Pacific College New York Gives Relief to Superstorm Sandy Survivors

November 2012

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Pacific College New York has teamed up with acupuncturists throughout the tri-state area to lend a helping hand. Pacific College is providing free community acupuncture treatments for stress relief throughout the month of November at the college clinic.

Pacific College Alumnus Julie Cho, was one of a team of acupuncturists who aided in relief efforts across New York and several locations in New Jersey. Cho is part of Acupuncturists without Borders (AWB), an organization which provides relief to communities in times of trauma.

One of Cho’s acupuncture recipients wrote, “After several days without heat or electricity from hurricane Sandy and several friends whose homes were flooded under seven feet of water, my heart was heavy with grief and burden. When I saw AWB [Acupuncturists Without Borders], my heart leapt and I felt tears of joy. The treatment was an oasis in the desert of darkness, desperation and traumas we were feeling. I sat down next to a friend who is a fellow PTSD survivor from before and immediately we laughed with relief knowing things would get better.”

Pacific College, along with acupuncturists like Cho and organizations like AWB and Community Re-Education and Re-Building Through Education and Wellness (CRREW) are helping to supply free acupuncture clinics in multiple locations throughout New York and New Jersey.

The Role of Acupuncture in Trauma and Disaster Recovery

A community wide disaster can traumatize most everyone in a community, even those who have not experienced direct losses.  When people are traumatized they may have difficulty sleeping, eating well, communicating, and managing their regular lives, and may feel extremely anxious, irritable, or sad. The profound trauma experience can keep communities from rebuilding as effectively as they otherwise could. Although counseling and talk therapy are important, healing methods like acupuncture serve a unique complementary role in addressing the physiological trauma response, which becomes locked in the body.

Community-style acupuncture treatments allow large numbers of people to heal together in a group setting that doesn’t require them to talk about their experience, but just allows them to relax and regain some semblance of normalcy in their body, with a technique that is fast, low-cost, low-tech, and easy to set up.

“Because it is non-narcotic, inexpensive, safe, effective, and doesn’t require the clients to talk about their feelings at at a time when verbalizing may be difficult, acupuncture is becoming more and more popular as a treatment,” according to Malcolm Youngren, campus director at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat traumatized populations in the days and months following the 9/11 attacks, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans, in the Iowa floods, wildfires in California, the Haiti earthquakes, and shootings in Colorado, among other traumatic events.


Additional dates for free community acupuncture at the college are as follows, with more to be scheduled:

Thursday, November 15 (9:30-11:30am)

Friday, November 16 (6:30-8:30pm)

Tuesday, November 20  (1:30-3:30pm)

Tuesday, November 27 (1:30-3:30pm)

Thursday, November 29 (9:30-11:30pm)

Friday, November 30 (6:30-8:30pm)

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