CONTINUING with our exploration of Tibetan Medicine …
When I teach LU JONG I explain the practice has its origins in the merging of three sources of wisdom: Tibetan Medicine, Bon, and Tibetan Buddhism.
I get many questions about Tibetan Medicine so why not, in the spirit of ‘Back to School’, take a brief look at what some of this is all about?
***Before we proceed any further I would like to clarify that I am NOT a doctor of Tibetan Medicine, nor do I diagnose and/or treat people in this area of expertise.My knowledge comes from what I have learned from my teacher and Root Lama, the venerable Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche, who IS a doctor of Tibetan Medicine in addition to being a high Tantrayana Buddhist master.
THE THREE HUMORS (INTRO)
Having briefly touched upon how the Mind is the ‘behind the scenes’ power for the Body to exist, we move into the realm of the Three Humors as they are the basis of the theory and practice of Tibetan Medicine.
The humors are the vital substances of the body responsible for all bodily functions. They rule physiology, anatomy and morphology, regulate the functioning of the body, its organs, the brain, nerves, bones, blood circulation, lymphatic systems, digestion etc. The three humors also produce the temperament and quality of a person’s body and mind. In effect, they weave together the physical and subtle levels of the Body.
The Three Humors – Lung (Wind), Tripa (Bile) and Beken (Phlegm) carry both subtle and physical energies in and out of the body from birth to the end of life. They are also inherently delicate by nature and thus can easily become unbalanced. All diseases are described in terms of an imbalance of one or more of the humors.
Since the three humors are an integral part of our bodies, in Tibetan Medicine, it is said that we carry the seeds of disease within us. As soon as there is a cause and a condition, the unmanifested disease will become apparent.
Taking this one step further … each humor is also linked to one of three mental poisons. When Tripa (Bile) is out of balance it causes anger, unbalanced Lung (Wind) causes attachment or grasping, and unbalanced Beken (Phlegm) creates delusion or ignorance. It is precisely this association that creates the link between imbalances of the mind/emotions and those of the body.
For example, if someone is always angry (bile), no matter what is done to treat the liver (gallbladder), if the anger is not addressed as well the liver will continue to ail. Healing the Body also means Healing the Mind.
In sum … Balanced humors give positive health and harmony to the body/mind, and provide a good base for the development of the immune system. On the contrary, the loss of balance among the humors causes energy disharmony, either physical and/or mental disequilibrium, which may appear at any time and become the cause of diseases.
************* In the next installment we take a closer look at each of the three humors.