I was deeply moved and heartened to hear of the work of one of SOFEA’s graduates, Jane Grofski, in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand. This is her account of treating people from the Search and Rescue Teams with five element acupuncture. I hope this dispels one of the myths still hovering out there that five element acupuncture cannot be used for emergency treatment:
“We’ve had 7460 earthquakes now in the last 11 months and so you can imagine the state some of my clients are in. It’s certainly challenging to live through.
I worked for the Search and Rescue Teams here after our largest earthquake and gave them all a 30 minute treatment. They were queuing all day and I got through about 170 firemen each week. I remembered your words about being tough enough to stay on our feet for a long time! It was incredible to see how much faster they processed all their stress and fatigue with acupuncture treatment. Some of them said they felt better after the 2 weeks in Christchurch than when they had arrived!
I worked from the principle of using all the most basic points. Check for blocks and use source and command points. Somehow it seemed there were more Fire elements among the firemen! The chest points helped frequently with processing the grief and the CV points were also common. I have developed my skill of being able to ‘see’ the meridians and points, so I could treat the points that just looked like they were the most blocked. In fact at one point the lights went out and the patient’s body looked like it was covered in glow-worms – really beautiful and not something I’d seen before (I don’t treat in the dark!).
I believe there is a great use for acupuncture in trauma care. I’d like to develop treatment criteria for other acupuncturists in acute trauma care and that would be a great topic for us to discuss. Often the firemen were actually dealing with previous issues and some had seen thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in their lifetime. My basic principle was that if I could speed up their ‘processing rate’ then they would be able to deal with their daily stresses and fatigue. They are all highly trained and incredibly well self-managed emotionally; they just required their system to be ‘sped up’ to deal with the increased load. They responded particularly well to treatment as they were already in a highly focussed state of mind and motivated to get the best results from treatment.
I've now been asked to be a specialist consultant for the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group based on the initiative I set up here. I would like to see acupuncture used more extensively with the trauma teams and am applying for a grant to enable me to research this more extensively."
I give Jane’s contact details below. She is interested to hear from anybody else who would like to share their experiences in working in this area. And perhaps there is some person or organization out there who would be interested in helping her fund her research:
Equilibrium Health and Wellness Spa
4 Teal Close, Ferrymead
Christchurch, New Zealand
021 795 855
A postscript to the above: I have just received the following from Jane to add to my blog:
"At the time of going in to work with the Search and Rescue Teams, my two children and I were out of my house and living in a tent, without sewage, water or electricity. It really was such a strong calling to go and do this work."