• Effective Treatment

    Frequent, focused treatments allow us to see positive changes in a patient's condition quickly.
  • more than acupuncture

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

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

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Featured Case Studies

  • 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
  • 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
  • Bell’s Palsy (Facial Paralysis) +

    A 50-year-old female with Bell’s palsy presents with hemi-facial paralysis involving the eye and the mouth. After 5 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
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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


Working with patients at the Vajra Varahi Clinic has been an interesting and amazing experience so far.  We see patients just two doors down from our bedroom, so the commute is very manageable. Each morning the patients all arrive at (or before) 9am and line up outside the clinic door.  If you happen to peak out the window from the second floor in the morning and they see you while they are waiting, they are quick to put their hands together in prayer and shout the local greeting of “Namaste”, which means the light within me greets the light with in you.  The same thing happens if you walk thru the downstairs waiting room or see strangers on the street.

We are in the first part of our third week and I have already provided 130 treatments to patients with acupuncture, herbs, cupping, moxa, massage and just good old TLC.  The patients are kind and grateful because many of them are very poor and there is no free healthcare in this region.  The most common complaints we see are body pain of all types (neck, shoulder, knee, back, hand and foot), gastric pain and respiratory disorders, all of which seem to be a result of their lifestyle (just like ours are, but in a very different way.) They work incredibly hard in a physical way; in the fields, cutting grass, gardening, milking cows, cooking and carrying large buckets of water constantly.  We saw some women last week carrying huge baskets of gravel (much larger than a 5 gallon bucket) on their backs with a strap going across their forehead, up flights of stairs...all in a days work! Nepalis eat very spicy foods, likely to keep food poisoning and parasites away, since there is no refrigeration here.  And the vast majority of vehicles are run on diesel and DEQ has no presence here.  When you are out on the roads, with the chaos of traffic like I have never seen, you must wear a mask to help keep the thick exhaust out of your lungs.

Since we may very well be the only healthcare providers that our patients have seen, it is very important that we use all of our education and skills and senses to assess each patient’s total health picture and be sure they are referred to other health practitioners if their condition is beyond our scope or if they need more emergent care.  I have already referred patients for very high blood pressure, laceration and kidney infection and my colleagues have seen acute appendicitis and other cases of high blood pressure, which have also been referred.  Sometimes, even then, it is a challenge to make patients see the urgency of their condition when they have little or no money.

Last week one of the patients that we were treating for post stroke symptoms passed away.  We would travel twice a week by motor bike to his modest one room, dirt floor home, located in an outlying village. We would treat him there, due to the severity of his case and the transportation challenges it presented.  He was very old, thin, weak and sometimes sad, but he still had his sense of humor and such a kindness about him.  I am completely grateful for the experience of meeting and treating him.  On the last time I treated him, three days before he died, he asked his grown son to go out to the guava tree in the yard and pick some of them.  When he returned with a bag full of the ripe, luscious, fragrant fruit, he said it was for us (me and my team) who have been treating him.  Guava now has a new place in my heart and I am truly glad his suffering is over.  I like to think that we helped to make his last days more comfortable and less lonely.  And to me, this is what it’s really all about.

I look forward to the rest of my time here in Nepal, all the people I will connect with and the wisdom that they will surely impart. --- Kelli Jo Scott

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