Last August 21-25, 2017, NADA Philippines, in coordination with MiHANDs (Mindanao Humanitarian Action Against Disasters), conducted the 33rd NADA 5-Point Protocol training in Iligan City. The 15 participants are locals of the area, belonging to various Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Peoples’ Organizations (POs) and are composed of the Tri-Peoples of Mindanao (Bangsamoro, Lumad, and Christians). For the training, NADA Philippines tapped Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists (ADSes) from various areas in Luzon, e.g. the Cordillera, Nueva Vizcaya, and in Mindanao, e.g. Sarangani, Maguindanao, South Cotabato. The training was conducted in response to the on-going crisis in Marawi City.
Mindanao Situationer: the Marawi Siege
Marawi City contained a population of 201,785 individuals, based on the 2015 census. It is the only highly urbanized city in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as well as the only Islamic City in the Philippines. It is the capital of Lanao del Sur, one of the poorest provinces in the country.
On the afternoon of May 23, 2017, Marawi City was under siege as gunmen from the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf, two local terrorist groups, attempted to take control of the city. Later reports revealed that the attack by the extremists was a reaction of the two groups to the botched operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to capture Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, alongside the execution of the Maute group’s pre-planned siege of the city. The terrorist groups burnt the city jail, a local college and St. Mary’s Cathedral. They robbed all the banks, occupied the medical center and other strategic buildings, and blocked the highways. By 10pm of May 23, President Rodrigo Duterte declared Martial Law in the whole Mindanao.
Thousands of Marawi residents have fled the city but an estimated two thousand still remain trapped, unable to leave due to the ongoing attacks and operations. The AFP has continuously launched airstrikes and aerial bombings alongside their combat mobilizations and maneuvers to flush out the terrorist groups. However, these operations have also razed Marawi City to the ground, and even led to the accidental deaths of their own soldiers and civilians.
As of the August 5, 2017 report of the National Disaster Recovery and Risk Management Committee (NDRRMC), a total of 446,040 individuals or 104,220 families from Marawi City and the neighboring towns have been displaced. 4,950 families or 23,647 individuals are in evacuation centers and 99,952 families or 444,056 individuals are home-based. Home-based means that the families and individuals are living with relatives or friends in neighboring cities.
In Iligan City, there are five declared evacuation sites and 17-23 host barangays for home-based IDPs. One of these barangays is Brgy. Sta. Elena, where NADA Philippines conducted the three-day community clinic from August 23-25, 2017.
More than a hundred days have passed since the start of the Marawi siege with no end in sight, and years of rehabilitation in its hazy future.
The ADSes coming from Luzon travelled by plane from Manila to the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro. From the airport, it was a two-hour travel to Iligan City, with one checkpoint near the city. In contrast, the ADS from Sarangani related that it took 15 hours of travel (from the usual 7 hours) to get to Iligan City from her hometown due to the traffic and numerous checkpoints. She counted not less than ten checkpoints, where all occupants of the bus were made to get out for inspection.
During the duration of the training, the NADA Philippines trainers and facilitators stayed at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Inahan sa Kinabuhi Seminary Compound, Seminary Road, Del Carmen, Iligan City. The board and lodgings were arranged by Fr. James Gascon of the Center for Family Ministry, Ateneo University, and made possible through the efforts of Bishop Elenito Galido, Ms. Fe Salimbangon, and Sr. Emma Concepcion Uy, MSOLTC.
The NADA Protocol Training in Iligan City
The two-day lecture part of the training was held at the Home for the Aged in Barangay Canaway, while the three-day practicum was held at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Purok 12-G of Bayanihan Village and at the Brgy. Sta. Elena Gymnasium, which has been transformed into an evacuation center.
Some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Marawi City were temporarily relocated at the Bayanihan Village, where they are staying with relatives and friends. Incidentally, Bayanihan Village is also the relocation site for the survivors of Typhoon Sendong, which lashed the area on December 2011. NADA Philippines had also launched a simultaneous training-mission for the typhoon survivors in 2012. The patients treated at the Multi-Purpose Hall were a mix of the home-based IDPs from Marawi City and the Typhoon Sendong survivors.
