Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic

ཉི་ཟླ་བོད་སྨན་ཁང་ Traditional Tibetan Medicine ~ Alternative & Complementary Healing
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“Be An Active Participant in Your Healing Process.”
 – Nashalla Gwyn Nyinda, Menpa 

How does Tibetan Medicine work?

Making traditional Tibetan MedicinesTibetan medicine is an ancient form of healing which aims to balance the 5 elements of the body through the three principle energies often called humors, or doshas. Diet, lifestyle and paying attention to seasonal changes are central in the treatment. The root causes of disease are assessed and directly worked with to bring resulting symptoms into balance.

For some people the treatment emphasizes mostly dietary and behavioral changes, such as what to avoid and promote. Traditionally accessory therapy may also be administered, such as moxabustion, cupping, acupressure or acupuncture, and massage therapies.

We do not practice acupuncture within the USA. Within the USA acupuncture is strictly licensed and regulated. At this time Tibetan Medicine and the use of acupuncture needles has not been approved by the boards which govern acupuncture. Nashalla, who does most of the external therapies in the practice, depends on her many years of acupressure techniques and finds she can obtain the same results needle free.

What is the common duration for Tibetan Medicine treatment?

While it very much depends on the health issue or symptoms one is experiencing and for what length of time imbalance has been present, most people will notice changes in several weeks to a few months or more. If one follows the advice of the practitioner regarding foods and behaviors, the effects of the herbal formulas are enhanced, bringing changes quicker. Tibetan Medical formulas are given according to ones personal elemental balance, imbalance, and how these are influenced by seasons and times of day.

While there are 4 types of treatment in Tibetan Medicine: Diet, Behavior, Medicines and External Therapies, the most important are those which the patient themselves is responsible for – diet and behavior. While the guide can be the trained Tibetan physician who gives advise on what foods and lifestyle choices to accept and reject, if the patient does not rely on such advise it is like trying to sit on a one legged stool. If there are 4 legs to Tibetan medicine treatment, a patient can stand reliably on the two legs of diet and behavior. The herbal remedies can further assist and give stability (the third leg) and if needed, a fourth leg can be given though the external therapies.

It is therefore essential that the patient adhere as close as possible to the advise the physician gives regarding diet and lifestyle. This greatly impacts how quickly one sees changes in symptoms and gets results from a typical Tibetan Medicine treatment.

What can I expect from a traditional Tibetan Medicine treatment?Tsundu pulse exam

Traditionally Tibetan Medicine diagnosis begins with determining the nature of your inner elements and their state of balance or disharmony. This is accomplished through extensive questioning, urine and pulse diagnosis.

Dietary and behavior patterns are accessed and recommendations will be made. Herbal supplements and external therapies may or may not be a part of the regime. A follow up visit to read the pulse and observe changes will be scheduled in a few weeks.

Generally if one has on-going treatment, check up visits will occur every few weeks or months to see what changes need to be made according to seasonal change as well as changes in the internal elements and organ systems.

Will Tibetan medicine herbs and dietary supplements interfere with prescription medications or other vitamins and supplements?

Traditional Tibetan Medicines offer a wide rage of treatment for a variety of health issues. While traditional Tibetan Medicine is safe and effective, it is vital to work only with well-qualified practitioners.

As with all dietary supplements and herbs, one needs to know the mechanism of action of the supplement on the various organ systems. Because Tibetan Medicine works directly with the body elements and relates to the seasons, times of day etc., one must NEVER self prescribe these supplements. It takes many years under the supervision of experienced Tibetan physicians to understand the complex system.

In most cases Tibetan Medicine will not interfere with your current treatment. If you are taking prescription drugs, the Tibetan Medicine practitioner will recommend having a minimum of one-hour gap between Tibetan formulas and other medicines, herbs or supplements.

If you are going to see a Tibetan Practitioner, in order to properly read the urine, prior to your visit vitamins and minerals should not be taken for 3 days.

While very rare, there a few compounds that should not be combined with certain prescription drugs. For example, prescription blood thinners (lipid lowering statin drugs) for cholesterol and Tibetan formulas, which also thin the blood for cholesterol, are contra-indicated just as they need to be monitored in western medicine one would never over thin the blood. But if the Tibetan physician knows your on such a drug they will be able to avoid any contra indications.

If you are pregnant, or breast feeding or thinking of conceiving soon you MUST make this known to your practitioner, as certain formulas are not allowed during this time.

There are many cases where people can slowly, and only with supervision of their licensed MD’s come off select western prescriptions, replacing them slowly with Tibetan medicine. This very much depends on the disorder, the medication, and the willingness of the MD to supervise your care alongside your Tibetan Medicine practitioner.

