Home Institution

University of San Francisco

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


The purpose of this Independent Study Project was to identify aspects of mental health within the traditional Tibetan medical system that are both taught in the classroom and carried out in clinical practice, with a primary focus on the importance of maintaining mental health. Throughout the research process, aspects of illness etiology, diagnosis, treatment processes, and influence from Tibetan Buddhism were found to be deeply connected in maintaining mental health within patients of Traditional Tibetan medicine. As well, much emphasis was found on the mind's influence on the physical wellbeing of an individual, suggesting that mental and physical health are not separate entities, but are constantly tied to one another. The researcher conducted a series of interviews within the Men-Tsee-Khang Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute in Dharamsala, India, that also extended to the Tibetan community of Upper Dharamsala, and to a Men-Tsee-Khang branch clinic in Kathmandu, Nepal. Qualitative data from field research was then incorporated into information gained from literary sources, varying from ancient Tibetan medical texts to academic articles.


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Family, Life Course, and Society | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Religion | Place and Environment | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Sociology of Culture | Theory, Knowledge and Science


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