The Brgy. Sta. Elena Gymnasium currently houses 244 families or 1,265 individuals, all IDPs from Marawi City. The number comprises 4.9% of the total number of IDPs in evacuation centers, and 0.23% of the total number of IDPs both home-based and in evacuation centers. The area of the gymnasium is covered from corner to corner with makeshift living spaces, with families crammed in every space available. Due to the arrangements of the place, the NADA Philippines clinicians opted to go to each living quarters to explain the protocol and to inquire if the people there would like to try it. At first there was hesitation among the IDPs but eventually, one by one they opted to try the treatment. The children were especially enthusiastic and would line up to have the magnetic beads applied at the back of their ears.
In the three-day community clinic, NADA Philippines clinicians were able to treat a total of 260 patients, 123 at the Multi-Purpose Hall and 137 at the gymnasium-turned-evacuation center. Over 100 children were given magnetic beads in both areas. The most common complaints were bodily aches and pains, headaches, fatigue and stress, and difficulty in sleeping. When the patients came back, the most common feedback from them were the easing of the aches pains, sleepiness and sound sleep, the feelings of lightness and relaxation.
Significant Cases: PTSD among the IDPs
On the first day of the community clinic at the Multi-Purpose Hall, a woman came in to ask about the treatment. One of the ADSes explained the protocol to her and just as they were to begin the treatment, she said she was going to eat first since she had not eaten yet. She left but after an hour or so, she came back. She was assigned to another ADS, who again explained the protocol, and just as they were to start the treatment, she said that she would bring her daughter first so that she can have the treatment as well. She left and then returned with her children, who then agreed to have magnetic beads placed at the back of Shen Men. However, she still did not receive treatment and again left with her children. She came back and left around four more times, and on the last time, she started sharing about her experience during that day when the Marawi siege started.
She said that on the afternoon of May 23, she and her family heard the gunmen of the Maute group telling them all to pack up and leave or else they would be holding arms as well. Many people she knew who stayed ended up dead, and the sons are forced to take arms, and the daughters are married off to the Maute gunmen. She told of how they were all rounded up in the streets surrounded by the gunmen and how they waited until these gunmen walked away before they made their escape. Her family was fortunate enough to get a van in which she, her family, and their relatives escaped from Marawi City. Her family owned a pharmacy in the city but she said she knew there was nothing left because of all the bombing. She said for five days afterwards she could not speak and she felt she was losing her mind. What she held onto to keep her sane was the thought of others before her, others who made it. But she tearfully said, “Nawala ang tulog sa akin (Sleep is lost to me).”
During the reflection at the end of each day, one of the clinicians shared how a patient complained of deafness in one ear ever since the siege started. This patient, a Bangsamoro woman, would also ask the clinician, a Christian, to pray with her as the latter put the needles on the patient’s ear. The clinician summoned what she knew of the prayers of the Bangsamoro people and prayed with the patient during and after.
Many of the patients complained of having difficulty in sleeping. After the treatment, they would say that for the first time in a long time, they felt sleepy. Sleep was coming back to them.
Survivors Turned Healers
Two of the trainees for 33rd batch of the NADA training are students from Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, both taking up Islamic Studies specializing in Shariah Law. These two trainees were also in Marawi City when the siege started on May 23, and they are currently living with relatives. One of them has a family in Marantao, a town very close to Marawi, and on the second day of the training, a fire fight broke out there, between the Maute group and civilians. Despite her worry for her family who were still in Marantao at the time, she continued on with the training.
During the practicum, these two trainees alongside the other Maranao trainees were instrumental in convincing the IDPs at the evacuation center to try out ear acupuncture. At the reflection at the end of the day, they shared how much the sight of their Maranao brothers and sisters crammed in the gymnasium touched their hearts and made them realize how fortunate they were that they had relatives and friends to stay with. The experience made them all the more determined, more heartened to do what they can to help.
At the end of the five-day training, NADA Philippines is proud to present the newest batch of Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists: Batch 33. This is the fifth batch of ADSes trained in Mindanao, after the first in Monkayo, the second in Kidapawan, the third in Zamboanga and the fourth in Lake Sebu. These new ADSes will be instrumental in providing ear acupuncture for trauma for the IDPs from the Marawi siege.
