A Tibetan View|
Of Emotional Healing
by Amchi Thubten Lekshe D.B.M.
Doctor of Tibetan Buddhist Medicine
Emotional healing is clearly one of the gifts of nature's botanical bounty and one that is largely overlooked. Each plant has its own energetic characteristics. Its nature can be understood and recognized and radiate an emotional value - an energetic signature.
When you combine these energetic signatures compassionately, skillfully and in their whole form for a specific purpose, you are creating a healthy family (a formula) with a healing intention or directive. Tibetan medicine is a holistic science that takes into account many levels of energetic information in its approach to understanding the nature of a particular dis-ease and then using that information to create an energetic answer that will comfort and dissolve the nature of the dis-ease.
Understand that dis-ease is an expression of imbalance within the individual's nature causing a manifestation of discomfort. Dis-ease becomes another energetic message that will redirect your attention using pain or another form of discomfort to attempt to awaken you to its energetic need. Understanding the nature and cause of dis-ease and then responding with therapies that relieve and enlighten is the Tibetan approach.
These therapies include behavioral modification, which can include meditation instruction, spiritual advice, counseling, exercise, or the reorganization of habitual patterns such as sleep habits and eating schedules.
Initial stages of meditation generally include simple breathing practice and working with one's thoughts in a manner which calms the mind. Meditation then evolves beyond that point to include specific contemplations and visualizations which begin a process leading to a new understanding and perception of the mind and the world.
A simple example: In the case of Lhüng / Wind disorders, meditation may be specifically directed toward understanding the impermanent nature of physical phenomena as a cure for materialism and attachment. In the case of Tippa / Heat disorders, emphasis may be placed on generating a deep feeling of love and compassion as a cure for aggression and anger. In Bheygan / phlegm disorders, meditation will focus more on developing wisdom as a cure for ignorance. These are guided meditations with excellent instruction by a group of great Tibetan Lamas.
Physical activity, lifestyle, exercise and habits are also considered. For example, patients with Lhüng disorders are told to pay special attention to regularity of lifestyle (eg. eating, sleeping and excretory functions), find time for calm activities and socializing, and exercise in ways that promote good overall circulation, using techniques such as yoga. Individuals suffering from a Tippa disorder should avoid situations causing conflict. They should avoid direct or excessive exposure to the sun and engage in physical activities which relax them. Patients with Bheygan disorders should keep warm and perform vigorous exercise such as running or dancing. Swimming is not appropriate if it involves immersion in cold water. In the case of a combined disorder, behavioral modification are tailored to the particular form the illness takes. When understanding the three humours, basically remember that Lhung looks for grounding, Tippa for cooling and Bheygan looks for lightness.
Tibetan herbal treatments range from simple to very complex, using 3 to 150 herbs per formula. Each formula or set of formulas is prescribed to fit the manifestation of the disease and the evolving condition of the individual patient. As a result, herbal medicines often need to be modified at each visit and through the phases of the healing protocol. Typically, two to four formulas are prescribed, to be taken each day at specific times.
But despite even the best use of medical treatment we cannot attain good health simply by being physically healthy. We need to have a healthy mind as well. Common experiences such as not getting what we want, not wanting what we get, being separated from whomever or whatever is dear to us, and being joined with people and things we dislike becomes a basis of spiritual understanding and growth.
Tibetan medicine explains how hatred, anger and aggression, ignorance and a materialist view of the world result in states of mind which are at the root of our physical and psychological suffering. How our habitual patterns of thinking and behaving are the primary cause of illness. Finally, it asserts that through study and spiritual practice an understanding and awareness can gradually be achieved which transforms that suffering. We can become aware of the process of our physiological, spiritual and psychological evolution as it originates from what we do, what we say and what we think. Every action sows its seed in the mind and will eventually ripen in accordance with its nature - no experience is seen as causeless. The conclusion which is reached from this Tibetan view is understanding the interdependent nature of all things and the highest value is placed on the attainment of compassion and loving kindness.
Bradley Dobos D.B.M. (Doctor of Tibetan Buddhist Holistic Medicine) is known as Amchi ( Dr.) Thubten Lekshay in the Tibetan world community. He is the first westerner trained as a Tibetan doctor resident in the United States and has been practicing traditional botanical medicine since 1969. To respond to this column and for consultations with Amchi Thubten Lekshe please contact The Clinic of Tibetan Medicine at 360-376-8272 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the websites at http://www.TibetanDoctors.com and http://GojiBerry.com.