Let’s Talk About the NADA Protocol (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association)

Jul 6, 2022

I use this symphony of 5 healing acupuncture points daily for my patients struggling with stress and healing from trauma; but I did not learn about the history of this beautiful method in school. 

This method of treatment was a response to the heroin epidemic in NYC of the 1970’s when affordable (or free) medical care was unavailable to the poor and coloured folks in areas like the South Bronx and Harlem. Members of the Black Panthers and the Young Lords became acupuncturists in order to work towards bringing healing in their communities through community based acupuncture, and counselling to not only combat heroine addiction but also the mainstream medical establishment’s push of methadone as a “maintenance treatment” for addicts.

Today the NADA protocol is used in over 40 countries around the world to not only treat drug and alcohol addictions but for the treatment of traumatic stress (PTSD), disaster relief, at Indigenous reservations, refugee settings, humanitarian aid, cancer and HIV/AIDS care, and harm reduction centres. 

The Points: 

Shen Men-“Spirit Gate”

Decreases pain, apprehension and anxiety. Helps with sleep and detoxification 


Balances the autonomic nervous system by down regulating the Fight /Flight responses in our body


Processes fear and traumas


Processes anger and irritability


Processes sadness and grief 

Auricular Acupuncture 

The ear is a micro-system for the entire body. Imagine an upside down baby superimposed on the ear.

Points corresponding to the baby’s body parts are represented on the body of the ear. Acupuncturists use these points to help treat distal locations of the body. Often we will even place little ear ”seeds” on the surface of the ear to send you home with ongoing acupressure treatment after your in office visit to help with ongoing pain, insomnia, hormone balance, digestive distress, stress, anxiety, and so much more! 

Be well and reach out to Naheed Atcha R.Ac at naheeda@thrivemassagewellness.com