A week after the training, the new ADSes joined up with MiHANDs in their relief operations in Brgy. Sta. Elena and at Toril Evacuation Center, both in Iligan City. The ADSes reported that the patients were enthusiastic about the result of the treatments and were asking for follow-up. More missions and community clinics are to be scheduled in coordination with MiHANDs, with the hopes that more people will be treated.
MiHANDs is a humanitarian network created in 2013 during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) with 52 Grassroots Member Organizations and around 1,500 active individual members. They conducted various humanitarian relief operations, human rights and peace education and campaigns.
NADA Training in Iligan City: Continuous Appeal for Support
In coordination with the Diocesan Social Action Center Coordinator, Ms. Fe Salimbangon, and Bishop Elenito Galido, the next NADA training for the Social Action Center has been scheduled for November 27 to December 1, 2017.
We would like to again appeal for support for the upcoming NADA training for 20 trainees of the Social Action Center and workers in the parish.
We would like to solicit from you any amount you can share to make this training possible this November. We will be needing funds for airfare travel for the trainers, board and lodging and training materials for the participants. The estimated amount is Php250,000.00. For those who would like to extend their help and generosity, kindly deposit your donation to the NADA Philippines BPI Account 308-1117178 and our BDO Dollar Account with the following details:
SWIFT Code: BNORPHMM
Routing No.: 021-000089
National Acupuncture Detoxification Association Philippines Inc.
Maraming salamat po! Thank you very much!
Last May 4-6, 2017, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) of the United States of America hosted the 28th NADA Annual Conference in Wilmington, Delaware. The 3-day conference featured speakers from the US and from all over the world sharing their experiences in their work in their respective areas, bound by the theme Healing and Hope for Stress, Trauma and Addiction.
Through the assistance and support from NADA Philippines, and also through the generosity of Dr. Michael O. Smith, NADA USA President Dr. Libby Stuyt, NADA USA Board of Directors, and Executive Director Ms. Sara Bursac, a delegation composed of five acupuncture detoxification specialists (ADSes) from NADA Philippines was able to attend the conference. Present were Janet Paredes, John Joseph Posadas, Trisha Janine Sanijon, Ace Lennon Babasa and Lorie Fe Estavillo.
The first day of the conference was called NADA 101 and it opened with a welcome reception for the guests and then proceeded to a morning filled with heartfelt tributes to NADA founder, Dr. Michael O. Smith, who was also present. Among those who spoke were Sarah Bursac, Joanne Lenney, Carlos Alvarez and Nancy Smalls. Lenney, Alvarez and Smalls were the pioneers who were mentored by Dr. Michael Smith himself. The tributes were interspersed with videos on how NADA started in the Lincoln Recovery Center in the Bronx, New York. ADSes from all over the world shared their experiences working with Dr. Smith and narrated their individual learnings with him. NADA Philippines shared a short audio-visual presentation highlighting the contributions of Dr. Smith to the organization.
In the afternoon, conference attendees were invited to receive treatments from the latest batch of NADA US trainees who were completing their practicum at a nearby venue.
The second day of the conference marked the start of the plenary sessions. ADSes and NADA supporters were selected as readers who opened the conference by reading excerpts from Dr. Smith’s works, articles and other remarkable quotations. The first plenary session focused on the Delaware NADA Story and was moderated by NADA Executive Director, Ms. Sara Bursać.
Cheyenne Luzader provided a historical perspective on the changes and development in the ADS law in Delaware, David Mercier shared how the first NADA services were shaped in the state, and Barney Monks provided insight on how NADA was integrated in the treatment services in New Castle County.
In the second plenary session, the focus was on getting the word out about NADA, with Claudia Voyles, NADA U.S.A. trainer, as the moderator. The speakers shared about their experiences in bringing NADA to different areas and populations. Katurah Bryant shared how persistence pays off in getting NADA established. Dolores Jimerson shared about their experience in bringing NADA to the Yellowhawk Tribe in Oregon. Danialle Rose spoke about the grassroots outreach at Standing Rock. Stacy Sayre gave insight on the collaboration between NADA and the Medical Reserve Corps. Libby Stuyt shared about NADA outreach, education, and training in Colorado.
