• 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.
  • community supported

    The care we provide is deeply appreciated and the communities we serve trust our commitment, knowledge and expertise.
  • Cultural Immersion

    Before we can provide effective medical care we must first learn to understand how our patients live.
  • Effective Treatment

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

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

  • 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
  • Palliative Management of End-Stage Emphysema +

    71-year-old male presents with cough and severe shortness-of-breath, caused by emphysema. Initially, patient was stabilized during an emergency Read More
  • Hemiplegia (Stroke Sequelae) with Acute Lung Consolidation +

    81-year-old female presents with complete left-sided hemiplegia following ischemic stroke 2 months ago. Over the course of 7 Read More
  • Facial Paralysis (Bell’s Palsy) +

    35-year-old female presents with left-sided facial twitching and paralysis. After 7 acupuncture treatments, the patient regained over 50% 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.

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    COMPASSION CONNECTS: 2012 PILOT EPISODE

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From Our Blog

 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

I come from a large Russian Orthodox family and an even larger community. I spent my childhood wondering what any limits might be. What would that look like, where would the red tape might be, and how I was to grow within them? But I knew from a very early age (8 to be exact), that I wanted to help others. It led me down the road to becoming an Acupuncturist and volunteering with the Acupuncture Relief Project.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

At the ARP clinic I initially acted solely through the wonderful interpreters translations. Fresh from school, I now got to apply my knowledge in a wider arena, sometimes feeling like an imposter with the newness of it all, just playing house, waiting for someone to come in and take over. But then it dawns on me that this is it. We are the practitioners here. Yikes! This just got a little too real. A visiting intern native to Nepal whose family is still several hours away shared my feelings of being unsettled in the first weeks. Though her family is reachable, the demands of a busy clinic along with independent research of pathologies and team classes after clinic several times a week can make the feelings of distance seem magnified. This was comforting to hear, and confirmed that the excitement of practicing medicine in a different country to be mixed in with the pangs of physical distance from loved ones and barriers of inner constructs was a rewarding challenge to overcome. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

Weeks passed and I found myself seeing past the imagined barrier and started paying attention again to beyond just words being said by the patients. Looking into my patients faces, I struggled less rely only on what my TCM education had instilled and focused what else patients were communicating, and sat with my intention of wanting to do good for others. Many times throughout I thought to myself that I’ve reached my red tape. Then, a patient under my care who was 4 months post stroke and in poor spirits at the time of the initial visit had been coming in for daily treatments now had now reached almost full functions for daily living. He could dress without assistance, able to shave with the help of a friend, and regained the use of his right hand for eating. Eating rice was still challenging but we both felt victorious; we both made through that tape! 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

Another patient who started coming in for pain brought her own barriers. We quickly found out she was mute and I thought, “Hmmm, thought I ran through that red tape…” She was pointing to several places and making expressions of pain, and through a few orthopedic tests and more motions to gauge levels of severity we were able to get a working treatment plan together: gastritis primarily (she had been vomiting and had lost weight from it), shoulder pain secondarily, and knee pain last. Here I felt that giving the care didn’t require knowing her language per se. She and I mutually understood her needs; after a few treatments her gastritis started to resolve, and we moved on to other things on the list. I imagined this process of continually sticking to what I believed where her chief complaints to be like a mysterious mailbox destination; one isn’t always quite sure if the parcel is getting through (much like the reality of people not having mailboxes here, but mail does somehow reach its destination). She and I would wave vigorously hi and bye after subsequent visits, and the unspoken communication that had grown peaked my interest in how one is able to deliver care but not always needing to say verbatim, “I am going to deliver care to you”.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

I had the opportunity to learn about this idea of nonverbal care a few weeks ago during a women’s clinic that came to Bajra Baraji to treat women for prolapse and screen for cervical cancer. They had set up near the ARP clinic with the goal to get as many women seen and to take samples for testing, that way if any were positive then they’d be able to commence treatment. Screening for cervical cancer has shown to dramatically reduce the number of cases of and mortality from cervical cancer in developed countries; and Nepal has the highest rate of deaths from cancer. It is especially so in isolated villages like the one we are working out of.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

As I was shoulder to shoulder with the other doctors watching them perform examinations, eyeing patients funneling through, I was trying to imagine what they might have going on in their lives outside this moment. One patient, who looked about 50, no more than 5 feet tall and was probably someone’s mother and possibly grandmother. She had hair that was neatly braided and tied at the end with bright red yarn that had some small bells swinging on the end and a matching red Kurta; traditional Nepali dress that many women only wear on special occasions now. This woman wore the sweetest expression and carried a disposition of someone not used to being examined so closely while she gave a short explanation to the doctors about why she was coming in. 

I didn’t catch the conversation with it being in Nepali, but after the examination one of the doctors was hugging the patient from the side while she told us in English that they had found advanced abnormal variations on her cervix, a key marker for cancer not in early stages anymore. The Nepali woman hadn’t understood this part, it not being said in her native tongue. I watched her as I heard this news was being given over my head to another doctor who was taking this down, and at that moment I had an image of my own mother standing in her place, foreign words being exchanged about her health. I was overwhelmed.  I had to look at the cracks in the ceiling for a while, then observed how this doctor spoke comfortingly and unrushed to this patient with dozens more still waiting just outside.

I read somewhere that once a person goes out to seek the unknown, it is impossible to return unchanged. I think that moment occurred to me just then. It made me question how I as a practitioner should be able to communicate effectively in situations I’ve not experienced before. This woman’s ability to face the doctors and be open to understanding the situation mirrored what I should be doing for them; be open to understanding and shine with kindness.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

This is the realization I was seeking in coming here; to see how it is to stand amongst other communities and explore parallels of culture and healing practices to my own Russian Orthodox heritage, to bridge the gaps of what is meaningful, and grow as a practitioner for myself and others who may come to seek care. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Fedosia Masaligin

I believe that through volunteering with the Acupuncture Relief Project, I have reached that moment of getting to the red tape but realizing in a way that it’s just a hologram, that this is another point I have reached where before I felt was unreachable, now is another bend in the road that I just wasn’t able to see until I’ve reached this point. --- Fedosia Masaligin

 

 

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