• objective outcomes

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

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

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

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

    Home to eight of the highest mountains in the world including Mt. Everest, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
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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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Emotional Depression +

    40-year-old woman presents with depression, emotional stress and dream-disturbed sleep. She presents with a secondary complaint of chronic Read More
  • Stroke Sequela +

    50-year-old male presents with post-stroke sequelae symptoms manifesting as severe right-sided paralysis. After 10 treatments starting in September 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 | Jessi Brown

Today I fitted my elderly patient with her (hopefully) semi-permanent shoulder cast. This woman came into the clinic a few weeks ago. I remember treating her knee pain and when the visit was finished, she said, “What about my bone problem?” and pointed at her shoulder. 

This is a classic pattern at our clinic. Right as patients are leaving, they add on a few extra problems and ask for medicine for it. I have to tell them to talk to me about it next time they come in. So, I told this patient to bring her x-rays and we would treat it next time. I assumed it was just arthritis in the shoulder. WRONG. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jessi Brown

The next time she came in, she removed her sweater. Her humerus bone jutted up through her skin every time she moved her arm. We looked at all the info she had. A couple of months previous, she had fallen with her arm out to the side. She’d broken the bone at the elbow and the shoulder. The humeral head had actually split in half. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jessi Brown

I still look at the films a lot and I even now, can’t tell if the spine of the scapula and glenoid cavity was broken as well. There is no complete x-ray series here. Nepal operates on a ‘get what you get and don’t throw a fit’ imaging policy.

When I saw the patient again, I tried to talk her into going back for surgery because her bone is floating loose in her arm.  Even with my insistence, it became very clear that she was not going to go. Her heart is not strong enough to go through the procedure. Her family is worried about her age and possible complications. In addition, the surgery could cost between 1,500 to 7,000 US dollars, depending on what connections the family has. 

I shifted my thinking to a non-surgical, management solution for this woman. I had our reception staff call her to come back into the clinic. Drawing on literally one afternoon of Ted Lauer’s class, I made a Plaster of Paris cast that will hopefully stabilize her shoulder. In addition, this should protect her arteries and veins from being punctured by the humeral shaft fragment if she bumps it or falls again. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jessi Brown

The cast is not fancy and my technique wasn’t great. A few parts of the cast stayed softer than I wanted but I think it will hold up for at least a year. I showed her and her elderly sister how to tie it. I also tied knots in the too large sling that she was given at the hospital. I showed them both how to close it the right way so it won’t fall off all the time. Hopefully it helps her pain a little by preventing so much movement of the humeral fragments.

This patient is so sweet and so small. Earlier this year, my grandma broke her wrist in a FOOSH (fall on an outstretched hand) injury and I happened to be there for her doctor visit. The doctor did not explain her options to her very well and just pushed her into the surgery. She did not understand that she had the option for the doctor to put her into a hard cast and let it heal, probably as well as it would heal after a surgery.

Thankfully the procedure with my grandma was successful and seems to have worked. Regardless, I hadn’t wanted her to get the surgery. Hardware fails in young healthy bones. In old, osteoporotic bones, it is even more likely to fail or the skin cannot heal from the incision. It was frustrating to watch this doctor just push her right to what he knew would “fix” the problem. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jessi Brown

Here in Nepal, I turned around and tried to do the same thing to this patient. I wanted to help her get the treatment that I thought was right but it wasn’t what she wanted at all. The solution I came up with is far from adequate but at least I can feel that she is a little more safe and that she is happy. Eighty years is a good life here in Nepal and I don’t want to risk what she has for a surgery that she doesn’t even want.

Aside from that, I have been getting a lot of counseling from my friends to hang in there for this last week. I am anxious to be back to the life I have created at home, but I want to try to enjoy my time here as much as I can.  I came here to help and to work and it will be over soon enough. I am excited that after this last week of work, a couple of us will be traveling to the village of Bandipur. It will let me see a more of this country before I head back out.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jessi Brown

Being here is helping me get more clarity about what I want out of my work and home. It’s making me take a look at some of the people in my life who are not showing up for me in the way that I need. It’s painful for me to think about exerting a little bit more control over what happens in my own life. 

For various reasons, I’ve grown accustomed to getting along with people and just being happy with whatever others ask of me. I am starting to find a freedom in knowing that I have control over my own needs. Currently I’m frustrated at how impatient I’m being with everything but I know that when I get back I will be able to show up better for my patients and friends. I’m trying to stay focused on the work. Even though I feel a little burnt out, I want to keep learning whatever I can from the people I’m here with. I’m glad I was here to help this woman with her shoulder. I’m glad to be strengthening a friendship with Bex and to have met the others on my crew. These are good things. My anxiousness to go home is mainly because of the good things waiting for me there but I can be patient. I hope. --- Jessi Brown

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jessi Brown

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