The third plenary session put the spotlight on the experiences of the ADSes of NADA International. Mette Wiinblad of NADA Denmark moderated the session. Adelheid Luchtrath, MD of NADA Germany shared her experiences in using NADA for PTSD among refugee populations. Rita Nilsen of NADA Norway spoke about the addiction program they established “Retretten” and how they expanded NADA into multiple health sectors.
The third speaker was none other than the NADA Philippines Board President, Janet Pimentel-Paredes who gave a presentation on how they have faced the challenges of the Philippine Drug War using the NADA protocol. The presentation included a short video tribute to Dr. Michael O. Smith and to the international solidarity, the Spirit of NADA.
To express our appreciation for all the support that NADA Philippines has received from international friends to date, NADA Philippines distributed the NADA pin that says “Healing People, One Needle at a Time”.
The fourth and last plenary session of the day focused on the question how does NADA work get funded? Denise Romano served as the moderator for the session. Cindy Jimenez shared about supporting NADA services at a community health clinic in Colorado. Sybil Marsh focused in finding staff time to sustain NADA in a methadone program in Ohio. Glynis Simmons spoke about securing NADA Acupuncture through the Ryan White Care Act in New York. Angie Smith-Butterwick shared about obtaining funding for NADA programs through Federal Block Grants in Michigan.
The third day of the conference opened with the fifth plenary session focusing on evidence-based NADA, with Ken Carter as moderator. Adrianna Barajas and Bratati Chakraborty talked about NADA Program Survey Results and shared their observations as NADA’s Social Work interns. Jessica Lee and Doug Miller spoke about merging research and clinical practice at Keystone Substance Abuse Services in South Carolina. Zara Melyan shared their research on the efficacy of the NADA protocol as studied on non-human subjects. Claudia Voyles gave a retrospective on research over the past decade.
The sixth plenary session focused on NADA at its best: Helping people help themselves. Jo Ann Lenney served as the moderator. Mark Farrington provided a view into the chronic pain clinic at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Deb Geno shared about applying creative solutions to integrate NADA services at a community mental health program in Michigan.
The seventh and last plenary session focused on bringing NADA to communities in need, with Nikki Rodney as the moderator. Gill Croft and Rachel Peckham of NADA UK shared how they brought NADA into the Wider Sphere England.
Phillip Millerov and Bob Storrer gave insight on a grassroots training approach in keeping the Spirit of NADA alive in low-income and underserved communities. Lars Wiinblad of NADA Denmark shared about their training approach and how facilitated NADA growth in Denmark, from employment unions to workforce centers.
The conference concluded with the conferring of NADA ADS certificates to the NADA US trainees who completed their practicum.
Insights and Learnings
The delegation from NADA Philippines found the opportunity of attending a conference hosted by another NADA community a rich and rewarding experience, not only from the plenary sessions but from interacting with ADSes from NADA US and from the international community. One issue that stood out was the difficulties that ADSes in the US experienced because of the restrictions raised by their federal law. But through the very act of sharing of experiences by these ADSes—which included not only the obstacles they had faced, but how they had overcome them—the best practices were also shared which would be hopefully replicated in the other states.
Another insight that was gained by the NADA Philippines ADSes was the similarity of the struggles between those of NADA international and of NADA Philippines. In particular was the struggle of the indigenous peoples in the US, with the problem of accessibility to basic health and social services, and the limited opportunities afforded to them, which echoes the problems faced by the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, and also highlights the significance of training these people—not only the indigenous peoples but also those that belong in the marginalized and vulnerable sectors—as a way to empower them and also for them to help their respective communities.
One of the most striking things about the conference occurred even before it started, in the morning when ADSes from all over the world paid tribute to Dr. Michael Smith. The strength of the emotion and gratitude was palpable in the room on that morning and continued on to be felt during the conference and after. Dr. Michael Smith’s role was not just of a founder of an organization, but also of a guiding spirit who encouraged people and organizations to blossom in accordance to the needs of their respective environments.
