# Assisting people to heal from the trauma of war, disaster and poverty
Sexto Sol is committed to helping survivors of traumatic situations to heal so they can rebuild productive and joyful lives. For years, behind the scenes, we explored therapeutic techniques to find the most effective way to assist people in their healing process. There are just too many tragic situations around our world that call out to us for help. Fortunately, new and exciting discoveries in the areas of brain science are making it clear that energy psychology and energy medicine offer exceptional hope for people who suffer from the impact of extreme experiences.
At the Sexto Sol Center, we believe that it is possible to have positive impact in the lives of people...and yes, even to change the world. So for us, it is a joy to now have a way that we can offer help to large populations that suffer in the wake of humanitarian crisis. International Partners for Healing (opens new window) was created to help survivors recovering from life-changing events to have new tools to allow them to adjust to the changes in their lives. While this is an expansion of our original mission to alleviate poverty and protect the environment, our experience proves that in order to improve the conditions of their outer world, people must have the inner calm and emotional resources necessary to address such challenges. We believe that by helping people in crisis areas around the world to begin the healing process, we lighten the density affecting all of humanity.
The IPH program is directed by Sexto Sol Executive Director, Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., a socio-cultural psychologist and human rights activist with an interest in assisting land-based peoples to find relief for the trauma of war, exile, and globalization. The Sexto Sol Center was founded was a continuation of her work with refugees from Guatemala living in Motozintla, Chiapas.
Read about International Partners for Healing; (opens new window) a description of the program, the impact it will have, and the incredible partners with whom we are proud to work. You can also learn about the science supporting the promising effectiveness of Meridian Tapping here. (opens new window)
# How We Began: Acupuncture for PTSD, Hurricane Stan, 2006
When we founded Sexto Sol, our intention was to focus on helping rural people work together to solve challenges facing their communities and to sell their products for a better price. However, Life has an interesting way of giving us new work to do...
In our first decade, two catastrophic hurricanes devastated this region, each requiring that Sexto Sol respond quickly to help survivors. We provided seeds for emergency food gardens and other relief aid, (opens new window) but it was the emotional wreckage left by the disasters that most concerned us.
In 2006, when the rains of Hurricane Stan finally stopped, the landscape in the SW of Chiapas, and much of Central America was unrecognizable. In our region people had endured four terrifying days of continual extreme rainfall. The deadly combination of hundreds of massive landslides and extremely destructive flooding completely buried mountain villages and coastal communities in debris. It was as if the world had been turned upside down. But the worst of it was that this was the second time in eight years that hurricanes of this magnitude had ravaged the region.
One of the new approaches uesful for healing trauma is the use of auricular (ear) acupuncture to reduce the distressing sypmtoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Soon after Hurricane Stan ravaged Chiapas and the rest of Central America, Sexto Sol brought a team from the Acupuncture International Brigade to provide two intensive training sessions for medical personnel at the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social Hospital in Motozintla.
Over six days the team trained 50 doctors, nurses, indigenous doctors, and health promoters to use auricular acupunture to treat PTSD. During the public clinics, teachers and trainees treated about 400 people. This included setting up an emergency clinic in Bellisario an hour from Motozintla where te devastation was especially severe. It was a moving sight as over 80 people were treated in the central park as they sat in plastic chairs just a few feet from the highway. Many people reported later that they noted a significant difference as a result of the treatment. See video, upper right of this page.
We are eternally grateful to Maria Dolores Diaz, Ph.D., Lic. A., Della Estrada, Lic. A., Russell Klobas, Lic. A., and Susan Pistawka, Lic. A. for their solidarity with the people of Chiapas affected by Stan. This work was made possible by the generous financial support of the many people who responded quickly so that we could help survivors of this terrible disaster. We still hear from people who saw that program.
Read more about this project in Acupuncture Today (opens new window)
# It Feels Great to See the Impact We Had!
Thousands of people whose lives were impacted by the hurricane received help from the doctors and nurses trained. Dr. Brennan accompanied emergency personel into the remote communities where she provided treatments. A nurse who worked in a tiny clinic in the remote mountain community told us that people walked for hours to bring relatives for the treatments. Two members of the Organización de Medicos Indígenas de la Sierra treated people in Chico Muselo and surrounding communities in the mountains at the request of the Health Department when later flooding occured the following year. Miriam Stein, volunteer for Sexto Sol, treated former refugees at the Nuevo Bullaj community in Guatemala who reported that they felt relief from war related trauma. The state public television news program aired two segments on this effort which helped spread the word and increase acceptance of the treatments. Our thanks to Helio Medical Supply for making it possible to continue this work with their contribution of supplies in 2008.
# Photos of People Receiving Therapy
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# What Comes Next
IPH builds on that success of the collaboration with Acupuncture International Brigade. We are now including training in Energy Psychology, including Meredian Tapping and Inner RePatterning, in our service to populations affected by disaster. Learn more (opens new window) about the science supporting these ways of alleviating traumatic stress that have been found to be so remarkably effective.
# Would you like to help us provide communities in crisis,
with a path to healing?
We have been asked to help survivors of war in Guatemala, caretakers of AIDS orphans in Soweto, South Africa, environmental activists in Appalachia, indigenous people in the Andes affected by mining, Haorani people affected by oil contamination in the Amazon. Help us respond quickly to those requests with your tax-deductible contribution. Thank you for your caring.