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.

In today’s show we explore the use of acupuncture in the rural third world setting of Nepal and see how it is an essential and effective part of an integrated clinic that provides low cost care for those living in remote areas.

In this episode we discuss:

  •  How this is not just an acupuncture clinic, but rather a rural health center that emphasizes diagnostics, and from there chooses a treatment modality.
  • Using a holistic approach, not just in viewing the body, but in viewing medicine as a whole.
  • The ways in which this clinic also generates research into serving rural communities.
  • The importance of developing deep connections with the community.
  • Services that are now provided, but were not on the radar in the beginning.
  • How for medicine to be effective you have to communicate in the language of your patient.
  • Volunteers come from all over the world
  • The curiosity of how it can be difficult to recognize when things have changed.
  • That patients have their own priorities but it is up to the physician to see the larger picture and be able to prioritize treatment.
  • The vital importance of looking, you can’t rely on your patients for all the information you need.


Andrew Schlabach is the co-founder and President of the Acupuncture Relief Project having received his Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2008. His master’s research project founded a Practice Based Research Network for Oriental medicine practitioners and researchers in Oregon and Southwest Washington in collaboration with the Helfgott Research Institute.

Now practicing at Healthwerks – Acupuncture Wellness Clinic, Vancouver Washington he is the author and publisher of the Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine – Clinic Survival Guide.

Mr. Schlabach is also an accomplished mountaineer with expedition experience in the Himalayas, distinguishing himself as an instructor at the prestigious Himalayan Mountain Institute in Darjeeling India. Having travel extensively in central Asia, Mr. Schlabach has become a student of world theology, Tai Ji and yoga. As a veteran of the U.S. Army, he received an Army Commendation Medal for distinguished service to his unit.


Links and Resources:

Get more information about the work Andrew and the Acupuncture Relief Project are doing at their website You can also check out the opportunities they offer for volunteering or donating.

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