Community Acupuncture by Lee Entel Hurter
Getting stuck in the ears with needles may not be the first thing
someone thinks to do during an extreme episode of trauma, mania, or
depression. Maybe it should be, though.
I ran the Freedom Center’s weekly acupuncture clinic, one of the first
of its kind anywhere. We gave many hundreds of people entirely free
treatments, and I’ve seen firsthand the benefits for insomnia,
addiction, mania, depressed states, and trauma — as well as
psychiatric drug withdrawal. Sometimes acupuncture feels subtle, while
other times it breathes life back into an emotionally drowning person.
You can become more grounded in your body, feel like you stand taller,
and maintain a deep, peaceful state of mind.
The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol is
simple: 5 needles in ear points corresponding to body energy
meridians, administered in a drop-in, peaceful setting. Treatment is
anonymous, silent, and in a group circle, which can feel safer than
talking about traumatic events or meeting one-on-one with a
One example of acupuncture’s power is Jenafer Andren. After sleeping
pills, psychotherapy, and Baystate Medical Center failed to help her
insomnia, she came to the Freedom Center clinic. Jenafer told the
Hampshire Gazette newspaper, “I don't have to take naps anymore, I
don't have meltdowns, where I'm so tired I start crying. My overall
health is so much better.”
As acupuncture becomes more mainstream, many professionals have made
it an expensive, elitist ‘boutique treatment.’ A community approach is
vital now more than ever, so the benefits of traditional Chinese
medicine can be accessed by all.
Lee Entel Hurter was a main organizer with Freedom Center in Northampton, MA
and went on to become a licensed acupuncturist. Lee is now based in Denver,