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Sunday, 16 October 2011
Tibetan Medicine origin’s date back to the 4th century when Dungi Thorchok codified the indigenous healing traditions into a coherent system incorporating pulse diagnosis, herbology, astrology, bodywork and spiritual healing through meditation, ritual and practice. Later he served as personal physician to the 28th Tibetan King Lhathothori who attempted to make medical care available to all Tibetans through a network of village practitioners. The tradition was passed on from father to son, monk to acolyte and sometimes mother to daughter. The first International Medical Conference was held at Samye during the reign of King Trisong Deutsen in the seventh century. Physicians from India, Persia, Greece and China debated, compared theories, diagnostics and methods. After the conference, some of the physicians married Tibetan wives and stayed in the capital, Lhasa, raising families setting up medical practices. The elder Yutok Yonten Gonpo, synthesized the essence of the various Asian medicals systems and rewrote the Four Tantras, known as the rGyud-bZhi (pronounced Goo- shee). He founded the first Tibetan medical school in Kongpo sMenlung, Tibet. In the 12th century, Yuthok Yonten Gonpo, the Younger, wrote eighteen supplementary works on the rGyud- bZhi, the teachings on which Tibetan Medicine has is based. In the 17th century Tibetan medicine underwent further development at the hands of Desi Sanggye Gyatso, an influential politician, scholar and renowned Tibetan physician. He founded the Chogpori Medical Center, in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1916, the 13th Dalai Lama established the Men-Tsee-Khang in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1961, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in exile re- established the Men-Tsee-Khang in Dharamsala, India. In Tibetan medical theory the cosmos is regarded as being composed of five elements - earth, water, fire, wind, and space whose interaction creates all physical phenomena including the body, the mind and psyche. The universe and the body are the interplay of these five elements which manifest themselves in the form of energy in three phenomenon: body, energy and mind, in the human body are reflected in the form of three humors or energies called Wind (rLung, pronunciation loong) the air element; Bile (mKhrispa, pronunciation Tripa) the fire element; and Phlegm (Badkan, pronunciation Beken), the water element. Health is a state of balance depending on the equilibrium of these humors. When in balance the three energies are present in each person according to their individual energy pattern. Tibetan medicine regards disease as an imbalance of these humors; rLung is essential for movement and motility; it is responsible for breathing and in a broader sense for psychic activity like intellect, speech, and the nervous systems. mKhrispa heats the body, which regulates the process of digestion, metabolism and body temperature. Badkan, controls the mucous membranes and the solid body components such as muscle and bone. The balance of wind, bile and phlegm as regulating systems, are subject to environmental conditions whose balance changes with the seasons of the year, lifestyle, diet and the age of the individual. Everybody has a predisposition that makes them more vulnerable to certain kinds of imbalances, afflictions and cures. Chagpori Medical School was destroyed by the Chinese when they invaded Tibet. Men –Tsee- Khang was re- established by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Many Tibetan doctors have settled in the US and can provide Tibetan Medicine to interested parties. As a final note its said that Tibetan Medicine takes a long time to work but once it does the cure is permanent.
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