• Professional Development

    Acupuncture Relief Project offers opportunities for volunteers to gain valuable field experience and earn continuing education credits.
  • community supported

    The care we provide is deeply appreciated and the communities we serve trust our commitment, knowledge and expertise.
  • training & mentorship

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

    Frequent, focused treatments allow us to see positive changes in a patient's condition quickly.
  • 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.
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Our Mission

Our unique model provides effective, efficient, primary care in rural Nepal. Read More
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Our Clinics

Since 2008, our clinics have provided over 350,000 primary care visits. Read More
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Our Partners

Influencing government policy and achieving educational goals. Read More
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Volunteer With Us

We need your help. Serve others while learning new skills. Read More
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Our Evidence

Case studies and field research helps us analyze our efficacy. 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

  • 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
  • Neck Pain with Radiation +

    40-year-old male presents with right-sided neck pain, without nerve radiculopathy, down the arms bilaterally. He has seen his Read More
  • Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy +

    Severely malnourished and non-ambulatory 11-year-old female presents with increased tone and spasticity in all extremities, frequent seizures, and Read More
  • Lumbar Stenosis due to Osteoartritis +

    36-year-old female with lumbar spinal stenosis presents with severe low back pain with referred pain down the posterior 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

 

The inevitable gastrointestinal irritation happens when traveling and especially when living in rural Nepal, and I was the target this week. As I laid there staring at the ceiling between the bouts of bodily functionings, I was trying to recount all of the possible causes for it. Was it something I ate? Or the water when I washed my toothbrush off under the spigot? Was it that yogurt that the lovely couple offered to me and then poured for me on that house call the other day? Or was it all those school children at the satellite clinic in Ipa who were holding my hands and playing with my hair? Did I remember to wash my hands? Regardless of the reason, it was happening. And although being sick is never fun, this time it allowed me to see a different side to health care. A type of care that is apart from the allopathic anti-diarrheal, anti-nausea pills, and is unlike the rebellious stomach qi (the medicine we have been practicing here each day). I went to a witch doctor.

Three days of the sickness nonsense is just not pleasant, so I was willing to give anything a go. When our native Nepali ARP officer Tsering suggested that I go to the local Shaman I leaped (slowly) at the opportunity. He explained that in the culture here it was important to heal the spirit because sickness is the result of something attacking the person's spirit. The translation of the attacker is a witch. A witch bite is a bruise or unexplained mark on the skin. For me, it was a little more than a bite, I was attacked. A witch had attacked me from in the jungle surrounding our village, or from in the river water, or from a spirit of someone who had passed, and as a result, I had fallen ill.

The Shaman (who happens to be the father of one of our interpreters) conveniently lives just up the hill. He is not like the Disney'fied' witch doctors that one might imagine, with wild hair and a wild outfit, he is a down to earth father, husband, and worker of the land who is also a talented Shaman. He took my pulses, asked a few questions, just as we as acupuncturists practice, then went into the house to get his supplies. The supplies included a bowl of dry rice and red powder, another small bowl of ash, two cigarette-like sticks of herbs burning, a knife, and a cup of hot water mixed with salt and turmeric. As daunting as these sound the process was quite calm. He performed what I can only describe as a cleansing type ritual with the burning herbs, and tossing of the rice and red powder. I drank the salty water, and the knife was only used to stir it. At the end, I was told to rest and sleep for about an hour before returning back to the clinic house. And that was that. I returned feeling a little dazed and curious about what had just happened. It seemed a little surreal at the time, but as I sit here three days later feeling a whole lot better, I smile to myself, and think there must have been something to it.

Remembering the spirit is an important lesson. The medicine that is found in pills, or from acupuncture needles is effective, and does heal, but these medicines are not everything. Watching the ebb and flow of the three medicines - allopathic, traditional Chinese, and traditional Nepali intertwine and crisscross over one another here in Kogate is such an amazing dance. They support one another. It's a shame that we try so hard to keep them separate. -Liz Kerr

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