Much of what had been shared in the conference had been the unique experiences of the ADSes from all over the world. And yet, these unique experiences are woven together to form a tapestry of unity of those that share in the Spirit of NADA. It is not only the ADSes who take part in it, but those whose lives have been touched in one way or another as the NADA Spirit is shared in practice. A sense of community, of camaraderie, of family was felt in this gathering, united by the work that everyone is doing in sharing the NADA Protocol in their respective areas.
NADA Philippines ADSes with NADA International ADSes.
The Spring 2017 Issue of Guidepoints, the official newsletter of NADA, is here. It features NADA Founder Dr. Michael O. Smith’s Message to NADA Philippines, which was delivered by NADA Philippines ADS Ramona O. Wantin during the NADA Philippines 6th Annual Forum last February 25, 2017.
Last January 22, 2017 (Sunday), NADA Philippines gave free ear acupuncture detoxification treatment to the members of the community of Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan, upon the invitation of Robert Tiangco, head of the Damascus Foundation.
Damascus Foundation Inc. was originally established in 1997 in the rural town of Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan to rehabilitate and reform boys who have fallen victim of illegal drugs, solvents and other vices.
Due to the needs of the community, the Foundation has also started a Feeding and Learning Center for malnourished children to nurse the children back to health and empower their families to be productive citizens.
More than 50 were given treatment by volunteer ADSes. In this free community clinic, NADA Philippines met Dr. Enrique “Eric” Tayag, OIC Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson of the Department of Health (DoH) who received ear acupuncture treatment from ADS Lorie Fe Estavillo.
Every year since 2010, NADA Philippines has held a regular forum where Acudetox Specialists (ADSes) join hands and share their different experiences from all over the Philippines.
For this year’s activity, NADA Philippines is inviting NADA Acudetox Specialists from other countries to join us and be part of this yearly celebration of sharing and networking.
NADA Philippines will be holding its 6th National Annual Forum on February 25, 2017 (Saturday), at the Quezon City Sports Club, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City, with the theme Facing the Challenges by Using Ear Acudetox in the Philippine Drug War.”
The 6th NADA Philippines Annual Forum will highlight the contribution of NADA Protocol (Ear Acupuncture) in addressing the growing problem of substance abuse in the country. It will feature international speakers who will discuss holistic interventions and approaches that addressed social issues and challenges in drug addiction and other crises. Experts from academic and clinical practices will provide background knowledge in the areas of research, addiction medicine and family counseling. Local speakers are invited to share meaningful insights and lessons in using ear acudetox amid the Philippine drug war.
The forum is open to ADSes, their families, friends, and supporters of NADA Philippines. We are looking forward to your attendance/participation in this annual activity.
Registration rates are as follows:
Early Bird – 800 PHP
On Site – 1,000 PHP
Early Bird – 1,000 PHP
On Site – 1, 200 PHP
All early bird registration fees should be deposited on or before February 15, 2017 (Wednesday) to our NADA BPI account with the following details:
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Account Name: NADA PHILS
Account Number: 3081-1171-78
Kindly e-mail a copy of your deposit slip to email@example.com and present the original copy at the forum registration for verification. For questions and clarifications, you may reach us at 0917-7305964, or email us at at the abovementioned address.
Thank you and we are looking forward to your attendance/participation in this annual activity!
