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Sowa Rigpa (གསོ་བ་རིག་པ།) is the Tibetan language word for the traditional medical system of Tibet, with roots dating back more than 2000 years. One of the oldest healing traditions in the world, it remains fully alive and intact today, having preserved its authenticity through the pure lineage of transmission. Originating in the high plateau of Tibet, later it spread to other Himalayan regions including Bhutan, Nepal, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Mongolia. Incorporating elements from the foreign medical systems of Ancient India, China, and Greece, Sowa Rigpa retains its own distinctly Tibetan character, shaped by both Buddhist and pre-Buddhist thought.
This is a truly holistic system of medicine that utilizes highly sophisticated diagnostic techniques and the five main treatment methods of diet and lifestyle modifications, herbal medicine, manual therapies (such as Kunye massage), and spiritual healing in order to fulfill its fourfold aim of preventing illness, curing illness, extending life, and cultivating happiness.
The essence of Tibetan medical theory and practice is contained within the Four Medical Tantras (Tib. རྒྱུད་བཞི་ gyüd zhi): the Root Tantra, the Explanatory Tantra, the Oral Transmission Tantra, and the Final Tantra. The Four Tantras were composed by Yuthok Yönten Gönpo the Elder (729-854 AD) and revised by Yuthok Yönten Gönpo the Younger (1126-1202). Within these volumes are a detailed explanation of the basis of both health and disease; an extremely sophisticated understanding of anatomy (both physical and subtle), embryology, and pathology; a highly effective diagnostic system with emphasis on pulse and urine diagnosis; and a wide variety of treatment modalities including a regimen for diet and lifestyle, herbal medicines, and external therapies such as Ku Nye massage, acupuncture, moxibustion, hot and cold compresses.
My wish is that Tibetan Medicine would spread like the infinite expanse of the sky in order to benefit all sentient beings.