• community supported

    The care we provide is deeply appreciated and the communities we serve trust our commitment, knowledge and expertise.
  • more than acupuncture

    Our volunteers include massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, naturopaths, as well as nurses, nurse practitioners and allopathic physicians.
  • confidence

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

  • Bilateral Leg Weakness and Paralysis +

    42-year-old female presents with an inability to walk due to slow-onset, partial bilateral leg paralysis occurring over a 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
  • Massage for Chronic Back Pain Associated with Spondylosis of the Spine +

    70-year-old male referred for massage treatments for pain associated with spondylosis of the spine and neuropathy. The patient Read More
  • Chronic Non-Healing Ear Ulcers +

    15-year-old female presents with purulent, non-healing ulcers in the right ear canal. After 20 treatments, using an integrative 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

 


Amy Schwartz MAcOM LAc
November 2012
OVERVIEW

Acupuncture Case Study40-year-old male presents with right-sided neck pain, without nerve radiculopathy, down the arms bilaterally. He has seen his physician who diagnosed him with nerve impingement and wants to do injections of Xylocane and Tricant local to the area of pain, inferior and slightly lateral to his occiput. After 6 acupuncture treatments, including electro-stimulation, massage and topical pain patches, the patient reports improvement in pain frequency and quality.

Subjective

Patient presents with right-sided neck pain that has been present on and off for the last 5-6 years, but has become constant over the last month. The pain can be worse with cold. Heat packs alleviate the discomfort. There is no radiculopathy, but he does notice that his left arm can feel weak when he’s walking uphill. When it is most severe, he can feel pulling over his head to the frontal and parietal bones. He has had physical therapy in the past for right shoulder muscle spasms and they have resolved. He has no history of heart palpitations or hypertension. He is not currently taking allopathic medications.

Objective

The patient appears to be healthy and is comfortable answering questions about his discomfort. Upon palpation of his neck, tenderness is noted suboccipitally at the origin of the trapezius muscle and the insertion of the splenius capitus and cervicus muscles. The scalenes are also tight and tender. Palpation reveals a slight anterior rotation on the right of the first cervical vertebrae. Cervical compression, distraction and maximum compression tests are negative. His pulse is moderate, but thin and his tongue is red with a greasy, yellow coat. An x-ray report shows no clear indication of a problem. In comparison to the left, his ROM on the right is decreased with lateral flexion and rotation. The pain also increases with lateral flexion and rotation to the right. Grip strength in the left arm showed some weakness by comparison to the right and felt cooler to the touch.

Assessment

DX: Possible cervical rotation of C1

TCM DX: Bi syndrome due to qi and blood stag in the DU and BL channels

PROGNOSIS: Acute phase- good; Underlying chronic phase will take time to unwind the fascia and muscle spasms that tend to sublux the vertebrae.

Initial Plan

Treat with acupuncture twice weekly for 4 weeks before reassessing. Focus treatment on loosening the muscles and fascia that are pulling the vertebrae out of alignment and impinging the nerve with use of acupuncture needles, electro-acupuncture and massage with traction and joint mobilization.

Typical treatment: GB20, 21, BL10, An Mian, ashi in cervical area and above occiput at the origin of the trapezius muscle, TB14, LI15, SI12- 13, LI4, LV3; Electro-acupuncture from GB20 to ashi in cervical region; Massage suboccipitally and into vertebrae with myofascial release techniques and traction; Local application of Salonpas topical patches with menthol and camphor to move qi and blood, thereby clearing stagnation and decreasing pain.

Outcome

After 6 visits, the patient reported 80% less pain in the right suboccipital area and noted that the pain shifted to a broader area with less intensity. His ROM in lateral flexion and rotation to the right became equal to that of the left. He still felt a slight pulling in the muscles upon rotation to the right. He was encouraged by the treatments, noticing that his left arm felt better and strength had returned.

Conclusion

This patient agreed to let us treat him in lieu of injections even after his doctor told him there was no other care available to him for his condition. This case shows some of the strengths of acupuncture and massage in making changes in musculo-tendinous conditions that are both acute and chronic in nature. He will continue to be seen twice per week until the pain is resolved, the ROM becomes equal and the vertebral subluxation shifts.

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