Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tibetan Medecine

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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 Indian Buddhist literature (for example Abhidharma and Vajrayana tantras) and Ayurveda.[1] 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: ignorance, attachment and aversion.

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[edit] History

As Indian culture flooded Tibet in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, a number of Indian medical texts were also transmitted.[2] For example, the Ayurvedic Astāngahrdayasamhitā (Heart of Medicine Compendium attributed to Vagbhata) was translated into Tibetan by Rinchen Zangpo (957–1055).[3] Tibet also absorbed the early Indian Abhidharma literature, for example the fifth century Abhidharmakosasabhasyam by Vasubandhu, which expounds upon medical topics, such as fetal development.[4] A wide range of Indian Vajrayana tantras, containing practices based on medical anatomy, were subsequently absorbed into Tibet.[5]

[edit] 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 translated as humors]: rLung (pron. Loong), mKhris-pa (pron. Tree-pa) [often translated as bile], and Bad-kan (pron. Pay-gen) [often translated as phlegm].[6]
rLung [6] 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 rLung. There are five distinct subcategories of rLung each with specific locations and functions: Srog-'Dzin rLüng, Gyen-rGyu rLung, Khyab-Byed rLüng, Me-mNyam rLung, Thur-Sel rLüng.
mKhris-pa [6] 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[6] 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.

[edit] Usage

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.[7]
The Tibetan government-in-exile has also 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.[8]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Garrett, Frances (2008). Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet. Routledge. pp. 23–32.
  2. ^ Garrett, Frances (2008). Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet. Routledge. pp. 23.
  3. ^ Garrett, Frances (2008). Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet. Routledge. pp. 24.
  4. ^ Garrett, Frances (2008). Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet. Routledge. pp. 26–27.
  5. ^ Garrett, Frances (2008). Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet. Routledge. pp. 31.
  6. ^ a b c d The Basic Tantra and the Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of the Ambrosia Essence Tantra Men-Tsee-Khang: India 2008 ISBN 81-86419-62-4
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Tibetan Medical & Astrology Institute of the Dalai Lama
  • Avedon, John F. (1981-01-11). "Exploring the Mysteries of Tibetan Medicine". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9C05E3D8173BF932A25752C0A967948260.
  • Lowe, Justin (1997) "The wisdom of Tibetan medicine", Earth Island Journal, 0412:2, | 9(1) ISSN: 10410406
  • Evaluation of medicinal plants as part of Tibetan medicine prospective observational study in Sikkim and Nepal. 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

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