Tibetan medicine is an ancient and time-tested holistic approach to holistic health care for the body, mind, and emotional well-being. At the heart of the idea of ​​balancing human health is not only the physical part of the body, but also the psycho-emotional state associated with the mind or spirit. The latter affects the basic mechanisms of physical body functioning and constant renewal – body energies. Important aspects of maintaining and restoring health are a diet and lifestyle that is compatible with the nature of one’s body and mind, and consideration of the external environment.


Centuries ago, before the spread of Buddhism to Tibet, Tibetans, like all ancient peoples, had considerable medical knowledge developed in interaction with nature. At the beginning of the 4th century, many new ideas in the field of medicine were added to the knowledge gained from their experience.

The rich and comprehensive development of Tibetan healing art was facilitated by the Tibetan rulers of 7-8 centuries, who supported the long but and years of conferences where visiting physicians experienced in the medical systems of China, Persia, India, and Greece presented and discussed their ideas for health and disease treatment.

Centuries ago, before the spread of Buddhism to Tibet, Tibetans, like all ancient peoples, had considerable medical knowledge developed in interaction with nature. At the beginning of the 4th century, many new ideas in the field of medicine were added to the knowledge gained from their experience.

The rich and comprehensive development of Tibetan healing art was facilitated by the Tibetan rulers of 7-8 centuries, who supported the long
but and years of conferences where visiting physicians experienced in the medical systems of China, Persia, India, and Greece presented and discussed their ideas for health and disease treatment.

They defined the main forces in nature and their properties. In cooperation with representatives of other traditional cultures, it became clear that the vision of the functioning of human health was essentially similar in the knowledge of distant lands.

Sharing experiences and details, however, made Tibetan medicine even richer and more comprehensive. The knowledge and experience base on the functioning of the human body, diagnostics, pathology, pharmacology and treatments developed in the 8th century was compiled by the then very famous doctor and scholar Yuthok Yönten Gompo (708 AD).

His work, “Four Medical Tantras” (“Rgyud bzhi” is pronounced Gyushi), is the basis of Tibetan medical studies for all doctors today.

Basic principles of traditional Tibetan medicine

Causes of the disease

Today, where humanity is using more and more advanced techniques to study everything that exists at the level of amazingly small elementary particles, we are used to thinking that diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses or malformations in the parts of our body that cause disease. The latter are promoted by influences from the external environment, the wrong diet or lifestyle. According to common logic, these are the root causes of diseases.

In the East, the root causes of illness go even deeper and the body energies are lost, to which the entire tangible physique responds and submits. But here, too, one may still ask why these bodily energies are confused. Doesn’t that also have a separate reason, or root cause?

Traditional Tibetan medicine provides a two-level explanation for the causes of diseases. Tibetans call their traditional medicine SOWA RIGPA, and it has two meanings that also refer to two aspects of the causes of disease. These meanings of the expression SOWA RIGPA, which marks the ancient art of medicine, are:

“The Art of Healing”

” Raising of awareness “

In essence, this means that if we deal with effective medicines, surgical interventions, therapies for the treatment of diseases, or if we make effective efforts to prevent hygiene, proper diet and lifestyle, we will still only cut the branches of the disease tree. However, the deep causes, hidden from our eyes, are still unexplored and we are still at risk of a recurrence of disease. In other words, we have confronted diseases only in the key of the meaning of the “art of healing”, that is, we only deal with the very direct causes of diseases.

However, in order to get rid of the risk of disease once and for all, we need to neutralize their mechanisms at an even more basic level – not at the physical level, not even at the energy level, but at the level to which our body energy is subjected. The root or indirect causes of disease must be eliminated.

These are the “mind” of the living entity, with the emotions that arise there, the nature and mechanisms of which we do not have a full understanding and control of. However, it is the imbalances at the level of the mind and the resulting emotions and disturbances in the workings of the body’s energies that, according to Tibetan teachings, are the root causes of disease.”Awareness” or spiritual realization can be used to “cure” the latter.

Primary causes of diseases

The most original reason, expressed in the Tibetan tradition, is MARIGPA, or ignorance, stupidity or ignorance in various words. This does not mean intellectual stupidity or lack of factual knowledge and skills. Marigpa is a misunderstanding of all perceived existence, attributing a real “real” nature to all physically visible and perceptible and sensory manifestations.

Marigpa’s expression is also to consider his “I”, “ego” to be real, permanent and to exist separately from everything else. Self-grasping. In other words, the root cause of my problems is “I”, ie if there is no “I”, neither I nor “me” have problems. No suffering.

Kolm emotsiooni

A good example is the problems we encounter in our dreams. The root cause of all the problems there is the fact that we dream that we really exist there. In this way, we feel very real fear, shame, anger, irritation, confusion, wonder.

All this can only happen because the sleeper created a dream body or dream character and believed in the dream that it really is. If he had not created himself in a dream, there would have been no problems in the dream.

The best solution to problems that seem completely real in a dream is to wake up. In the context of ordinary life, it would rather be the awakening, the attainment of awareness (Rigpa tib.), the understanding of the relativity, causality and illusory nature of the “I”. To overcome the root causes of illness, we need a spiritual master or teacher who gives precise instructions and exercises through spiritual practices. By transcending Marigpa to transcend the root causes of the whole existence of Rigpan, diseases and sentient beings.

However, as long as we are guided by the illusion rising from everyday consciousness that everything phenomenal really exists, including the person Himself (or the observer), it creates an estimated relationship between man and his surroundings, which is expressed as thoughts and further emotions.

