Traditional Tibetan medicine

Traditional Tibetan medicine
Ancient Tibetan Medicine Poster

Traditional Tibetan medicine is a centuries-old traditional medical system that employs a complex approach to diagnosis, incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis and urinalysis, and utilizes behavior and dietary modification, medicines composed of natural materials (e.g., herbs and minerals) and physical therapies (e.g. Tibetan acupuncture, moxabustion, etc.) to treat illness.

The Tibetan medical system is based upon a synthesis of the Indian (Ayurveda), Persian (Unani), Greek, indigenous Tibetan, and Chinese medical systems, and it continues to be practiced in Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh, Siberia, China and Mongolia, as well as more recently in parts of Europe and North America. It embraces the traditional Buddhist belief that all illness ultimately results from the three poisons of the mind: ignorance, attachment and aversion.

Contents

History

The Tibetans obtained their first knowledge of medicine from China during the reign of Namri Songsten, who died in 630.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

However, the ascription of "rgyud bzhi" has been held in different opinions. Some scholars believe that rgyud bzhi was told by the Lord Buddha, while some believe it is the primary work of Yuthok Yontan Gonpo (708 AD).[11] The former opinion is often refuted by saying "If it was told by the Lord Buddha, rgyud bzhi should have a Sanskrit version". However, there is no such version and also no Indian practitioners who have received unbroken lineage of rgyud bzhi. Thus, the later thought should be scholarly considered authentic and practical.

Three principles of function

Like other systems of traditional Asian medicine, and in contrast to biomedicine, Tibetan medicine first puts forth a specific definition of health in its theoretical texts. To have good health, Tibetan medical theory states that it is necessary to maintain balance in the body's three principles of function [often mistranslated as humors]: rLüng (pron. Loong), mKhris-pa (pron. Tree-pa) [often mistranslated as bile], and Bad-kan (pron. Pay-gen) [often mistranslated as phlegm]. [12]

rLüng [13] is the source of the body's ability to circulate physical substances (e.g. blood), energy (e.g. nervous system impulses), and the non-physical (e.g. thoughts). In embryological development, the mind's expression of materialism is manifested as the system of rLüng. There are five distinct subcategories of rLüng each with specific locations and functions: Srog-'Dzin rLüng, Gyen-rGyu rLüng, Khyab-Byed rLüng, Me-mNyam rLüng, Thur-Sel rLüng.

mKhris-pa [14]is characterized by the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of heat, and is the source of many functions such as thermoregulation, metabolism, liver function and discriminating intellect. In embryological development, the mind's expression of aggression is manifested as the system of mKhris-pa. There are five distinct subcategories of mKhris-pa each with specific locations and functions: 'Ju-Byed mKhris-pa, sGrub-Byed mKhris-pa, mDangs-sGyur mKhris-pa, mThong-Byed mKhris-pa, mDog-Sel mKhris-pa.

Bad-kan[15] is characterized by the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of cold, and is the source of many functions such as aspects of digestion, the maintenance of our physical structure, joint health and mental stability. In embryological development, the mind's expression of ignorance is manifested as the system of Bad-kan. There are five distinct subcategories of Bad-kan each with specific locations and functions: rTen-Byed Bad-kan, Myag-byed Bad-kan, Myong-Byed Bad-kan, Tsim-Byed Bad-kan, 'Byor-Byed Bad-kan.

