PARSONS, W.V.  –  The West Virginia Legislature passed House Bill 2324 and Governor Justice signed it into law last week, allowing trained professionals to be able to use the NADA ear acupuncture protocol and the Battlefield ear acupuncture protocol for the treatment of trauma, addictions, stress and chronic pain.  The NADA protocol was developed in New York City around 1973, during the height of the heroin epidemic there, and was found to be useful also for trauma recovery, disaster recovery, and stress relief.  It can be used for treatment of addictions to alcohol, nicotine, tobacco, drugs, sex, gambling and food.  It has also been shown to be useful in the treatment of chronic pain.  Similarly, the Battlefield Acupuncture protocol , which was developed in 2001,  uses ear acupuncture point protocol for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.  It is used by many practitioners in the Veterans Administration medical system, and other providers who have been trained elsewhere.  The new West Virginia law will license Acudetox Specialists to use these protocols.

Previously in West Virginia, only licensed Acupuncturists, who receive 1800 hours of education, and physicians and chiropractors and physical therapists who received post-graduate training have been able to use acupuncture procedures and techniques.  The new law allows for the limited use of two specific protocols to be used by Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Social Workers, Therapists, Psychologists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists,  EMT’s and Correctional Officers who receive training, to provide these treatments in community settings.  We are lucky to have a gifted Acupuncturist, Jennifer Walker, LAc in our community since 2011.

While the NADA protocol and Battlefield Acupuncture are not  “Stand Alone” treatments, (meaning they are most successfully used with other supports, like support groups like AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, and counseling, and sometimes medication assisted treatment) they have been praised by patients world wide.   NADA has been shown to reduce cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, such as  headaches,  nausea, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, and insomnia,.  It is useful for  chronic pain, PTSD recovery and stress.  The Battlefield protocol has been shown to help with acute and chronic pain.   Information about NADA can be found at http://acudetox.com.  Information about Battlefield Acupuncture can be found at https://www.battlefieldacupuncture.net/home/battlefieldacupuncture/

All of the licensed Acupuncturists in West Virginia are familiar with these protocols, as are the physicians and chiropractors who have acupuncture training.  So far there have been 6 West Virginians who have been trained as Acudetox Specialists, including Barbara Weaner, MSN, FNP, who is now in training to become a NADA trainer, to help spread this treatment throughout West Virginia, where is it needed badly.

Not only is our state plagued by the highest accidental death rate by opioid overdose in the nation.  We are also suffering from high rates of domestic violence, depression and stress and despair.  NADA helps people discover their own inner strength, and helps the body detoxify from chemicals of addiction and the stress hormones and metabolic waste products from chronic stress.   It induces natural relaxation.

In England, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, NADA protocol is used in the Emergency Room to help rape victims and domestic violence victims, and in prisons and jails to help people withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.  West Virginia is the 23rd state to encourage the use of NADA and Battlefield protocols.  NADA  is practiced in 27 countries around the world aside from the United States, where it was developed.

We hoping to organize NADA trainings for professionals interested all around the state, and encourage the set up of free de-stress clinics in communities and agencies and organizations throughout West Virginia.   It is a bright spot to think about us helping each other, in a simple way, lessening the need for expensive medications to get better.   In a small way this will help restore our communities.

The first West Virginia NADA training will take place in Harpers Ferry May 6-10.  Anyone wishing to be trained can contact Barbara Weaner, FNP at [email protected].