The Traditional Tibetan Medicine & Healing System is over 2,500 years old and is one of the oldest medical systems practiced in the world. Yuthog Yonten Gonpo— regarded as the Father of Tibetan Medicine- wrote rGyud-bZhi, the fundamental medical text book for the training of Tibetan medical practitioners.
Under the temporal leadership of The Vth Dalai Lama in 1696, the first official medical college was established for monks in Lhasa, Tibet. The medical college was named Chagpori Drophenling.
Later, the XIIIth Dalai Lama established the Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute (Men-Tsee-Khang) in Lhasa, Tibet. This institute was open for lay people to study Tibetan medicine and astrology.
During the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, The Chagpori Medical College in Lhasa was completely destroyed.
In 1962, His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama re-established the Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute in Dharamshala, India. Today, there are more than fifty branches throughout the world.
Dr. Trogawa Rinpoche- holder of the rare lineage of Chagpori healing and practice- established in 1992 the Chagpori Tibetan Medical Institute in Darjeeling, India. We have today many Chagpori amchis (physician/doctor) practicing all over the world.
Figure 01. Chagpori Drophenling Dratsang, Lhasa before 1959
Figure 02. Chagpori Tibetan Medical Institute, Darjeeling, India
The fundamental medical treatise, the rGyud-bZhi, is comprised of four sections usually known as the Four Tantras: The Root Tantra, The Explanatory Tantra, The Oral Instruction Tantra & The Last/Subsequent Tantra. The complete text encompasses 5,900 verses which are grouped into 156 chapters. The following is a short description of the contents of this treatise, which lists the different topics discussed in Tibetan medicine and illustrates the lucid and systematic presentation of the instructions.