• 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.
  • Effective Treatment

    Frequent, focused treatments allow us to see positive changes in a patient's condition quickly.
  • community supported

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

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

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis +

    25-year-old male presents with low back and sacroiliac pain, beginning approximately 15 months prior to consultation at this 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
  • 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
  • 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
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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


Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Maggie Shao

At the beginning of my service with Camp B at Bajra Bahari, my first patient is a 70 year old male with right-side hemiplegia resulting from a stroke.  I look at his chart and note he started daily acupuncture treatments two months earlier.  I ask him what are his goals for treatment and he states "I want to use right hand to eat (Nepalis use their right hand to gather and mix and bring to their mouth dal bhaat - the mainstay of the Nepali diet) and to shave himself. I test his grip strength, simply asking to grab my two fingers and squeeze, comparing his right and left hand strength.  His right grip is comparable to his left hand, however, when I test his dexterity, he is unable to pick up a pen with his right hand as his attempts result in his repeatedly dropping the pen.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Maggie Shao

I work with Ram Lal everyday and begin to see his powerful determination and tenacity.  He is always the first appointment, for he leaves his house at 4am or 5am to walk an hour to the clinic arriving before sunrise in freezing cold, so that his ID card is the first in the pile for appointments for the day.  I give him different exercises to regain his dexterity, stretching an elastic band over his right hand and extending his fingers against the resistance. I gather 50 different shaped pebbles and give them to Ram Lal to pick up each pebble and place into a bottle. As I go to do my morning Qigong, I notice he is waiting for the clinic to open and I begin a Qigong practice at 7am with him.  The Qigong exercises help him with his balance, integrating the right and left hemisphere of his brain, setting new pathways for mobility and coordination.  I am inspired as other patients also waiting practice Qigong along with us. The last week, I give Ram Lal a ball with the world globe printed on it to grip and build strength in his right hand. I show him on the globe where I live in the USA and show him Nepal is almost exactly at the opposite side of the world.  He comes to treatment the following day and shows me how well he can grip the ball and I notice that most of the paint is already worn off, and I know he is determined to get well.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Maggie Shao

Two weeks before Camp B ends, I tell my regular patients that I will be leaving soon and new doctors will be coming in a few weeks to continue with their healthcare. At the end of this long day seeing 20 patients, my last patient, a new patient, is escorted in by two women holding and helping a 49 year old woman who appears so frail, I lay her on the bed, instead of sitting her up in the chair, she appears so weak.  I am told by her sister-in-law that my patient had a stroke 2 months ago, stayed 13 days in a Kathmandu hospital and is paralyzed on the left side.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Maggie Shao

My patient Maili does not speak much, I do some sensory testing and deep tendon reflexes, and she can barely respond to my inquiries and testing. Her countenance is gray and dull. I push away my feeling of helplessness - what can I do? and proceed to explain the long road to recovery and no certainty of full recovery. Is she willing to agree to a treatment plan of ten daily visits of acupuncture to begin with and at the 10th visit, we will evaluate if there is a positive result? Her sister-in-law answers for her that she will bring her daily. Maili's left hand is swollen almost twice the size of her right hand, edema of the limbs is a common aftermath after stroke. Maili came the next day, looking a little stronger and able to sit up for the treatment.  Treatment includes scalp acupuncture points, electrical stimulation, needles in extensor muscles opposing the contracted flexed muscles in her left hand and leg.  By the 4th treatment she is walking in with the aid of a walking stick and her sister-in-law by her side.  Maili is more alert and speaks more and I find out she is a widow-her husband died 22 years ago, she does not have children, she lives with her husband's brother and his family and her goal is to regain use of her arm and leg to farm again. She reports a sharp pain in her leg is gone, and she can walk a short distance with just her walking stick without any assistance.  By the 6th treatment she is walking the distance from the clinic door to my station by herself with just her walking stick. By the 8th treatment she is smiling as she shows me her new ability to move her right leg voluntarily. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Maggie Shao

My last day in clinic I begin the day with three of my stroke cases all sitting at my station waiting for treatment.  I notice the seating arrangement, on one side, Ram Lal one of my first patients, the 70 year old who inspires me and the other stroke patients with his motivation and tenacity and pride to regain what many of us take for granted, those activities of daily living like eating, shaving, even squatting by himself to use the toilet. His next goal is to drive a bus again, to honor his past career of safe driving that he won awards for during his 42 years driving a truck. On the other side, there is Maili, one of my last patient cases as I complete my seven weeks as a volunteer, and I wonder how much she will be able to recover with continued treatments with the practitioners coming for camp C, and my wish and hope and vision is Maili walking to her farm field and planting seeds, then harvesting the crops next season. Bookends. --- Maggie Shao

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