In the Spring I met the unbelievable Carol Darby Darton outside our mechanic’s in The Dingle. Carol runs Dare to Care, which is ostensibly a holistic health centre; a supplier of massage, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Her reputation is purely word of mouth, it is next to impossible to find any online presence representing her business. And boy, now that I’ve actually starting enquiring about her, does she have a reputation. That was an amazing experience in itself. Unbelievable. Trust me, it’s worth reading about, and you can find the full report (which went right to the National Directors at NADA UK at the top) here: The Dare to Care Experience with NADA Auricular Acupuncture.
But as traumatic as that experience at Dare to Care was, it all worked out for the best, and I was offered a place on the course at Yuan College in London, under the wings of the man himself, John Tindell.
This course was perhaps the most intense way I have ever spent four consecutive days. Yup, it was even more intensive than skydiving. You see, it was four quite long days of focussed concentration, trying to absorb masses of information about energies, physiology, anatomy, point location, indications and other stuff I can’t remember. Oh yes, we were practising. In fact we were doing LOTS of practise. And receiving lots of treatments as a result. And consequently feeling incredibly relaxed, as one does after an acupuncture treatment… so for the first three days I felt this incredible conflict between needing to concentrate but wanting to just sit back and relax, and enjoy the treatments.
But it was worth it. I am now a qualified acupuncturist. Well, that sounds grander than it is. I know, to be a roper real acupuncturist, you need three years training in physiology and diagnoses… and this was four days. But it’s not a diagnostic qualification. This is a proven protocol which is effective in bulk situations which don’t require diagnosis… such as detox units and rehabs. I believe the protocol was developed by a chap who brought the acupuncture knowledge he had garnered in China back to the West, and found that this protocol he had developed had a remarkable effect in detox units in The Bronx. More about Dr Michael Smith can be found at the NADA International site.
There is actually research out there which will support its effective. Let’s just start with this Appraisal from Yale School of Medicine – which cites Ear Acupuncture as a tool for recovery, with the NADA 5-point protocol supporting continued engagement in treatment (Bryant).
An interesting study from the Linda Jackson MacMillan Centre (MacMillan being a major support charity for Cancer patients) looks into the effectiveness of: Evaluating the NADA ear acupuncture protocol to manage breast cancer treatment related hot flushes & night sweats. The results, I believe all speak for themselves.
So, how does it actually work? Well, without giving too much away, the NADA protocol focuses on 5 energy points in our ears. Each point has its own benefits, but in combination they help to reduce the cravings which we feel when we stop consuming something to which we have become addicted. In my experience, I found that I was using alcohol to fill a gap. But the more alcohol I put into the gap, the bigger the gap got. I have come to think of this as the God Shaped hole, an expression I hated for years. But this acupuncture treatment seems to help fill that hole. Like I said, all I wanted to do during treatments was sit back and relax, to go deep into a meditative space. And the last thing I wanted when having these treatments was a cigarette!
Obviously, the treatment isn’t going to work miracles alone (although it has been known to)in most cases. In most cases we need the will, the desire to quit whatever it is we want to quit.
But it WILL help us through those initial cravings… I can swear by it. So who wants a go? Just let me know x