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Tibet Healing - the Basics

Tibetan medicine dates back to about the 7th century AD at which time the Tibetan ruler, King Songtsen Gampo summoned his court physicians from China, India, and Iran to develop this medicinal system.

Tibetan medicine is therefore based on the combination of Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Tibetan buddhism, with elements of Arabic medicine.

The holistic approach (as with Ayurveda & TCM) takes into account the following factors:

  • lifestyle
  • emotions
  • attitudes
  • environment
  • weather

As well, there are thought to be three "humors" in the body that control organ function:

  • wind, relating to respiration and movement
  • bile, relating to digestion, complexion, and temperment
  • phlegm, relating to sleep, joint mobility, and skin elasticity

One of the roots of disease is considered to be ignorance of the true nature of reality. This lack of acceptance results in conflicting emotions and desires that create three different mental states:

  • attachment
  • aversion
  • confusion

These three types of mental state, also known as "the three poisons" contaminate the mind, leading to imbalance and disease.

Additional causes of imbalance are the factors of environment, seasonal climatic influences, diet, poison, trauma, and conduct in life. These factors act on the humors by their similar or contrary natures, causing excess or deficiency.

Again, due to its roots, the medicine of Tibet uses much of the same methods of diagnosis as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practitioners of Tibetan Medicine also utilize the methods of pulse taking, urine analysis, tongue diagnosis, and general observation to determine the condition of the patient.

Treatments include herbal medicine and accessory therapies (acupuncture, suggestions on diet and behavior, massage, moxibustion, purification techniques, and religious rituals). The ultimate aim of all these techniques is the restoration of balance in the humors.

In recent years, Tibetan medicine has gained popularity in the west and is now becoming more widely available through physicians of Tibet living in western countries.

Additional relavant links:

Traditional Chinese Medicine Basics

Traditional Chinese medicine products



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Information provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering remedies.

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