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Tibetan Medicine and Constitutional Doctrine

Tashi Delek is the common greeting of the Tibetan people and means fare well. The literal translation includes the words health, well-being, and success.

Five Elements

The Tibetan Medicine and constitutional doctrine is a holistic medical and nutrition system based on the five elements: earth, water, fire, wind, and space.

Macrocosm or microcosm, everything comprises these five basic forces, and they correspond with each other. Through these five elements, humans are in contact with the world and the universe.

Through the same five basic elements, Tibetan doctors can access an illness and remedies. With their aide, the vitality of the spirit and the body can be influenced.

Inner balance

Tibetan Medicine and constitutional teachings seek the internal balance of power in the body. The core of this teaching is a type-friendly diet and using mostly herbal mixture of materials.

They comprise a variety of natural products, which support each other in their effect and balance possible adverse side effects. This herbal mixture of materials is working at the same time on multiple levels in the body and has few side effects.

The three dynamic principles

The 5 elements manifest themselves in humans through the three dynamic principles, Lung (wind), Tripa (fireand Beken (water and soil). Lung stands for the moving, Tripa for the warming principle, and Beken reflects the stabilizing and cooling aspect in the organism.

If the three principles are in balance, both the body and the mind are healthy. Disharmony initially expresses itself with an energetic imbalance and can become a physical or psychological disorder, which, in the worst case, becomes a disease.

From the Tibetan viewpoint, the cause of all diseases is the “ignorance” of the individual. It causes an illusion of separation of the human being from his environment.

With the perception of “I” and “Mine”, the central three “mind poisons” arise: greed, hatred, and ignorance. They are the proximate cause of the imbalance of LungTripa, and Beken.

External factors, like individual conduct, nutrition, environmental influence, and climatic conditions, influence them. So, the Lung in the body is, for example, increased in a cold windy place.

Tripa accumulates in dry hot places, and the principle of Beken multiplies in damp, humid, or cold regions. The goal of Tibetan Medicine and the constitutional rule is to keep all three principles of the body in balance.


Element: Air

Mental poison conforming to the principle: Greed

Manifestation in the body:

as movement

Properties: light, flexible, cold, rough, dryl


Element: Fire

Mental poison conforming to the principle: Hatred

Manifestation in the body:

as heat

Properties: hot, spicy, dry, rough, light, oily, mobile


Elemente: Earth and Water

Mental poison conforming to the principle: Ignorance

Manifestation in the body:

as coolness, liquid

Properties: heavy, stable, dull, fine, oily, liquid, cool, heavy, dull, flexible

Determination of one’s own constitutional type

Tibetan Medicine and constitution doctrine advise changing the behavior or treatment if the three bodily energies are out of balance. To clarify this, the Tibetan doctor or expert first asks questions about the behavior and the diet of the patients. His proposals for possible behavior modification or a change in diet are an important component of the therapy.

After the query, a Tibetan doctor deepens his first impression with a pulse diagnosis. It is the most important method of diagnosis in Tibetan Medicine. The Tibetan physician feels several qualities of the beat of the pulse, which, like the waves of the sea, can take on a wide variety of shapes and forms.

The physician can determine which of the three principles of the body are imbalanced and what organ is affected by the different types of pulse. To differentiate between the different pulse waves and come to a diagnosis based on the different pulse waves, a Tibetan physician needs much practice and long years of experience and training.

The tongue and urine diagnosis round out the education of the physician. With these three methods of investigation, he receives differentiated information about the general energetic condition of the patient and the state of each organ.

On YouTube in the film clip from the movie “The Knowledge of Healing” by Franz Reichle, Dr. Tenzin Choedrak, the late physician to his Holiness the Dalai Lama, explains the pulse diagnosis.

PADMA Typetest

What type of constitution are you?

According to the Tibetan teaching, every person has his own individual constitution type. The mind and body react differently to food, stress, and challenges. When choosing a career and partner, it also makes sense to know your own type and your own strengths and weaknesses.

If you are permanently out of balance in difficult life situations, this can lead to a challenge for the organs and body functions. Hence the advice: pay close attention to your weak points by knowing how to maintain the balance of body energies.

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