In Part 1 of this interview, we understood how Tibetan medicine perceives illness, particularly cancer and how root cause of cancer is diagnosed. In Part 2 of this interview, Gunjan Mohanka continues her conversation with Dr. Dorjee exploring how Tibetan Medicine is used to treat cancer.
What is the typical Tibetan Medicine treatment for Cancer?
Dr. Dorjee: The real nature of cancer is mainly abnormal and impure blood which tends to get solidified into tumours. This is a result of stress and tension in the mind and body which in turn causes our wind energy system to malfunction. Our typical treatment is three-pronged:
- Reduction of tumour size with heat treatment like moxibustion and Golden hammer therapy.
- Cleansing and detoxification of the body with purification therapies.
- Fortification of the body’s immune system and restoration of the balance of the body’s energy system with the help of effective herbal medicine, precious pills, and the right food and lifestyle.
In your opinion, what works well and doesn’t work as well?
Dr. Dorjee: There are some important things to note.
1. The power of hope: The patient should not lose hope of survival. No line of treatment works well when the patient loses the spirit to fight. I have found that patients who are frustrated and close – minded impede the healing process. On the other hand, those who are positive and upbeat often beat the odds.
2. Self-healing techniques: Patient participation with self healing techniques like meditation, yoga, chakra and other spiritual healing techniques also goes a long way.
3. Picking the right medicine: Our medicine works best when there are no intervening medicines. Different types of medications taken in combination compound the problem in my view. What’s most important is the right medicine in the right dosage at the right time.
So, while we do give supporting medicines alongside chemotherapy to reduce the side-effects and to improve the immune parameters, we do not recommend our cancer treatment in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation or other alternative therapies.
4. Tailor-made treatments: We also try to understand individual body constitutions and accordingly recommend what food is needed and what is not. If there are deficiencies, we try to overcome them with various supplements.
To sum up, patients who understand and accept their disease, have a positive outlook, take medicines in time, employ diet, lifestyle and the right state of mind and do not mix different treatments effectively aid their own recovery.
Is your success rate better for some types of cancers than others?
Dr. Dorjee: Our success rate is high with breast cancer, multiple myeloma (bone cancer), some forms of chronic blood cancers (chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia), lung cancer, ovarian cancer, colo-rectal cancer, thyroid cancer, and a few types of brain cancers too. Efficacy also depends on the stages and grades of the various cancers.
I have found it very difficult to control advanced stomach and liver cancer, Glioblastoma multiforme, acute blood cancer, cancer of the connective tissues, chondrosarcoma and some forms of highly progressive or galloping cancers.
Can you please share some case studies with us?
Dr. Dorjee: We have 18 documented case studies but they are private / official and I am afraid I cannot share them publicly.
How does Tibetan Medicine work at different stages of the Cancer journey?
Dr. Dorjee: As with all disease, the earlier the diagnosis and the sooner treatment begins, the greater the chance of success. However, our medicines can also be very effective in case of recurrence or for some secondary complications. In these situations, most often, a second line of treatment with stronger combinations is required.
Tibetan medicine is also very good in palliative care. It can often help to control and manage the disease without severe pain and trauma even in advanced and terminal cases. This is achieved not only through medicines but also through self-healing and visualisation techniques, pain management therapies, meridian massages with herbs, meditation and initiation into spiritual healing.
We also place a lot of emphasis on preparing the patients for their journey into the next life. As such, we encourage them to get rid of mental and emotional attachments, frustrations and all other negative feelings. It is our belief that it is very important for one’s soul to leave this world in peace.
What dietary principles does Tibetan Medicine recommend for Cancer?
Dr. Dorjee: In our system, diet is individualised. Five people can have the same cancer but the diet for each may be totally different. This is because we base a patient’s diet on his or her individual body constitution and the dominating influence of the energy system like wind, bile and phlegm energy.
In Ayurveda, this is referred to as “Dosha” and we call it “Rang-shin”. For example, people with high “pitta” are recommended a diet that reduces “pitta”, those with stronger vatta or wind energy need smoother and more soothing foods while others with khapa or Badkan are required to take a warm and soupy diet to pacify the energy system first.
Whatever one’s constitution, the aim of choosing a diet with the right proportion of taste and potency is to build the right ‘cosmo-physical’ energies in the body and to achieve a dynamic equilibrium or homeostasis. This, according to our science, is what builds perfect health.
In general, dark green leafy and fibrous vegetables, plenty of fruits such as papaya, apple, cherries and berries, pomegranate, lime and foods rich in beta carotene and active flavinoids are good for the system. Fish, especially river and clear-water fish are beneficial as they have Omega-3 fatty acids.
About Dr. Dorjee Rapten Neshar
It may not be far-fetched to say that Dr. Dorjee has a larger following of cancer patients in this part of the country than any other medical practitioner.
Chief Medical Officer at Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical Centre) in Bangalore, Dr. Dorjee is also the former chairman of the Central Council of Tibetan Medicine, Dharamsala. An alumnus of the Tibetan medical College in Dharamsala, he is trained in medico-spiritual initiations for the more esoteric practice of Tibetan medicine as well.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of Alternative Medicine, Dr. Dorjee was awarded the Gold Medal & Gem of Alternative Medicine in 1995 and 1996 from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine, Calcutta. He also received the International Award of Excellence, from the American Organization of Intellectuals Inc, New York, USA.
More about Tibetan Medicine
Men-Tsee-Khang, the official Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of H.H. the Dalai Lama, is a charitable institution based at Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh with branches across India and overseas. For more information about how Tibetan Medicine can potentially help you, please visit their website: www.men-tsee-khang.org
- Stress and tension in the mind and body cause your energy system to malfunction. How do you keep your stress and tension under control?
- Cleansing and detoxification are equally important. What can you do to minimise the accumulation of toxins in your body and mind?
- The power of hope: How do you keep hope and positivity alive even when things get difficult?
- To what extent have you given your power away? How can you be more actively involved with your treatments and your healing regime?
About the Author
Breast Cancer Thriver Gunjan Mohanka chose to to defy stereotypes of a hopeless and depressed cancer life. She took cancer in her stride and learnt to be ‘Bindas‘ again. To read about Gunjan Mohanka’s own story, click here.
More from this series
|Title||About the article|
|Part 1||Tibetan Medicine understands the cause of disease at 3 levels: Ultimate, Proximate and Immediate.|
|Part 2||Our medicine works best when there are no intervening medicines. Different types of medications taken in combination compound the problem in my view.|