History of Traditional Tibetan Medicine
Traditional Tibetan Medicine is a holistic approach to health care, and one of the world’s oldest known medical traditions practiced in the Himalaya by Tibetans. It is an integral part of Tibetan culture and has been developed through many centuries, incorporating major components from medical traditions of India, China and Greece. The origin of the Tibetan medical tradition is as old as civilization itself. Because humankind has depended on nature for sustenance and survival, the instinctive urge to health and accumulated knowledge has guided Tibetans to discover certain remedies for common ailments from natural sources. For example, applying residual barley from Chang (Tibetan wine) on swollen body parts, drinking hot water for indigestion, and using melted butter for bleeding are some of the therapies that arose from practical experience and gradually formed the basis for the art of healing in Tibet.

Theory of Traditional Tibetan Medicine
Tibetan medicine focuses on the understanding of the body/mind and its relationship to the environment, and uses diagnostic techniques based on the insight, skills and compassion of the medical practitioner.

Tibetan medicine is especially effective in the treatment of chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, arthritis, rheumatism, gastro-intestinal and liver complaints, allergies, cardiovascular problems, neurological abnormalities, and reduced mobility. In such cases Tibetan medicine generally offers an improvement in the quality of life.

Tibetan medicine encompasses a holistic view of a person which is seen to consist of three basic energies. These three basic energies are responsible for the entire function of mind, body, and spirit.

rLung (Wind) energy manifests in nature as the air element. It is responsible for all physical and mental movements including circulation of blood, breathing, elimination, secretion, impulses of the nervous system, and clarity of the sense organs. It also sustains life by maintaining balance between the mind and body.

Tri-pa (Bile) energy has the nature of fire element. It is responsible for metabolism, hunger, thirst, digestion, assimilation, temperature, skin complexion, encouragement and intelligence. It also expresses aggression, hatred, anger and determination.

Bad-kan (Phlegm) energy manifests in nature as earth and water elements. It is responsible for firmness of the body and stability of the mind. It induces sleep, connects bodily joints, and lubricates the body. It also generates tolerance, expresses ignorance and incomprehension.

In Tibetan medicine individual health involves the proper alignment and balance of these three energies. When a person’s psychological conditions, diet and behavior are improper, the balance of these energies is disturbed resulting in a variety of complaints and illnesses.

Practice of Traditional Tibetan Medicine

During a consultation, the Tibetan physicians feel the pulses, looks at the eyes and the tongue, examines the urine, and asks certain questions. In this way he assesses a great deal of information about the patient’s condition, detects any imbalances in the body’s energies, and determines an effective treatment.

There are many interventions recommended by Tibetan physicians. Typically, a disorder is primarily caused by an improper diet and/or lifestyle. As a result, Tibetan physicians always offer specific, individualized suggestions on how to improve one’s health by diet and lifestyle modification. The treatment also consists of recommending Tibetan herbal pills and herbal teas, and physical therapies including cupping, Tibetan Yoga, meditation, medicinal bath, moxibustion and Tibetan Kum-Nye massage.

Dietary and Behavioral Modification are part of the treatment. You might be advised to drink a lot of green tea or to eat steamed and cooked food, or not to indulge in fasting and alcohol or raw food. Additionally, Tibetan Yoga, breathing exercise, listening music, meditation and walking in the nature are also used for the maintenance of optimal health.
Herbal Pills are composed of natural ingredients including herbs, roots, bark, fruits and minerals that are native to the Himalayas. They can be used together with regular medicines and homeopathic medicines, and even support or supplement the latter.

Ku-Nye Massage is a form of massage therapy developed in Tibet. Kum-Nye means “pressure, stroking and rubbing” in Tibetan. It helps to reduce stress, provide relaxation, and balance the flow of energy to all tissues and organs which enhances inner and outer well-being and quality of life