• confidence

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

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

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

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

  • Parkinson’s Disease +

    72-year-old female presents with left hand tremors that extend up the arm and into her neck and jaw. Read More
  • Primary Hypertension +

    3 patients present with stage 2 essential hypertension (HTN), 1 of which is a female (76 yo) and Read More
  • Chronic Headache (Typhoid Fever Sequela) +

    43-year-old female presents with a severe headache. 9 months ago, the patient contracted Typhoid fever. During the illness, Read More
  • Outer Ear Infection +

    52-year-old male presents with right-sided, burning head and ear pain, right-sided hearing loss and anosmia. It is determined, 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


Joey Chan | Acupuncture Volunteer

It was my second night in Nepal, I woke up at 4am with a rumbling stomach, and I knew right away I couldn’t escape it: traveler’s food poisoning. I rushed to the washroom as discreetly as I could to avoid waking my roommate. Last nights daal bhaat (rice and lentil soup) came right back up. I felt awful and had to inch my way back to my sleeping bag where I stayed crunched up like a shrimp till morning.

The next morning we made our way from the city of Kathmandu to our new home at the Vajra Varahi clinic. We were introduced to the rest of the team and started our interpreter training. I felt horrible but I tried my best to put on a happy face and tackle the day. Half way into training I couldn’t take it anymore. My stomach was not cooperating. I had to excuse myself because the sharp pains made it impossible to focus.

Joey Chan | Acupuncture Volunteer

Half dying in my sleeping bag someone came in to offer me Pepto Bismol, then another offering herbs, and finally someone else forcing me to drink electrolytes. I was being cared for just like I would be at home in my own bed and I just met these people! I drifted off to sleep knowing that I was in good hands. (See? Not to worry, Mom).

The care and love my new team offered accumulated in my heart and I was able to treat with more compassion and care in the next 2 months than I ever had. However, the stomach problems never seemed to go away. Now I call it the "weekend special". It’s a must on the weekend. It’s not a big deal anymore, just the usual detox.

Joey Chan | Acupuncture Volunteer

A month later, I dragged myself out of bed to go down stairs to the clinic. I did not sleep well due to the usual "weekend special". The first 3 patients walked in and I ask them how they are doing. They say they are improving and the pain is getting much better. The forth patient comes in with a huge smile on her face telling me her pain had decreased tremendously, which means she could work now. Her voice grew with joy while she explained how she is able to go for hikes, her appetite is back and she can sleep throughout the night without much pain. I was thrilled that all my patients were getting better and that I was successfully treating their conditions.

Joey Chan | Acupuncture Volunteer

After I needled her she asked if I was okay and that I look tired today. I told her I didn’t sleep well. She suddenly yelled, “Look! He stopped shaking! I’ve been watching your Parkinson patient and his hands are not shaking anymore”.

With a big smile on my face, I looked at my patients and said “I felt sick this morning but I forget about my pains when I see that I am helping with yours.” ---Joey Chan

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