• Professional Development

    Acupuncture Relief Project offers opportunities for volunteers to gain valuable field experience and earn continuing education credits.
  • training & mentorship

    Acupuncture Relief Project offers meaningful training opportunities and employment to interpreters and local healthcare workers.
  • Patient Education

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

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

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

  • Chronic Vomiting +

    80-year-old male presents with vomiting 20 minutes after each meal for 2 years. At the time of initial 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
  • Typhoid Fever Induced Paralysis +

    32-year-old female presents with left-sided paralysis of upper and lower limbs. At age 12, the patient suffered from Read More
  • Sequelae of Osteoarticular Tuberculosis +

    Rachael Haley BAppSci (TCM)December 2014 OVERVIEW A 58-year-old man, of rural Nepal, presents with left hip pain, reduced 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 | Jeff Chiu

Today's topic: Death! (the author does not pick blog topics; the blog topics choose him)

I began thinking about this after hearing that one of our ARP staff members, Tsering, had to step in to help a family who didn't know about Sherpa (an ethnic group here in Nepal) burial rights, help bury their father who had passed recently.  The deceased was somewhat estranged from his family and living in Kathmandu, and when he passed, his daughters were at a loss at what to do for a proper burial.  Luckily, Tsering and his wife were around and able to help the family, in the middle of the night, with proper burial rights.  

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jeff Chiu

I have heard from regulars that have worked with ARP multiple times that as a country, Nepal's citizens are, in a way, unconcerned with death.  I didn’t understand it at the time until  visiting one of many temple locations in Kathmandu, at Pashupatinath, where cremation ceremonies can be observed 24 hours a day.  When the time comes, family members carry the dead body down to stone platforms that are located on the river that runs through the temple grounds.  They help wash the feet of the deceased and will stay and watch the deceased body slowly turn to ash as a cremation specialist dressed in white tends to the pyre and manages the several hour long process.  Upon completion, the mixture of human and wood ashes are pushed into the river to be swept away in a poetic, and likely practical, end to the hours long process.  With the physical body now just ashes, depending on the deceased’s particular religion, the person's karma through their life is assessed and that determines their next reincarnation.  Physical breakdown of the body done, the family continue observance for the next few weeks and up to a year.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jeff Chiu

Death is a strange thing to observe; if you’ve had the unenviable task of observing a close family member passing, the moment of death crushes the soul and leaves you a husk of your normal self as you begin processing the present and the future without this person.  Even now, when I see or hear about people dying it definitely gets my mind spinning and thinking about the family and what they must be going through.  Two poignant moments come to mind during my stay in Nepal.  

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jeff Chiu

Early on, soon after arriving at camp, it was the end of a clinic day and I was asked if I could help with a severely dehydrated patient at the health-post next door.  I show up and a delirious woman lays there, sweating profusely, apparently not able to keep down water.  I am asked if I could take a shot at putting in an IV.  Reality check: aside from putting in an IV for lab rats in college I am in NO way qualified to do this.  I try anyway and of course fail where even the experienced health post nurses couldn’t find the minute veins in this exhausted and dried out patient.  I observe her husband and the health post staff discuss what they should do.  Against their suggestions, the husband thinks going 3 hours back to kathmandu to the major hospital is better than going to the larger healthpost the next town over.  She doesn’t make it and dies in transit.  

Later on in the camp, I find out one of my regular patients had passed.  The 82 year old patient had passed over Dosain, a national holiday of Nepal.  She’d been coming to the ARP clinic since last season.  She was a bit of a firecracker even at her old age; wasn't compliant, had uncontrolled diabetes, and walked with the help of a crutch due to a stroke she had years earlier. Oh, and apparently she occasionally took swipes at practitioners when she didn't like what they were telling her.  She always came in complaining about arm pain, wasn't particularly interested in answering questions, but still, I liked her quite a bit and thought she was quite sweet old lady. Oh and she never took a swing at me.  Ritesh, our head interpreter, said that Dosain is a time when many people pass on.  

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Jeff Chiu

I find rituals around death particularly interesting; I believe they're another cultural fingerprint, along with food, language, etc.  The degree to which death is handled in a more personal and hands-on way has me re-evaluating how I want to my body handled when I go.  Nepal has reminded me of the frailty and beauty of life; that life can be short, unpredictable and that family is important.  Use time wisely, spare it on people/places/things that interest you, protect it from things that don't.     

On that note, see you next tale.  -- Jeff Chiu

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