St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) is in itself a sanctuary, a safe haven to come to seek solace and compassion from an often unforgiving world. The Sanctuary within SACHR is a room where participants can find a peaceful place of healing and rest. Auricular acupuncture (NADA protocol) and full-body acupuncture are offered by certified and licensed professionals, free of charge to our participants.
Our belief and experience is that these body-oriented modalities can ignite change within an individual, helping one transition from fear and despair to a place of hope, confidence and serenity. We begin at the simplest of beginnings: providing effective yet compassionate, human-to-human care.
About Our Services
Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that aim to reduce negative consequences of potentially destructive habits without necessarily insisting on abstinence or immediate radical change. While we at the Sanctuary have the opportunity to work with participants to reduce the harm of, or at times eliminate addiction using acupuncture and Chinese medical ideologies, our intention as practitioners is to avoid gatekeeping, guilting, and/or shaming.
The Sanctuary’s trained and licensed practitioners understand that substance use, toxic foods, and environmental pollutants are part of our world. We feel our work is to minimize the harmful effects rather than simply ignore or condemn them.
Rebecca Peeler administering auricular acupuncture at a SACHR outreach site in the Bronx.
The two primary services offered at The Sanctuary are Auricular Detoxification and Full-Body Acupuncture.
Auricular Detoxification (aka NADA) is a widely used protocol in the harm reduction community, and has shown to reduce anxiety, insomnia or agitation. It can also improve sleep and balance out psychosocial behaviors. Treatment involves stimulating 5 pre-determined sites on the ear. It can also assist individuals during the acute detox phase, the 2–7 day period when withdrawal symptoms are most present.
Full-body acupuncture is administered by our NY State licensed acupuncturist. Using hair-fine sterile needles, acupuncture points will be stimulated. The points lie along energy pathways of the body, connecting to internal organs. By stimulating these points, Qi (“chee”) is freed to flow better, blockages in circulation are cleared & homeostasis can be achieved in the body. From a western lens, acupuncture can affect the following systems of the body: neuromodulators within the nervous system, the limbic system, the fascial network of the body, the musculoskeletal system and pain pathways.
What To Expect: The Sanctuary Experience
In our quiet community-style atmosphere, participants are supported while they relax with therapeutic music & comfortable chairs to experience our services. All needles are thin, single use and sterile.
Participants should wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing, and ideally have had a small meal one hour before treatment. It is common for participants to report how relaxed they feel during and after their session.
In addition to auricular detox and full-body acupuncture, we are dedicated to providing instruction in mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques and simple movement to provide tools to use in gaining and finding balance, amidst the storms of life.
Rebecca Peeler is a certified auricular detox specialist, and helps run The Sanctuary program at SACHR.