Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic

ཉི་ཟླ་བོད་སྨན་ཁང་ Traditional Tibetan Medicine ~ Alternative & Complementary Healing
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Pomegranate Concentrate: Where to get it

February 4th, 2019 Posted in Tibetan Medicine Tags:
NEW SPIRIT products - Pomegranate & More 

Pomegranate Concentrate and New Spirit Products!

We especially like New Spirit Naturals Pomegranate Red Concentrate with Mangosteen!

Both a clinic favorite and a favorite in branch clinics where Nashalla frequently teaches, the Pomegranate is an excellent alternative / shortcut to taking traditional Tibetan digestive fire protective pills. Pomegranate is traditionally used to combat against cold digestion disorders, gas, burping, belching, constipation, cognitive challenges and afternoon fatigue. NOTE: Not for those suffering from GERD.

Such symptoms are all classified as resulting from the excess of Earth and Water – or Bad kan, as it is known in Tibetan Medicine. Simply take 1-2 spoonfuls, up to 1 TBS in hot water immediately before waking, or in the early afternoon when the afternoon slump happens.

A staple Tibetan ingredient pomegranate is praised as a digestive herb. The power of effect is based in the principles of Tibetan Medicine, sour increases heat and thus digestive power. The results are it clears away excess Earth and Water in the system, bringing clarity to the mind, and warmth to our digestive and enzymatic functions.

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Principles of Traditional Tibetan Medicine to Harmonize Ourselves ~ A Retreat at Shambhala Mt Center this December 2014

September 15th, 2014 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

© 2014 Nashalla G Nyinda TMD

Tibetan medicine is an ancient and time tested comprehensive approach to holistic healthcare for the body, mind and emotional well-being. Focused almost exclusively on creating and maintaining equilibrium within one’s body and mind; the system aims to help one to  know oneself, and thus how that relates to the external environment.


There are 4 treatment methods according to Tibetan Medicine

I always encourage people that the first two treatment methods of diet and behavior are the first line of defense and the most important in recovering balance or management of a condition. This is because this is done by the patient on a daily basis and is not necessarily dependent on the physician. AND IT’S EASY to both learn and apply!


In the upcoming Introduction to the Principles of Traditional Tibetan Medicine weekend  intensive at Shambhala Mountain Center, we will be focusing on these first two aspects of treatment and self-care.


During this weekend retreat, we will learn how to return harmony to our body and mind by refining our relationship to the elements and seasons. You will be given tools for identifying the three humors, for encouraging equilibrium, as well as learn how to apply general antidotes when the humors are imbalanced. The ultimate goal is to foster balance in the body and mind while encouraging a direct relationship to self.


Tibetan medicine understands that everyone is an individual, and therefore looked at as a unique makeup of the 5 elements and how that combines to form the “3 humors”.  I believe as a physician of Tibetan Medicine that the modern world can benefit from the ancient healing arts of Tibet by making people aware of themselves. Who are they as an individual, how that relates to their symptoms and health issues and then make the connection to the natural cycles and seasons, qualities of food.  This is an aspect I not only feel passionate about – but feel it will help give people very simple basic tools to enhance their wellbeing.

Nature is the blueprint ~

Because the external and internal elements are interrelated and in fact based on the same material Tibetan Medicine takes the viewpoint that the sciences of anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology are all based on the 5 elements.


The combination of the elements make up our 3 humors, literally translating as “faults” in Tibetan because they are not stable, they change. This follows the law of impermanence. This development of the 3 humors is based on the principle of the 3 root poisons.

Passion – Agression – Ignorance.


The Root Tantra tells us that the 3 humors reflect an individual balance for each person, wholly unique to them and their experience of health or imbalance in body, mind and spirit. There are 7 possible combinations or patterns of how these 3 humors can dominate within each person. Yet from the physician’s role, each person is treated as an individual with individual instructions. A doctor’s skill is in informing the patient what their dominant elemental pattern is, and how to balance this through diet and lifestyle.


The 3 Humors –                                                                                 Root Poison


rLung (pronounced Loong) WIND                              passion / attachment / desire

mKhris-pa (pronounced Tri-pa) BILE / FIRE             aggression / anger

dBedkan (pronounced Pay-can) PHLEGM                ignorance


7 possible constitutional possibilities for how the humors can display themselves –

Single wind

Single bile

Single phlegm

Duel wind + bile

Duel wind + phlegm

Duel bile + phlegm

All 3 humors combined- wind + bile + phlegm


WHY and HOW will this Tibetan approach increase one’s health, mental and emotional well-being?


The seasons, cycles, stages of life one is in all play a role in how the 3 humors operate. By bringing awareness and a solid simple, yet profound understanding of these aspects, many symptoms can be decreased or eliminated. We will have easily referenced tools and handouts which are the guides. I am passionate about empowering people to be an active participant in their healing process. You will walk away with confidence that you can use the aspects of diet, behavior and harmonizing with the seasons to empower your healthcare. Even if you’re just looking to optimize your natural healthy state; this course is a powerful lens to enhance all aspects the body, mind and spiritual practices.


What are the applications towards my spiritual practice?


Specifically if one is a serious Buddhist practitioner; there are aspects of recognizing and working with the 3 humor’s energies directly in mediation practice can enhance and deepen practice. We will touch on those. If you’re new to meditation; the aspects we will cover are still applicable to basic relaxation or yogic practices that are non-denominational. There will be time for individualizing and catering to what you’re hoping to get out of this course.


People used to ask me when I lived in Asia studying, ‘Why if you come from a culture so rich with modern medical advances do you study such a old system?’ My response was always that if a medical system which is the same today as it’s been for hundreds of years, is still in practice, and continues to produce good results with little or no side effects, it seems to me it has more value in studying it than modern medicine.


