• 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.
  • Patient Education

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

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

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

  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis +

    10-year-old female presents with active phase of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) as demonstrated by multiple articular bony joint Read More
  • Low Abdomen Pain due to Roundworm and Urinary Infection +

    30-year-old female presents with lower abdominal pain, burning urination and shortness of breath for the last 5 months. Read More
  • 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
  • Neck Pain with Radiation +

    40-year-old male presents with right-sided neck pain, without nerve radiculopathy, down the arms bilaterally. He has seen his 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

 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

It’s been one week in Nepal and 3 days of clinic in Bajra Baraji. I’ve gone through so many emotions and learned so much about practicing primary care in a rural area. It’s been amazing but I have to admit that the first day of clinic was tough. That little voice in my head started saying stuff like, “You’re not a good enough practitioner, you don’t know enough, you can’t help anyone!” It’s hard enough to not let that voice rule over my thoughts in the best of times, let alone completely out of my element in a new country. I felt in over my head, seeing things like ear infections, gnarly wounds, ulcers and so many things I would refer out to a medical doctor back home. I was told the first week was going to be the hardest but I didn’t think that first day would end in tears. I barely made it to my room to wrap myself up in my zero degree bag to take some time to write in my journal.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

In our ARP clinic guide, it says “Trust The Process”, and that’s exactly what I needed to do at that moment: allow whatever was to just be. So I allowed myself to feel it all, the uncertainty, the loneliness, the self doubt. I closed my eyes and let those emotions fill my whole being. I began to imagine an older version of myself, the one who has been changed by this experience, who has been through this before. She knows you cannot heal the things you cannot feel, and she places her arms around me. I breathe out loving kindness and compassion to myself and the capacity grows. I am able to tend to myself like I would a child, pick myself up and hold tight; I am exactly where I need to be right now. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

I woke up the next day feeling changed, stronger and more centered. It was Saturday, our day off from clinic. I was going to put all my things away, make a little home here, do some laundry and go for a hike in the hills. I love being in nature and was excited to see what was growing in the forested slopes I can see all around us at the clinic. On my way to meet up with the group, I had to hop over a small ditch, and I’m still not sure what happened except I hopped and then ended up face planting right into the ground. I was stunned. I think I had my hands in my pockets because my chin took the brunt of the fall. Immediately, folks from the village who were passing by ran up to help me. I felt ridiculous falling down like that, I hadn’t even reached the hills yet! But as I repeated “Thank you, thank you, I’m ok, I’m ok!” I could see the concern on their faces and got that sick feeling when you realize you hurt yourself more than you thought. I could feel something warm and wet running down my chin and the front of my jacket, I felt in my mouth, my lip was split. 

A former version of myself would have been furious with me at this point, but after my grounding session the night before I knew that being hard on myself was the last thing I needed at this point. I got back up to the clinic and called out to my supervisor, Bex. She took one look, “Yeah, that’s gonna need four stitches.” She was close, I got three.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

I’m on the mend now, taking a round of antibiotics and alternating between herbal washes and slatherings of neosporin. I know this happened for a reason, I don’t know the reason right now but I’m trusting the process. I told Lila, the health post assistant, who gave me the stitches and was very concerned for me, “No worries, I’ve had worse!” And it’s true. I’ve had a compound femur fracture, broken bones in both feet and both wrists, knee surgeries and a few laparoscopic surgeries. My body is covered in scars. One of my favorite authors, Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “Be proud of the things you have endured. The scars are like a treasure map to the self, the deep self.” As I run my fingers across the scars on my body and feel for those healed wounds that you cannot see, I am proud. I am one of many wounded healers in this world. I look to my patients, I run my hands across their scarred bodies, see the things they have endured and am in awe. What I learn here will completely change who I am as a person and as an acupuncturist and will reverberate into so many areas of my life I cannot even begin to understand. I try to keep this in mind each day as I enter the clinic and allow this process to unfold.  -- Lucy Kervin

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