Tibetan Medicine: Carving a Niche in the Modern Medical and Scientific Community

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Fitzgerald, Devon Marie; Kenyon College
Tibet/Bhutan: Tibetan and Himalayan Studies; Medicine and Health Sciences
paper description
Tibetan medicine is an ancient tradition, stretching back over one thousand years. Today, the Tibetan medical community, centered at the Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute) in Dharamsala, India, is trying to bring Tibetan medicine into the modern world. They are doing this mainly by focusing on research, based on modern scientific methods, to produce clinical and laboratory studies demonstrating the efficacy of Tibetan medicine. This paper compiles interviews from Men-Tsee-Khang staff closest to these projects, articles about modernizing traditional medicine from both the Tibetan and Western perspectives, and a review of some of the recent studies to come out of Men-Tsee-Khang. The overall goal is to see how Tibetan medicine is hoping and trying to situate itself within the modern scientific and medical community and evaluate the possible outcomes of these actions.