• more than acupuncture

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

    Before we can provide effective medical care we must first learn to understand how our patients live.
  • Providing Access

    According to the World Health Organization, Nepal's healthcare system ranks 150th in the world with less than one doctor per 6000 people.
  • 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.
  • confidence

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

Our unique model provides effective, efficient, primary care in rural Nepal. Read More

Our Clinics

Since 2008, our clinics have provided over 350,000 primary care visits. Read More

Our Partners

Influencing government policy and achieving educational goals. Read More

Volunteer With Us

We need your help. Serve others while learning new skills. Read More

Our Evidence

Case studies and field research helps us analyze our efficacy. Read More
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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.

Read More

Featured Case Studies

  • Chronic Gastritis +

    52-year-old female presents with chronic, burning epigastric pain accompanied by acid reflux, nausea, belching and decreased appetite. The Read More
  • Dupuytren’s Contractures +

    58-year-old male presents with persistent contraction of 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers of right hand. He reports it 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
  • Low Back Pain with Radiation +

    30 year old male presents with severe back and left leg pain, exhibiting postural deviation as a way Read More
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Compassion Connect : Documentary Series

  • Episode 1Rural Primary Care

    Episode 1
    Rural Primary Care

    In the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, this episode explores the challenges of providing basic medical access for people living in rural areas.

    Watch Episode

  • Episode 2Integrated Medicine

    Episode 2
    Integrated Medicine

    Acupuncture Relief Project tackles complicated medical cases through accurate assessment and the cooperation of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

    Watch Episode

  • Episode 3Working With The Government

    Episode 3
    Working With The Government

    Cooperation with the local government yields a unique opportunities to establish a new integrated medicine outpost in Bajra Barahi, Makawanpur, Nepal.

    Watch Episode

  • Episode 4Case Management

    Episode 4
    Case Management

    Complicated medical cases require extraordinary effort. This episode follows 4-year-old Sushmita in her battle with tuberculosis.

    Watch Episode

  • Episode 5Sober Recovery

    Episode 5
    Sober Recovery

    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.

    Watch Episode

  • Episode 6The Interpreters

    Episode 6
    The Interpreters

    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.

    Watch Episode

  • Episode 7Future Doctors of Nepal

    Episode 7
    Future Doctors of Nepal

    This episode looks at the people and the process of creating a new generation of Nepali rural health providers.

    Watch Episode

  • Compassion Connects2012 Pilot Episode

    Compassion Connects
    2012 Pilot Episode

    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

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From Our Blog


Danielle Lombardi | Acupuncture Volunteer Nepal

There are three women around the ages of 30, 50, and 65, who have come to see me for treatment several times. They arrive in a big group from their village, and emanate strength, solidarity and patience as they sit and wait readily in my clinic room, wearing bright saris wrapped well under patterned long sleeved frocks, with bustle-like mounds of cloth bundled up around their navels.  A cascade of earrings, necklaces and nose rings of red and gold tell the stories of their marriages, while their sun worn faces, dirt caked feet and full black eyes tell the stories of their work.

In our research efforts we ask our patients their age, their primary language, and their distance of travel to get to the clinic.  These three are Tamang, and walk over 4 hours to get to the clinic, where they then wait in line for treatment for another 4 hours with the crowd.  When their turn comes around, they bring their hands together in the blessing of thanks, hello, goodbye: “namaste”, or, “I see the god within you”, and then they quietly point to their joints and limbs saying, “duksa” – “pain.”  Although they each have a different story, they have common underlying health concerns. Their bodies hurt.  They all have shoulder pain radiating down one arm.  They have bad headaches wrapping across the front of their heads to the back of the neck.  Their knees ache.  I inquire about their work and home life to discover the cause of their pain, and an interpreter relays their collective story to me.

It is corn harvest now, soon followed by rice harvest, so the days will be long for some time. The day begins before dawn, at 4am in the fields, where they work until the late afternoon.  They gather their harvest into giant baskets and sacks as heavy as themselves, and haul them back home by strapping the load across their brow, bearing the weight on their heads, necks and backs.  When they return to their homes they go to the village wells and fill heavy copper water vessels, carried under one arm back to their kitchens.  Then they feed and water the buffalo, goats, cows, and chickens, cook for their families, take care of the children and the old ones, nurse the sick and finally eat their dinners.  They hang the ears of corn to dry in in their windows, hung from beams, or in bound up towers that look like trees.  In the night they separate the corn kernels from the ears that have already dried. They leave it in mounds on the rooftops or the dirt streets until daylight, when they can spread it out flat to dry a second round in the sun. They work from 4am until midnight, resting only briefly before the next day of harvest begins again.

Women in Nepal | Acupuncture ClinicAs I treat the pain from the brunt of this work, I am able to connect with each of them, learning more about their stories and perpectives on the world.

The middle of the three has asthma.  When she walks up the hill carrying grasses and corn on her back, or when she bends down to clean the cow dung, from the floor she feels breathless, as if rice husks are blocking her chest and throat.

The oldest of the three sleeps only 3 hours a night because there is too much work to get done.   She shows me bruise-like spots on her legs and arms where demons had punished her by biting her and sucking her blood.

The youngest one has pain in her uterus from several miscarriages, and is afraid that her family will be angry with her if she does not produce a baby soon.

I work with each of them to address their concerns, and feel grateful for the stories that they share with me in the process.

These women inspire me. They walk long distances, have strong spirits, and don’t complain.  They teach me about strength and patience, and seem almost mythical in their capacity for life’s work. They well may be the hardest workers in the world.  Their solidarity creates a force that is bigger than themselves, an arc of connection, fellowship, and fortitude that they lift from the feet of their ancestors, and pass on to their daughters and grandchildren. They give birth and sustain life through their labor, dedication and community, and they bear the weight of their harvested nourishment on their backs.

One of the other women waiting for treatment in the room asked out to the group and to me, “Why is it that women have so much pain?”

The answer beheld itself. ---Danielle Lombardi

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