Sunday, May 04, 2008

Historic Tibetan Medicine Symposium at Amherst College, June 13-15, 2008

Tibetan Medicine in America 2008
June 13th -15th at Amherst College

A historic symposium featuring keynote speaker Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, speakers from the American Tibetan Medical Association and Tibetan doctors from around the world.

Regarded as science, art and philosophy, Tibetan medicine is an ancient form of holistic heath care indigenous to the Tibetan people that integrates the core Buddhist principles of altruism, karma and ethics. Originating from early indigenous Tibetan society, traditional Tibetan medicine evolved into a synthesis of thousands of years of accumulated empirical knowledge from China, Persia, India and Greece. It has been practiced continuously in Tibet for over 4,000 years.

All symposium sessions are free and open to the public, and will be held at Amherst College, in Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather. Sponsored by the International Shang Shung Institute, American Tibetan Medical Association, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College, the Dean’s Office; the Hamilton Fund; the President’s Office; and the Tagliabue Fund, Amherst College.

About the symposium
Opening day will feature a key note lecture by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, the internationally renowned Tibetan scholar and the founder of the International Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Studies with locations in Austria, Italy and the United States. Since 2005, the USA branch has offered the only 4-year Traditional Tibetan Medicine Program in the West and the first-of-its-kind English-language curriculum that mirrors traditional training found only at advanced medical schools in Tibet and India.

On Saturday the following speakers will lecture: Dr. Yang Ga, an assistant professor of Tibetan medicine at the Tibetan Medical College in Lhasa who is currently in a Harvard PhD program, will talk on the history of Tibetan medical knowledge, one of humanity's oldest continuously practiced healing systems.

Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, a doctoral student at the UCLA School of Public Health, ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk, and board member of the American Tibetan Medical Association, will introduce the basic medical theory underlying Tibetan Medicine that a naturally balanced being is better health.

Dr. Tenzin Darje, professor at the Lhasa Medical School in Tibet, and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo, director of the Shang Shung Institute's 4-year Tibetan Medicine program and president of the American Tibetan Medical Association, will give a talk to introduce the ancient healing system's prevention approach in present-day clinical practice with an emphasis on balancing the Western diet and lifestyle.

Dr. Tenzin Dapka, a Tibetan medical professor and publisher, and Dr. Chimed Rabten, a professor at Sichuan State Tibetan College in China, chief physician at the school's affiliated medical center and board member of the American Tibetan Medical Association, will discuss the current situation for Tibetan medicine in Tibet, where it has been practiced continuously for 4,000 years, and India, which is now home to the largest school of Tibetan medicine outside of its Himalayan homeland.

Dr. Choyang Phuntsog, a former faculty member and pharmacy director at the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute in Dharamsala, India and member of the American Tibetan Medical Association, and Tashi Rabten, a graduate from the Tibetan Medical School in Lhasa and founder of the Tibetan Green Health Center in New York, will talk about the current situation for Tibetan medicine in America focusing on legality, licensing, standards and preservation through practice.

Speaker Schedule

Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather, Amherst College

4:30 Welcoming remarks by Professor Paola Zamperini, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College
Opening remarks, Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo
Keynote lecture by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather.

9 - 10:30 AM | Dr. Yang Ga The Historic Roots of Medical Knowledge in Tibet
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen Understanding the Basis of the Tibetan Healing Science
2 - 3:30 PM | Dr. Tenzin Darje and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo Preventative Measures and Practical Applications of Tibetan Medicine
3:45 – 5:00 PM | Dr.Tenzin Dakpa and Dr. Chimed Rabtan Modern Day Study and Practice of Tibetan Medicine in Tibet and India

Pruyne Hall, Fayerweather.

9 - 10:30 AM | Dr. Chodying Phuntsog and Tashi Rabten Tibetan Medicine in America
10:45 AM - Noon |Concluding Remarks
Dr. Yang Ga, Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, Dr. Tenzin Darje, Dr. Chodying Phuntsog and Tashi Rabten

Moderators: Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo and Professor Paola Zamperini, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College

About ATMA
The American Tibetan Medical Association (ATMA) is exclusively dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Tibetan Medicine and has no political affiliations or involvement. It is a national organization representing the Tibetan Medical profession in The United States of America, and its mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the philosophy, knowledge, science and practice of Tibetan Medicine for the benefit of humanity.

About The Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College
Asian Languages and Civilizations promotes an interdisciplinary exploration of the histories and cultures of the peoples of Asia. Through a systematic study of the languages, societies, and cultures of the major civilizations that stretch from the Arab World to Japan, this department aims at expanding knowledge and challenging presuppositions about this large and vital part of the world. Students in this discipline learn about cultural difference and its social and political implications, both within Asia and between Asia and the West.

About The International Shang Shung Institute
The International Shang Shung Institute was founded in Italy in 1989 by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and inaugurated in 1990 by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Its aim is to deepen the knowledge and understanding of Tibetan cultural traditions in order to ensure their survival and preservation. The International Institute currently has three main branches, located in Italy, Austria, and the USA, which work together as one to promote all initiatives to this end.

The American branch, founded at Tsegyalgar in 1994 by Chögyal Namkai Norbu, currently offers the only full-time, four-year Traditional Tibetan Medicine certification program in the West. The program follows a recent revival of Traditional Tibetan Medicine in the East and marks one of the most significant advances for its preservation and practice in the West.

The innovative program is attracting a new generation o medical students interested in the integration of ancient healing systems with modern medicine. The institute is currently on the path of becoming the first fully accredited school of Traditional Tibetan Medicine in the West

For more information contact the Shang Shung Institute at (413) 369 - 4928 , email:, Web:

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