Sixth National Acupuncture Detoxification Association
(NADA) Philippines Annual Forum
Facing the Challenges by Using Ear Acupuncture in the Philippine Drug War
|7:30 – 8:30||Registration and ‘Feel the Qi’|
|8:30 – 8:45||National Anthem and Invocation|
8:45 – 9:00
9:00 – 9:20
9:20 – 9:35
9:35 – 9:50
9:50 – 10:00
Janet Pimentel-Paredes, Board President , NADA Philippines
Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, MPH, CESOII, Secretary, Department of Health
Dr. Francis Ras, OIC Director-General, PITAHC DOH
The Role of LGU in the Battle Against Substance Abuse
Hon. Josefina ‘Joy’ G. Belmonte-Alimurung, Vice Mayor , Quezon City
Dr. Michael O. Smith, Founder, National Acupuncture Detoxification Association
|10:00 – 10:15
10:15 – 10:35
10:35 – 11:00
Weaving the Threads of Hope
Trisha Janine Sanijon , ADS and Trainer, NADA Philippines
Cordillera Community Based Drug Rehabilitation
Dr. Vicky Ducat, Vice President, NADA Philippines
11:00 – 11:15
|11:15 – 11:45
11:45 – 12:15
| Research Designs in Traditional Medicine: Issues and Perspectives
Dr. Gemiliano Aligui
Board Member, NADA Philippines
|1:15 – 1:30
1:30 – 2:00
Kim Madridejos and Company
Bio-Psychosocial Perspective on the Problem of Addiction and Impact on Families
Dr. Allan Dionisio
Department of Family and Community Medicine
National Poison Management and Control Center
Philippine General Hospital
|2:00 – 2:15
2:15 – 3:00
3:00 – 3:15
3:15 – 3:45
NADA Training and Practice in North America: The Spirit of NADA Strengthens
Sara Bursac, Executive Director , NADA United States of America
Acupuncture in Post Disaster Missions and Refugees
Sylvia Kohn Pandey
|3:45 – 4:15
4:30 – 4:45
NADA Philippines’ Work with Drug Surrenderees
Maria Amparo Peralta, ADS, NADA Philippines
John Joseph Posadas, ADS and Trainer, NADA Philippines
Invitation to ADSes and Program Closing
Mac Gerald Cueto, Board Member, NADA Philippines
Dorothy May Nubla and George Facsoy
Infanta, Quezon – NADA Philippines representatives conducted a training and community outreach at Infanta, Quezon in partnership with Infanta Mayor Filipina Grace R. America and Fr. Ariel Loterte, the parish priest of St. Mark’s Church. This activity, which was held from August 19 to 22, 2016, was part of the local government’s response to rehabilitate substance users who surrendered themselves for monitoring. It was made possible through the coordination of Quezon ADSes, Leticia A. Odoño and Euleny Lopez-Dee.
A 15-person response team was deployed to handle the activity. The team comprised of ADSes coming from the Cordillera, Cavite, volunteer mothers from Culiat, and other areas of Metro Manila, and three documenters. Four NADA trainers facilitated the training of seven community members coming from different local government offices. The rest of the team simultaneously provided ear acupuncture treatments to substance users, elderly, children, local government officials, church members, and other members of the community. Hearing the activity from the mobilization of government representatives, locals from nearby towns such as Real, Dinahican, and General Nacar also attended the activity for treatment. On the last day, patients were already treated by the trainees from Infanta assisted by NADA representatives.
Substance users who were treated reported of profuse sweating, good sleep, relief from bodily aches and pains, and having a sense of connection with other people among others. After their first treatment, they returned for their succeeding sessions with neighbors and their relatives. In addition, they also experienced renewed focus and readiness for work.
At the end of the activity, the seven trainees from Infanta Quezon were certified as Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists and a total of 361 treatments were given. It also became an avenue for ADSes from various settings to learn from the Infanta experience and to share experiences with other members of the team.
As the very first activity done outside Metro Manila in response to the national drug crisis, NADA Philippines takes this activity as a milestone and a model for future partnerships.
Ace Lennon Babasa
Luzviminda “Chie” Castillo
John Joseph Posadas
Brgy. Culiat, Tandang Sora
-Article written by John Joseph B. Posadas.
Last Saturday, August 13, 2016, NADA Philippines met with the Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, MD, at the DoH office located at the San Lazaro Compound, Manila. Sec. Ubial called for a meeting with NADA Philippines to discuss about the NADA protocol, the 5-point ear acupuncture protocol for detoxification for drug, alcohol, and cigarette addiction. The DoH Secretary was very open to the NADA protocol as one modality of detoxification in the pressing problem of addiction in the country today.
A collection of stories and articles on the use of magnetic beads, compiled by Jo Ann Lenney of NADA USA.