According to the Tibetans, a person has a total of 84,000 emotions and its nuances, which are concentrated in three main mental poison:



Ignorance or delusion

The latter are also the three tentacles of the root cause of disease – the wrong view or Marigpa – which, in the long run, confuse and ill the energies of our physical body.

The question arises as to how they do it. Here we must return briefly to the previous statement about the illusory nature of matter. Modern science already speaks for itself in its own key, claiming that matter as such does not exist, but only processes. Matter is only a perceptible expression of the intense vibrational senses of matter particles. We remember atoms, electrons, etc. as particles in school, but in the Orient, more importance is given to the five basic elements that make them up:

All existence is based on these elements

Space – The basis of all existence

Wind – Gives movement of particles up toto larger structures

Fire – Provides heat, ripening

Water – Provides moisture and coherence

Earth – Gives strength

According to the distribution system of Tibetan medicine, the three mind poisons in combination with the basic elements form the basis of three body energies. In Tibetan, they are called the Three Nyepas, or literally “Three Mistakes.”

lung (wind) – based on a wind element

tripa (bile) – based on the element of fire

badkan (phlegm) – based on land and water
combination of elements

These three bodily energies exist on a material, emotional, but also mental or sensory level.

It should also be mentioned that these bodily energies function both at the level of physically coarse-textured, perceptible and visible matter to us, and as the initial vibration at the level of light. While the relevant claims of the ancient Tibetan tradition of the composition of matter on a subtle level as waves of light may have seemed unbelievable a few decades ago, modern science has come to similar conclusions.

One of the first scientists to formulate this phenomenon was David Bohm (December 20, 1917 – October 27, 1992).

Mass is a phenomenon that connects rays of light moving back and forth, as if “freezing” them into a pattern.
So matter is like condensed or frozen light. ”-David Bohm, Ph.D., Theoretical Physicist, Dialogues with Scientists and Sages, 1986

The root causes of illness, the main psycho-emotional states, drive the imbalances in the human body out of balance:

Õhk “lung”

* Lusts, affections, clings, unsatisfied and constantly growing desires, greed does not allow the energy of the wind to be calm. However, when it grows too large, it causes all the manifestations of stress, sleep disorders, heart rhythm disorders, indigestion. In addition to all this, the wind in turn blows the fire and makes the cold diseases manifested by the energy of the mucus stronger.

Tuli "me"

* Anger, hatred, pride, arrogance, resentment, rage lead to an energy imbalance of fire, which can manifest itself in high blood pressure, inflammation, liver problems, etc.

* Ignorance, stupidity, laziness, numbness, laziness, apathy, narrow-mindedness create confusion in the action of the earth and water element, ie the energy of mucus. Examples include swelling, obesity, drowsiness, certain types of cysts and tumors, problems with the kidneys, genitals, slow metabolism, and so on.

Of course, in the human body, these bodily energies are constantly interacting, and these diseases and imbalances are not always related only to the bodily energies and basic emotions exemplified herein. However, this is the logic of disease at the level of indirect causes in general.

Direct causes of diseases.

The examples in the previous chapter of the body’s energy imbalance and the conditions that can develop can be activated mostly through the direct factors of the diseases:

The link between poor eating habits and food choices and diseases is obvious. Most health problems today are caused by the wrong and not good quality food. In addition, the wrong amount of food. Choosing the right and nutritious food and eating it in the right amounts are important factors that help maintain optimal health.

An appropriate lifestyle is closely linked to a healthy diet. Lack of physical exercise, overwork, incorrect sleep rhythm, lack of sleep time and quality, emotionally overloaded habits, work and hobbies can cause inconsistencies in body processes. Similarly, pollution and imbalances in the external environment, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and drug addiction can cause serious immunological disorders.

The seasonal effects on our health are familiar to everyone. Cold and humid winters, where there is no light, bring many typical outbreaks.

Some ailments are very common in the summer. For example, when talking to doctors in emergency hospitals, they often point out that summer is a time of heart attacks and that autumn has problems with the lungs.

This is explained by the view of Tibetan medicine about the increase and decrease of the activity of various natural elements with the seasons. Therefore, it is good to pay attention to proper nutrition and lifestyle in different seasons.

One of the types of causes of diseases in Tibetan medicine is the so-called “provocative” diseases, which in its name refers to something supernatural. However, many of the factors classified as the root causes of external provocations in ancient teachings refer to viruses and bacteria that were previously invisible to the human eye.

In conclusion:

Now that we know the primary and secondary causes of disease and the two essential meanings of Tibetan medicine (Sowa Rigpa), we can understand how in a ancient tradition, by skillfully combining this knowledge, people were balanced and treated.

Conditionally, Sowa Rigpa’s meaning as “the art of healing” was used to eliminate the secondary causes of disease and treat people. However, Sowa Rigpa’s methodology as a “feeder of awareness / awareness” works as a tool for cutting through the root causes of diseases – the roots.

The methodology of the first is teaching about proper diet, lifestyle, extremely diverse and unique pharmacology of Tibet and very effective forms of therapy (for example, heat therapies with mocha, warming with oil and herbal pillow or flues, knocking techniques with sticks, acupuncture .

However, Tibet’s rich baggage of spiritual teachings is used to “cure” the root causes of illness, helping to clear minds that have faded from lust, anger, and ignorance free of conditional emotions. Methods include meditation, meditation, visualizations, rituals, mantras, etc.