August 27, 2010

Tibetan medical centre opens in Chennai

Most doctors spend a couple of minutes taking a patient's pulse. But Dr Dorjee Rapten Neshar takes over 20 minutes, gently touching and tapping different parts of the patient's wrist and palm. "Pulse analysis is very important in Tibetan medicine," says the chairman of the central council of Tibetan medicine. "You can get all of a patient's problems by understanding the energy patterns of the pulse."

Dorjee is in town for the opening of the state's first Tibetan Medicine Centre, which will function out of the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation on Eldams Road. For the past eight years, Dorjee has been coming to Chennai twice a month to treat over 1,000 patients for everything from arthritis and asthma to diabetes and cancer. "Most people come to us when conventional methods of treatment have not worked," says Dr Nyima Gyaltsen, who runs the Chennai centre with his wife.

Tibetan medicine, the doctors explain, is an ancient form using meditation, diet and lifestyle corrections to treat diseases. Many of the Tibetan medical texts were destroyed and the doctors imprisoned or put to death during the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the 1960s, and what is left is the knowledge that those who escaped have passed on.

"We still have a lot left and we continue to do research at the centre in Dharamsala. The medication takes lots of forms Himalayan herbs, pills made of precious and semi-precious stones, decoctions. It can be a little inconvenient to take as you have to crush or boil them but it's very effective," says Dorjee. The doctors claim that their medication also helps patients with cancer.

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