equipped with chairs which, hopefully, are wipeable.  If placed in pairs with a good space around you have a place to perch yourself while working and not be hampered by being close to a wall or other furniture.  Good spacing also encourages Friends to enjoy the quiet and get the most from their needle time.

Stacked chairs in the corner of the room take only minutes to set out and equipment is stored in a bag with treatment notes in a locked cupboard in the same room, if possible.
A table is needed to set out equipment during the clinic.
A list of suggested equipment is here

Is the space free to use? This is where costs could mount up – by seeking out ‘hosts’ it is possible to benefit from a committed partner who knows their Friends and provide translation if needed.

You could start by checking out charities in your area with similar target groups (eg British Red Cross); acupuncture or multidiscipline practices able to donate space a regular time each week (perhaps check with colleagues at your BAcC regional group – would also be good for gathering volunteers); social groups with a shared interest in helping your target recipients (Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain)
To be sustainable, and by that I mean still be operating in a year’s time, a weekly clinic with two practitioners attending will probably need a minimum of 8 volunteers to rotate, even better if you have 10 or even 12.  Sounds a lot, and you may think that you will be able to run it by yourself with perhaps another to help you and perhaps you can.  But wait – life has a way of intervening – what if that hospital appointment comes round at last and you don’t want to miss it/you wake up with a migraine/covid/a sick child? Having others to call upon is invaluable if you are not going to cancel a clinic.

Planning the rota well in advance is appreciated by volunteers, but it takes thought and prompt action is needed for last minute changes. A whatsapp group for volunteers to quickly contact each other is invaluable, its wonderful for letting the other volunteers know how the clinic went that week, and for the cohesion of the group when they rarely see each other.

The success of your clinic depends on your volunteers. It goes without saying that volunteers should be qualified, insured and DBS checked.  Sometimes DBS checking can get forgotten by the most conscientious of acupuncturists so it is useful to be able to offer this to your volunteers.  We use an online company – Aaron’s Department – for our DBS processing.  Your group will need to have at least 2 nominated admin/checkers set up on their system.  It is very simple and you can take advantage of the admin only charge which means for processing volunteers, the cost is as low as £8 per person – this is easily covered by the grant: why not offer this free to your volunteers?

Understand your beneficiary group:
How are you going to let them know you are there? Any advertising, discussions with host/partners should be targeted.  Consider your response if other groups outside of your target wish to avail themselves of your service. Is that okay with you – do you say Yes to everyone – or do you say No?
It’s a difficult one ……… What was your original reason for setting up the clinic?  A ‘mission statement’ is useful here as it provides a clear pointer in the minds of the volunteers who their beneficiary group are, and that in turn helps with their commitment.  Consider also where the financial support has come from – does what you are doing still align with your and your donors’ intentions?

WM is offering £2000 for set up costs, usually 50% initially and 50% after 6 months.  However, if there are circumstances that require 100% initially then this can be considered. It will be necessary to have a bank account in the name of your group. Recipients of the grant are free to use it as they wish, but we think equipment and volunteers’ travel expenses have highest priority.  Having a limit on amount that may be claimed per volunteer, per session, is useful as it facilitates planning.

We feel it is important to be able to assess, after a time, how your clinic is doing. Your gut feeling may be that all is wonderful, which is great, but if you intend to revisit your original sponsor or even try elsewhere for continuation funds, it is useful to be able to demonstrate the success of your clinic. Perhaps after 6 months or so you could also ask your refugee friends for some feedback. 

WM use a standardised treatment form which has been modified over the years to hold all the relevant details of patient, data and tx consent box, date, practitioner, category of ailment, treatment, a severity ‘score’ and number of needles used.  Without creating an admin burden, we find that these details provide sufficient information to keep track of treatments, improvement rate and equipment usage so that reporting is possible. We are happy to share this with groups who may be interested.

Equipment list:
Most working acupuncturists will have an idea of what they need to operate, but to get you going without too much outlay I would suggest the following.  Of course, it will depend on how many Friends you will be treating per session and how complicated your treatments.  Regarding needles, based on a keystone treatment of 10 ear needles plus possible addition of 5 (average) body needles, treating 15-20 friends weekly for 3 months you might consider an initial order of the following, but review after a couple of months to check usage.

2000 auricular needles
1000 1” needles
1000 ½” needles

Ear seeds (clear backing)
Cotton wool and/or cotton buds
Sharps bin
Massage oil
Small paper cups for transporting needles to/from patient
Sterilising hand gel/wash
Ear probe (optional)
PPE if still using

(If chairs are needed, I find enquiries at local secondary schools, churches or office refit companies result in some no-longer-used furniture either free or for a small donation.)

April 2022

Setting up a free-to-user clinic? Things to think about Read More »


NADA Training, Sedbergh

In January 2022 World Medicine volunteer Judith Blair ran a NADA training weekend, donating all the proceeds to World Medicine

For some, the last weekend of January can be rather dull – the days are still short and the natural inclination is towards hibernation. Not so for the trainees who braved the elements to make their way to my home practice in the Yorkshire Dales, to undertake the NADA ear acupuncture training! The weekend was ‘immersive’ and trainees undertook three very full days, starting with qigong in the morning and ending (for most) with a meal together in the evening.

I was impressed by all the trainees, who openly and generously shared their own skills and experiences to enrich the weekend’s training. Everyone who took part in the training was hugely supportive of the other participants. The trainees engaged enthusiastically with the learning and together we listened, we learned, we worked and we laughed, too! Sadly, there was little opportunity for going out to walk in the hills, but we all benefitted from their calming presence and from the qigong and meditation sessions shared by two talented trainees.

Our training included time for meditation

Altogether, the donations raised £645 for the work of World Medicine, in ongoing projects in Gujarat and Wapping and to the development of further projects, both at home and abroad. Some trainees have already expressed interest in volunteering for World Medicine and all the participants are actively exploring ways to develop their practice to incorporate the use of the NADA protocol, to the benefit of their patients and clients. 

Further NADA trainings are being planned. If you are interested in taking the NADA training for volunteering for World Medicine projects, please get in touch.


NADA Training, Sedbergh Read More »


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



NADA fundraising training Read More »