Xining, 8 Aug (ZXS) -- Why is it said that Tibetan medicine was born from "a hundred schools of thought contending"?
——Interview with Li Xianjia, Dean of the College of Tibetan Medicine of Qinghai University and President of the Qinghai Association of Tibetan Medicine
China News Agency reporter Zhang Tianfu
Chinese Tibetan medicine has a long history and is the crystallization of wisdom accumulated by the inhabitants of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in their struggle against the harsh natural environment. Why is it said that the birth of Tibetan medicine, which originated on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is the result of "a hundred schools of thought"? Why does its theoretical system need to be included in the macro structure of the history of the development of traditional medicine in the world? How does Tibetan medicine interact with the world's major medical systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, ancient Indian medicine, and Western traditional medicine? Does ancient Tibetan medicine still contain vitality today?
In this regard, the "East-West Question" of China News Agency recently interviewed Li Xianjia, dean of the College of Tibetan Medicine of Qinghai University and president of the Qinghai Tibetan Medicine Association.
Li Xianjia introduced Tibetan medicine specimens. Photo courtesy of interviewee
The following is a summary of the interview:
China News Agency: You propose that the theoretical system of Tibetan medicine should be included in the macro structure of the history of traditional medicine in the world.
Li Xianjia: Dr. Dorje Rinchen and I have published the latest book "A Comparative Study of the Theoretical System of Tibetan Medicine and the History of the Development of Other Traditional Medicines", which incorporates the theoretical system of Tibetan medicine into the macro structure of the history of the development of traditional medicine in the world from the perspective of comparative research, and conducts a comprehensive, systematic and multi-dimensional sorting, comparison and interpretation.
Whether from the perspective of the long history of the development of Tibetan medicine or the integrity, systematization and legitimacy of its theoretical system, experts and scholars inside and outside the industry generally believe that Tibetan medicine is one of the traditional medicines with the most complete theoretical system, and it is unquestionable to include Tibetan medicine in the macro structure of the history of the development of traditional medicine in the world. Whether from the perspective of the quality and quantity of the vast number of ancient texts, or the uniqueness of human embryos, human anatomy, drug processing techniques and principles, as well as the understanding and treatment of mental diseases, it is appropriate to include Tibetan medicine in the macro structure of the history of the development of traditional medicine in the world. Whether from the perspective of Tibetan medicine's understanding of human life, disease and health, or from the richness of clinical practice and the accuracy of treatment effects, it is logical to include Tibetan medicine in the macro structure of the history of the development of traditional medicine in the world.
Tibetan medicine is an important part of the treasury of Chinese medicine. As traditional medicine, Tibetan medicine is comparable to world traditional medicine such as Chinese (original) medicine, ancient Indian medicine, and Western traditional medicine. China has always attached great importance to the inheritance, development and innovation of Tibetan medicine.
In the face of new medical and health problems and health needs of mankind, it is the unshirkable responsibility of Tibetan medicine to further refine its characteristic advantages, consider how Tibetan medicine can complement modern medicine and other traditional medicine, and jointly solve regional, national and even human medical and health problems.
On December 2018, 12, the opening ceremony of the Tibet College of Tibetan Medicine was held in Lhasa, and students from the university took a group photo in front of the school. Photo by He Penglei
China News Agency: Based on historiography and basic medical theories, how does the theoretical system of Tibetan medicine interact and influence with several major world medical systems such as traditional Chinese medicine, ancient Indian medicine, and Western traditional medicine in the process of formation?
Li Xianjia: The formation of the theoretical system of Tibetan medicine took more than two centuries, mainly in the 2th and 7th centuries AD. The inhabitants of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have accumulated a lot of experience in diagnosis and treatment in the process of fighting against harsh natural environments and diseases, and before the 8th century AD, indigenous medicines such as Xiangxiong Bon Medicine were formed. On this basis, the founders of Tibetan medicine absorbed the essence of ancient medical systems such as Chinese (original) medicine, ancient Indian medicine, and Western traditional medicine, and formed the four medical classics of Tibetan medicine, marking the comprehensive construction of the unique theoretical system of Tibetan medicine. They created the law of "three-factor equilibrium treatment", perfected the dialectical thinking of "five sources" and "three factors", established a model of the combination of medical arithmetic and application, and established the medical model of "three-in-one" natural philosophy, body and mind and society.
In this process, Tibetan medicine has been very inclusive and open-minded, and its thinking has been unprecedentedly active. From the analysis of ancient books of Tibetan medicine, the founders of Tibetan medicine have successively invited representatives of the "three major medicines" from the surrounding areas, the three chemical students, the famous doctors of the nine neighboring countries, and the nine great doctors of Tibetan medicine, etc., who entered Tibet through the Silk Road, the Tangbo Ancient Road, the Buru Road and other ancient roads and gathered together.
