• Professional Development

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

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

    Since 2008, Acupuncture Relief Project volunteers have delivered over 300,000 primary care visits in rural Nepal.
  • 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.
  • Patient Education

    By providing simple explanations, we help patients understand their health concerns and make informed choices regarding their care.
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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

  • Hemorrhagic Stroke Sequelae +

    53-year-old male presents with right-sided hemiplegia following a hemorrhagic stroke 1 year ago. Patient complaints include decreased range-of-motion, Read More
  • Painful Ulcerations of the Throat with Chronic Sinusitis +

    28-year-old male presents with chronic sinusitis, nasal blockage, throat pain and ulcerations for 18 months. The patient also Read More
  • Ulcerative Colitis +

    70-year-old female patient presents with urgent, frequent diarrhea. No enteropathogenic organisms are present, however blood is found in Read More
  • Candidiasis and Vaginal Discharge (Type II Diabetes) +

    63-year-old female presents with chronic purulent vaginal discharge, pruritus vulva and tingling in the extremities. Test results show 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

 

Lindsey Thompson | Acupuncture Volunteer

...but words can never hurt me.  The teenage years appear to share a universal language of challenge.  I remember my high school math teacher, giddily proclaiming that math overcame all language barriers across the globe.  It seems the emotional roller coaster of self discovery during the shift towards an adulthood self shares a universal language that stretches to the Himalayas.

Asha Maya came see me again today.  She is a sixteen year old with Bell's Palsy (a condition which paralyses one side of the face), who has been receiving treatment with the Acupuncture Relief Project for one year.  At a glance, it is no longer obvious that the right side of her face droops and refuses to move. 

Lindsey Thompson | Acupuncture Volunteer

I began working with Asha Maya in mid-January.  Her voice whispers from her mouth and shyness perfuses most of our interactions.  Over the last month, I feel that our relationship has grown.  I get stronger eye contact,  a deeper voice, and at times, we even joke.  I tell her that I'm very happy to see her, and after the brief time lag of interpreting, Asha Maya's face lights up from within.  In her melodic voice , she says she's glad to see me too.  The smile, while one-sided, is an internal smile that warms her face, her eyes, and being.  I think to compliment her on her beauty, but since there are many women in the room that I have not complimented, I hesitate and choose not to say anything. 

I have her lift her eyebrows in mock surprise, pucker her lips, and smile to assess how much movement the facial muscles can achieve.  After hearing so many class lectures about how effective Chinese medicine can be for facial palsy and stroke, the movements seem minute for her year of treatment.  I ask her if she thinks the acupuncture is helping her.  Asha Maya waggles her head from side to side in affirmation and tells me it is helping.  After a moment she says quietly, "I just want my face to move again." 

Lindsey Thompson | Acupuncture Volunteer

I continue using the protocols I learned in school and try to restore movement to her face with acupuncture. After I've placed the needles, I have a momentary lull in patients. I take the opportunity to thoroughly read the last year of chart notes, intending to bring the case up to the team later that evening and rethink her treatment plan.  I learn quite a bit.  Asha Maya has had slow and steady improvement.  In the beginning, she could not fully close her right eye.  Now she can.  She currently sits with her eyes closed absorbing the work of the acupuncture and moxa combination. 

Lindsey Thompson | Acupuncture Volunteer

Near the beginning of her chart, an annotation pops out at me.  "She does not want to leave her house because the boys make fun of her."  My heart aches.  For a moment, I experience shock and a rise of indignation at the idea of peers teasing someone for an appearance change beyond their control.  Then I remember my teenage years, filled with ruthless jeers and power struggles that weaponized tongues. Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

I wish the sing-song phrase our mothers taught us in the nursery held true.  In reality,  the words we use on one another linger for years, decades, and sometimes for a lifetime.  I have sat with friends and patients discussing the past, hearing how words spoken a decade before hobble them now.  I wonder if the injury of words flowered on the surface like bruises, if we would be more careful with our speech. 

Lindsey Thompson | Acupuncture Volunteer

I resolve to speak my compliment to Asha Maya and to each patients when it pops into my head.  As my mom used to say, "You never know if a person has heard a kind word today."  Along these lines, uplifting compliments and acknowledgments can also stand the test of time.  The review of Asha Maya's chart notes, sticks with me.  I see it as a reminder of the power of our words.  The power to infuse confidence, strength, and hope or to practice undermining verbiage.  I hope to practice the art of building with my speech, and notice when I run the risk of becoming careless with my words. ---Lindsey Thompson

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