Most cancer patients come to the Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical Centre) only after they have been declared terminal. Fortunately, Gunjan started taking their medication right from the time she was diagnosed with 3rd-stage breast cancer. She was familiar with the case of a family friend who lived for more than 10 years after he had been declared terminal. At first Gunjan took Tibetan medicine along with her Allopathic treatment. But because of overwhelming side-effects she now relies solely on Tibetan medicine. In this 2-part interview, she talks to Dr. Dorjee in an effort to better understand this little-known system of holistic medicine.
What are the principles of disease and health, according to Tibetan Medicine?
Dr. Dorjee: Disease cancer patients face has three interconnected aspects – spiritual, psychological and pathological.
- The highest aspect is the spiritual understanding of disease for cancer patients at this medical centre.
- Disease is suffering and therefore an understanding of suffering gives us insights into what causes disease and how we can face the challenge of disease.
- The root cause of suffering according to Buddhist philosophy, is Ignorance. We develop erroneous ideas of our existence. So we view life as a series of “not getting what we want” and “getting what we don’t want” experiences.
- This brings us to the more psychological aspect of disease. Because of our ignorance, we develop many negative mental afflictions such as desire, attachment, lust, hatred, anger, lassitude, delusion and more. All of these manifest into different physical and mental imbalances.
- Furthermore, each emotion has its own area of influence in the body. To give you an example, desire and attachment impact the heart and thyroid, hatred and anger impact the liver and blood, lassitude and delusions impact the brain and kidney.
- Over a period of time, these negative emotions accumulate and in turn lead to pathological conditions and imbalances that manifest as disease.
Can you please explain the 3 Levels of disease?
Dr. Dorjee: Tibetan Medicine understands the cause of disease for cancer patients at 3 levels: Ultimate, Proximate and Immediate. This medical centre works to cater all three.
- The Ultimate cause is one’s Karma. Our karma matures across lifetimes and gives rise to various idiopathic or intractable health disorders.
- As mentioned earlier, from the Ignorance-Desire-Anger negative mental states arise the Proximate cause of disease: The imbalance of Wind (“rLung”), Bile (“mKris Pa”) and Phlegm (“Bad Kan”).
- Then there are the Immediate causes: improper diet; irregular lifestyle; mental, seasonal and environmental factors.
And what about Cancer, specifically?
Dr. Dorjee: The root cause for cancer patients is poor digestion, due to an improper diet and lifestyle. Good digestion keeps us in good health because it produces regenerative fluids in the body that give us radiance and shine.
Improper diet and lifestyle alters the natural bio-chemical mechanism of the body system, prompting our bodies to produce unhealthy and abnormal cells.
Another factor that we don’t understand fully is when we knowingly or unknowingly cause sacrilege of other beings, dwellings or places. In Tibetan medicine, It is said that we are then cursed by the spirits (“Drel-thug”). These unexplained factors too cause some kind of irreversible cases cancer patients face.
How do you diagnose the exact problem for cancer patients?
Dr. Dorjee: Interrogation, pulse examination and urine analysis at our medical centre. Hence between these three, we can learn what we need to know. It takes years of training and practice to become good at it!
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 Centre and College in Dharamsala, he took training in medico-spiritual initiations for the more esoteric practice of Tibetan medicine as well at this medical centre.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of Alternative Medicine, Dr. Dorjee was also 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 at this Medical Centre
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. Therefore for more information about how Tibetan Medicine can potentially help you, please visit their website: www.men-tsee-khang.org
- “Illness occurs where mind, body and spirit intersect”. To what extent are these 3 elements out-of-balance in your case?
- What are the typical negative emotions or thoughts that often disturb you?
- Consider all your lifestyle choices: how can you address these negative influences on your life and health?
- Tibetan medicine gives great importance to improper diet and poor digestion. Where can you get expert help to improve this?
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.|