Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic

ཉི་ཟླ་བོད་སྨན་ཁང་ Traditional Tibetan Medicine ~ Alternative & Complementary Healing
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Tibetan Doctors

Meet the Tibetan Doctors of Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic ~

 

Dr. Tsundu Sengye Nyinda TMD, Menpa  was born as a Tibetan Refugee in Southern India.  Tibetan Doctor Tsundu Sengye NyindaHe attended The Central School for Tibetans for his primary and secondary education. He wanted to do Tibetan Medicine as a young man because he felt it was a job where he could be beneficial to others and also stay within work traditional to his culture.

He joined the Chagpori Tibetan Medical Institute in Darjeeling in 1993 and trained under the guidance of Venerable Trogawa Rinpoche. Tsundu earned his Kachupa (Tibetan Medical Doctor) degree in 1997.  After his internship with the Men-Tsee-Khang clinic in Sikkim Tsundu worked as both a pharmacist preparing medicines and as a clinic doctor for several of Chagpori’s clinics in the Darjeeling hills.

Unlike pharmacy work in the USA, Tibetan Medicine pharmacy requires additional years of extensive training following the usual 5 years of studies to become a physician of Tibetan Medicine. The art of medicine making is very subtle and precise in relationship to the traditional formulas, the seasons, cycles, astrological influences, detoxification methods, 6 tastes, 3 post digestive tastes and 17 secondary qualities. Learning how to formulate herbs in the precision based way which makes Tibetan herbal supplements famous takes many years beyond the study of which formulas benefit what disease as they harmonize internal elements of the body.

It was Dr Tsundu’s desire to both remain close to his teacher and learn further which inspired him to take the many years additional to learn pharmacy work. He continued to study further into the methods of acupuncture as an adjunct to traditional Tibetan Medicine in addition to his regular work as a Menpa through intensive courses until 2003.

Tsundu holds a Kachupa Certificate (Doctor of Tibetan Medicine) from Chagpori Tibetan Institute, India, and a Kachupa Certificate from Men-Tsee-Khang, India.  In 2001 he was awarded a Gold Medal by the International Institute of Health and Science, India.  He joined the Central Council of Tibetan Medicine in its inception and holds their Qualified Medical Practitioner Certificate.  He has Acupuncture Certificates from Sera Gompa in Byalkuppe, South India but as acupuncture remains highly regulated in the USA he will not use needles in the states, rather use acupressure. He is a Registered Medical Practitioner with the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine.

Tsundu first began to lecture to western audiences when he traveled to Holland in 2004.  After coming to the USA, he has taught medicine preparation, private lessons to students of the Shang Shung Institute and Naropa University and guides those seeking healthcare options through Traditional Tibetan Medicine with diet, behavior and the methods of Sowa Rigpa.

Tsundu pulse examTsundu feels it is vitally important as a native Tibetan working in Tibetan Medicine in the United States to create a platform of authentic care and give detailed explanations of the system for those he serves. He is concerned as the popularity of Tibetan Medicine increases worldwide the effect this has on native plants and the ecosystems of the Himalayan range. It is also important to him that only those with genuine training give the herbal supplements precisely because his background in compounding them he is aware of the intricate subtle differences needed to access for a individual on a case by case basis.

Known by his patients for his kindness, soft nature and willingness to explain the system he strives to help Tibetan Medicine become a recognized system of healthcare in the North American continent.

 

Nashalla.photo

Dr. Nashalla G. Nyinda TMD, Menpa & LMT grew up in Colorado. She began receiving Taoist Five Element Acupuncture at fifteen sparking her inspiration into the study of Asian healing systems. In her early twenties she took classes in multiple healing modalities for the body-mind-spirit and formally began her study of Tibetan Medicine in 1999 at Naropa University.

Complementary and Alternative Medicines were already a part of her work when she began to incorporate Sowa Rigpa, The Healing Sciences of Tibet into her studies. Her original teacher of Tibetan Medicine, Dr. Philip Weber MD had been practicing Tibetan Medicine within a family practice for over 30 years. Her first study abroad in 2001 was to study Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda in Nepal. There she completed research for her BA thesis on body-mind-spirit based healing from the Asian medical perspective. Ayurvedic Medicine and Pancha Karma therapies, emphasizing Marma Point techniques were a emphasis of study as was women’s health in Ayurveda. The studies in Tibetan Medicine focused on diagnosis and pulse reading during her initial study abroad experience. She received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Naropa University in 2002.