What is the importance or relevance of Tibetan medicine in today’s modern heath care system?  The answer is simple. Despite advances in modern medicine people are still unhealthy, unhappy or both. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders, simple and complex digestive disturbances and a now massive wave of ‘food sensitivities’ and allergies or inflammatory conditions are on the rise. Emotional and psychological disorders are widespread and the number of people on antidepressant medicines is staggering. Patients take one drug to balance out the side effects of another.


This is not to say that there cannot be a marriage of the two worlds. One of the things that I strive to do as a western person explaining a system which is sometimes very different from what we know in a cultural context, is how to apply the principles of Tibetan medicine to daily life. These then can be further applied into whatever medical treatments one is currently undergoing. Many people seek conjunctive and alternative treatments to enhance their allopathic treatments, and this is also very helpful.


Come Join me and learn tools to enhance your well-being! Whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist, healthcare practitioner or not, all will benefit and gain new tools for heath. Please join me as we explore the time-tested wisdom of Traditional Tibetan Medicine.


I look forwards to seeing you at Shambhala Mountain Center this December 2014!

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DVD / MP3’s Practical Applications of Tibetan Medicine

November 3rd, 2011 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

If you are interested to learn more practical applications of Tibetan Medicine check out this lecture given at the Nalandabodhi Seattle Dharma Center.

In it you will find descriptions of the 3 humors, how they show themselves in symptoms and emotions. I cover how we diagnose and various treatment methods. I also give some very simple practical, at home do it yourself suggestions for applying Tibetan Medicine.

Contact the Nalandabodhi book store to order a copy: Available in both DVD or audio CD / mp3

bookstore@nalandabodhi.org, or by calling, (425) 275-8818. Their office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 12:00 Pacific Time Zone.


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Announcing New Expanded Clinic Location!

April 8th, 2011 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

We have expanded the Boulder Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic! Please come see us at our new location!

We are very excited about the changes in our new clinic. Its just a short distance from our old clinic with great off street parking and easy to find. In addition to the ADA access and ramp to our garden level offices which give even greater accessibility to everyone we have added a second room!

Now Both Tsundu and Nashalla can work at the same time! We now have a medicine consultation room and a separate treatment room for the external therapies and Kunye Massage.  The Suite has a lovely large waiting room which we share with many talented Boulder acupuncturists and other healing modality practitioners.

This is a lovely spot where we envision expanding our availability and hours even more than we have in the past few months.  Call for a appointment and come on by and see our new clinic.  Please check out our Google Place Page for a current Coupon.

The new location is – 2955 Valmont Rd. Suite 100 Boulder, CO 80301

PLEASE NOTE – Google Maps has the correct address but for some reason until now the Map continues to show the Pearl Street Location. Until this is resolved please Google the new 2955 Valmont Rd. Address.

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Kunye Therapy & Traditional Tibetan Massage

July 28th, 2010 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

© Nashalla G. Nyinda 2010 all rights reserved

Many people ask me exactly what is Kunye Tibetan Massage, what makes it different from regular massage? This special form of massage comes from a larger body of healing practices that are part of the external therapies found in the rGyud bZhi, (The four Tantras of Tibetan Medicine).

In simple terms Kunye means massage therapy when translated from Tibetan to English. The exact meaning of Kunye can carry several translations depending on how it’s spelled. bKu-mNye is one way to write Kunye in Tibetan; this means ‘apply and rub’. If it is spelled sKu-mNye this can be translated as ‘body and massage (i.e. rub)’. Thus, as with many words in the Tibetan language, the exact translation can be tricky. I have seen it written both ways. But in the end, Kunye simply means to give a massage.

Originally Kunye is thought to have developed from the practice of early tantric yogis who used various methods, such as oil massage and acupressure points on themselves to help bring balance to their energy bodies and life-force. The effect sought via these treatments was for the energetic channels to remain clear and open from stagnation. Any stagnancy of energy ultimately leads to blocks, disorders and difficulty controlling the mind and subtle channels when meditating. If one is healthy and free of blocks and stagnant energy; naturally the flow of ones life-force increases, the mind is clearer and emotions are more stable. This serves in supporting ones practice; both in the physical level of flexibility in yogic positions and in the yogis goal of seeking enlightenment through meditation.

As the practices of yoga and meditation developed these practitioners gained deep insights into their subtle body systems. The understanding of the subtle body channels lead to the development of both the chakra system and understanding corresponding points relating to these chakras and energy pathways. Many great ancient civilizations developed an understanding of the body and mind through these means, and the Tibetan culture was no exception to this. The various forms of Tibetan Medicine and massage practiced are not, as is sometimes thought, just a copy of Ayurveda or Chinese Medicine massages. Rather, it developed quite organically just as it did neighboring medical systems. While the early Tibetan healing practices began synthesizing some of the techniques that neighboring medical systems had come to use, there is much that is purely Tibetan. One such example is evidence which points to indigenous Tibetan methods for the use of various oils, fats and applications with stones, mud, and herbs during massage for very specific benefits. While there was a great amount of sharing between the civilizations along the silk route and throughout the southern path of the Himalayas (Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and India), most of the similarities found in Tibetan medicine and other massage techniques come from Ayurveda and Unani Medicine, not from Chinese Medicine.

Slowly, as in all indigenous cultures, the basic wisdom’s and practices permeate out into society. Doctors of Tibetan Medicine as well as ordinary people used Kunye techniques and they became both folk remedies and a formal treatment method which could be found in the Tibetan medical texts. I have received massage from both esteemed and highly qualified doctors and simple women known in their community for their healing ability. Both exhibited the same reverence for the methods found in Tibetan massage and knew of which oils, butters and mixtures to use and under what circumstances.

