Q&A with NADA Interns Kiley and Hope

Last week, we participated in a group session of ear acupuncture. In case you missed it, here are some pictures:

Pictures by Authors


Monday we sat down with Kiley and Hope to talk about their internship with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) and about the possibility of getting this treatment offered on campus to students. 

Kiley: Hi I’m Kiley. I am a senior and I am majoring in social work. My plans after? If I get accepted to go to grad school, I’ll go to grad school but if not, plan to get out of Wyoming and get a job with families and children. 

Hope: My name is Hope. I am also a senior in the social work program. My plans, I either want to get in a VA and work with veterans or become a school social worker.


Q: So what got you guys interested in acupuncture?

Kiley: Well I never knew about it, but in the social work program you have to do an internship of 450 hours to graduate and they set your internships up. So you get a say in what you’re interested in, but it’s competitive so you don’t always get what you want.They sent my internship to NADA and they interviewed me, and here I am. 

Hope: I thought it was really cool just because our society really focuses on sometimes fixing stuff with medicine and just anything non-traditional that can help people. I think is always a cool step to take instead of just prescribing them something.


Q: What benefits are there for ear acupuncture?

Kiley: There are lots. The are some main ones that we focus on. Ear acupuncture started with addiction. It helped with the cravings so that people would stop doing whatever substance they were doing. So it started with addiction and then it moved into other benefits and they realized [it helps] with stress, anxiety, [and] better sleep, but they focused on the ear because it’s the least invasive part of the body. No one has to get undressed, it’s nothing personal.

Hope: It’s also a microcosm of the body so it’s got points of different organs. 

Kiley: If you want we can go into the detail of each point. 

Hope: The first one is the sympathetic. It affects your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It acts as like an analgesic so it kind of takes away the pain. The next one is the shenmen. The shenmen translates to like “spirit gate.” It also works as an analgesic so it’s the second one to help with the pain for the other points. It’s spirit gate, but I don’t think it necessarily has to do with your spirit. It can, but it helps with anxiety and also depression and insomnia.

Kiley: It opens one’s heart is what we mean by spirit. Third point is your kidney point which you guys did not get. So we did three points on each ear where normally there are 5 points. So the kidney point stimulates physiological and hormonal functions. [It] influences mental state and happiness, relieves fear, and reminds clients of his/her will and intention to overcome the addiction. So it’s like positivity. The fourth one is the liver point which you also did not receive. It relieves muscle cramps and it does the hormonal functions as well. It clears thinking and decision making, relieves frustration, depression and anger. It helps the client connect with internal self and find direction in life. And lastly is the lung point which is an important organ for detoxification which is why its so big, and it regulates your pores. A regulation of grief and sadness improves sense of connection and self respect and integrity and reminds client of connection with heaven, provides inspiration.

Picture by Authors


Hope: And you can also just take them all literally. Like if it’s the kidney and you’ve got problems with your kidney it’s going to hopefully clear blockages. So [if it’s the] lungs and you’re a smoker it’s probably going to hurt more, that kind of thing.


Q: Where can this treatment be offered in Laramie?

Kiley: Five times a week, so five different clinics at different times. So on Monday’s, it is offered at Inner Balance Healing Center 12-1pm. Tuesdays at Albany County Public Library 12-1pm. Thursdays at A Better Way Counseling and Consulting 5:30-6:30pm. And Saturdays at Fire Station #2 from 10-11am. And it’s free and open to anyone. 

(attached below is a flyer with times and days)


Q: Do you guys usually attend those events?

Kiley: We attend Mondays and Thursdays.

Hope: I just had a treatment, it was really lit.

Kiley: And next semester we’ll be going Saturdays.


Q: Was the first time you did acupuncture scary and did you do it on a fellow acupuncturist?  

Kiley: We went through a three-day training. During this training, you practice on other trainees. So Hope and I would practice on each other and we would offer clinics to people who knew we were practicing. Also other ADSs (acudetox specialist) would come and let us practice on them. That was our first hands on experience.

Hope: It was scary at first, but it is not that hard to learn. I think any student could learn how to do it.

Kiley: And since we are trying to bring it to campus, we would open up a training and work around student’s schedules. We are also trying to make it so it would be free to all students.


Q: So where are you at in the process of trying to get this on campus?

Kiley: We are still working on jumping through the hoops of the “higher ups” in the Wellness Center. They are interested and want to know more.


Q: Is there anything that students can do to help out?

Hope: Right now, we have a petition out and we are just trying to get signatures to show that there is interest, but right now we are mostly focusing on risk management with the university.

Kiley: Students can just show their support by coming to clinics and spreading the word. It also helps that this would be free and that’s always nice for college kids to hear. They also have to be open to trying and being serious about the treatments because they do help.


Picture by Author