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Traditional Tibetan Medicine (TTM), TCM and Ayurveda – a comparison

Origin and provenance of the TTM

Traditional Tibetan Medicine, called Sowa Rigpa, the “science of healing”, is one of the three great naturopathic traditions in Asia, alongside traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda. Its roots are believed to be around 8.go back 000 years. Yogis living in seclusion in nature discovered the healing properties of certain plants by observing the behavior of animals, which instinctively used healing plants to treat injuries. Further findings on the healing effects of certain foods, thermal water and other natural resources as well as the positive effects of external therapies combine to form a treasure trove of knowledge that has been preserved and passed on by ancient healers. In the 12th In the 19th century, Yuthok Yonten Gonpo the Younger completed his clinical studies of Gyud Zhi, the Four Tantras of Medicine. This form of the Four Tantras continues to form the basis of Tibetan medicine today, which is widely used in Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh and Mongolia, as well as parts of Russia.

The intention here is to combine spiritual practice and therapeutic work. Traditional Tibetan Medicine is very complex in terms of its overall structure and methodology. The focus is on a holistic approach to maintaining or achieving both mental and physical health. The TTM combines the wisdom of various healing systems: Indian Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Persian Unani medicine and the ancient knowledge of Mongolian shamanic medicine. It is therefore a very complex and extensive method for maintaining health and treating diseases.

The cosmology in Tibetan therapy

The five elements (space, fire, earth, water and air) make up not only the outer dimension, the universe in which we live, but also the inner dimension of our body. The three juices, or Basic energies, which are referred to in Ayurveda as Vata, Pitta and Kapha : Lung (wind), Tripa (bile) and Beken (phlegm) are in turn formed from the five elements. They have their respective headquarters in certain regions of the body and are related to so-called mental poisons: attachment and desire are related to Lung, anger and anger are related to Tripa and ignorance and ignorance are related to Beken . Furthermore, all five elements have special functions, relate to one of the five senses and have their counterpart in certain organs and limbs. An excess or deficiency of one or more basic energies leads to disturbances in the system, which then manifests itself in the form of symptoms or illnesses. The goal of traditional Tibetan medicine is therefore the harmonization and balance of the five elements and the different forms of energy.

What are the diagnostic methods in TTM?

To identify an existing imbalance within the three forms of energy, a Tibetan doctor or healer will always perform a urinalysis, which has its origins in the shamanic practices of the Bön tradition. Examining the urine is very important because, unlike the pulse diagnosis that is also carried out, which gives more subtle information about the status of the internal organs, it provides direct information about the inside of the body. According to the TTM, urine is the mirror of the inside of the body and therefore represents a simple and direct method to understand the patient's condition. Furthermore, in addition to questioning the patient, eye diagnostics and attention to the shape and appearance of the lips are used as diagnostic methods.

What different treatment methods are there in TTM?

The prevention of diseases is at least as important in TTM as their treatment.A wide variety of treatment forms are used for this purpose. In addition to the traditional Tibetan massage Ku Nye as well as moxabustion, cupping or smoking, acupressure from the TCM tradition or acupuncture with the golden needle, Tibetan healing yoga Lu Jong, meditation, the recitation of mantras and the teaching of the correct one Knowledge about type-appropriate nutrition plays a central role in lifestyle. Tibetan medicine is a constitutional theory based on the three above.G Basic energies Each person carries an individual mixture of these three principles of action, so that seven different constitution types can be formed. According to the TTM there are up to 84.000 different disorders that can occur, which are further divided into 404 main diseases. All diseases are divided based on their effects into cold or hot diseases or a combination of both. All substances used for treatment (herbs, minerals, etc.)ä) as well as all therapeutic measures can also be divided into these categories. An important basis and prerequisite for a healthy body and mind is an optimally functioning digestive fire (medrö), without which disruptions in digestion can occur and the inner fire (tummo) cannot be ignited, which leads to bliss.

Traditional Tibetan Medicine represents a naturopathic treatment method that has collected and completed the knowledge from various traditions and practices and whose intention is to create an inner balance in people.

Contact our author, professional for everything related to relaxation ♥

Karin Savignano


Imbröderstr. 14, 71634 Ludwigsburg

Tel.: 07141 / 12 90 55 9


Thank you very much, dear Karin, for this exciting insight!

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