• 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.
  • training & mentorship

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

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

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

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.

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Featured Case Studies

  • Acute Cholecystitis +

    70-year-old female presents with acute abdominal, chest and scapular pain, vomiting and diarrhea. At the local hospital, she 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
  • 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
  • Ganglion Cyst +

    11-year-old female presents with large lump over left radial artery at radial styloid process, causing pain to the 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


Jennifer Rankin | Acupuncture Volunteer Nepal

As time passes here in Chapagaon, I have come to reflect many times on how the sacred seems to infuse every aspect of life here. The mundane and the spiritual seem to be woven together in such a way that on one hand it is a colorful dizzying display and on the other it is deeply rooted in a basic respect for something deeper. This has had a profound effect on my experience thus far.

Namaste Greeting NepalBeginning with the greeting my patients meet me with every morning - "Namaste". The simple moment when palms come together in a prayer like position at the front of the heart marks the beginning of almost every interaction I have had with a patient. This beautiful greeting is punctuated with intentional and sustained eye contact. This is often the instant I pause and collect myself to be fully available to the person sitting in front of me. The way my Nepali patients have taught me presence I will never forget.

Near the beginning of my stay at the clinic the festival of Tihar started. Known as the festival of light it is a time when one decorates the home with elaborate and colorful flower mandalas and every entranceway and window is lit up with candles as a way to welcome in Laksmi the goddess of abundance. It was an incredible introduction to the way Nepali's celebrate through ritual.

Tihar Festival NepalIt seems my patients, and many Nepalis as a whole, celebrate their devotion on a daily basis and in very extroverted ways. Early in the morning women in the community can be seen doing their "puja" at the local temples; carrying with them their prayers, dishes of fruit, flowers and rice as offerings. Another such ritual is the "tika"; a form of decoration in which men and women paint their forehead with colored paste. It has many meanings but is often worn to represent the spiritual. I love seeing people walk into my treatment room adorned in this way. In fact it becomes so widespread I almost forget how different these customs are from Canada. These outward expressions of the inner spiritual life has allowed me to look more deeply at my own hopes and dreams and to truly contemplate my devotion and gratitude for the beauty in my life.

The other night some of the practitioners, interpreters and monks were having "chia" (milk tea) at the forest view, which is a small shop we tend to hang out in playing cards and enjoying each others company. The woman who owns the shop came over to share her offerings. She had just returned from an all day pilgrimage to a rural temple and had brought back with her gifts from that place to share. She walked around the table and placed in each of our hands an assortment of flowers, dry rice and fennel. She was happy to share her blessings from the temple with us. It was special yet commonplace. Some rested the flowers on their heads and others behind their ears. All those present responded with a bow as a heartfelt acknowledgment to the deeper meaning of this gesture.

Tihar Fextival Nepal

Patients regularly come in to see us bringing gifts -  bags of fruit or bunches of spinach as a way to say thank you. When in reality, I have come to realize I am the greatest beneficiary of this experience. The chance to be witness to so many healing journeys is a true gift. The spark of connection these patients ignite in me is significant. During those stories that are hard to hear and those cases that may not have the perfect happy ending I am especially struck by this realization. The other day a patient stopped me and told me (with the help of my amazing interpreter) that I would always be with them. She said that a piece of me would stay here and always be in the hearts of my patients. That she would not forget and that a part of Nepal would go home with me and live in my heart forever. And you know what? She was right. ---Jennifer Rankin

Jennifer Rankin | Volunteer Acupunturist Nepal

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