Usage

The Tibetan government-in-exile has kept up the practise of Tibetan Medicine in India since 1961 when it re-established the Men-Tsee-Khang (the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute).It now has 48 branch clinics in India and Nepal.[16]

A key objective of the government of Tibet is to promote traditional Tibetan medicine among the other ethnic groups in China. Once an esoteric monastic secret, the Tibet University of Traditional Tibetan Medicine and the Qinghai University Medical School now offer courses in the practice. In addition, Tibetologists from Tibet have traveled to European countries such as Spain to lecture on the topic.[17]

Notes

  1. ^ Americanized Encyclopaedia britannica: rev. and amended A dictionary of arts, sciences and literature, to which is added biographies of living subjects. 96 colored maps and numerous illustrations, Volume 9. Belford-Clarke co.. 1890. p. 5826. http://books.google.com/books?id=XVHOAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA5826&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. Americanized Encyclopaedia Britannica: Rev. and Amended A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and Literature, to which is Added Biographies of Living Subjects. 96 Colored Maps and Numerous Illustrations
  2. ^ The home encyclopædia: compiled and revised to date from the leading encyclopædias, Volume 18. Educational publishing co.. 1895. p. 5826. http://books.google.com/books?id=-3saAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA5826&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. The Home Encyclopædia: Compiled and Revised to Date from the Leading Encyclopædias
  3. ^ Americanized Encyclopedia britannica, revised and amended: A dictionary of arts, sciences and literature; to which is added biographies of livings subjects .... The "Examiner". 1890. p. 5826. http://books.google.com/books?id=Dj0hAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA5826&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. Volume 9 of Americanized Encyclopedia Britannica, Revised and Amended: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and Literature; to which is Added Biographies of Livings Subjects
  4. ^ Hugh Chisholm, ed (1911). The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 26 (11 ed.). At the University press. p. 926. http://books.google.com/books?id=uDQEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA926&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Hugh Chisholm
  5. ^ Thomas Spencer Baynes, ed (1888). The Encyclopaedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature, Volume 23 (9 ed.). C. Scribner's sons. p. 345. http://books.google.com/books?id=ezZKAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA345&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, Thomas Spencer Baynes
  6. ^ Hugh Chisholm (1911). The Encyclopedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 26 (11 ed.). The Encyclopedia Britannica Co.. p. 926. http://books.google.com/books?id=gJlvzd4MzSUC&pg=PA926&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. The Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Hugh Chisholm
  7. ^ William Harrison De Puy (1893). The Encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature ; the R.S. Peale reprint, with new maps and original American articles, Volume 23 (9 ed.). Werner Co.. p. 345. http://books.google.com/books?id=QF5JAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA345&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=sixth%20century%20the%20tibetans%20obtained%20their%20first%20knowledge%20of%20arithmetic%20and%20medicine%20from%20the%20chinese&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature ; the R.S. Peale Reprint, with New Maps and Original American Articles, William Harrison De Puy
  8. ^ Translated by William Woodville Rockhill, Ernst Leumann, Bunyiu Nanjio (1907). The Life of the Buddha and the early history of his order: derived from Tibetan works in the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur followed by notices on the early history of Tibet and Khoten. K. Paul, Trench, Trübner. p. 211. http://books.google.com/books?id=rVXYAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA211&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=s-sNTpuECaL30gHl5fWtDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. 
  9. ^ William Woodville Rockhill, Ernst Leumann, Bunyiu Nanjio (1884). The life of the Buddha: and the early history of his order. Trübner & co.. p. 211. http://books.google.com/books?id=59FAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA211&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=s-sNTpuECaL30gHl5fWtDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC0Q6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. 
  10. ^ The Life of the Buddha and the Early History of His Order Derived from Tibetan Works in the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-khoten. Taylor & Francis. p. 211. http://books.google.com/books?id=iIE9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA211&dq=sixth+century+the+tibetans+obtained+their+first+knowledge+of+arithmetic+and+medicine+from+the+chinese&hl=en&ei=OOgNTsXSC6rx0gH_somqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CFMQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2011-7-1. 
  11. ^ Mirror of Beryl: A Historical Introduction to Tibetan Medicine Desi Sangye Gyatso, translated by Gavin Kilty, Wisdom Publications 2009. ISBN 0-86171-467-9
  12. ^ The Basic Tantra and the Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of teh Ambrosia Essence Tantra Men-Tsee-Khang: India 2008 ISBN: 81-86419-62-4
  13. ^ The Basic Tantra and the Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of teh Ambrosia Essence Tantra Men-Tsee-Khang: India 2008 ISBN: 81-86419-62-4
  14. ^ The Basic Tantra and the Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of teh Ambrosia Essence Tantra Men-Tsee-Khang: India 2008 ISBN: 81-86419-62-4
  15. ^ The Basic Tantra and the Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of teh Ambrosia Essence Tantra Men-Tsee-Khang: India 2008 ISBN: 81-86419-62-4
  16. ^ http://www.men-tsee-khang.org/Istatus/establish.htm
  17. ^ Wen, Fu (2010-11-19). "Push to bring Tibetan medicine to the world". Global Times. http://china.globaltimes.cn/society/2010-11/593924.html. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 

