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Volunteers Back in Nepal

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Michelle May

When I arrived in Nepal I was an anxious graduate student fresh out of acupuncture school during the Covid-19 pandemic. Having spent two years practicing medicine over zoom, I was nervous and doubtful about my skills as an acupuncturist. From the moment I arrived, everyone greeted and welcomed me with open arms. Satyamohan, Sushila, and the interpreters made me feel right at home and a part of every conversion. After just a few days with my new ARP family, all my worries melted away and I quickly found my new routine. The clinic is cleverly designed and well stocked, everything I could have needed to treat patients was provided and I was learning at a light years pace. The integration of the lifestyle clinic and neighboring health post is the perfect blend of Eastern and Western medicine. Together they are able to provide the patients with excellent primary care that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. One of the greatest advantages of working with the ARP was the ability to see a patient for 20-30+ visits. Seeing improvement with each treatment and trying different modalities was invaluable and rewarding. During my stay I’ve been able to regulate high blood pressure/sugars, reduce or eliminate complex pain syndromes, and support tremor/stroke rehab just with acupuncture. It blows my mind what few needles and Traditional Chinese Medicine can do.

Read more: Volunteers Back in Nepal

The Tin Shed

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Andrew Schlabach

Ramkrishna’s eyes brightened with recognition as we entered. His room… a small tin shed. A collage of colors and rust patinas cover every surface of the salvaged corrugated metal. Six feet wide and ten feet long, the self-standing structure features one small window which casts a blade of bright light across Ramkrishna’s face. He shares the space with dried corn, broken farming tools and a stack of dried rice sheaves which serves as feed for livestock. A rough pile of filthy blankets outline a sleeping area on the concrete floor. A small well-used tea kettle sits on a ring of partially charred sticks. The remnants of this morning’s cooking fire. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Andrew SchlabachRamkrishna December 2021, Thaha, Makwanpur, Nepal

Ramkrishna speaks breathlessly with an ominous gurgling in his chest.

Read more: The Tin Shed

Volunteer Acupuncture Care

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Tameka Lim-Velasco

“Finding our own definition of success means becoming aware of what we value. Often, this means rinsing years of conditioned thinking from our minds.” - Anonymous 

I recently returned home to Portland Oregon after spending two months working as a volunteer at Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) in rural Nepal. Within my first year of school at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine I knew that after I graduated from my MAOM program, I wanted to go work for ARP and Good Health Nepal. At that time, little did I know what it would actually mean for me professionally and personally. I can say without a doubt, working in an integrated clinic in rural Nepal these last few months was the most transformative journey I have ever undergone. To emphasize the enormity of such a statement I would like to share that my background includes extensive travel to 27 countries, 7-years as an Expat in Spain, two Master’s programs, 4 businesses (2 sole proprietorships, 2 LLC’s), a professional career in Business Admin, a significant history of personal health challenges and a recent separation from a six-year marriage.

Read more: Volunteer Acupuncture Care

More Articles

  • Volunteers Back in Nepal

    Volunteers Back in Nepal

    When I arrived in Nepal I was an anxious graduate student fresh out of acupuncture school during the Covid-19 pandemic. Having spent two years practicing medicine over zoom, I was

    Read More
  • The Tin Shed

    The Tin Shed

    Ramkrishna’s eyes brightened with recognition as we entered. His room… a small tin shed. A collage of colors and rust patinas cover every surface of the salvaged corrugated metal. Six

    Read More
  • Volunteer Acupuncture Care

    Volunteer Acupuncture Care

    “Finding our own definition of success means becoming aware of what we value. Often, this means rinsing years of conditioned thinking from our minds. ” - Anonymous I recently returned home to

    Read More
  • COVID-19 Update

    COVID-19 Update

    Dear friends and donors, I want to thank you all for your continued interest and generosity towards our ongoing work in rural Nepal. March 16th, in response to the global

    Read More
  • End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

    End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

    Basanti is a 32 year old woman from the small village of Bajrabarahi, about three to four hours from Kathmandu (depending on your mode of transport). Ten years ago she

    Read More
  • The Color of Love

    The Color of Love

    In my first week with Acupuncture Relief Project, a grandmother came to the clinic complaining of abdominal pain. She had eaten some bad buffalo meat and was now suffering from

    Read More
  • Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

    Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

    “Easy! Easy!” My motorbike’s rear tire spins out to the left as it loses traction on the rain soaked, stony... road? path?. It’s a cold wet Saturday morning and I’m

    Read More
  • Wound Care

    Wound Care

    Recently while working in the Bajrabarahi clinic I had the opportunity to help someone with an infected wound. A middle aged woman came into the clinic with a swollen, painful

    Read More
  • Rice Harvest in Nepal

    Rice Harvest in Nepal

    I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating rice for basically every meal. My job in the house was to make sure the rice was washed and cooked

