Tibetan Medicine: A Complementary Science of Optimal Health

Traditional medical systems are challenging because their theories and practices strike many conventionally trained physicians and researchers as incomprehensible. Should modern medicine dismiss them as unscientific, view them as sources of alternatives hidden in a matrix of superstition, or regard them as complementary sciences of medicine? We make the latter argument using the example of Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine is based on analytic models and methods that are rationally defined, internally coherent, and make testable predictions, meeting current definitions of “science.” A ninth century synthesis of Indian, Chinese, Himalayan, and Greco-Persian traditions, Tibetan medicine is the most comprehensive form of Eurasian healthcare and the world’s first integrative medicine. Incorporating rigorous systems of meditative self-healing and ascetic self-care from India, it includes a world-class paradigm of mind/body and preventive medicine. Adapting th

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