In my years studying Tibetan Medicine I met and trained under multiple teachers. Regardless of their time or ability to practice massage on their patients; all respected massage as a viable mode of treatment for its ability to treat very specific conditions.

Massage is taught as a part of the curriculum within the rgyu bzhi (4 Medical Tantras) and is a crucial part of any Tibetan doctors training. It is found in two chapters of the 4th Tantra, where many of the treatment methods are explained in great detail. These are the 13th and 24th chapters.

In the13th chapter of the 4th Tantra specific use of oil application, called nums jug, is discussed. It is stated that those who are of old age, weakness of body, stressed with a restless mind, having depression, those who have taken un-nutritious foods long term, suffered excessive blood loss, those who’s reproductive fluids have become exhausted or are not functioning well (either from disease or excessive sex), persons with wind diseases, when the power and strength of the eyes and vision are decreasing, when vision worsens, and those with a tiny body structure combined with a wind nature, all of these will all benefit from oil application.

Many types of oils, fats and medicine butters with a variety of specific healing benefits are discussed. I will cover those in a different article and thus at this time for sake of length, will not include them here.

It is important to note that oil application and massage is not allowed according to our Tibetan medical texts for certain conditions. Specifically those who have weak digestion, lack stomach heat, any chronic indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, gout, skin conditions with inflammations or open wounds, persons suffering from some type of poisoning, (example directly undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments), during times of experiencing loss of desire for food, for either phlegm diseases and gross overweight conditions, or for one who is excessively thirsty. These are all contra-indicated for oil application.

While some of the contra-indicated conditions might seem strange to those unfamiliar with the principles of Tibetan Medicine, I can assure you there are valid reasons for this. For example, someone who is directly undergoing a poisonous treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy has a highly toxic substance in their body. Massage can only aggravate or spread the poisons deeper into the system and cause more harm to the internal organs and systems. After treatment has ceased and Tibetan medicines for poisons and detoxification from such treatments have been engaged, it is a perfect time to get a massage and help flush the system out further.

Tibetan physicians tend to treat situations such as I just described with medicines that will protect the organs from the poison and protect the immune system during these kinds of treatments before engaging in massage therapies. Likewise those with very weak digestion most likely have a chronic cold condition which hampers their ability to receive adequate nutriments. By the very nature of oil massage it has a heavy, smooth, oily quality. These qualities further weaken the digestive fires and ability to break down food into nutriment. Most especially we will not perform any oil massage on the abdomen as this will kill or greatly harm even a healthy digestive heat system. The exception to this rule is during pregnancy when the abdomen and fetus should regularly be massaged.

Though it is not recommended to massage those who are suffering from overweight conditions, in modern times and especially in the western world this is commonly practiced. One way to ameliorate the negative increase of earth and water (phlegm conditions and disorders) which will allow these populations to receive the benefits of massage is to counteract the influence the oils quality. By counterbalancing the qualities of heavy, smooth, stable and oily have in the basic nature you can prevent excessive accumulation of ‘earth and water’, which will increase overweight conditions and symptoms.

I use oils infused with herbs and essential oils possessing various qualities to antidote the heavy, smooth, oily nature. In some cases I also use powdered chick pea or roasted barley flower to apply and rub vigorously following massage. This is very beneficial for specific conditions where massage is indicated but the patient’s nature of earth and water (phlegm disorder) are too heavy.

In the 24th chapter of the 4th Tantra on jugpa which roughly translates as ‘application’ there are 14 specific recipes given for oils, fats, butters, and substances added to these to remedy very specific disorders. It also re-emphasizes the appropriate and inappropriate conditions for therapeutic massage.

Kunye Therapy has several purposes from a Tibetan health care standpoint. The first is to soothe and relax tensions, relieve stress, insomnia, depression, nerve system dysfunctions and bring balance to the internal elements of the body. The second function is more therapeutic and geared for specific individual disorders. It has great therapeutic value to relieve a variety of ailments in a soft and non-invasive manor.

  • Chronic Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Nervous system or autoimmune disorders, such as MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia, Lupis
  • Spinal and head injuries
  • Muscular disorders which cause spasms, contracted, extended or frozen limbs
  • Headaches
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Inner torso and abdomen organs displacement and disorders, such as the diaphragm pain, chronic liver diseases, small and large intestine pain
  • Wind disorders are said to be without exception benefited by massage
  • Prenatal and postnatal healthcare option for pain relief, emotional grounding and structural issues which arise in pregnancy and childbirth

The various possible forms the kunye treatments can take can includes basic massage similar to Swedish Massage with effleurage and relaxing strokes, treating crucial points in a manor similar to acupressure during the massage, applying medicinal oils, gemstones, hot or cold stones, compresses and massages before or following specific medicated or medicinal vapor baths.

Acupressure points are often employed during the massage to work on the nervous system and organ levels. Each treatment is unique and geared towards the individual body. There are specific strokes and movements designed to open the channels, increase energy flow and vitality.

Many of the feet and hand points are similar to reflexology. Tibetan Massage also incorporates work on the cranium to release the jaw, head and neck tension as well as the release of the spine and vital fluids circulating throughout the body.

No one type of kunye treatment is the most superior among them. Rather it is best to have the massage treatment designed for your unique body-mind needs. Often people fall into deep states of restfulness. This is so even if there are moments of deeper structural adjustments, they are able to relax through them in a way normal structural adjustments do not allow.

I frequently get comments such as, ‘I never felt this good after a massage before’, or ‘I don’t hurt but I feel so different and so good’ and ‘I feel more relaxed than I have in years.’ I often joke with my patients that once you get the Tibetan rubdown you never go back to regular massage. It really is quite special and the changes hold and build upon themselves when the patient receives regular treatments.

