Ancient Modern Medicine:
Traditional Tibetan Medicine (TTM) is a centuries-old comprehensive scientific system of integrative medicine. TTM has historically integrated the best of Ayurvedic, Chinese, Persian, and Greek traditional medical systems by incorporating them into an ongoing TTM system of documented research utilizing theory, hypothesis and proof as a common bond it shares with modern Western science. TTM has always had at its core the inseparable relationships between environment, body, mind, and spirit. Although the mind-body connection is considered cutting-edge technology in the West, it is a centuries old integrated component of TTM.
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With this history of integration, TTM is now poised to take its next logical evolutionary step by integrating centuries of a comprehensive systems theory-based approach to health and well-being with the remarkable advancements in system theory-based Western science of Functional Medicine. It is our goal at the Global Institute for Tibetan Medicine™ to be influential participants in the appropriate modernization of TTM, while simultaneously bringing the insights of traditional TTM to the west for improved patient outcomes and quality of life.
Why We Should Care:
With health care costs spiraling upward in the industrialized nations with a simultaneous increase in degenerative diseases and degradation in general health, we desperately need to integrate the inexpensive, safe and highly effective health promoting practices of TTM into a system with complementary aspects of each system. Traditional Tibetan medicine is inextricably interwoven with Tibetan culture and the appropriate integration of TTM can also act as a vehicle in support of this ancient and highly developed culture.
Where Do We Go?
To achieve the next evolutionary step in Traditional Tibetan Medicine a group of committed and like-minded researchers from Tibet and the West are gathering to develop an appropriate path that honors the insights and rich tradition of TTM and appropriately applies the ever improving tools and insights of Western medicine in a process that we are confident will be part of a truly integrated modern healthcare system.
We have identified three key areas where we can best assist in this integration:
The challenge: Appropriate research models. Western scientific research studies of traditional medicine are often unsuccessful due to two major limiting factors: Lack of therapeutic materials that are reproducible and that represent what is used in the traditional practice, and inappropriate clinical design and research endpoints for traditional medicine.
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The challenge: Sustainable supply (herbs, minerals and gems) with drug-like reproducibility and quality. An increase in demand for TTM has led to unsustainable demand on raw materials grown in their native environments and a subsequent loss of consistency and quality. We are establishing a program of sustainable production and appropriate modern technology to guarantee ongoing supply and quality.
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The challenge: Optimal integration of TTM with western biomedicine. The increased exposure of TTM over the past few decades has led to more clinical integration with western biomedical tools and more studies of its efficacy. We are integrating TTM with the western systems biology model of Functional Medicine which provides optimal outcomes. We offer education to Tibetan and western clinicians and researchers on our integration of Functional Tibetan Medicine.
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