Alternative medicines

Sowa Rigpa; an alternate medicine’s expansion beyond the Himalayas – The Kathmandu Post

Summary

When 51-year-old Bishwa Nath Oli visited Swayambhu’s branch of Phende Clinic in February this year, he wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect. At the time, Oli suffered from painful gout caused by high uric acid levels, a medical condition that he had for almost ten years. After trying different treatment methods to stabilise his uric acid levels and failing to do so, Oli’s friend suggested visiting Phende Clinic and consulting with Dr Tenjing Dharke Gurung.

“After several consult…….

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When 51-year-old Bishwa Nath Oli visited Swayambhu’s branch of Phende Clinic in February this year, he wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect. At the time, Oli suffered from painful gout caused by high uric acid levels, a medical condition that he had for almost ten years. After trying different treatment methods to stabilise his uric acid levels and failing to do so, Oli’s friend suggested visiting Phende Clinic and consulting with Dr Tenjing Dharke Gurung.

“After several consultations with Dr Tenjing and taking his medicines for almost six months, my uric acid stabilised, and my pain was completely gone,” said Oli during one of his regular visits to the clinic a few weeks ago. “Since the treatment completely worked on me, I have been suggesting friends and families who suffer from similar health conditions to visit Phende Clinic and give Sowa Rigpa a try.”

Sowa Rigpa is a traditional medical system that dates back more than 2,000 years and is heavily influenced by Buddhist philosophy. Sowa Rigpa healers are traditionally known as amchis, but many of them these days use the title doctor before their names. In certain mountainous districts of Nepal and India, the medical system is better known as the ‘Amchi system of medicine’. While in many parts of the world, it is better known as traditional Tibetan medicine. Apart from Nepal’s mountainous districts, Sowa Rigpa, often translated into English as ‘the science of healing’, is widely practised in India, Bhutan, China, and Mongolia.

For centuries, for the people living in Nepal’s mountainous districts, this medical system was the only accessible medical system. But in the last few decades, as more people from the region started migrating to cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara in the hopes of better employment and education opportunities, a handful of Sowa Rigpa clinics started operating in these cities to cater to the diaspora. In the last few years, however, the number of Sowa Rigpa clinics in these cities has increased, but a large number of patients that these clinics cater to are from communities that did not historically rely on the medical system. 

The first registered Sowa Rigpa clinic in the country was Kunphen Ausadhalaya, established in 1973 and located in Chhetrapati, Kathmandu.

“The royal palace invited renowned Amchi Kunsang Phentok to Kathmandu to treat the then King Tribhuwan who was suffering from chronic liver disease. Amchi Kunsang successfully treated the late king, and that’s how the first registered Sowa Rigpa clinic in the country came into being,” said Dr Nyima Tsering Nepali, who is one of the two Sowa Rigpa doctors currently working at Kunphen Ausadhalaya. “In those days, the majority of patients who came to our clinic were Kathmandu’s elites and those connected with the royal palace and people from Nepal’s mountainous districts who had migrated to Kathmandu. But a lot has changed in the last few decades. Today, people from across the country and foreigners residing in …….

Source: https://kathmandupost.com/art-culture/2021/11/27/sowa-rigpa-an-alternate-medicine-s-expansion-beyond-the-himalayas