In my practice in Boulder, Colorado I find that when I complement Kunye massage with the other treatments used in Tibetan Medicine such as diet, lifestyle and medicines the person is able to find balance and many symptoms go away quicker than without this complementary treatment. This is especially true of neurological and nervous system disorders, as it has a special ability to work with those conditions.

While currently in the USA there are less fully qualified Tibetan Kunye Massage therapists, the practice is gaining some popularity as Tibetan Medicine becomes more known and accepted. Now a comprehensive Kunye training program in Conway, Massachusetts at the Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Medicine has been established. Other Tibetan Kunye doctors and practitioners teaching this method. It is important however to have a basic understanding of Tibetan Medicine theory to maximize the effectiveness of the treatments. It is my hope that this rarely known healing massage which is a part of Traditional Tibetan Medicine will start to make its way into the mainstream massage world.

To read more about Kunye Therapy and Massage  offered at our clinic in Boulder, CO see bouldertibetanmedicine.com

© 2010 Amchi Nashalla Gwyn Nyinda TMD, LMT

All articles are written personally by Nashalla G. Nyinda and are copyrighted. Please do not duplicate any info published by Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing on this or any other sight. © 2010

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Now you can follow us on Facebook & Twitter!

July 27th, 2010 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

We have expanded our network to make it easier than ever to inform you the latest news! We have joined Facebook and Twitter! Follow us on these sights for news and links on the latest articles and  posting of  quick health tips.

For Facebook Search under : Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing

For Twitter Search under : TibetanHealing

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Dutsi 5 Nectar Bath Therapy in Tibetan Medicine

February 17th, 2010 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

Dutsi 5 Lums (5 Nectars Bath)

© Menpa Nashalla G. Nyinda 2010 all rights reserved

This bath is one of the man-made baths found in the “making soft” or Lums chapter in the Tibetan Medical tradition. One of the most important baths for healing a variety of disorders it has herbs all found within the United States.

Specifically this bath is used for the following disorders:

  • Limb disorders – stiff and immobile, extended or contracted and frozen
  • Cancers – specifically benefits cancers of the muscle, bone, nerve and lymph
  • Fast Swelling – from general impact, injury and chronic or new wounds
  • Menopausal changes and symptoms
  • Hunched or changed crooked joints (esp. if followed with massage treatment)
  • All rLung (wind) disorders are treated without exception

Additional benefits:

  • Clears joins, skin pours and plasma
  • helps acne, boils, skin conditions and rashes, parasitic or bacterial skin disorders
  • Helps arthritis conditions
  • Contagious disorders

CONTRAINDICATED for the following conditions and situations:

  • Food must have been digested, never bathe following a meal or on a full stomach
  • Not for any edema conditions
  • Any acute or developing fevers must be strictly avoided
  • Those who are extremely depleted and weakened from prolonged and difficult illness cannot take these bath treatments. (Please consult a fully trained Tibetan physician if you question the level of weakness and you are unsure if this is your level of depletion or not as some weak conditions may benefit.)
  • Lost apatite indicates unsuitable conditions to have dutsi 5 bath treatments
  • DO NOT submerge the chest / heart area
  • High blood pressure or those with hypertension are unable to have this treatment
  • Never submerge the face and head during this treatment
  • One should not drink this treatment, it is a BATH ONLY

How to use in localized areas, or when you cannot submerge the chest. Such as upper back pain, neck pain etc.

  • One can use a bucket or container and submerge only the limb or use a low water level and lay on the back without submerging the chest.
  • Known as “ching lums” a localized applied compress can be made. The herbs are wrapped in a cloth sack, “chang” (barley grain alcohol, but easily substituted for good quality sake is sprinkled and then applied to the localized area and remains there until cooled.


Each ingredient represents a geographical area or element and transmits its own unique healing essence into the bath. This is why it becomes a bath of healing nectar.

1. Rhododendron

Represents the essence of the grassland meadows “sPang

In this case we are using the leaf, known as “ba-lu

(Leaf and Flower have two separate functions in Tibetan Medicine.)

2. JuniperJuniper Formosana

Represents the essence of the sun and locations where the rays penetrate bringing heat and warmth “Nin

In this case we must use the leaf, not the berries, as they have differing healing properties; this is called “Shug-pa

3. Cedar / TamaraskMyricaria Squamosa

Represents the essence of the water “Chu

4. ArtemisiaArtemisia Sieveriana

Represents the essence of the earth “Sa

Any local variety of Artemisia may be substituted according to your location as it is well known herbs which grown near to you are more affective for your body due to the shared environmental influences.

5. Ephedera

Represents the essence of the shady areas, where the sun has less influence, and shade keeps the area cooler, or more moisture falls on that side of the mountain.

Measurements of ingredients:

Generally the ingredients are measured in an equal proportion to one another; however you can change the proportions according to the conditions you are working with.

If skin problems

Increase amounts of rhododendron

If bacterial or parasitic conditions

Increase amounts of juniper

If general or mild body weakness / weakness of the 7 bodily sustainers (nutritional essence, blood, muscle, fats, bone, bone marrow or reproductive fluids) (OR) Contagious diseases

Increase amounts of ephedera

If poisons

Increase amounts of salt cedar / tamarask

If bad blood has pooled, arthritis and plasma conditions persist, for both new or difficult to heal wounds,, cancers, nerve system conditions attacks by spirits / entities

Increase amounts of artemisia


Traditionally this bath is given for a minimum of 5 days and most beneficial for 7-8 days.

Pre-made herbal compounds of this bath are available, but you ma also gather your own and make in the following manor.

