• more than acupuncture

    Our volunteers include massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, naturopaths, as well as nurses, nurse practitioners and allopathic physicians.
  • rural nepal

    Home to eight of the highest mountains in the world including Mt. Everest, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • objective outcomes

    Our volunteers hone their clinical skills by properly assessing their patient's condition and setting achievable outcome goals.
  • Providing Access

    According to the World Health Organization, Nepal's healthcare system ranks 150th in the world with less than one doctor per 6000 people.
  • Building relationships

    Learning to understand each other and truly listen is the first step in building trust and lasting friendships.
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Our Mission

Why Nepal and why acupuncture? Find out about our model for providing primary care in rural Nepal Read More
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Our Clinics

Since 2008, our clinics have provided over 300,000 primary care visits. Read More
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Our Partners

Strategic partnerships allow us to influence government policy an achieve educational goals. Read More
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Volunteer With Us

Acupuncture Relief Project needs your help. We have two volunteer programs designed to provide you opportunities to serve. Read More
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Our Evidence

Case studies and other field research helps us analyze the efficacy of our clinic efforts. Read More
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VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY CARE CLINICS IN NEPAL

Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world and has been plagued with political unrest and military conflict for the past decade. In 2015, a pair of major earthquakes devastated this small and fragile country. 

Since 2008, the Acupuncture Relief Project has provided over 300,000 treatments to patients living in rural villages outside of Kathmandu Nepal. Our efforts include the treatment of patients living without access to modern medical care as well as people suffering from extreme poverty, substance abuse and social disfranchisement.

Common conditions include musculoskeletal pain, digestive pain, hypertension, diabetes, stroke rehabilitation, uterine prolapse, asthma, and recovery from tuberculosis treatment, typhoid fever, and surgery.

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Featured Case Studies

  • Huntington's Disease +

    38-year-old female presents with a 4-year history of involuntary spasming throughout her entire body. The patient does not Read More
  • Typhoid Fever Induced Paralysis +

    32-year-old female presents with left-sided paralysis of upper and lower limbs. At age 12, the patient suffered from Read More
  • Low Abdomen Pain due to Roundworm and Urinary Infection +

    30-year-old female presents with lower abdominal pain, burning urination and shortness of breath for the last 5 months. Read More
  • Hemiplegic Stroke Sequelae with Aphasia +

    Patient presents with right-sided paralysis of his upper and lower limbs due to an ischemic stroke 9 months Read More
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Compassion Connect : Documentary Series

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    In the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, this episode explores the challenges of providing basic medical access for people living in rural areas.

    Watch Episode

    Episode 1: Rural Primary Care

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    Acupuncture Relief Project tackles complicated medical cases through accurate assessment and the cooperation of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

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    EPISODE 2: INTEGRATED MEDICINE

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    Cooperation with the local government yields a unique opportunities to establish a new integrated medicine outpost in Bajra Barahi, Makawanpur, Nepal.

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    EPISODE 3: WORKING WITH THE GOVERNMENT

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    Complicated medical cases require extraordinary effort. This episode follows 4-year-old Sushmita in her battle with tuberculosis.

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    EPISODE 4: CASE MANAGEMENT

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    Drug and alcohol abuse is a constant issue in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. Local customs and few treatment facilities prove difficult obstacles.

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    EPISODE 5: SOBER RECOVERY

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    Interpreters help make a critical connection between patients and practitioners. This episode explores the people that make our medicine possible and what it takes to do the job.

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    EPISODE 6: THE INTERPRETERS

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    This episode looks at the people and the process of creating a new generation of Nepali rural health providers.

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    EPISODE 7: FUTURE DOCTORS OF NEPAL

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    In this 2011, documentary, Film-maker Tristan Stoch successfully illustrates many of the complexities of providing primary medical care in a third world environment.

    Watch Episode

    COMPASSION CONNECTS: 2012 PILOT EPISODE

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From Our Blog

 


Working with patients at the Vajra Varahi Clinic has been an interesting and amazing experience so far.  We see patients just two doors down from our bedroom, so the commute is very manageable. Each morning the patients all arrive at (or before) 9am and line up outside the clinic door.  If you happen to peak out the window from the second floor in the morning and they see you while they are waiting, they are quick to put their hands together in prayer and shout the local greeting of “Namaste”, which means the light within me greets the light with in you.  The same thing happens if you walk thru the downstairs waiting room or see strangers on the street.

We are in the first part of our third week and I have already provided 130 treatments to patients with acupuncture, herbs, cupping, moxa, massage and just good old TLC.  The patients are kind and grateful because many of them are very poor and there is no free healthcare in this region.  The most common complaints we see are body pain of all types (neck, shoulder, knee, back, hand and foot), gastric pain and respiratory disorders, all of which seem to be a result of their lifestyle (just like ours are, but in a very different way.) They work incredibly hard in a physical way; in the fields, cutting grass, gardening, milking cows, cooking and carrying large buckets of water constantly.  We saw some women last week carrying huge baskets of gravel (much larger than a 5 gallon bucket) on their backs with a strap going across their forehead, up flights of stairs...all in a days work! Nepalis eat very spicy foods, likely to keep food poisoning and parasites away, since there is no refrigeration here.  And the vast majority of vehicles are run on diesel and DEQ has no presence here.  When you are out on the roads, with the chaos of traffic like I have never seen, you must wear a mask to help keep the thick exhaust out of your lungs.


Since we may very well be the only healthcare providers that our patients have seen, it is very important that we use all of our education and skills and senses to assess each patient’s total health picture and be sure they are referred to other health practitioners if their condition is beyond our scope or if they need more emergent care.  I have already referred patients for very high blood pressure, laceration and kidney infection and my colleagues have seen acute appendicitis and other cases of high blood pressure, which have also been referred.  Sometimes, even then, it is a challenge to make patients see the urgency of their condition when they have little or no money.


Last week one of the patients that we were treating for post stroke symptoms passed away.  We would travel twice a week by motor bike to his modest one room, dirt floor home, located in an outlying village. We would treat him there, due to the severity of his case and the transportation challenges it presented.  He was very old, thin, weak and sometimes sad, but he still had his sense of humor and such a kindness about him.  I am completely grateful for the experience of meeting and treating him.  On the last time I treated him, three days before he died, he asked his grown son to go out to the guava tree in the yard and pick some of them.  When he returned with a bag full of the ripe, luscious, fragrant fruit, he said it was for us (me and my team) who have been treating him.  Guava now has a new place in my heart and I am truly glad his suffering is over.  I like to think that we helped to make his last days more comfortable and less lonely.  And to me, this is what it’s really all about.

I look forward to the rest of my time here in Nepal, all the people I will connect with and the wisdom that they will surely impart. --- Kelli Jo Scott

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