Following her undergraduate coursework she studied a one year internship course in Plant Spirit Medicine with Eliot Cowen. Nashalla is a self taught herbalist in addition to having studied nutrition extensively and this was a natural extension of that work.

Certified as a teacher of the TARA Approach in 2004, she actively taught this Japanese acupressure system focusing on the release of trauma stored in the nervous system. She taught and mentored many practitioners who became certified in Jin Shin TARA and practitioners of other Asian healing modalities. Nashalla later translated this acupressure system into Tibetan, teaching it abroad. Her alternative medicine teachers encouraged her to open a practice and benefit people with the skills and information she had while continuing to seek deeper learning of Tibetan Medicine.

Following completion of her BA, Nashalla began assistant teaching Tibetan Medicine classes at Naropa University and Jin Shin. Additionally she organized and helped run visiting clinics and seminars with Tibetan Doctors living thought the US and abroad through Menla Health Professionals. During this time she continued training with Tibetan physicians who came to Colorado in a internship style of learning. Nashalla received permission to practice Tibetan Medicine and use the traditional dietary herbal supplements in 2004.

Nashalla longed for more authentic study of Tibetan Medicine and had the heartfelt motivation to understand the system completely from the original texts. Unfortunately at that time no schools were available for westerners, nor were there any serious or complete study materials available in the English language. At the insistence of her root lama, the Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche who advised her to completely study the Tibetan medical system, and with strong faith in his advise she followed his directive and moved to Darjeeling, India in 2005. She felt time abroad with emersion into the culture, language and medicine was the only way to learn it.

Nashalla studied for two years in Darjeeling, India under doctors from the Chagpori Clinic and studied formal Tibetan language at the Manjushree Center for Tibetan Culture. Nashalla translated materials from English into Tibetan for Jin Shin TARA and taught an acupressure and massage class to the students of the Chagpori Tibetan Medical School in the fall of 2006. She was able to again share this Japanese system of acupressure therapy with Tibetan doctors in Amdo, Tibet in 2009.

When Nashalla married a senior physician she met in India, Dr Tsundu S. Nyinda she returned to the USA to join the Shang Shung Institute of America when they were expecting their first child. Joining the first group of western individuals to receive full training in traditional Tibetan Medicine as taught in Tibet was a great end to her formal studies. Classes consisted of reading line by line from the original Tibetan text translated from Tibetan to English. This type of institution has never before existed outside of the Himalayan region.

Only a few western people have completed the full study in Asia and earned the title of Amchi or Menpa. Nashalla was grateful to be a part of the first graduating class of Shang Shung. It was a blessing to be given the opportunity to complete her dream of full training as a Tibetan Medical Doctor when Shang Shung still offered classes in a classroom setting. Among a very small handful of  Western persons to complete training as a fully qualified traditional Tibetan Medical Doctor; and hold certification from a qualified Tibetan Medical College. She obtained her Menpa degree (Doctor of Tibetan Medicine) entitling her to the title of Amchi or Menpa in 2009.

Shang Shung Inistitute 2009 graduation of Tibetan Doctors

Director of Shang Shung Institute Dr. Puntsog Wangmo with her first graduating class of Tibetan Medicine Doctors

Traveling with her Shang Shung classmates to Xining in Amdo, Tibet in the summer of 2009.  They completed an internship at the college.  Though she and her classmates had already passed their final 4 year medical exams in the USA; the Shang Shung students received testing at the Qinghai Tibetan Medical College to verify that they were of equal training to the Tibetan medicine students studying in Tibet.

While at the Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Medical studies, Nashalla was certified in the art of Tibetan Massage and is a licensed massage therapist in the state of Colorado. Known as Kunye Therapy, it belongs to the group of gentle external therapies taught in the Tibetan Healing Science Tantras.  The function of Kunye Therapy and Tibetan Massage is to soothe and relax tensions, relieve stress, insomnia, nerve disorders and bring balance to the internal elements of the body.  It has great therapeutic value to relieve a variety of ailments in a soft and non-invasive manner. Kunye Therapy includes not only massage, but treating crucial points in a manner similar to acupressure, applying medicinal oils, gemstones, hot or cold stones, compresses, medicinal vapors and baths.

