How acupuncture is helping the community affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire.

You might have seen articles earlier this week featuring Meghan Markle working alongside ladies at the Hubb Community Kitchen to launch the Grenfell Cookery book. The community kitchen is located within the Al Manaar Mosque and Muslim Cultural Centre in West London.


In another room of the building, every Tuesday morning a volunteer-run acupuncture clinic quietly takes place. The clinic was set up in response to the Grenfell Tower Fire to treat trauma in the community affected by the fire. It is managed by London acupuncturist Rachel Peckham with support from World Medicine and NADA-GB. This is a community-style acupuncture clinic, where people come together to be treated, seated in a circle, using only five points in each ear, known as the NADA protocol.

The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol was originally developed in the USA to complement the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction but was later found to be beneficial for treating symptoms of PTSD (Grant et al., 2018, Engel et al., 2014) such as insomnia (Chung et al., 2018; Yeung et al., 2011), anxiety (Amorim et al., 2018; de Lorent et al., 2016) and depression (Smith et al., 2018; MacPherson et al., 2013). It has been used to great effect by several organisations in the USA in response to catastrophic events such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Sandy Hook shootings. 


Kevin Durjan of UK Health Radio visited the Al Manaar Centre a few weeks ago to meet some of the ladies who attend the clinic. Besides talking about how acupuncture treatment has helped them, they also explained how the group treatment of this community style of clinic has provided much needed social support, which in turn has benefitted their mental-emotional health. You can hear the full interview here.

This week I had the privilege of visiting the Al Manaar Mosque and Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre myself, to begin a research project which examines the effects of acupuncture on the community affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire, who attend for treatment at the clinic. Results of this study will contribute to future funding applications to keep the acupuncture clinic running and in the slightly longer term, to my MSc Acupuncture dissertation. 


Back to the Hubb (hubb means love in Arabic) Community kitchen, one of the ladies was describing her Coconut Chicken Curry to me on Tuesday and I can't wait to try it out so I've just ordered the cookbook. Together:Our Community Cookbook is available as of today from Amazon here and real bookshops - a great Christmas gift idea while contributing to a very worthy cause.

When I am up and running, please ask me about incorporating the NADA protocol into your treatment. It is not only suitable for those suffering from PTSD and substance abuse/addiction but also the all-too-common side effects of our modern lifestyles – stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

In the meantime, I recommend trying out the Headspace app. Its strap-line is Meditation Made Simple and it does what it says on the tin - no esoteric chanting, just a normal bloke talking you through how to calm your mind. The time commitment starts from one or two minutes building up to longer periods of time and there are sessions for all sorts of situations like getting to sleep, meditation for kids, exam stress and managing the anxieties of infertility. There is even a free 10-day trial so you can try before you buy.

Thanks for reading,