Tenisha Dandridge (Sacramento, CA)
Tenisha Dandridge, a Sacramento native, is an acupuncturist who is passionate about closing the racial health disparities gap in the United States. She is the owner/acupuncturist of Everyone’s Place, the only mobile acupuncture clinic in Sacramento, as well as co-founder & president of the Black Acupuncturist Association. Tenisha has been a NADA member for two years.
How did you come to acupuncture and East Asian Medicine?
I got into this medicine because it was the first thing that ever helped me with any of my own health concerns and gave me hope that one day I would not be like my grandmother. I didn’t want to be 60ish years old barely living life with a nightstand full of drugs and medications I didn’t understand. I realized I wanted to help as many people as I could to avoid that fate.
I want to be a part of the solution of the ongoing disaster in our own backyards: the racial health disparities gap. Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine and NADA is wonderful for that.
It wasn’t until I was several years into my practice that I really began to understand the huge all-encompassing role long-term chronic stress played in the lives of so many. I only really began to get a grasp of that when I heard the story of how the Young Lords and Black Panthers used this medicine to help the people who were dying from hate, stress, racism, addiction, and from being considered expendable.
How did you get introduced to the NADA protocol?
I learned the NADA Protocol like most acupuncture students in school, but I didn’t see the powerful effects until I worked at my first drug treatment centers. After working in drug treatment centers and mental health centers, I saw firsthand how NADA and a little love could calm PTSD, and the DTs (delirium tremens), panic attacks, and depression. I got to see week after week the folks who would run to the treatment area to set it up and get a good spot and demand the sleep mix tea, which I always spruced up with things like pears or apples, ginger, and Chinese dates, as well as fresh stevia, lavender, mint and lemon verbena from my garden.
After working in drug treatment centers and mental health centers I saw firsthand how NADA and a little love could calm PTSD, and the DTs (delirium tremens), panic attacks, and depression.
You’ve done a lot of work on the history of acupuncture and race in the U.S. How does this history and legacy inform your vision and practice?
Despite the powerful history of what became known as the NADA protocol, the folks it was originally targeted at were not benefitting from it 50 years later. I began to piece together what seems glaringly obvious now: that so many in the US really suffer from stress-related diseases and that being poor and melanated makes it so much worse. So I began to host 2-hour mini-retreats that used NADA and easy to do at-home self-care called Slow Down Sunday. I began to teach affordable ear seed classes, so folks could feel confident taking charge of their health and the stress that was impacting their wellness.
It’s my mission to get NADA in the hands of the people who are still being pushed to the side. To highlight the proud history that has been covered up because of its “radical” non-white nature.
I want to be a part of the solution of the ongoing disaster in our own backyards: the racial health disparities gap. Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine and NADA is wonderful for that. It’s my mission to get it in the hands of the people who are still being pushed to the side. To highlight the proud history that has been covered up because of its “radical” non-white nature. To put the tools of this medicine in the hands of people who may never feel comfortable going to see an acupuncturist and getting needles.
Follow & Support Tenisha’s Work
- #GetSHARP Ear Seed Project: Implementing TCM for resiliency
- Everyone’s Place – Facebook & Instagram (@everyonesplace)
- Black Acupuncturist Association – Instagram (@blackacupuncturist)
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