References

Witt CM; Berling NEJ; Rinpoche NT; Cuomo M; Willich SN | Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine | 2009-01-0115:1, | 59(7) | ISSN: 10755535 |

  • Analysis of Five Pharmacologically Active Compounds from the Tibetan Medicine Elsholtzia with Micellar Electrokinetic Capillary Chromatography.

Chenxu Ding; Lingyun Wang; Xianen Zhao; Yulin Li; Honglun Wang; Jinmao You; Yourui Suo | Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies | 200730:20, | 3069(15) | ISSN: 10826076

  • HPLC‐APCI‐MS Determination of Free Fatty Acids in Tibet Folk Medicine Lomatogonium rotatum with Fluorescence Detection and Mass Spectrometric Identification.

Yulin Li; Xian'en Zhao; Chenxu Ding; Honglun Wang; Yourui Suo; Guichen Chen; Jinmao You | Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies | 200629:18, | 2741(11) | ISSN: 10826076

  • Stack, Peter. "The Spiritual Logic Of Tibetan Healing.(Review)." San Francisco Chronicle. (Feb 20, 1998)
  • Dunkenberger, Thomas / "Tibetan Healing Handbook" / Lotus Press - Shangri-La, Twin Lakes, WI / 2000 / ISBN 0-914055-66-7
  • Buddhism, science, and market: the globalisation of Tibetan medicine.

JANES, CRAIG R. | Anthropology & Medicine | 2002-129:3, | 267(23) | ISSN: 13648470 |

  • Through the Tibetan Looking Glass.

Bauer, James Ladd | Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine | 2000-086:4, | 303(2) | ISSN: 10755535

  • So What if There is No Immediate Explanation?

Jobst, Kim A. | Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine | 1998-014:4, | 355(3) | ISSN: 10755535

See also

External links

  •  This article incorporates text from Americanized Encyclopaedia britannica: rev. and amended A dictionary of arts, sciences and literature, to which is added biographies of living subjects. 96 colored maps and numerous illustrations, Volume 9, a publication from 1890 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The home encyclopædia: compiled and revised to date from the leading encyclopædias, Volume 18, a publication from 1895 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Americanized Encyclopedia britannica, revised and amended: A dictionary of arts, sciences and literature; to which is added biographies of livings subjects ..., a publication from 1890 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 26, by Hugh Chisholm, a publication from 1911 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Encyclopaedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature, Volume 23, by Thomas Spencer Baynes, a publication from 1888 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Encyclopedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 26, by Hugh Chisholm, a publication from 1911 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature ; the R.S. Peale reprint, with new maps and original American articles, Volume 23, by William Harrison De Puy, a publication from 1893 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The Life of the Buddha and the early history of his order: derived from Tibetan works in the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur followed by notices on the early history of Tibet and Khoten, by Translated by William Woodville Rockhill, Ernst Leumann, Bunyiu Nanjio, a publication from 1907 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from The life of the Buddha: and the early history of his order, by William Woodville Rockhill, Ernst Leumann, Bunyiu Nanjio, a publication from 1884 now in the public domain in the United States.

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