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6/27/08 – cont’d – After the incredible morning visit to the oracle (Ladakhi shaman), we hiked up past Namgyal’s office (he was the main guide and the owner of Yama Trekking Service) to the Tibetan Doctor. She was a very knowledgeable woman – she gave us a little talk about Tibetan Medicine. For instance, what does a Tibetan doctor do, how do they diagnose a patient, how do they read the pulses, etc. Then, we had the opportunity to sign up for sessions with her. About half of the group signed up to see her, so I decided to wait at a restaurant across the street.
In Tibetan medicine, if I understood it correctly – which is doubtful considering my inferior intellect, there are three main energies or humors – Lung (pronounced “Loong”) or wind, then there are bile and phlegm. I’m pretty sure however, that the Amchi did not need to read my pulses to know that I had a loong (wind) disorder, which normally has nothing to do with the respiratory lungs. She asked me some questions before putting her hands on my wrists to read my pulses, about my temperament, sleeping patterns and my health. Loong disorders are typical in Western cultures – manifestations include anxiety, insomnia, depression and / or extra worry. She also told me, after reading my pulses, that I also had a lung (respiratory anatomical organ) issue. Personally, in my private practice and personal study, I believe the lungs have to do with grief and sadness – so maybe I had some grieving to do.
The Amchi told me several things on this particular visit (I would see her a second time as I opted to stay in Ladakh longer). Things like – “don’t eat raw onions, no grilled foods, no running or strenuous activity for a few weeks, less sugar and do eat heavier foods – like oily sauces and meat.” This was typical advice for people with loong (wind) disorders. She also gave me some Tibetan medicine – one little bag of pills to take for a week, and then another to take for two weeks. By the way, Tibetan medicine pills taste awful! One might get used to them over time, but wow! Imagine mixing mud, curry powder and some bitters and then rolling them up in a little ball… Yick! On reflection, I am perplexed because I think the first bag was of a purgative nature. Someone in the group had a little knowledge of Tibetan medicine and he said that the doctors sometimes give you stuff to clean you out – to detox so you can put healthy ingredients back in (? I could be easily misinterpreting that). I say this because later that night I was very sick – it could have easily been something I ate – but I had a bad case of fever / flu / Delhi belly symptoms.
The second time I visited her, about two weeks later, she read my pulses and said directly, “stop drinking apple juice.” How did she know? It was true – I just had some earlier that day, but wow! Then she mentioned some of what she had said at the earlier visit. She also gave me a slightly different medicine to take for the next two weeks.