Each system of medicine, ranging from ancient traditional to modern allopathic, has unique strengths and challenges. This presentation compares and contrasts these systems and attempts to weave a synergistic approach to integrative medicine. Issues such as underlying mechanisms, scientific validation, educational initiatives, and clinical outcomes are discussed.
This presentation will provide an introduction to the holistic approach of Tibetan Medicine. We will review major historical influences of Tibetan Medicine, discuss key principles of health and disease, diagnostic methods, and treatment modalities. We will also provide an overview of modern scientific research on Tibetan medicine from case studies to randomized controlled trials.
Speakers in this session will introduce key concepts, diagnostics and treatment of acute and chronic pain from the perspective of each medical system, highlighting areas of synergy and tension between the two systems. Pathways and physiologies of pain as well as variation in individual response will be addressed. Speakers will present pharmaceutical treatments for pain management and alleviation, as well as diet, lifestyle and manual therapies. Mind-body modulation of pain will also be presented.
As we have witnessed with the opioid epidemic in the West, medication targeting pain neurophysiology exclusively is often ineffective. Likewise, Tibetan medicine rarely treats a condition for pain alone. However, focusing treatment on pain has become a major paradigm in Western medicine despite an understanding of contributing conditions such as sedentary lifestyles, obesity, poor diets, and excess mental and physical stress.
Acute and chronic disease have significantly different understandings in Western and Tibetan medical systems that consequently direct distinctly different approaches. Tibetan medicine tends to work from the gut level to all body systems using both nutrition and medication to access such pathways, as well as from external manual therapies that work from the outside in, applying therapies of moxibustion, cupping, massage and so forth. Whereas Western medicine often focuses on the pharmaceutical response, as well as some topical applications and physical therapy.
Likewise, medicine compounding in Tibetan medicine, though rich in neurochemically active species, uses principles of synergy to buffer effects. It cautions against highly purified compounds because of the potential cascade of deleterious side effects. Speakers will discuss the concept of synergy in drug discovery and formulation for each system and its benefits and drawbacks to single compound formulas.