• Research Focused

    Conducting research studies and documenting patient cases helps us analyze the efficacy of our clinic and contribute to the body of evidence that supports our project model.
  • objective outcomes

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

    Frequent, focused treatments allow us to see positive changes in a patient's condition quickly.
  • training & mentorship

    Acupuncture Relief Project offers meaningful training opportunities and employment to interpreters and local healthcare workers.
  • confidence

    Our volunteers acquire the confidence to serve as primary care providers, treating 15 to 25 patients per day in our community style clinic.
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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

  • Spinal Trauma Sequelae with Osteoarthritis of Right Knee +

    60-year-old female presents with spinal trauma sequela consisting of constant mid- to high grade pain and restricted flexion Read More
  • Psoriasis with Neck and Shoulder Pain +

    45-year-old male presents with psoriasis for 5 years, possible psoriatic arthritis for 2 years, and idiopathic neck pain Read More
  • Low Back Pain with Urinary Difficulties +

    32-year-old woman presents with constant low back pain and burning urination. She has been diagnosed with severe hydronephrosis Read More
  • Bell’s Palsy (Facial Paralysis) +

    A 50-year-old female with Bell’s palsy presents with hemi-facial paralysis involving the eye and the mouth. After 5 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.

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    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

 

Sarah Richards Massage Therapist Volunteer Nepal

I swear that when I asked the Wizard for the brain, he gave me the heart instead! Luckily, I have chosen a career path where leading with your heart is completely acceptable. For the last 10 years I've had a successful massage practice relying solely on my instincts, intuition and following my heart.

Here at the clinic in Chapagaon fear and anxiety have surfaced in me because we are asked to track results and do case studies like clinical practitioners. We need to quantify, measure and prove efficacy, and this is where that brain would prove to be a bit more useful!


While being here in Nepal, some of my insecurities have surfaced. The amazing  acupuncture practitioners constantly awe me with their breadth of knowledge, medical skills and healing abilities; rarely can I even speak their language! I've panicked a few times wondering what am I doing here? What were they thinking when picked me to come here? Are they gonna see right through me and realize that I don't feel like I know what I'm doing? I am so fearful  of letting them, and myself, down; being present, a good listener and showing compassion come easily for me, but here I also crave to be a good clinician as well.


Can't we measure our clinical progress with smiles, moments when a patient finally lets go, kind comments and gratitude? How about the gifts we receive in appreciation; don't  eggs, mustard greens, jello and homemade liquor count somehow?!

Maybe I'm struggling to track and measure my progress exactly and precisely as is desired, but here's what I can relay:

- I had a patient tell me that the gods are singing when I am working on her -  that has to count for something, right!?

- Mini Monks! I have made a couple of regular patients from the Buddhist monastery next door, which is for young monks ages 8-18, hence "mini". One has even asked for my email address in case he thinks of more questions to ask me.


- My schedule is booked with 10 massage patients almost every day, I became very popular very fast!

- I am called "Doctor Sarah" here, so at least it sounds like I know what I'm doing!

- I've had a patient weep on the table because she is overwhelmed that she has somewhere to go where people genuinely want to be kind to her and take care of her.

- I get feedback from the acupuncturists that patients are loving their massages and they are feeling better. And the acupuncturists, since they are treating so many patients community style, are appreciative that there is someone spending more hands on time with the patients since that can be a critical piece of healing.

- I have had the pleasure of adding Tibetan singing bowls to my treatments. These are antique bowls that when massaged properly make an amazing sound and vibration. It has been a powerful tool, the sound and vibrations reach inside and massage where I cannot touch. The patients recognize the bowl as, well a bowl, like something they might cook in, and at first are not sure how it could possibly help them. But once it starts singing they relax in a way that my hands cannot always achieve on these rigid Nepali bodies.


- I have patients who could have acupuncture at one of our satellite clinics closer to their home, but travel 1.5 hours by bus to our main clinic because I am here. One such gentleman has improved greatly but continues to make the journey each week because he enjoys his massage so much. He has invited me to visit him in his home and is planning to bring two other family members to see me.

- I am co-treating a patient with daily massage and acupuncture, this young man has contorted his spine in order to relieve the pain he feels from a herniated disc. He gets up off the massage table smiling and his mood shifts from sullen to happy, his body standing 50% straighter and with significantly less pain.

I came here to be challenged, to expand and grow. I have 3 weeks left to grow as much as I possibly can in beautiful Nepal. I think that I am constantly challenged by my own limitations, but in order to move forward I need to love and embrace those limitations first, and then I can set them aside. I am using this blog post to help me see myself a little more clearly, and now I can't wait to get back in the treatment room and love my patients the best way I know how!

Next time I'm in Oz I'm gonna thank the Wizard for choosing to give me the heart!

Insecurities Secured

What am I doing here?
To share and expand.

Why me?
Only you can do what you do.

Am I good enough?
You are perfect enough.

Am I smart enough?
Never stop learning.

Will I make a difference?
Every second.

---Sarah Richards

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