Each ingredient is 5 lbs (1lb each)

  • Put these 5 lbs into 3 gallons of water – reduce by 1/3rd, remove liquid keep separate from the solid.
  • Again add 3 gallons to the previously boiled substance, this time reduce by ½ (meaning you have 1.5 gallons left) again strain and add the liquid to the previous liquid.
  • For the 3rd time you re-boil the solid matter with 3 gallons of water, this time reducing until 2/3rds is gone (meaning you have only 1 gallon remaining), strain adding to the other 2 liquids – this is your base.

This 3 times boiled substance is the material you can use for the 7 days treatment.

To this it is optional to add up to 1 lb of yeast (but I recommend 1 cup for home bathtub use) and ½ gallon of chang (liquid barley beer) – the closest substitute is good milky quality sake. The yeast helps wounds in particular and the chang helps the wind disorders.

Gradually increase the treatment time and temperature daily. For example:

1st day – small amount of liquid medicine into a warm bath with a short time of 15-20 minuets

2nd day – little more amount of liquid medicine for 20 – 30 minuets maximum, temp is slightly warmer

3rd day – 1 hr – warmer temperature, little more amount of liquid medicine from here to last treatment bath

4th day – 2 hrs – hottest temperature

5-7th day slow reduce time and temperature

If there is nerve damage – follow treatments with oily massage and work the wind points and give wind reduction medicines

If there is joint damage – follow by acupuncture

If there is muscle damage – follow by acupressure

Additional Precautions & Notes:

Some need to drink liquids when in the bath during the hottest time. Others who feel light in the head, dizzy etc. must be given warm bone broth in sips when in the bath, and a larger amount of bone broth following a bath.

In general it is good to follow a wind reduction diet following these intensive bath treatments.

NOT for use during PREGNANCY, not due to ingredients, but the hot bath temperature is contraindicated.

All articles are written personally by Nashalla G. Nyinda and are copyrighted. Please do not duplicate any info published by Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing on this or any other sight. © 2010

Seattle and Bellingham, WA March 2010 Clinics & Weekend Workshop – Fundamentals of Tibetan Medicine

February 12th, 2010 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

Fundamentals of Tibetan Medicine –

Tibetan Medicine Demystified

Learn about Tibetan Medicine principles and theories that have been in place unchanged, in the written form, since the 7th century.
While Tibetan medicine is largely untranslated and not understood in the Western world, Dr. Nyinda strives to take the mystery out of this ancient healing modality and make it accessible and useful for each person.

Join us for a free public lecture about how to stay healthy using Tibetan medicine principles. Learn about its history and how it is practiced today.
In the weekend course you will learn the foundations of Tibetan medicine and learn to understand the details of the three humors, and how to determine the balance of the elements and humors in the body. Each and every moment one should be careful with ones diet and behavior. One should know that which will affect you in a harmful or imbalanced way and be careful to avoid these actions and foods.

These principles will be covered more in detail on the Sunday Session. If you are a healing practitioner or just interested in maintaining optimal health there will be information for everyone.

Workshop Details

FRIDAY Free Public Lecture 6:30 PM
Community Food Co Op
315 Westerly Rd., (Cordata Parkway at
Westerly Road), Bellingham, WA, 98226
(360) 734-8158

Weekend Workshop
Tibetan Medicine Demystified

9-12 PM 2-5:30 PM
Full 2 days or Saturday only

Early Registration
Prior to 3/10/2010
$150 Saturday or both days $280
Late Registration
$175 Saturday or both days $330
Ayurvedic Health Center
Clover Building
203 W. Holly, Suite 201
Bellingham, WA 98225

Call Shakti to register @ 360-672-1473

Consults Following Workshop by appointment only-

Bellingham 1 hr Traditional Tibetan Medicine Health Consults:

March 29-30th

Tibetan Medicine workshop in Bellingham, WA March 2010

Seattle 1 hr Traditional Tibetan Medicine Health Consults:

March 24-25th & April 1-2nd

Please Call Nashalla to Schedule Clinic appointments –  303 570 8242

Seattle & Bellingham March 2010 flyer

Behaviors to Engage In & Refrain From According To The Explanatory Tantra of Tibetan Medicine

February 5th, 2010 Posted in Tibetan Medicine

© Nashalla G. Nyinda 2010 all rights reserved

The instructions for the behaviors to increase health and long life are directed by the Tibetan Doctor to their patients according to the ancient Tibetan Medical Text known as the rGyud bZhi (4 Medical Tantras).

Within the second Tibetan Medical Tantra, known as the Explanatory Tantra, there 31 Chapters total. Three of these chapters are dedicated to the behavior recommendations having their own specific instructions to follow for optimal health based on anatomy, physiology, the relationship of cosmology and the external elements as well as Buddhist belief systems. I will discuss from Chapter 13, 14 and 15.

Because Tibetan Medicine is complex this is not a line by line translation only. Though the all the translated information is contained here I have added some of my own reflections which have come from studying this system for over 10 years. I feel by doing this it can help explain some of the translation. However I feel it is important to say this is only one way to translate the text. The Tibetan language is very complex and each translator will have their own words of metaphors used to explain things. That is why it is vital that of one wishes to truly understand the Tibetan Medical Theory as it is presented in its original form, you must first learn to read and speak the Tibetan Language.

Sections in this Article

1. Routine (Daily) behavior – Chapter 13

2. Seasonal behavior – Chapter 14

3. Permanent (Incidental) behavior – Chapter 15

Daily Routine Behavior: Chapter 13 of the Explanatory Tantra

One who wishes to cultivate health and a long life should wear a protection cord, (blessed by high lamas and realized beings) or gold, silver, dZi stone (ancient precious stone among the Tibetan peoples), jewelry from precious stones such as diamond, pearl, coral or turquoise. Ideally, these should be blessed by the high practitioners to increase their power of protection.

