What’s the matter with my Lung? 

-Raeyshmanita Kumaar

“Lung” (rlung), a Tibetan word for “Wind,” became a term that I had grown tired of hearing until I started delving deeper into its significance. Whenever I went for a health check-up at a Tibetan medicine clinic, the diagnosis consistently pointed to the imbalances in my internal lung. There came a moment when I teetered on the brink of losing my enthusiasm for Tibetan medicine altogether. However, a stroke of good fortune intervened when I shared my concerns with my dear teacher. 

One evening, I found myself in the comforting presence of my beloved teacher, sipping tea and eagerly listening to his profound words. But unlike the other days, I was plagued by an unexplainable pain. My mind was enveloped in a dense fog; my thoughts wandered aimlessly, unable to find a clear path amidst the mental fatigue that gripped me. Weariness clouded my clarity and focus. Desperate for relief, I gently massaged my temples, hoping to soothe the persistent ache that throbbed behind my eyes, as if exhaustion had lodged itself deep within my skull. 

As the evening drew to a close, I mustered the courage to confess my symptoms to my teacher. I wasn’t quite sure what I had expected to hear, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for the mention of “Lung” once again. This time, however, something felt different. I began to explore the concept more attentively, setting aside my prior scepticism about herbal medicines. 

In an effort to gain a deeper understanding of Lung and its significance in Tibetan medicine, I decided to seek consultation with some of the Tibetan medicine practitioners. This consultation yielded several enlightening points that were instrumental in deepening my understanding: 

  1. The Three Humors  

The Tibetan medicine practitioners began by explaining the three humors in Tibetan medicine: wind (rlung), bile (mkhrispa), and phlegm (badken). They are not just abstract concepts but integral to the functioning of the body-mind. The Tibetan medicine practitioners also elucidated that Tibetan medicine places a strong emphasis on the interconnectedness of the body and mind. Lung, in particular, is believed to play a crucial role in this connection, influencing both physical and mental health. Understanding how imbalances in Lung affect the body-mind complex is fundamental to Tibetan medicine. I started to appreciate the holistic approach taken by this ancient Tibetan system of healing. 

  1. Lung Imbalance 

According to Tibetan medicine practitioners, our bodies are the product of the harmonious interaction of the five elements: fire, water, wind, earth, and space. When these elements are in balance, our bodies function optimally. However, when there’s an imbalance in the Lung (wind element), it disrupts the internal functions of the body, giving rise to numerous physical and mental distress. Over the course of learning about Lung, I had the chance to observe my close friends and family who manifested those symptoms. In fact, their experiences mirrored my own, with symptoms ranging from anxiety and sleeplessness to panic attacks and physical pain. The universality of these health challenges underscored the significance of addressing Lung imbalances in maintaining overall well-being. 

  1. Holistic Treatment 

Tibetan medicine practitioners elaborated that their system relies extensively on herbal remedies to reestablish harmony within the body. In my personal situation, they recommended a tailored blend of herbs and specialized formulas to target the precise issues stemming from my Lung imbalance. These remedies were very carefully prepared not solely to alleviate symptoms but also to tackle the root causes of the disharmony. This approach emphasized a holistic understanding of health and well-being, recognizing that true healing goes beyond mere symptom management. By addressing the underlying imbalances associated with the Lung, Tibetan medicine aimed to restore balance to both the body and the mind. 

In the end, my newfound respect for Tibetan medicine and the concept of Lung brought a fresh perspective to my understanding of health and well-being. It serves as a constant reminder that sometimes ancient wisdom holds the key to addressing contemporary challenges. As a result, whenever I experience any form of distress, my immediate thought is, “What’s the matter with my Lung?” 

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