The full corporation between allopathic and traditional medicines is to be honored, and not avoided. It is common that a Tibetan practitioner may ask you to go to your Allopathic Doctor and have certain tests done to check blood, serum levels, blood sugar, and liver enzymes. This means you may need to sign a waver allowing the release of your medical records to your Tibetan Medicine practitioner.

Will working with you interfere with other treatments I am undergoing?

It is best to inform your family practice MD or specialist of the Alternative or Traditional Medicine treatments you are planning to undertake. Likewise one should inform the Tibetan Medicine practitioner or practitioner of other therapies what health care systems you are working with. In this way all health care providers can understand the full scope of your treatment plan, and work together to achieve your goals.

As of yet there are no regulations for the practice of Tibetan Medicine in the USA. We are legally not able to diagnose, prevent, treat, cure or prescribe for any conditions. What we offer is a traditional alternative treatment based on thousands of years study of its effectiveness.  Because Tibetan Doctors are yet to have a regulatory body of our own to sort out truly trained and those without full credentials and education: the patient must take personal responsibility to be sure of the quality of the practitioner they are working with. In addition one must have the understanding this form of healing is taken at your personal choice based on belief of the ancient system of healing and is at own risk; and is NOT a substitute or replacement for treatments under your MD or specialist. Various states have their own recognition of Acupressure and other therapies.

Especially in complex cases such as MS, hepatitis, diabetes, cancers etc. it is necessary to respect both Allopathic systems alongside whatever alternative therapy you are pursuing.  We feel it is a mistake to discount the advances made in Allopathic Medicine, as they can greatly complement any alternative treatments. When all parties work together, understanding what the other is trying to accomplish, you will benefit from the range of experience.

There are many success cases with chronic conditions such as diabetes where over time people seeking care of traditional Tibetan medicine were told by their MD’s that they now had to lower the insulin levels and medications prescribed by their MD’s. The same is true of anti anxiety medicines, or treatments for liver failure. This is why it is essential to involve all of your health care providers, alternative and traditional, so your medicines be they traditional, herbal or prescription be at the correct level for you.

What is acupressure and how is it different from acupuncture?

There are many forms of both acupressure and acupuncture from various cultures. Japan, China, Tibet, India share similarities, yet possess their own unique styles.

Acupuncture is a therapy when needles are inserting into points along lines in the body, called meridians. These points correspond to various organ systems. Energy is drawn to the organs or systems that are weak, overtaxed, or not functioning well. Acupressure works on these same meridians, with the same principles, but is more subtle and sometimes less intense for sensitive persons. Acupressure is preformed both with your clothes on as well as sometimes during a massage with draping of sheets. Acupressure employs this same producible of stimulation of vital points but without needles.

Nashalla has personally found increased lasting effects when the body is moved gently towards balance. In terms of how she treats, symptoms versus treatment of the root causes being the priority depend on the situation. In general, her emphasis is always on the root cause; which when treated first allows the body to come back to a state of homeostasis often naturally clearing the symptoms as a byproduct of coming into balance. Modern Chinese methods are very effective at relieving symptoms, which can often re-appear. Whereas Nashalla has discovered treating root causes on a subtle and deeper level, reverses symptoms sometimes slower, but with longer lasting effects.

How long does a course of acupressure or kunye massage sessions take to work for my issues?

This is varied, according to what issues one is seeking to resolve. Initially treatments occur within a relatively short time of days to weeks to get the body used to receiving treatments. As the person becomes more balanced, symptoms will take longer to re-surface, and one requires less frequent treatments.When one has been undergone treatment for a long time, only if big events disturb the body or emotions and during the seasonal change, will one require a session.

Nashalla promotes and teaches self-care to her clients, this can be as simple as holding a few points during the week or paying attention to how they hold and move their physical structure while at work or exercising. Her goal is to make you the active participant in your healing process. Self-care increases the effectiveness of your treatments. The more self-care one engages in, the faster the results and less often one needs a treatment.

How do I learn what foods and lifestyle changes can assist my treatments?

Every person Tsundu and Nashalla consult with benefits from the vast experience of Asian Medicine’s understanding of food as medicine. Nashalla also has studied western nutrition and applies that to the principles she learned in Tibetan Medicine.

Our goal is to help you learn what your natural elemental and humoral balance is and what foods relate to these elements in either helping or harming you. When a person is empowered to know themselves and what foods can aggravate or help a symptom or basic need for themselves food as medicine becomes a power self care tool. It puts the patient in charge of their health and prevention of minor aggravations.

Does insurance cover your treatments?Tibetan Medicine Thanka Painting

Some people have flex plans in their insurance policies which cover a variety of alternative medicine treatments and massage. These people can and use this flex account money to pay for our services. Tibetan Medicine & Holistic healing does not process any insurance claims, but can provide documentation of services if needed.

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