Nashalla returned again in 2014 to Chagpori to teach the traditional Kunye Tibetan Massage to her former classmates, teachers and current students. This was especially touching for her given the practice of Kunye was, at that time, best preserved inside Tibet. Primarily only the theory had been preserved in exile with less emphasis on practical training. Because Nashalla had studied with a authentic lineage holder trained inside Tibet, Dr Phuntsog Wangmo, it was a honor and privilege to give back teachings on the practical aspects of Kunye therapy to her friends and colleagues of Chagpori. She also has taught individual Tibetan physicians abroad in exiled communities and currently takes on interns at her clinic in Boulder, Colorado in Kunye therapy. Nashalla is adamant about preservation of the authentic medical teaching’s as she sees more schools and students learning in the West. She is active in developing curriculum to train western students in a way which avoids the potential pitfalls of cultural appropriation. She has published several articles in various magazines and specifically write for the Sowa Rigpa Journal, formally known as the TTM Journal.

As Nashalla began to work as a Menpa she realized quickly that the four main principles of treatment; Diet, Behavior, Medicine and Accessory Therapy had a major ability to help stabilize meditation. In speaking with high lama’s she realized that was a offering that had not yet been fully explored in the western population she was working with. Many long time Buddhist practitioners were her patients and she believed firmly that understanding how their Buddhist practice relates to “behavior” modification as a part of treatment became a vital aspect of helping stabilizing their overall wellbeing.

Seeking again the advise of Thrangu Rinpoche, Nashalla asked him about various practices and the effects of Buddhist practices on the three root poisons. She asked many detailed questions about stabilizing the mind, the winds, channels and drops as she could in relationship to the viewpoint of the Tibetan medicine system from many high lamas, Rinpoche’s and teachers who understand the relationship of the three poisons on the development of disease and mental habitual patterns.

Learning to treat according to how one should be engaging in spiritual practices, regardless if they are Buddhist or otherwise became a priority. Working with the Medicine Buddha practice as a healer physician became a cornerstone of her practice throughout her evolving career as a Menpa.

Nashalla began teaching meditation to patients while continuing to seek advise on how best to instruct patients in mediation as a physician. She discussed the Medicine Buddha practice as a physician working with others with her teacher the 5th Poru Tulku Rinpoche, Paltul Rinpoche, a superior Kagyu physician of Tibetan Medicine who gave her original Menla (Medicine Buddha) transmissions. She often asks for clarification and instructions from Thrangu Rinpoche as well as her local teachers and longtime friends Venerable Khenpo Jigme and Venerable Khenpo Lobzang Tenzin who knew her as a young student studying in India.

Nashalla began teaching formal mediation and group practice in 2014. Her primary teachings are on basic calm abiding meditation with how this relates to the three root poisons and working with placement of the mind and Medicine Buddha practice. She and Khenpo Lobzang Tenzin of the Vajra Vidya retreat center teach Medicine Buddha together yearly in a weekend retreat at the Shambhala Mountain Center.

Teaching at Shambhala Mountain Center

Teaching at Shambhala Mountain Center

Nashalla currently teaches at various Buddhist centers around he country, Naropa University and for Sorig Khang International. Her main teachings are on Tibetan Medicine, meditation, Medicine Buddha practice. She also enjoys teachings a western Anatomy course at Naropa University and has taught Tibetan Medicine at an acupuncture school in the past.

Her deepest passion continues to be helping people integrate Traditional Tibetan Medicine, the spiritual practices it contains and the benefits of knowing ones own mind, basic habitual dominances into the three root poisons and how working with them can be transformative. She enjoys teaching and tutoring a variety of Asian modalities and takes interns who are licensed massage therapist or incensed to touch into her practice to learn Kunye therapy.

Much of her hands on bodywork work has involved the treatment of spinal and head injuries, MS and nervous-system disorders, those with long term depression, anxiety, abuse survivors and addiction disorders. She has experience helping individuals seeking alternatives to come off prescription drugs for depression, minor and major disorders.  These clients work with Nashalla alongside their licensed MD’s to achieve their goals for medication reduction.

Nashalla also enjoys research and corroboration between Tibetan Medicine and western medicine for serious illness that have fewer long term options in modern medicine. These include chronic digestive disturbances, Hepatitis and liver failure*, diabetes and neurological conditions. She blogs occasionally on Tibetan Medicine and you can download some of those on bouldertibetanmedicine.com

Bodywork and Traditional Tibetan medicine contribute equally within her diagnosis and treatment plans. Being a westerner allows her to easily navigate between the thousands of years tradition of Tibetan Healing Science and modern understanding of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Nashalla believes this is one of her strongest assets. Often she may require some people to also see licensed MD’s alongside the traditional Tibetan treatments she offers to give the most well rounded benefits available.

Her deepest passion continues to be understanding and helping integrate Traditional Tibetan Medicine principles into western herbology and nutrition, teachings and reserving the authentic lineage of Sowa Rigpa.

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