Sowa Rigpa (The Tibetan Science of Healing), is quite likely the world’s longest-surviving unbroken medical lineage. Typified from its infancy as a tradition rooted in scientific observation and empirical knowledge, the modern incarnation of Tibetan Medicine is perhaps human civilization’s longest-running unbroken investigation into the physiology and pathology of the human body.
With heavy influences from Indian Ayurveda, Ancient Chinese Medicine, Persian and Greek traditions, and ancestral Tibetan healing lineages (among others), the force driving Sowa Rigpa’s influence across the Himalayan plateau was first and foremost its profound efficacy. Unlike herbal monotherapies which frequently produce unsatisfying results, Tibetan medicine features a sophisticated pharmacopeia of hundreds of herbal compounds, refined over the millennia to perfectly aid the body in healing a wide array of conditions. At the time of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950’s, Tibetan Medicine was able to successfully travel to India and establish communities in exile, preserving the tradition for future generations.
Tibetan Medicine utilizes four primary methods of treatment: diet, behavior/exercise, herbal supplements, and external therapies. One of the foundational notions in Sowa Rigpa is that everything has the potential to be either medicine or poison – it simply depends on the method and circumstances for its use. Typological classification and constitutional analysis help to determine exactly what method of treatment is most appropriate, acknowledging the underlying causes and conditions of dis-ease instead of simply attacking the symptoms. Diet is approached seasonally and constitutionally, and behavior suggestions are tailored to each person’s individual conditions, usually including mild exercise or yoga and stress-reduction techniques. In a traditional context, external therapies include everything from oil massage to moxibustion, as well as a Tibetan system of panchakarma (Tib. Ley-nga) which is unfortunately not frequently practiced today.
In a Tibetan Medical Consultation, your TTM practitioner will employ three forms of traditional diagnostics in addition to discussion about your symptoms, diet, and lifestyle: pulse analysis, urinalysis (an impressively reliable assessment technique unique to the Tibetan system), and sensory organ analysis. They will then work with you in creating a customized diet and lifestyle plan and, if necessary, provide you with herbal formulas or simple at-home recipes to balance the system and encourage optimal health.
Traditional Tibetan Medicine
Holistic Healing for the Mind, Body, and Spirit