NADA Ear Acupuncture Training UK

By Johnny422, via Wikimedia Commons

Acupuncture is a well known form of Chinese medicine where very fine needles are inserted into specific points around the body to reduce pain and treat disease. Even in the West, many people now have acupuncture routinely for a whole variety of conditions from pain relief to giving up smoking.

What is less well known is a specific form of acupuncture that focuses on using only points in the ear. Called Auricular Acupuncture one particular form of this is both simple to learn and easy to apply. Usually referred to as the NADA protocol, needling just five points in the ear has been shown to deliver huge benefits for a number of conditions.

So, what exactly is this NADA model and what conditions has it been shown to help with so much efficacy?

Kicking the Habit

NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association and, as the name implies, this was originally developed as a way to help recovering addicts to kick their drug habit.

The technique was initially developed in 1972 from the work of a Hong Kong neurosurgeon, H.L. Wen, who discovered that acupuncture could help alleviate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. From there, acupuncture detoxification was introduced at the Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx area of New York City in 1974. By the mid-1980’s, the success of this unique procedure had become so clear that treatment facilities across the United States began incorporating acupuncture into their substance abuse programmes.

By Cpl. Paul Peterson  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ear Acupuncture Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Evidence from these early days built and it soon became evident that the same protocol that was used to help people detoxify had several other benefits too. Notable amongst these was the positive effect it had on a patient’s mental well being. In addition to the reduced cravings for alcohol or drugs the protocol seemed to greatly reduce levels of stress and anxiety in the patient, which in turn lead to increased calmness and better sleep patterns.

From there, the same protocol has been used effectively in a variety of situations where some emotional trauma is present. From disaster relief to people with serious psychiatric illness, cancer and HIV, the NADA protocol contributes greatly to a reducing levels of stress and trauma.

By Johnny422 via Wikimedia Commons

What is the NADA protocol?

The actual treatment sessions involve the placement of small sterile disposable needles into specific sites on each ear. The NADA ear acupuncture protocol uses the shen men, sympathetic, kidney, liver, and lung acupuncture points. Once the needles are inserted, the recipient sits quietly for between 30-45 minutes.

In the development of the NADA model it was found that effective treatments could be delivered without practitioners having to diagnose the specific causes of their patient’s condition. It was therefore unnecessary to attend a medical school for years in order to learn the full system of acupuncture. The complete NADA protocol can be easily taught over a weekend course. This makes it an extremely cost effective training technique considering the multiple benefits that the treatment delivers.

From its early beginnings in the States, the NADA protocol has expanded worldwide and is used as an additional treatment in thousands of healing situations. It is estimated that there are now well over 25,000 providers worldwide who have been trained in the NADA procedure.

In Denmark, the protocol is one of the most widely used forms of complementary practice used in drug rehabilitation programmes. Likewise, in Sweden the NADA protocol is widely used in psychiatric treatment. Additionally, some 130 prisons across Europe offer the NADA protocol for inmates, with treatments provided by trained prison staff.

By Cpl. Paul Peterson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Does NADA Ear Acupuncture Work? The Verdict

The NADA ear acupuncture protocol is clearly a multi purpose therapy which is clinically effective, cost-efficient, drug-free and universally acceptable.

It has been shown to have the following benefits:

• Reduced cravings for alcohol and drugs
• Minimised withdrawal symptoms
• Increased calmness, better sleep, and less agitation
• Relief from stress and emotional trauma
• An easier connection with counselling
• Facilitates inner quiet and strength

The protocol has increasingly been understood as a stress reduction and calming technique which benefits many different conditions; it is this fact that perhaps lies at the root of its success, giving the body the space it needs to initiate its own healing.

NADA Auricular Acupuncture Training UK

If you would like to learn the NADA protocol for auricular acupuncture then you may be interested in our forthcoming course on 8-9th April 2017. Held in Staines, West London this course is the perfect introduction for people looking to share the benefits of acupuncture with their clients, schools, peers, family or friends.

The course is open to anyone, but may be of particular interest to:

  • Talk Therapists / Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Youth Workers
  • Osteopaths
  • Massage Therapists
  • Yoga Teachers

Remember, no previous training is required to learn the NADA protocol so, if you would like to learn how to harmonise mind and body with acupuncture, then please email me at

Please stay in touch. You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter ‘Confessions of a Misguided Monk‘ for details of all our trainings. Feel free to share a comment or questions and I will get back to you. Click here to read The Big Idea – it may help you to understand more about our healing philosophy.


10 thoughts on “NADA Ear Acupuncture Training UK

  1. What an interesting article. I have heard of acupuncture before but this is my first time reading about its purpose. It is amazing how there are endless ways of healing without the conventional medicince.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • One of our missions is to widen the reach of these healing modalities. They are often really effective alternatives to conventional treatments. Thanks for your comment Vini.

  2. Very enlightening. I’ve been trying to kick smokeless tobacco for years and this might be just the thing that would get me to do it. Do you have any idea how much it might cost?

    • Yes, it has been shown to be particularly effective for treating a variety of addictions – tobacco would certainly be one. I’m not sure which part of the world you are in Doug but if you could let me know I would be able to give you an idea on prices.

    • It can’t heal the deaf Jamin – think you might have got the wrong end of the stick on the article. The needles are inserted in the ear; because the ear maps the energy meridians of the body as a whole we can use certain points in the ear to treat conditions throughout the body. The NADA protocol uses just 5 points to treat stress and anxiety across the body which seem to help promote healing for a variety of problems. Hope that clarifies my post.

  3. Great article. You mention that it’s possible to curb the cravings of drugs and alcohol. Would this include smoking? My Dad has tried everything to quit (except acupuncture!). Any recommendations?

    • Hi Kate – Yes, it may well be worth your dad trying acupuncture to help him with his smoking habit. The NADA protocol that the article speaks of has a long history of helping those with various drug dependencies to kick the habit so, if he can source someone trained in the protocol near him, it would certainly be worth a visit. If not, a general acupuncturist should be well placed to help. I hope he has success with his efforts.

  4. Acupuncture is something I always wanted to experiment with. Not sure for what but I am sure I have a vice or two. I had no idea it would help like you have outlined in your article though. I am always learning here… great post.

    • It’s all about restoring our natural energy balance Brent. Life has a habit of throwing this out of kilter either through the lifestyle choices we make or the stress we experience. Acupuncture can help restore the balance and allow the body to heal itself.

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