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Women doctors defy male dominance in Tibetan medicines
update:September 30,2016
Describing her job as finding "secret" prescriptions in classical medical tantras and revitalizing them through modern technology, Tenzin Yangjen said her goal was to standardize Tibetan medicine as much as possible.
"For our generation, the mission is to bring Tibetan medicine to the world, and the key is standardization," she said.
To reach that goal, Tenzin Yangjen and her colleagues have been working to standardize herbal products using modern extractive technology to turn traditional decoctions and pills to granules that are more popular in today's market.
Lhaphun has worked at the Lhasa hospital for 21 years. A primary task has been to find and rescue endangered therapies and explore ways to integrate them with modern medical science. For instance, her team uses modern equipment to conduct data analysis and correlate their findings with traditional urine and pulse diagnosis.
"Without standardization in diagnosis, testing methods and treatment, it will be difficult to popularize Tibetan medicine beyond the plateau," she said.
Her team is also looking to revitalize traditional therapies such as blood-letting, moxibustion, cupping and others. Even diarrhoea can be used as a treatment to help patients eliminate toxins, said Lhaphun. A retired expert from a hospital in Nagqu has been invited to explain the diarrhoea therapy to the 30-strong staff in Lhaphun's department.
Classical medical tantras record the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric and women's conditions and put them into 40 categories. So far, only one-fifth of those therapies have been put to clinical use in her department. Of the tens of thousands of prescriptions mentioned, the number in use is roughly 200.
"The potential of Tibetan medicine is huge. There is so much we need to learn," she said.
By: Mengjie
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