Crossroads is proud to now a fair trade book distributor for an inspiring new memoir about setting up a community acupuncture clinic in Lebanon. The book is Healing In Community, by Mateo Bernal, a local acupuncturist and auricular detoxification specialist. Mateo works on staff at Crossroads.
The last chapter of Mateo’s book is about the founding of Crossroads’ project in Ciudad Juarez to assist people affected by violence. Bernal has taught acupuncture and helped set up community acu clinics for refugee groups in Guatemala, Mexico, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
Books are sold at Crossroads for $17. A percentage of profits will help us set up more clinics in our region, particularly for underserved groups.
REVIEWS of Healing in Community
“What Mateo Bernal has done is to remind us of the humanitarian spirit, of the solidarity and compassion, that remains alive and well in this otherwise troubled world. There’s hope in that.”
“Bernal’s vision took shape. People began stopping by the center just to chat and drink tea, even when no treatments were scheduled—a sign that the center had become a community hub rather than simply a clinic. The center staff began teaching Five-Point protocol to community members who emerged as leaders and healers…a handful of community leaders are still in Lebanon healing their neighbors with acupuncture.”
- Oregon College of Oriental Medicine Book Review
Excerpts from Mateo Bernal’s “Healing in Community: Finding Health and Freedom in a Palestinian Refugee Camp”:
“Today I went into the camp and hung out at the clinic space for a while, they are almost done painting. The camp is truly an unbelievable place. The tiny alleys are filled with wires. Most pathways are far too narrow for a car to get through, so construction is painfully slow and cumbersome. There is the occasional donkey that trots through, and that is about all that fits through most other avenues. Where cars do fit the streets are filled with people and tables and coffee vendors and men smoking the water pipes (arguila). I think of the horror stories I have read about the massacres and battles that took place here in the acmp, and imagine these alleyways as a terrifying and deadly maze. Every man I speak to has a story. It doesn’t come out immediately, but if you talk long enough it emerges. A man jokingly tells me he still wants to remember Israel so he kept the piece of shrapnel in his thigh and arm and a bullet in his shoulder. Another shows me the scar on his hand that was shot through when he was 15. They all have something, quietly, below the surface.”
“Today I went into the camp and gave a guy the first treatment in the camp. It was outside, next to a pigeon and rabbit cage, and we sat there together for about 30 minutes as people walked by and observed the needles sticking out of his legs and ears curiously. When I returned 6 hours later, apparently the whole area had talked about it, buzzing. His pain wasn’t cured, not in the least, actually, but he was satisfied and wants another treatment. Many others asked for treatment too and I told them that we should probably wait until next week when we open the clinic (hopefully).”
”And the community leaders all say, ‘We don’t want pills, what we need is justice and freedom.’ Indeed, their cure is not in the medication but in a sense of justice and freedom. It is a relevant question for me and my work as well, of course. I’d like to think that a healthier community will be better able to strive for freedom and justice, but that is me dreaming.”