Each and every moment one should be careful with ones diet and behavior. One should know that which will affect you in a harmful or imbalanced way and be careful to avoid these actions and foods.

One should always be honest and truthful in their body, mind and speech. Try to avoid negative thoughts, or harmful thoughts about others or yourself. If one is thinking negatively all the time, one should consider the effect or result this will bring. Ask yourself, will this help or hurt me more, will this thinking produce a good and positive outcome? If not then best let the thoughts go. In this way one should try to think positive thoughts and be of strong confidence in ones body, mind and speech.

Many masters have said that all suffering comes from selfishness, and peace will come from ones compassion for others. If you give up yourself, this concept of “I” and follow the path like a bodhisattva, (one who is giving up their comforts and desires to instead work to benefit others who are suffering) you will cultivate peace. Otherwise the Buddhist viewpoint maintains that your attachments will always bring you suffering and pain.

Therefore, in this modern world (also called the dark-age in Buddhist terms) there is so much selfishness, aggressive thoughts going out towards others, pervading the environment with negativity. The result is we humans are in a time of great suffering. This is exactly why we must strive to act compassionately towards all beings and make a good effort to cultivate peace.

One must be careful and mindful always of the two manifesting conditions that ripen the fruits of disease within the three humors of rLung– pronounced loong (Wind), mKrispa– pronounced Tripa (Bile) and Badkan– pronounced pay-ken (Phlegm).  These are the causes meeting the conditions that lead to a changed state from health and balance to excess, deficient or disturbed.

These are:

1. Wrong diet

2. Wrong behavior

The five sense faculties must be used in appropriate proportions. For example, watching too much TV or reading in front of the computer all day can damage the eyes. Listening to music that is too loud too frequently can damage the ears. Taking too much of any one taste in excess ruins the sense faculty of the tongue. Smelling too many chemicals or even good smells of perfume and such can damage the nose sense. Excesses in the sensations of feeling, for example, too much hot, too much cold, staying too long in the water and such things can damage the sense of feeling.

Never travel in a doubtful situation, such as a car that is not in good working order, a plane that has had technical issues, that which raises doubt, a faulty ship taken to the water that is unsure of its course. One should not ride a wild animal unused to having a human ride upon them, nor should you go in front of a wild animal that may attack you. Never go into a butcher’s area where they are constantly killing animals, or generally in any area that is constantly used to kill anything. Never go alone to a river or ocean that you don’t know, or else the water will sweep you away and no one will know where you have gone. One should not climb on cliffs in monsoon, or climb onto a steep cliff sides. Both in summer and winter, one should not climb to the tops of the trees. If there is a big fire burning do not venture to the site where it is burning. If one is traveling, first check your route and path and determine if the road is passable and a safe for travel. If you plan to sit, sleep or simply stay in any location, first look carefully at the surroundings, make sure it is suitable and safe. One should not travel at night, but if you must proceed go with a companion and carry a stick for protection.

Because sleep is important for one’s health, if you cannot sleep at nighttime you should fast in the morning and get some sleep (nap) in the daytime. If you have been upset with grief, frightened, intoxicated with alcohol, if your body is weak, if you are of old age, or speak too frequently, it is recommended to take oily foods to keep the winds (rLung) down. Treatment for insomnia includes drinking warm milk, taking yogurt, meat or bone soup, rubbing warm sesame oil on the top of the head and in the ears. However generally speaking one should not sleep in the daytime, otherwise it will increase the Phlegm (Badkan) nature and you may feel heavy in your head and possibly will make you vulnerable to getting a fever. If one commonly oversleeps it is recommended that one can enjoy sexual relations a bit more frequently.

Regular massage oil will keep one healthy, slow ageing, fatigue, and calm any wind disorders. If one has a Bile (mKrispa) disorder, massage is not recommended, as it is too heating and would thus aggravate the heat disorder. Massage by chickpea power is good for Phlegm (Badkan) disorders as oily is too heavy for them as well, this will invigorate the skin, excess body fat and helps stabilize the joints.

On should have moderate and regular exercise. Those with Wind (rLung) and Bile (mKrispa) disorders should not have excessive exercise; instead they should rest and cultivate calm. One should never overexert themselves with any physical activities nor change their body temperature or cool down too quickly after exercising.

In regards to showers, they are considered helpful to keep a good complexion, increase body energy, remove perspiration, and increase ones sexual appetite. Do not put hot water directly onto the head, otherwise it can weaken the eye energy, make the hair fall out and change color. One should not take a shower immediately after eating, instead wait a half hour. Do not take a shower if one has dysentery, a gaseous, boated or indigestion feeling. Diseases of the nose and of the eye should refrain from taking any hot showers.

Because the eyes are the nature of the fire element, the satisfying phlegm can impair them. Tears can flow as a result of the phlegm disturbing the fire and as you age this is a particularly common issue. Therefore the remedy is to use a concoction of barberry bark once every seven days to wash the eyes.

One should refrain from intercourse with non-humans, a person who is married to another, a pregnant woman, one who is unattractive to you, one who is weak or ill. One should refrain from sex during a woman’s menstrual cycle as the blood is considered impure at this time and can harm both the woman and the man during this shedding of bad blood phase.

Seasonal Behavior: Chapter 14 of the Explanatory Tantra

There six seasons according to the texts. In this way there are seasonal behaviors according to how each cycle influences and affects the three humors.

1. Early winter

2. Late winter

3. Spring

4. Summer

5. Monsoon

6. Autumn

Each season is two months in duration. There are two branches of thought and opinion to the looking at the seasons, the Medical Tantra (rGyud bZhi) view and the Astrological (Tsee) viewpoint.

