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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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



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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.


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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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