2001-01 Tibetan Ayurveda: Health Secrets from the Roof of the World by Robert Sachs Paperback
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Tibetan Ayurveda: Health Secrets from the Roof of the World
By Robert Sachs
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 Reviews)
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Publisher:  Healing Arts Press
Published:  December 31, 2000
Binding:  Paperback
Pages:  240
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Product Description:
Discover the four levels of traditional Tibetan healing science with this preventive health care manual for people of any age, culture, and physical type.

• Includes material on little-known therapies such as Pancha Karma and Kum Nye, as well as guidelines for nutrition, longevity, detoxification, and meditation.

• Author has studied with many of the best-known Tibetan and Ayurvedic physicians alive today.

Tibetan medicine was probably the first truly integrated system of ancient healing science. From the seventh to the tenth centuries, Tibetan kings encouraged physicians from India, China, Nepal, Persia, and Greece to teach their traditional medical sciences to Tibetan physicians, who at that time were primarily influenced by Ayurveda and shamanic healing modalities. This cross-cultural marriage of the greatest healing traditions makes Tibetan medicine ideally adaptable to Western health needs.

Tibetan Ayurveda provides a comprehensive guide to the four levels of traditional Tibetan medicine with a wealth of traditional health practices and teachings. Much of the contemporary material on Tibetan medicine focuses solely on herbal medicine and acupuncture; Tibetan Ayurveda goes beyond these to look at other important forms of treatment such as Pancha Karma for detoxification and rejuvenation and Kum Nye for integrating mind and body. A self-profile test is included to allow readers to determine their own health needs and embark on the path toward realizing their full potential for health and well-being.
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4.0 out of 5 stars.  A MODERN LOOK AT AN ANCIENT THERAPY, November 30, -0001
By J. Paul Peszko
Although much of the contemporary material on Tibetan medicine focuses on herbs and acupuncture, they are only a small portion of this ancient healing practice. In Tibetan Ayurveda: Health Secrets From the Roof of the World, author Robert Sachs provides a more in depth, comprehensive examination of a highly integrated medical science that, at best, must seem very peculiar to most Western health practitioners. The primary source used by Sachs was the Gyud-Zhi. This is a shortened title for what can be translated as "The Ambrosia Heart Tantra: The Secret Oral Teachings on the Eight Branches of the Science of Healing."
Sachs points out that, according to Tibetan spiritual history, the origin of these tantras was the Buddha Vaidurya or the Medicine Buddha as he is commonly known. To present these teachings in the customary form of a dialogue, Buddha Vaidurya emanated Himself as two beings: the sage Yile Kye who raised pertinent questions and the sage Rigpe Yeshe who provided the answers. As for the secular history of the Gyud-Zhi, its teachings are believed to have originated in India. Then, in the eighth century, King Sronstan Gampo invited physicians from all over Asia to share their healing practices at what was probably the world's first international medical conference, which established Tibet as the holistic medical capitol of ancient Asia.
Sachs highlights the pertinent aspects of this eight-fold healing tradition, which includes diagnosis, lifestyle changes, nutrition, and both physical and meditative exercises. He points out that lifestyle changes are the least invasive of the therapies and therefore the most important. Upon diagnosis, a Tibetan physician will first look to diet and exercise to affect a change in a patient's condition. The diagnosis is based on a patient's physical characteristics much like Indian Ayurveda. The three physiological types are then subdivided by personality profiles thus formulating six constitutional types. Sachs includes self-evaluation tests then outlines the basic nutritional practices associated with each of the six types. Next, he examines exercise, which centers on Tibetan tai chi and chi kung, rejuvenation exercises, Yantra yoga and Kum Nye, the integration of mind and body, all considered integral to a well-rounded healing program. After instigating the various lifestyle changes, the Tibetan physician may then precipitate healing through Len Nga, a powerful detoxification and rejuvenation therapy similar to Indian Pancha Karma.
The one reservation I have is that Sachs likens the Tibetan practices to macrobiotics and alludes to several macrobiotic practitioners and their works. Although somewhat benign for healthy types, macrobiotics has never been independently confirmed as a realistic therapy for the seriously ill. I would be inclined to say that Tibetan practices have more in common with Indian Ayurveda rather than macrobiotics. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this work for both lay persons and health practitioners alike who would like to expand their horizons and add to their knowledge of alternative therapies.

31 of 31 people found the above review helpful.