In the medical texts, starting in the early winter month each season is 2 months long. This is because there are one hundred and twenty mental impulses that make one single ‘second’. Sixty of these fast impulses make one ‘minuet’, thirty ‘minuets’ make one ‘hour’ and twenty-four ‘hours’ make one ‘day’. From this thirty ‘days’ make one ‘month’ and twelve ‘months’ make one year.

There are many calculations regarding solstices and equinox times and the direction the sun moves in the sky as the seasons shift, but as this is a whole other complicated subject I will not cover that here. However I will tell you that in astrology these seasons are divided up into four sections according to the elements influence in that season. This means there are 72 days for each element, and 18 days at the end of each 72-day cycle. The last 18 days always represents the spleen or earth element time and a time of transition into the next season.

In the winter when the male’s seed is considered strong one may have sexual relations as many times as one may wish. In the spring one should have sex no more than every two days. In the summer one (the man) should have sex only two times a month. Autumn is the same as spring with only every two days being the maximum. This is due in part to the heat power that is said to ‘blaze in winter when the skin pours close’ making all of the 7 body sustainers stronger in an ideally balanced individual.

For this reason, in the winter ones strength is at its peak. At this time the power of the wind and sun will assume a sharp, course, and hot quality and consumes the qualities of the earth and moon elements and the oily and cool nature. Men will be wise at this time to avoid foods with astringent, hot and bitter flavor otherwise it affects their stamina and sexual abilities. As I mentioned above at this time the skins pours are tight and the internal heat and equalizing wind is boosted.

During this time be careful not to decrease your food consumption as this will lead to a dramatic decrease in the 7 body sustainers. This is because the internal heat is so strong at this time any lack of food will confuse the strong digestive heat and lead to problems. One should always wear warm clothing at this time, receive hot sesame oil massage, and take warm foods, meats and oily foods. Late winter is especially cold and therefore there is emphasis in the texts to staying warm, wearing shoes, sitting by a fire or taking a bath in the suns rays and living in a house with earthen exterior walls and wooden walls on the interior. Also in the later winter Phlegm (Badkan) will accumulate in the abdomen.

In the spring ones strength is at a medium level. At this time the digestive heat declines because the warmth and rays of the sun make the skin pores open again and the internal heat diminishes compared to winter. Because Phlegm has accumulated in winter, it will now manifest at this time by rising up. This will slow digestion down a bit more than usual. Therefore one should have a diet with bitter, hot and astringent tastes to assist the digestion. One should have aged grains, dried meats, honey, ginger tea, hot boiled water and general course and dry foods as course is a quality which antidotes the Phlegm’s heavy, wet and sticky nature. Vigorous exercise and massage by chickpea flour will help pacify accumulated phlegm and various phlegm natures (Badkan) disorders.

In the summer ones strength is at it’s lowest. The heat is very powerful and can drain you of strength. Therefore, one should consume foods that are cool, sweet, light and (limited) oily in power. Avoid heating foods which are salty, pungent, and sour. Exercise should be slowed and only done in the cool of the morning or evening because one should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Never drink alcohol that is not mixed in water, bath in cool water, wear thin and light clothing and sit in the shade of trees in a fragrant garden with a cool breeze.

In the monsoon time ones strength again gains its power and cool qualities are naturally increased. The earth and moons qualities will become strong again. This is because the heat is pacified by the rain and wind. At this time sour, sweet, and salty tastes are suitable for this season. Contaminated water can harm the digestive heat at this time and thus one should eat foods that are more heating in nature. Foods that are light, warm, oily, sweet, sour and salty as well as grain alcohol should be consumed. Avoid cool damp places and remain warm.

In the autumn ones strength is at a medium level. While the cool rains cover the earth at monsoon, the sun comes out after and scorches the sky. Thus the accumulated bile and heat from monsoon rises up in autumn. To calm the bile energy one should take foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent. Wearing sandalwood and clothes perfumed with camphor as well as sprinkling fragrant water (such as jasmine) in the room will help dispel accumulated heat.

Basics to remember for food and the seasons:

In summer and winter take sweet, sour and salty food (the first three tastes which increase all three humors). In spring take bitter, hot, and astringent food (last three tastes). In autumn take sweet, bitter and astringent food.

Permanent / Incidental Behavior: Chapter 15 of the Explanatory Tantra

These activities are mainly focused on the practices that direct one towards maintaining a foundation in life filled with good qualities and noble actions. There are ten categories, (the ten Buddhist commandments if you will.)

Three are for body (physical), three are for the mind, and four are for speech.

3 for Body:

  • Abstain from killing all living beings.
  • Abstain from stealing.
  • Abstain from impure sexual activities.

4 for Speech:

  • Abstain from lying.
  • Abstain from meaningless talk.
  • Abstain from harmful speech or talk, which divides people (worst of all).
  • Abstain from speech of others that is harsh and creates propaganda and ill feeling.

3 for Mind:

  • Abstain from jealousy over another’s possessions.
  • Abstain from wishing harm on another and wrong view, which is disbelief in the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha.
  • Abstain from the belief in cause and effect (karma) or distorted views.

Positive Viewpoints of the 10 commandments:

3 for Body:

  • We should not only just avoid killing living beings, but we should also try to save the lives of all beings to the best of our ability.
  • Instead of stealing we should cultivate generosity and give our possessions away.
  • Instead of impure sexual relations, we should maintain sexual relations with only our one wife / husband, girlfriend / boyfriend whom we love and is close to our hearts.

4 for Speech:

  • Instead of lying, we should speak only the truth.
  • Instead of meaningless talk and gossip, speak only of things which will bring benefit to others.
  • Instead of harmful / wrongful speech, we should cultivate soft and helpful speech.
  • Instead of harsh / propaganda speech, cultivate the making of good relations between all peoples.

