A Guide To Traditional Tibetan Medicine

09/02/2024, Six Senses Vana

Traditional Tibetan Medicine, known as Sowa Rigpa, the "Science of Healing" is one of the oldest healing traditions in existence, yet it remains fully alive and intact today. A truly holistic system of medicine that approaches the health of an individual at the levels of the physical body, energy and mind.

What is the basic concept of Traditional Tibetan Medicine?

The basics of the concept or philosophy is Tendrel, the Tibetan word for interdependence or interconnection. It is a concept that nothing can exist by itself, separate from the rest of the universe. All things exist in dependence on one another. In Traditional Tibetan Medicine, the five elements and the way they define the nature of mind, body and environment are fundamental to the practice of Tibetan medicine. Traditional Tibetan Medicine healing science defines the three bioenergies as Nyepa Sum: Nyepa means humors, Sum means three: which are wind (rloong) pronounced as loong, fire (mkhris pa) pronounced as tripa , earth and water (bad kan) pronounced as baekan. There are also seven body natures (Rangshin) in Traditional Tibetan Medicine.

What are the elements of Traditional Tibetan Medicine

Traditional Tibetan Medicine uses terminology such as Jung-wa-ng : Sa, Chu, Me, Lung and Nam-kha for the five elements. Traditional Tibetan Medicine’s main goal is to achieve a dynamic equilibrium state of these five elements and healthy bodily constituents through diet, lifestyle, treatments and herbal medicines.

Tibetan singing bowls

Tantras & Tibetan astrology

Traditional Tibetan Medicine doctors are trained in Yuthog Nyingtik practices which are vital for the Tibetan system of medicine. Yuthog Nyingthik (a spiritual practice) means innermost essence of teaching of Yuthok Yonten Gonpo, who is considered the father of Tibetan Medicine. It is the system of practice which combines traditional Tibetan medicine and Vajrayana or Tantric practices of Buddhism which includes six months of isolated meditation retreat.

Therefore in Traditional Tibetan Medicine, chanting of Medicine Buddha mantras and visualisations of Medicine Buddha before seeing the guest/patients or before doing the Tibetan treatments is very important to ensure positive therapeutic effects for the guest. Tibetan medicine is also closely tied to astrology to diagnose the imbalance of the client through pulse reading and urine analysis which changes through the changes in the four seasons which reflects changes in energy in respective organs and doshas.


Tibetan medicine also uses the three channels namely the right channel, the central and the left channel to regulate the energy flow in these three main channels and related subtle channels arising from the three main channels. So, in Traditional Tibetan Medicine treatments, the focus is mainly on SANGMIG/channel points to regulate and balance the energies in respective organs and other health issues.


Traditional Tibetan Medicine uses mainly high altitude herbs which are grown in the Himalayas in Tibet, the Indo Tibetan border, Nepal and Bhutan. One of the most commonly used herbal remedies in Ayurveda and  Traditional Tibetan Medicine is Triphala. Comprised of three Indian superfruits, Haritaki, Amalaki & Bibhitak, it is used to prepare herbal oils, medicinal bath powders, incense and herbal pouches for various treatments and aids in digestion and assimilation of nutrients whilst establishing regular elimination and tonification of the colon. It also supports the immune system, through its high dose of vitamin C.

Aromas & Incenses

Traditional Tibetan Medicine treatments use herbal incense before the start of treatments to allow positive energies to remain and to release any negative energies from the body and the area.

In Traditional Tibetan Medicine treatments, different oils are also used for different purposes, like Zati Duknum (nutmeg based oil) is used for acupressure on channel points and also to calm the mind. An Agar based oil (juknum agar dether) is used for application on the whole body in relieving physical and mental strain thus keeping the mind and body fresh and light. For the hair and head, an apricot based oil with herbs is used for better hair growth and relaxation of the eyes and sensory organs.

Where can I go to experience Traditional Tibetan Medicine?

One of the best places to go to experience Traditional Tibetan Medicine is Six Senses Vana in India. It is one of the few places in the world where Traditional Tibetan Medicine is offered in its complete avatar. Their Tibetan Healing programme is available over various durations and includes cosultations, treatments and meditation sessions.

Six Senses Vana, India

Traditional Tibetan Medicine treatments at Six Senses Vana


Walk in and float out with this ideal nurturing treatment to help you settle after a long journey using therapeutic oils prepared as prescribed in ancient Tibetan medicine texts. It reduces physical and mental stress and eases lethargy.


A therapeutic soft tissue manipulation with particula rfocus on the white channels which correspond to nerve pathways of the body as per Traditional Tibetan Medicine. Small bundles of herbs dipped in warm potentiated oils are applied on Loong (wind) and nerve points of the body using compression and release technique.


Traditional Tibetan Medicine massage treatment using customised therapeutic oil and small warm bundles with potentiated precious herbs on specific Loong points on the body while invoking blessings of the Medicine Buddha. It involves placing warm bigger bundles on the specific loong points and burning Sorigagar loong incense at the two corners of the room. This is followed by a full body dry herbal powder scrub to remove impurities from the skin.


A compression treatment, using bundles of medicinal herbs. During the KU NYE massage warm bundles are dabbed with moderate pressure and consistent speed to the specific part of the body.


Followed by KYU NYE treatment the body is soaked in a bath tub filled with a decoction of Tibetan medicinal herbs

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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