• 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.
  • Primary Care

    Since 2008, Acupuncture Relief Project volunteers have delivered over 300,000 primary care visits in rural Nepal.
  • training & mentorship

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

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

  • 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
  • Low Back Pain with Radiation +

    30 year old male presents with severe back and left leg pain, exhibiting postural deviation as a way 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
  • Chronic Gastritis +

    52-year-old female presents with chronic, burning epigastric pain accompanied by acid reflux, nausea, belching and decreased appetite. 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


{s5_mp3}http://www.acupuncturereliefproject.org/images/stories/mp3/OMV2.mp3{/s5_mp3}One Minute View: Episode 2

These first few weeks have gone fast!  It's amazing how quickly all the newness of such an experience is transformed into a mostly reliable routine. That routine serves as a safety net for all the unknowns in a day. A common theme that has come up for us is the idea of "what gets lost in translation anyway?". This idea is multi-dimensional and in it is reflected a person's story, a person's belief system, how a person understands something, and how well our language conveys across culture the story we are telling. Our interpreters are trained very well for their jobs - they are excellent! They make the exchange almost seamless! They not only interpret what we say and what our patients say, but they also have to interpret the context and the emotion of what is said.

It's similar to a game of telephone but rather than the story being changed through a long line of people, it is more a matter of how our stories get filtered through our different ways of experiencing the world. Despite our mostly clear communication, we realize that some concepts don't exist in one culture exactly the same as it does in another.  I recently learned that there really is not a word in Nepali for "throbbing", as in a throbbing headache, but rather the interpreter explains that the patient says, "the headache feels like it does when you have your finger on someone's pulse." It's a beautiful moment when it comes together like that!

I sit back at the end of a day of treating patients and observing the other practitioners treating, and settle on this idea:  what gets lost in translation is made up for by watching someone's facial expression, by observing a persons hands when they talk, by watching their chest rise and fall to understand their breathing, by noticing how someone gets in or out of their chair, by paying attention to the tone of their voice behind the story, by palpating the spots that hurt, and by looking in their eyes clearly for the moment when the ritualistic "namaste" is exchanged in their coming and going. Sometimes the story matches what we expect to hear - "I have diabetes, I have knee pain, or I have burning and tingling in my feet" and other times the story makes us see something differently as a person shares that they believe they might have a curse on them, or they had an organ removed and then put back in the right place, or sometimes a nerve grows out of the corner of their toe and when it does it hurts and they cut it off. As a practitioner, sometimes I rely on the story I'm hearing while other times I may follow a feeling or intuition of the experience that seems to resonate in their story. In the case of the mystery toe pain... Maybe they're telling me they have an ingrown toenail that feels incredibly nervy and painful or maybe they are experiencing something that is completely lost in translation. As I work though the many puzzles and mysteries I come to this essential realization. The realization that if we learn to listen carefully and do our best to hear not only the story they share but also the story they embody, the treatment we offer can speak better to the overall CARE of that individual patient. The more we improve in this skill, the more we minimize all that gets lost along the way. The story that each of us shares, through the bridge of an interpreter or through the descriptive sounds and the hand gestures, are the stories that link us together.  It is the sharing of our stories that creates deeper understanding and compassion between us and opens our eyes to much more than what simple words can convey. – Diane Wintzer

Admin note: This was Diane Wintzer's second trip to Nepal with the Acupuncture Relief Project. This fall she served as our project lead and course instructor. When she is not in Nepal, Diane practices at Fearn Natural Health Clinic in Camas Washington. Thanks Diane for your continued service.

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