3 for Mind:

  • Instead of feeling jealously, one should appreciate the luck and merit of others.
  • Instead of wishing harm, one should practice the ways of the bodhisattva and be helpful and compassionate in ones mind towards others.
  • Rather than holding distorted views of reality and cause and effect, one should have faith and trust in the reality, which is always present, yet clouded by our basic ignorance.

Therefore these ten negative actions, words and thoughts should be avoided daily, in each and every minuet. Rather one should follow a code of conduct that cultivates the ten positive virtues and qualities of the body, speech and mind in each and every minuet of each and every day.

If one ignores these ten negative actions of the body, speech and mind it will only leads to the creation of negative karma. However, if one acts according to the ten virtuous behaviors of the body, speech and mind it will help us to accumulate good merit from this life to the next and so on. If you can fully practice these ten in each minuet of each and every day; there is no need for any other spiritual practice or retreat. This is the power of these ten virtuous behaviors or commandments. Therefore these ten are the main practices of a bodhisattva.

Do not go without food and ignore the sensations of hunger. Otherwise it can weaken not only the body but also the mind. Ignoring hunger will make the mind unclear and destroy focus. This will then make you loose your appetite over a long time and create such problems as dizziness and circulatory problems where you loose your body heat. This eating disorder also increases the winds. If you have lost your appetite and natural sensation of hunger, it is important to avoid the immediately taking in of heavy foods. First, take only light foods and then slowly as your belly has something in it can you increase your intake of heavy food. Otherwise if you take heavy food right away it will disturb your digestion which has been weakened by lack of food and result in the indigestion which leads to all chronic disorders.

Do not stop drinking fluids, as this will give rise to a thirst disease. This situation will produce disturbances such as dizziness, heart disease, and mental problems. To remedy these problems, take cool foods and drinks.

Do not suppress the urge to vomit. Otherwise this can create anorexia, respiratory diseases and asthma and disturb the flow of ones inhalation and exhalation. This can also bring diseases that make the body swell, leprosy, infectious diseases and eye diseases. The remedies for these disturbances are to fast from food temporally and wash the mouth with licorice soup.

Do not suppress sneezing, as it will disturb all the five senses. This makes the five senses unclear, brings headaches, stiffens the back of the neck and creates TMJ problems or a twisted and stiff jaw. To remedy this, look towards the sun, and use medicated drops in the nose.

Do not suppress the urge to yawn, as it will create the same problems resulting from suppression of seasoning. General Wind (rLung) treatment protocols are the remedy for yawning.

Do not suppress your breath; or if you have exerted yourself do not suppress heavy panting. Otherwise it can create disease of the heart, mental disturbance and possible tumors. Remedy for this is rest and general Wind (rLung) treatment.

Do not deny oneself of the necessary sleep needed. This can give rise to yawning, heaviness of the head, cataracts, and digestive disturbances. The remedies for this are meat soup, alcohol, oil massage and sleep.

Do not suppress the urge to clear the throat of mucous. This can lead to asthma, emaciation, hiccups, heart disease and congestion of the esophagus. To remedy this simply spit it out, take ginger, long pepper, and raw cane sugar.

Retention of tears in the eyes can cause pain in the heart and head, dryness of the nostrils, vertigo and congestion in the throat and esophagus and loss of appetite. To remedy this drink alcohol, take rest and get good sleep, have good conversations, which are sweet and pleasant.

Do not suppress or withhold intestinal gas. This makes the stools dry, brings constipation, inability to expel gas, shooting pain in the intestines, tumors, weak eyesight, deterioration of the body heat and heart disease. (The remedies for this are the same for all the waste products. The same treatment is used for gas, stools, and urination retention.)

Do not suppress ones evacuation motions. This will cause the stagnation of waste matter and it will be absorbed into the blood stream. This causes headaches in the brain, pain in the calf muscles, influenza, and the same results from withholding gas.

Do not suppress the urge to urinate. This gives rise to disorders of the urinary tract, the male genitals, the thighs and the same problems gained from suppressing gas. To remedy these problems take suppositories, get massaged, and ingest medicated butter medicines.

Do not withhold your semen. This can lead to involuntary emissions, disorders of the male genitals and emaciation. To remedy this apply suppositories, have sexual relations with a woman, take sesame oil, milk, alcohol and chicken.

These are the routine (daily) behaviors, seasonal behavior and permanent (incidental) behaviors taught in Tibetan Medicine. The careful observation of the relationship of the bodily humors with outside environmental influence when observed is very profound in prevention of disorders.

I have often reflected about how if we were more in tune with the seasons and how our foods carry powers of various elemental qualities which can affect us as both a unique individual with our very personal balance of the humors we could find ourselves much more happy and healthy in making diet and behavior choices.

Diet and Behavior are the pillars of Tibetan medicine treatment and prevention and time and again when these are regulated there is often little or no need for medicines or accessory therapies. The key is in knowing your own humeral dominance and which humors tend to get out of balance in which season, by what foods and by what mental habits and afflictions.

This is just a glimpse of the behaviors which can be followed for each humor. From my perspective, the more you begin to interact with the qualities and expressions of the elements which make up your unique humeral balance, the easier it is to apply these principles. The behavior regarding morality and life choices is completely from the Buddhist viewpoint of action and resulting karma, but many of the points can be found in all the major religious and political views practiced in the world today. I originally wrote this article many years ago in 2004 when I was a student and have been re-visiting my old writings. I have added a few minor changes and personal comments. May you find it useful.

Tashi Delek!

© 2010 Nashalla G. Nyinda

All articles are written personally by Nashalla G. Nyinda and are copyrighted. Please do not duplicate any info published by Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing on this or any other sight. © 2010

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