CSPH 5315 - Traditional Tibetan Medicine: Ethics, Spirituality, and Healing

This course is offered completely online. 


Course Description:

This course will introduce students to ethics, spirituality, and healing from the perspective of traditional Tibetan medicine. Traditional Tibetan doctors believe that illness results from imbalance and that treating illness requires correcting the underlying imbalance. Students will learn how to apply these principles personally, integrate them into clinical practice, and consult with a traditional Tibetan doctor.

CSPH 5315 is the only prerequisite for CSPH 5318 - "Tibetan Medicine, Ayurveda, & Yoga in India." 

The course is 8 weeks long, rather than 10 weeks long, because each student does a Tibetan Medicine Practicum.

Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan medicine is far more advanced in the understanding of the nature of mind than Western medicine. In matters of understanding the physical functioning of the human body, Tibetan medicine is less advanced than Western medicine. Without mixing the two approaches, and without saying one is better than the other, both schools should work together in order to find ways of understanding and thus boost the effectiveness of the two healing techniques. - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Men-Tsee-Khang. (2009). Fundamentals of Tibetan medicine. Dharamsala , India: Author.


Heal from the Source 

Healing from the source begins

when we discover within ourselves

that we are linked with each other, the environment,

and the larger forces o the universe.

Then our inner wisdom flows spontaneously

through all the cells in the body,

promoting optimal health,

creativity, peace, and joy.


Baker, I.A. (1997). The Tibetan art of healing. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Tibetan Medicine and Science

Why does modern biology accept only competition to be the fundamental operating principle and aggression to be the only fundamental trait of human beings? Why does it reject cooperation as an operating principle, and why does it not see altruism as possible traits for the development of living beings as well? One can take science seriously and accept the validity of its empirical findings without subscribing to scientific materialism.

I have argued for the need for and possibility of a worldview grounded in science, yet one that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. There is an intimate connection between one's conceptual understanding of the world, one's vision of human existence and its potential, and the ethical values that guide one's behavior.

Dalai Lama. (2005). The universe in a single atom: The convergence of science and spirituality. London : Little, Brown.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

    • Explain the Tibetan art of healing and its underlying philosophy.
    • Examine the relationship between ethics, spirituality, and healing in Tibetan Medicine.
    • Explain the three categories of negative thinking, three kinds of primary energies, resulting diseases, and treatments to restore balance.
    • Analyze diagnosis and treatment in Tibetan Medicine.
    • Examine the relationship between Tibetan Medicine, Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan history, and Tibetan culture.
    • Compare and contrast Tibetan Medicine with conventional medicine, nursing, and healthcare in the United States.
    • Identify relevant research and propose additional research that is needed.
    • Analyze a good death from the perspective of Tibetan Medicine.
    • Investigate characteristics, qualifications, and licensure of traditional Tibetan doctors and when to consult them.
    • Apply principles of Tibetan Medicine personally and integrate them into clinical practice. 

What Students Are Saying

"Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! You have taught me so much about healing presence and the power of compassion, not only through the course materials, but also from demonstration through your own presence and communication. It has truly affected me, and I have no doubt it will serve me in my future health coaching practice." - CSPH 5315 Student, Ashley Jordahl 


Course Details

Course ID: 
CSPH 5315
Graduate Students, Undergraduate students with junior status or above, or instructor consent.
Semesters Course Offered: 
Course Flyer: 
PDF icon Course Flyer (24.85 MB)