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2.0 out of 5 stars.  This is not really Tibetan, November 30, -0001
By Elizabeth R. Walter
Having studied Ayurveda, and being a Tibetan buddhist practitioner, I'm getting tired of people, specifically writers, trying to mix together different cultures and lineages that just do not go together. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural medicine. It is not Tibetan, and no Tibetan lama I know calls Tibetan medicine "Ayurveda." Yes, there are absolutely similarities, and if you've studied Ayurveda, then learning Tibetan medicine will be much easier for you. I know, I've studied both systems. This book is about Ayurveda, with some Tibetan terms given as well, but for the most part, this is a book on Ayurveda. Tibetan medicine has other practices that are not even included here, for example, the practice of Moxa (or moxibustion). This is a HUGE part of Tibetan medicine, but for some reason, it's totally left out here. Why? Because this author is writing about AYURVEDA, not Tibetan medicine. He also tried to connect Chi Gung and Tai Chi to Tibet, as well. THESE AREN'T TIBETAN!!!

Please stop trying to sell books by writing about the vast secrets of Tibet, which turn out not to be Tibetan at all. If this was a book on Ayurveda, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung, I'd give it 4-5 stars. However, trying to play all this off as secret Tibetan practices is just ridiculous.

26 of 26 people found the above review helpful.

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4.0 out of 5 stars.  UPDATE, November 30, -0001
By Bill Butler
I talked to Robert Sachs a number of years ago. He is a very nice and compassionate man. He really liked The Tibetan Five Rites. Which is explained in the book. I finally got around to doing these exercise (instead of just writing about them!). I did so for six months. The results? My gray beard did not turn black. My wrinkles did not go away. I continued to age.

I am starting on Kum Nye. Which the author also liked. I'll see what happens.

I wouldn't totally disregard conventional medicine. Why not do both conventional medicine and aternative care? Then decide. Here is a paper that I wrote on my experiences with Tibetan Medicine. It contains some knowledge. Since that time, I have realized that psychiatric medications may be sometimes necessary. I take none. A good book on the subject is "Comfortably Numb". Thank you.


It was about eight years ago. I saw my Tibetan doctor only twice. She was recommended to me by Lobsang Rapgay, a Tibetan doctor. And Rapgay had been the personal physician of the Dali Lama. I was tired of doctors and shrinks. So I decided on her. This was another vision of health from afar. She told me that her teacher was in Tibet. She was Tibetan. She had me give her a urine analysis. She took my pulse. She looked me in the eyes. She looked me in the eyes as she felt my pulse. She asked me my birthdate. I said, "June 29th". She said, "You are emotional." I said, "Yes." She looked at my papers. "Why are you taking these pills?" I said, "The doctors gave me them for anxiety and depression." She said, "You are taking 25 pills daily?!?" She looked horrified. I said yes. She said, "This is the cause of most if not all of your mental and physical problems. After awhile, you have to take more and more pills. Because you have gained tolerance. Slowly, go off of these pills. They are not working. You are just taking them in order to avoid withdrawal." She took my pulse again. She said, "You are suffering from emotional shocks." She was right. Taking care of my mother. Then she waited. She was still feeling my pulse. Tibetans believe that they can tell the future by your pulse. Suddenly, she looked at me with a shocked look on her face. But she said nothing. Later, I realized what she saw. She saw that my mother would soon die. She wasn't too concerned about my smoking. But she really hated those pills. The smoking would come next. She gave me some herbs to help me get off the pills. I took them. But I still couldn't get off the pills. She hated too much sugar. She wanted me to seek out other students to discuss the dharma. I have not done so. I am now drug-free. Thank you.

4 of 4 people found the above review helpful.

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1.0 out of 5 stars.  Not a good source, November 30, -0001
By Atila G. Firmino
Despite that books be informative, my negative review is due to the fact that the questionnaire led to a misdiagnosis and the author states that all diseases related to stress are of the lung biotype. Unfortunately, I do not have access to traditional healers, so I decided to study to try to treat my health. However, I just believe that possessed Lung biotype problems, when in fact, I had of the tripa and bekan biotype . Following the recommendations for Lung type, I got worse dramatically, because the treatment worsened my Tripa condition.
However, I found a better treatment using the Chinese medical system; because the eight principles of Chinese medicine is a better approach to healthtip, than the three biotype.

Some sources:

Tibetan Medicine: Illustrated in Original Texts
Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
Chinese Medical Herbology & Ph​armacology
Interpreting Chronic Illness: The Convergence of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, and Biomedicine

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5.0 out of 5 stars.  Tibetan Ayurveda: Health Secrets from the Roof of the World, November 30, -0001
By Ms. R. M. Privilege
This is the perfect intro to my Tibetan Ayurvedic Medicine Course - thank you! It is beautifully written and easy to read. I must purchase! Rebecca

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5.0 out of 5 stars.  very helpful, November 30, -0001
By Linda Uram
This is a wonderful book that explains Ayuveda very clearly. One of the best books I've read on the subject. I found a lot of the information really helpful and easy to integrate into my diet.

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