Home | Subscribe To The Final Call | Books & Tapes e-Store| Letters/Contact Us | TV & Radio  

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2010 - 1:27:41 AM 

Front Page 
Minister Louis Farrakhan
National News
World News
Business & Money
Entertainment News
Health & Fitness
Finalcall.com Español
FinalCall.com Web Video
FCN UK & International Edition
Sister Space
The Time And What Must Be Done Series
NOI Prison Reform
Straight Words

Subscribe to FCN E-List

Enter email address:

Email Delivery Format:
HTML  Plain Text
Manage Your Subscription

The Untold Story
of Hurricane Katrina

Exclusive Webcast:
The Havana Cuba
Press Conference

FCN, March 27, 2006


Acupuncturists help ease post-Katrina stress
By Richard Muhammad
Updated Feb 14, 2006 - 12:30:00 PM

What's your opinion on this article?

 Printable page

The idea that pins and needles could help people may be a revelation for many, but Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) has used the ancient healing art to soothe the stress, aches, pains, tired minds and muscles of residents, relief workers and National Guardsmen struggling under the weight of surviving and rebuilding a still devastated New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Founded after Katrina hit New Orleans, AWB has been working in New Orleans since October 2005. Rotating teams of volunteer acupuncturists from across the country come to offer their unique services with free community-style acupuncture provided in health clinics, food distribution centers, Red Cross shelters, mobile units, churches, and the tent cities and hotels housing relief workers.

The group’s work is also rather unique: It uses a timeless Asian art to serve Blacks, Whites, Latinos and Asians who are all part of New Orleans’ racial gumbo. “We see people of every color (and) different cultures, and enjoy doing our small part to help make the city whole,” said Diana Fried, executive director of Acupuncturists Without Borders. “New Orleans remains a very difficult place to live and work. People are under tremendous pressure to keep things together and we are doing what we can to help. We also bring a different understanding to what ‘put a pin in it’ means.”

She also stressed that the practitioners with her non-profit organization are experienced, licensed and follow recognized treatment guidelines.

Treatments last from 30-60 minutes with fully clothed patients sitting in chairs. The protocol AWB uses is with needles on the ears and other accessible body points. Done in groups, community-style acupuncture can help break the isolation often felt after traumatic events. Even those who resist traditional treatment for Acute Stress Disorder are often willing to receive acupuncture. “The treatments support rebuilding strength and resiliency that is essential for the recovery process. Acupuncture treatments have a calming effect and help those struggling with anger, hostility and frustration,” Ms. Fried explained.

AWB volunteers travel in teams throughout the city and nearby towns. Serving everyone from volunteer homebuilders with Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross workers, to Latino immigrants and Vietnamese and Black residents of the Big Easy.

“There is so much devastation, so much to clean up, so much homelessness,” said Geralynn “Gigi” Felicetta, an acupuncturist from San Diego, who was working Feb. 3 in the Ninth Ward. Standing on the corner of Claiborne and Pauline, she said the food lines, filled coolers due to a lack of refrigeration, makeshift shelters, sleeping bags, rubbish, abandoned and condemned buildings made a distinct impression. “It is like a war zone in America,” she observed, yet added, “There is so much spirit. The spirit cannot be broken.”

The aim of Acupuncturists Without Borders is to tap into that spirit and offer relief. People are open to the treatments, though most patients don’t know much about acupuncture, noted Ms. Felicetta. It gives people time to rest and be still, she said.

“It’s pretty stressful down here, a lot of chaos and craziness. I feel there is a lot of racism here against the Black folks who should be back home,” said 33-year-old volunteer Joy Patterson, who shared that it is difficult to see whole portions of the city leveled.

She also pointed out that many medical professionals might have to leave because of a law that requires state licensing to perform services.

“Anyone here is just an angel,” said Ms. Patterson, who regularly uses acupuncture. “It really, really helps. It’s kind of like a little miracle in the middle of the day.”

New Orleans could still stand just a few more miracles.

(Distributed by the Katrina Information Network.)


FCN is a distributor (and not a publisher) of content supplied by third parties. Original content supplied by FCN and FinalCall.com News is Copyright 2009 FCN Publishing, FinalCall.com. Content supplied by third parties are the property of their respective owners.

Top of Page

National News
Latest Headlines
God's Influence In HipHop
In the black and the green
Come enjoy Salaam Day-Peace Day in South Shore, Saturday, July 26!
Trayvon Martin family marks one-year anniversary of verdict working for peace, healing
Highway patrol sued over Calif. freeway beating
Inextricably Linked: The Nation of Islam and the Five Percenters
Anger, protests and vows not to forget Eric Garner's death in NYC Police custody
Obama, states frustrated over child, border crisis
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sentenced