• Effective Treatment

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

    Our volunteers hone their clinical skills by properly assessing their patient's condition and setting achievable outcome goals.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Building relationships

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

  • Febrile-Induced Cerebellar Ataxia +

    58-year-old male patient presents with ataxia, severe dizziness, vertigo and slurred speech. Symptoms started after a severe febrile Read More
  • Ulcerative Colitis +

    70-year-old female patient presents with urgent, frequent diarrhea. No enteropathogenic organisms are present, however blood is found in 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
  • 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
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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


I am literally bumping down the road from the Himalayas as I write this. My guide, Ganesh, is amused because it is quite the task considering the road. However, the long bus ride affords me the opportunity to reflect upon my experiences at the Vajra Varahi Clinic. I remember one year ago while still in classes, I would look at the Acupuncture Relief Project blog with longing. Now, I feel so blessed that I was present at the one-year anniversary of the clinic as it completes one cycle and begins another. 

Most of my time was spent in Chapagaon, so I feel that my adventure in Nepal holds more depth than width.  I am already feeling the loss of the clinic and its uniqueness both in living and working. Living together as a community was never dull. We had the four practitioners and Nicky the clinic director, as well as constant additions and subtractions. The food was amazing thanks to Umilla our cook. I am now an amateur chapatti maker and even bought my own pan to recreate the experience when I get home. The daily rhythm cannot be replaced and I long for the 5:30 am gong calling the monks to puja, the morning yoga on the roof, the after clinic walks through the village, and the evening monk clinic followed by conversations. These conversations were invaluable because the constant examination of our medicine and the case study discussions helped us find ourselves as practioners.

I will not be able to recreate the atmosphere that is succinctly Vajra Varahi Clinic anywhere else.  I will miss the bracelets that get in the way of any wrist point and ear points that have to be managed around large jewelry.  Both men and women wear miles and miles of fabric so that if you want to go anywhere near the middle be prepared to wait five minutes for an unwinding.  I will miss the expressiveness of my patient’s faces as they explain their story, the richness of one interpreter’s voice and the sweetness of another.  I appreciate that I could occasionally lean into Heidi amidst the chaos. By chaos I mean the combined effect of people piled in the waiting and treatment rooms who talk to one another while we try to communicate with them through an interpreter, all under the gaze of people staring in through the windows. Once a cow mooed so loudly outside the window it could have been standing next to me. Practicing in the U.S. will seem so quiet in comparison.

It is perfect that we are here for the harvest season. When we arrived the rice fields were lush and full. Now the plants are cut to the ground, the grass and seeds are drying and being packaged for the rest of the year.    I feel that it mirrors my relationship with the medicine. Four years ago I planted my seeds when I started at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM).  I had to nurture my dreams fiercely through the challenges of school. As I am here I have been cutting down the fruits of my labor, some I will use now, some I will chew on for awhile and some will be replanted.

Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible for the team, the clinic, our community and me. – Jennie

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