Article By Barefoot Acupuncture Movement Co-founder Megan Yarberry
Acupuncture as Barefoot means “feet” on the ground. It means that people on the ground in a given place are able to offer care for the people in that community.
How does acupuncture fit into a prison? In our experience, it fits best when the people within the correctional system are able to offer acu care on their own feet. Bringing an outside contractor in to offer acupuncture comes with all sorts of challenges. But when the staff at the prison can get trained and care for the inmates, it can contribute to changing climate of such a challenging clinical setting.
“…incorporation of the NADA protocol into judicial and correctional systems can benefit individuals and communities,” writes Megan Yarberry, in the Journal of Chinese Medicine, available as a free download. Megan coordinates the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement in Africa. She has been training groups in Kenya and the Congo since 2008, and organized a training at a prison in Kenya.
The case study describes how she trained in this setting, who she trained, and the outcomes observed.
“Omari’s prison programme is comprised of education, counselling and referrals to other agencies. Omari also provides NADA treatments to the prisoners, treating approximately 20 inmates per session. Visiting Omari staff offer the programme at the GK prison once per week. The small and shifting group of inmates who participate in the Omari drug treatment programme at GK prison experience reduced cravings for substances as well as other benefits associated with NADA treatment, and both the prison personnel and the Omari staff recognise that more frequent treatments would likely yield better outcomes.”
The Malindi prison project teaching the NADA ear acupuncture is an example of seminal programs that led to our founding of the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement and have inspired our refugee Barefoot Clinics in the border region, and training for prison staff here in the US.