• Effective Treatment

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

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

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

  • Acute Cholecystitis +

    70-year-old female presents with acute abdominal, chest and scapular pain, vomiting and diarrhea. At the local hospital, she 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
  • Sequelae of Osteoarticular Tuberculosis +

    Rachael Haley BAppSci (TCM)December 2014 OVERVIEW A 58-year-old man, of rural Nepal, presents with left hip pain, reduced Read More
  • Stroke Sequela +

    50-year-old male presents with post-stroke sequelae symptoms manifesting as severe right-sided paralysis. After 10 treatments starting in September 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

 


Helena Nyssen BA AppSc (TCM)
November 2014
OVERVIEW

throat ulcerations case study

28-year-old male presents with chronic sinusitis, nasal blockage, throat pain and ulcerations for 18 months. The patient also presents with gastric pain. After 9 acupuncture treatments over the course of 1 month, the sinus blockage is 100% resolved, with a complete resolution of subjective throat pain and ulcerations upon inspection. The gastric pain is significantly improved.

Subjective

The patient presents to the clinic reporting symptoms of throat pain beginning 18 months prior to the first consultation at this clinic, and becoming progressively worse. The pain is constant, and worse at night. Consumption of hot, salty or spicy food or drink aggravates the pain. Cool drinks are relieving. 

The patient also presents with complete sinus blockage, with an inability to breathe through the nose. He daily expectorates a small amount of yellow, watery phlegm from the nose. He finds smoky environments irritating. He experiences temporary relief with the use of saline solution and a neti pot.

He reports epigastric pain that is worse with cold foods, and bloating every day that is relieved by belching. He experiences occasional acid reflux and diarrhea, and night sweats, anxiety, lower back pain, poor energy, weakness and the occasional headache. All symptoms flare up simultaneously.

He has never smoked, although he chews tobacco daily. He occasionally drinks alcohol. The patient uses Rynex (cough suppressant, decongestant and antihistamine), as needed, to relieve his symptoms.

Objective

The patient is noticeably congested, with a constant sniff and breathing through the mouth. He has no fever or sweating, and a normal facial complexion without flushing. An endoscopy performed 18 months before presentation to the clinic was negative for any gastrointestinal ulcers. Upon visual inspection, there are multiple ulcers at the back of the throat (on the oropharynx and posterior soft palate). The ulcers are small in size, approximately 1-3mm in diameter, red and swollen at the edges, with a white interior. There are no ulcers visible within the oral cavity, and the tonsils appear only slightly swollen, but without ulcers or exudate. The uvula itself is swollen and deviated to the right. The lymph nodes of the neck show no swelling or pain on palpation. Visual inspection of the nose reveals small polyps bilaterally. The polyps are approximately 0.3cm across, but not large enough to block the nasal passage. They are pink in appearance with no exudate.

Pulse: Rapid and thready

Tongue: Big, sticky, deep yellow coat

Assessment

DX: Chronic sinusitis and upper respiratory tract inflammation; Possible chronic bacterial or viral infection, such as streptococcus or mononucleosis 

TCM DX: Kidney yin deficiency with deficient heat rising and scorching the Lung 

PROGNOSIS: With regular acupuncture treatments, reduction of throat pain and congestion is expected within 10 treatments. The nasal polyps are only treatable with surgery. Because there is no pathological findings within the gastrointestinal system, it is expected that positive functional improvement can be gained with acupuncture and dietary changes.

Initial Plan

Treat with acupuncture 2-3 times per week for 10 treatments before reassessing.

Focus on reducing the heat in the throat and tonifying the Kidney yin. 

Base Rx: KD7, KD6, LV3, ST44, LI4, KD3, PC6, LU7, LI20, Bitong, as well as threading the REN and Stomach channel

Advice: Stop chewing tobacco, avoid smoky environments, keep using neti pot as needed, ensuring the water is boiled clean first.

Outcome

After 9 treatments, the patient reported major changes in his throat pain, ease of breathing, and gastric pain. He experienced no throat pain at all, eating and drinking was no longer painful, and he could breathe freely through his nose. His gastric pain was relieved by a reported 75%. He no longer experienced coughing or sniffling, but still had some bloating. He discontinued his treatment at this point because he was happy with his level of improvement. The patient generally felt he had more energy. His anxiety had reduced to the point he rarely noticed it, and he no longer experienced night sweats. The throat ulcers had resolved and the oropharynx and tonsils appeared a healthy pink colour, without swelling. The nasal polyps were unchanged.

Conclusion

Acute or chronic infection was not considered as thoroughly as it should have been, as the patient had already experienced the symptoms for 18 months upon presentation to the clinic, and did not display signs of fever or swollen lymph nodes. The treatment may have been improved by further defining the cause of his throat pain and ulcerations. Antibiotics may have been helpful in this case. However, acupuncture treatment still achieved a satisfactory reduction in his subjective and objective symptoms.

A TCM diagnosis of Lung yin deficiency could have been explored for a more targeted treatment.

The patient’s outcome was improved by his compliance with lifestyle and diet advice, and his commitment to regular treatments (2-3 times per week). This case clearly illustrates the effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic sinus congestion and sore throat.

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