Needles and Elements is a series of events dedicated to the wellness of marginalized communities surrounding music and performance arts. Using primarily acupuncture and holistic modalities, we aim for the emotional and physical wellbeing of underrepresented peoples in the arts where we found accessibility and resources to health care is lacking.
Needles and Elements was inspired in 2016 by a myriad of deaths in the Hip Hop community in New York City. These deaths not only occurred too young and due to conditions that are treatable with acupuncture and herbs, but also struck the communities surrounding with grief, which is also treatable with acupuncture and herbs. As there is a lack of education around acupuncture as well as a lack of inclusion in health insurance plans, Needles and Elements aims to fill the gaps in education, accessibility, and care whilst dispelling stigma around the concept of needles.
“Needles” and “Elements” are two words prominent in both Hip Hop as well as the Traditional Chinese Medicine study. Needles, as it refers to turntables, being the birth of Hip Hop and the very source which Hip Hop first played from under a DJ’s fingertips, is symbiotic to the acupuncture needles treating a person’s life source and energy, or “Qi” from an acupuncturist’s fingertips. The five elements theory (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood) is the core of Chinese medicine: the five elements of Hip Hop (DJ, MC, Breakdancing, Graffiti, Knowledge) is the core of Hip Hop.
Acupuncture is not considered profitable in the capitalistic society we live in. Its no secret that over the decades, black and brown people have been marginalized, displaced, and poisoned with food and medications that keep us in sub health. We have learned to fend for and educate ourselves. In the 70’s, Dr. Mutulu Shakur founded organizations to treat drug addiction and detoxification in New York with acupuncture and created the NADA protocol, a standardized auricular acupuncture protocol that is nationally recognized for behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, and disaster & emotional trauma. I want to continue providing acupuncture resources and treatments to the community and arm them with the ability to treat themselves and each other. These events will not only provide the community with free treatments, but will give them an opportunity to become NADA certified so as to take a treatments modality home with them that they can administer to their friends and family.