    Read More
  • The Faces of My Patients

    The Faces of My Patients

    tamangwomen I looked down to check that I had everything. I wore my white lab coat, new name tag, and had pens in my pocket. My supplies were all laid

    Read More
  • Nepali Women

    Nepali Women

    Cricket highlights are buzzing in my left ear, as I peel apart crinkling, plastic sleeves of a wedding album. My patient’s fourteen-year-old son splits his attention between the static screen

    Read More
  • Naturopathy in Nepal

    Naturopathy in Nepal

    Four years ago I fell in love with the most impoverished district of Nepal called Humla. Though I was there to research malnutrition, I quickly realized the desperate need of

    Read More
  • Human Suffering

    Human Suffering

    Yesterday, I saw an 80 year old patient whose oxygen saturation read 75. In America, anyone under 90% gets an immediate oxygen cannula in their nose. When I first encountered

    Read More
  • Bimdev Says His Daughter’s Name

    Bimdev Says His Daughter’s Name

    Not long ago, I watched a man carefully walk into clinic, cane in hand, right arm and leg trapped in contracture from a stroke. He sat down silently and handed

    Read More
  • Tamang

    Tamang

    She sat there like a queen, or a dictator, regally poised in a red plastic chair, her gold-tasseled nose ring eclipsed by her broad nose. Faded tattoos traced the corners

    Read More
  • The Best Medicine of All

    The Best Medicine of All

    I’m totally overdressed, now sweating in my puffy jacket that only a few hours ago seemed totally adequate to stave off the morning frost. The Nepali middle hills tower and

    Read More
  • My Home Away From Home

    My Home Away From Home

    After living in Bajrabahari at the Acupuncture Relief Project headquarters for 3-1/2 months it has become my home. As I think about my “other home” in Portland Oregon it seems

    Read More
  • This Is A Place I Call “Home”

    This Is A Place I Call “Home”

    Sitting in front a window at the Roadhouse in Thamel, realizing I’ll be leaving Nepal in less than 8 hours, feel like unreal. There is a strong voice inside me

    Read More
  • Heart Wrenching at Times and Exhausting at Others

    Heart Wrenching at Times and Exhausting at Others

    It has been a month now I have been living in Bajrabarahi, Nepal and I am in a nice groove. I am consistently seeing around 15-20 patients a day in

    Read More
  • Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana

    Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana

    As an American Acupuncture volunteer for Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) in Nepal, I stepped into an eastern culture that is a distant shadow of my own, regarding the traditional farming

    Read More
  • The Work of Farming

    The Work of Farming

    I’ve been moving around for awhile, but for most of my life I lived in one place. There is much to be said about having roots and feeling at home.

    Read More
  • Everyday Acupuncture Podcast

    Everyday Acupuncture Podcast

    Here in the west we are used to seeing acupuncture clinics in an urban setting, and it is often sought as an adjunctive therapy used in combination with other modalities.

    Read More
  • Jatra: The goddess

    Jatra: The goddess

    Patients come on a first come, first served basis, often arriving a little before 6am, slipping their appointment cards under a designated stone on the reception window sill. Many will

    Read More
  • Beyond the White Coat

    Beyond the White Coat

    When I started fundraising for this volunteer trip, many friends asked me why I chose to come to Nepal with ARP, and my simple response was, “to step out of

    Read More
  • Baskets and Knees

    Baskets and Knees

    In the foothills of the Himalayas, Bhajra Barahi is made up of steep hills, the slopes of which have been terraced for farming. These plots of rice, cauliflower, mustard, squash,

    Read More
  • A Day in Bajrabarahi: Where There are No Doctors

    A Day in Bajrabarahi: Where There are No Doctors

    When we open the clinic doors at 8:30, there are usually already a handful of patients waiting outside in the crisp morning air. Patients arrive throughout the day. There are

    Read More
  • Ten Years in Nepal: A Tale of Three Brothers

    Ten Years in Nepal: A Tale of Three Brothers

    The day started like most days, a brisk late-autumn morning with a light frost on the ground and clear blue skies. A breakfast of churra (beaten dried rice), chickpeas and

    Read More
  • Death

    Death

    Today's topic: Death! (the author does not pick blog topics; the blog topics choose him) I began thinking about this after hearing that one of our ARP staff members, Tsering,

    Read More
  • Together We Drink Tea

    Together We Drink Tea

    The morning sunlight, through a gap in my curtain reaches onto my bed and teases my skin. I look outside the window to see beautiful blue sky above our mountain

    Read More
  • I love food

    I love food

    Fun fact, my body is 85% digestive tract with the rest being sensory and motor structures that assist me in attaining more food. My genetics are closely related to a

    Read More
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