Li Xianjia introduced Tibetan medical classics. Photo courtesy of interviewee
At this time, the most popular core theories in various schools of medicine in Europe and Asia, such as the "three-cause and four-source theory" of ancient Indian medicine, the "theory of yin and yang and five elements" of Chinese (original) medicine, and the "four-body humor theory" of Western traditional medicine, all carried out in-depth exchanges on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, truly realizing the "hundred schools of thought" of medical academia. At that time, the total number of medical literature compiled was more than 230 letters, which not only covered basic theories, but also covered clinical subjects such as trauma, heat evidence (epidemic disease), internal medicine, gynecology, detoxification, as well as drugs and preparations. This kind of "three major medicines" converged in the same time and space is rare in the entire history of human medical development.
Throughout history, there were nearly 30 foreign medical ideas, theories and diagnostic techniques circulating on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but Tibetan medical classics such as the Four Medical Classics were not incorporated and simply mixed. Even a core academic idea in a certain classical school is not necessarily cited in Tibetan medicine, such as the anatomical knowledge of the famous Roman physician Galen, the embryology of Indian Vedic medicine, and the meridian theory of Chinese medicine, which are not included in the Tibetan medical classics.
In March 2014, the Thangka Art Exhibition of Tibetan Medicine was held in Beijing. Photo by Lu Xin
China News Agency: What are the similarities and differences between Mongolian medicine, Uighur medicine, Dai medicine and other Chinese minority medicine and Tibetan medicine in terms of academic characteristics, diagnosis and treatment practices, and advantages?
Li Xianjia: China's ethnic minority population is quite extensive. Although the geographical environment, history and culture are different, all ethnic minorities have accumulated rich medical knowledge and practical experience in disease prevention and treatment in the practice of production and life, and have made historical contributions to the reproduction and development of their own ethnic groups.
Whether it is Mongolian medicine, Uighur medicine, Dai medicine, or other ancient traditional medicine, the similarities with Tibetan medicine are mainly manifested in the overall concept, "the unity of heaven and man", green nature, dialectical treatment and other medical ideas.
Mongolian medicine is basically the same as Tibetan medicine in terms of theory, but while absorbing Tibetan medicine, it also has a lot of pioneering work, and Mongolian medicine has its own unique treatment methods in clinical practice, such as mare's milk therapy, brain shaking (a treatment for concussion) and so on. The main theory of Uyghur medicine is mainly based on Arabic medicine, that is, the "four-humoral theory" handed down from Western traditional medicine, and Uyghur medicine is very distinctive in the treatment of vitiligo. Dai medicine is mainly deeply influenced by Southern Buddhism, Dai medicine "four towers" and "five potentials" and other theories are related to Southern Buddhism, Dai medicine a variety of content is preserved and inherited in the form of Bayeux Sutra, etc., and has its own unique advantages in the treatment of arthritis and other clinical diagnosis and treatment.
In the summer of 2018, Lhasa citizens took a Tibetan medicinal bath in the nearby village of Dadong. Photo by Zhao Yan
China News Agency: Why is it said that the special theoretical understanding and clinical practice advantages of the ancient Tibetan medicine system still contain vitality?
Li Xianjia: The World Health Organization pointed out that medicine in the 21st century will develop from disease medicine to health medicine, from heavy treatment to prevention, from allopathic treatment to holistic treatment, from emphasizing the role of doctors to attaching importance to the role of patients' self-care.
This concept is fully consistent with the contents of Tibetan medicine such as self-prevention, health rehabilitation, body-body harmony and green and natural Tibetan medicine bathing, and many concepts and methods of Tibetan medicine are highly consistent with the future development direction of medicine. China vigorously advocates and promotes the development of traditional Chinese medicine, insists on attaching equal importance to traditional Chinese and Western medicine, and advocates the use of "diversified medicine" to jointly solve various medical and health problems. In addition, as a complete system of medical theories that has been passed down for more than a thousand years and has been passed down over a vast area, Tibetan medicine contains a wisdom and vitality that transcends the times. Therefore, the vitality of Tibetan medicine remains the same, and as long as we persist in inheriting the essence and keeping the right innovation, Tibetan medicine will certainly make great achievements.
Li Xianjia introduced the students to the Tibetan medicine Mantang. Photo courtesy of interviewee
In addition, looking back at the history of the development of traditional medicine, many have a "mentor-apprentice" inheritance model. However, in the history of Tibetan medicine education, there have been many educational institutions (such as the monastic Mambazakang), which have sent a large number of medical talents to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and its surrounding areas at various historical stages. According to the available statistics, there are more than 1500,3000 Tibetan medicine doctors with names and surnames included in the ancient texts, who have left a large number of ancient Tibetan medicine documents for future generations, according to preliminary statistics, there are more than <>,<> volumes of different kinds of literature, including classics, clinical evidence, herbal medicine, preparation, prescription, health preservation and other works. Such a large amount of medical literature will be a valuable resource for Tibetan medicine to serve the region, the country, and even human medical health. (End)
Li Xianjia, Dean of the College of Tibetan Medicine of Qinghai University and President of the Qinghai Association of Tibetan Medicine
Li Xianjia, Tibetan, professor, doctoral supervisor. Dean of the College of Tibetan Medicine of Qinghai University and President of the Qinghai Association of Tibetan Medicine.