• objective outcomes

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

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

    Learning to understand each other and truly listen is the first step in building trust and lasting friendships.
  • Cultural Immersion

    Before we can provide effective medical care we must first learn to understand how our patients live.
  • training & mentorship

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

    25-year-old male presents with low back and sacroiliac pain, beginning approximately 15 months prior to consultation at this Read More
  • Chronic Vomiting +

    80-year-old male presents with vomiting 20 minutes after each meal for 2 years. At the time of initial 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.

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    COMPASSION CONNECTS: 2012 PILOT EPISODE

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From Our Blog

 

Chad Wuest | Acupuncture Volunteer Nepal

After a few days exploring Kathmandu, just the day before heading to Bhimphedi, we had our first serious meeting.  I think this is where the reality of everything really hit home for me. The next day we would be heading to our home base to start the camp and I knew that it was “business time” and that things would get really interesting.

The first week I felt like a deer in the headlights. The culture, meeting our new family of interpreters/hosts, training, and getting to know the procedures and practical aspects of working in the clinic, combined with the volume of patients, was totally overwhelming!  But the ability to deal with it and push forward with a positive attitude grew stronger and stronger.  Now, going into the 4th week and looking back, I can say this has been one of the best experiences of my life.  The experience keeps challenging me and changing me, and in turn the experience becomes even more amazing.

Chad Wuest | Acupuncture Volunteer Nepal

The speed needed to treat the amount of patients that arrive each day without compromising efficacy has been a steep learning curve for me.  And the label of “Dr” comes with the perception that we can bring a magical cure to all diseases.  Although the acupuncture and the primary health care we are providing here is extremely beneficial,  I am beginning to witness firsthand what does and does not work for many different conditions.

Chad Wuest | Acupuncture Volunteer Nepal

One example is the many presentations of ear infections that walk through the door - acute, chronic, perforated ear drums, young children, seniors, etc.  Given the danger of complications and progression of an ear infection - risking permanent hearing loss or encephalitis - when western medicine is somewhat available, seems risky.  Here we are personally faced with the responsibility of caring for these patients.  I become aware that an ego-centric belief of my skills should not override my medical judgement.   Working with ARP is teaching me to refer out if we don’t have the correct medicine, knowledge or skill, but to still practice good patient care.  This awareness of a broader medical picture, in practice with acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbs and primary health care, provides a complimentary system that benefits the community here in so many ways.

Lacking the linguistic skills to communicative effectively has been another barrier.  For me a huge part of this project is the interpreters. The relationships between each and every one of the practitioners and the local interpreters are vital.  All the interpreters carry with them a very proactive and positive attitude and this project would simply be ineffective without them. At times it feels as though we - interpreter and practitioner-  are one person treating the patient, where our communication and action come together so instinctively. 

Chad Wuest | Acupuncture Volunteer Nepal

The experience here with ARP has been extremely rewarding. The challenges I face here have served to provide answers to ways in which I can better myself and increase my knowledge. My acupuncture amigos, ARP, and the interpreters are all such a dedicated bunch of people to share the journey with and I feel like we are all gaining invaluable knowledge in medicine and primary health care. I’m appreciating every bit of time I’ve had so far in Bhimphedi, Nepal.

Namaste, Dr. Chad

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