Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan medicine

Tibetan medicine consists of philosophy, science, and healing practices that can help create and maintain a healthy mind and body. The Tibetan name for this holistic healing system is Sowa Rigpa, which means the science of healing. 

Tibetan medicine teaches that the purpose of life is to be happy. By using Tibetan medicine for self-care, you will become aware of how your thoughts and behaviors influence your health and happiness. Tibetan medicine can be part of any program of integrative healthcare.

Tibetan medicine incorporates many lifestyle practices designed to promote health, such as yoga, meditation, compassion, lovingkindness, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. A great deal of research is being published about these practices, with positive results. For example, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing has several studies underway about these practices. Moreover, researchers are using cognitive science and neuroimaging to study the impact of mind-body practices, such as yoga and meditation.

Source: University of Minnesota


This study says:
Tibetan medicine is the most comprehensive form of Eurasian healthcare and the world’s first integrative medicine. Incorporating rigorous systems of meditative self-healing and ascetic self-care from India, it includes a world-class paradigm of mind/body and preventive medicine. Adapting the therapeutic philosophy and contemplative science of Indian Buddhism to the quality of secular life and death, it features the world’s most effective systems of positive and palliative healthcare.

This study includes the following:
Treatment in Tibetan medicine is individualized and uses multiple modalities, chiefly herbal and mineral-based formulas of pills, powders, decoction, and pastes in combination with advice on diet and lifestyle conditions, mental and spiritual inclinations, and social and environmental factors.

The study looked at 3 case studies:
All 3 of the identified cases were given consistent advice regarding diet and lifestyle. They were advised to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, fresh seasonal local fruits, and vegetable soups; to thoroughly cook or boil food; and to drink several cups of green tea each day. They were also advised to avoid meat and foods that are fatty, raw, cold (refrigerated), sweet, acidic, or leftover for long periods. Regarding lifestyle approaches, they were advised to par-ticipate in daily moderate physical exercise such as brisk walking, daily mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises for 15 to 30 minutes, and enjoyable hobbies and activities—all intended to alleviate stress, distress, and agi-tation; attain a peaceful and calm mind; and promote sleep. No documentation on accessory therapies was identified for these cases.

Case 1: Gastric Carcinoma

The first case is a 47-year-old man who, in September 2001, presented with dyspepsia, vomiting, weight loss, elevated white blood cells, high protein in his urine, and a distinct, firm stomach mass. In December 2001, the patient under-went radical distal gastrectomy surgery followed by com-plications resulting in a temporary tracheotomy.

Diagnosis.  Pathology revealed a diagnosis of poorly to mod-erately differentiated adenocarcinoma of the stomach infil-trating the submucosal and muscular layers. Two out of the 8 lymph nodes tested positive for cancer. Diagnostic stage was determined to be Stage IIIA (T2, N1, M0).

Treatment.  Several doctors recommended chemotherapy. Because of the extremely difficult postoperative course, the patient had refused chemotherapy and all other biomedical treatments.

He first saw a Tibetan medical doctor in February 2002, and he received a Tibetan medical diagnosis of stomach cancer (Tib. pho’bras) with badkan as the predominant nyespa and ma-zhu-wa (ie, gastric metabolic disruptions) conditions. He continued only on Tibetan medicine, taking herbal compounds and precious pills for over 20 months with no additional Tibetan medical accessory therapies. He received the following Tibetan compounds: Sangdak Dharyaken, Gawa Chudruk, Dashel Sodhuen, Gurgum Chusum, and Yukar + Khyunga. Dosage and durations of each of these medicines are described in Table 1, and the medicine compound ingredients are described in the appen-dix. Among the precious pills, the patient took Rinchen Tsodru Dashel and Rinchen Mangjor Chenmo, alternating these on a weekly basis. (Of note, activities of the Tibetan medicines common to all 3 patient cases are listed in the appendix.)

Clinical Course.  Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scans showed no evidence of cancer 29 months later. As of February 2004, 30 months after diagnosis, he described an excellent quality of life. In a note written and signed by the patient (found in his medical record), he stated,

I was in a very serious state surrounded by death from all sides. . . . My weight was down from 76 kg [sic] to 53 kg. Many doctors recommended chemotherapy, otherwise 3 to 6 months to live. . . . I started your [Tibetan] medicine and began improving . . . my weight is now 78 kilograms and all CT scans are clear.

See also:
Tibetan Medicine: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Research Available in the West.

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