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An Insight Of Tibet Medicine And Healing Practices Versus Western Medicine

1563 words - 6 pages

We, as human beings, need different remedies to cure diseases and, ultimately, stay healthy. Medical practices vary from culture to location. Around 400 A.D. Tibetan Buddhist associated illness with the philosophy of doing good personal deeds in order to stay healthy, as opposed to illness being caused by a virus. The idea of personal responsibility resulted in health or illness spread throughout Eurasia, specifically in India, China, and Persian-Greek society, affecting medical approaches that we in the U.S. use today.
Medical anthropology, the study of human health, has led to cures of illnesses and diseases throughout the world. Medical anthropology “concerns itself with human health—the factors that contribute to disease or illness and the ways that human populations deal with disease or illness” (Susser, 2003, 14). Illness hinders the body from its full capacity of normal work. A disease inhibits the body from working to its full potential, and populations could die as a result from being infected. Medical anthropology is further described as “human health and illness in local settings to social, economic, and political processes operating on a national scale” (Susser, 2003, 14). Medical anthropology is the study of finding new cures to heal the ill.
A significant difference between the two different societies is the belief, specifically in the Tibet culture, of personal responsibility. As the text states, “Buddhist medicine posits that the self of ‘ego’ is ultimately the cause of all suffering, including that of the ill” (Janes, 1995, 21). If a person thinks highly of himself, then there is a belief that strongly relates that a person is sick due to a high ego. As a result, a strong pride in oneself can be interpreted as of why he is sick. Also, they practice good karma in their society and treat each other well because being humble and practicing good karma in the Tibet community is key to staying healthy.
A western society doesn’t have the sense of personal responsibility perspective when there is an ill person in bed. In comparison to the western society, sickness is “treated by women at home, and they keep a stock of remedies on hand” (Paul, 1982, 32). In a western society practically anyone can heal the ill by giving him a drug, instead of believing that one was a bad person. Moreover, today there is lifestyle that doctors recommend to their patients. For example, a healthier lifestyle involves eating fruits, vegetables, and protein. Supplemental to a healthy diet a patient will need to exercise on a daily basis. This change in lifestyle of eating healthy and exercising complement each other as oppose to the Tibetan approach in the beginning of the medicinal period.
The second difference in Tibetan medicine is that it was the first system in the world to have a multidisciplinary system of medicine. As Loizzo states, “Indian Buddhist created the world’s first system of integrative medicine that include acupuncture, and herbal...

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