Diploma in Sowa Rigpa (DSR)
Sowa Rigpa is the Tibetan language word for the traditional medical system of Tibet, with roots dating back more than 2000 years. One of the oldest healing traditions in the world, it remains fully alive and intact today, having preserved its authenticity through the pure lineage of transmission. Originating in the high plateau of Tibet, later it spread to other Himalayan regions including Bhutan, Nepal, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Mongolia. Incorporating elements from the foreign medical systems of Ancient India, China, and Greece, Sowa Rigpa retains its own distinctly Tibetan character, shaped by both Buddhist and pre-Buddhist thought. This is a truly holistic system of medicine that utilizes highly sophisticated diagnostic techniques and the four main treatment methods of diet and lifestyle modifications, herbal medicine, and a diverse variety of manual therapies (such as Kunye massage) in order to fulfill its fourfold aim of preventing illness, curing illness, extending life, and cultivating happiness.
Sowa Rigpa utilizes sophisticated diagnostic techniques including tongue, pulse and urinalysis to assess the current condition of the patient’s health and design a highly personalized treatment plan consisting of diet and lifestyle modifications, natural herbal medicine from an extensive materia medica, external manual therapies (including Kunye massage, acupuncture, moxibustion, compresses, herbal baths and more) and spiritual healing techniques including yoga exercises, mantra, breathwork, and meditation to help balance body, energy and mind.
Status of Sowa-Rigpa in India
Sowa-Rigpa is formally recognized and promoted as traditional medical system by the Government of India. With the amendment of the Indian Medical Council Act 1970 by the Parliament in 2010, the Sowa Rigpa system of medicine is recognized by the Government of India along with the other Indian System of medicine (Ayurveda,Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). There are over 1,000 practitioners of Sowa-Rigpa in India, who mostly reside in the Himalayan regions, with Dharamshala and Ladakh being the main centers.. At present a five and half year course called ‘Menpa Kachupa’, which is equivalent to a Bachelor degree of Sowa-Rigpa is offered in five institutions across India — Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (Leh), Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Dharamshala), Central University for Tibetan Studies (Uttar Pradesh), Chagpori Medical Institute (Darjeeling), and newest being the Faculty of Sowa Rigpa of the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology under the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT).
With a history going back over 2,500 years, traditional Sowa-Rigpa commonly known as Tibetan Medicine, is one of the oldest continuously practiced healing systems on Earth. Regarded as science, art and philosophy, Sowa-Rigpa is an ancient form of holistic health care indigenous to the Tibetan/Himalayan people, and as such it integrates the core Buddhist principles of altruism, karma and ethics. Over thousands of years this native Tibetan science synthesized with accumulated knowledge from India, China, Persia and Greece. Since this time, it has been practiced continuously throughout Tibet, the Himalayan regions, India, Mongolia and Siberia, as well as, now, in the western world. It is practiced widely in the Himalayan belt of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dharamshala, Lahaul and Spiti (both in Himachal Pradesh) and in the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is also practiced in countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, and Russia.
Since there is a demand for trained and skilled manpower in the field of Sowa-Rigpa, it offers many employment opportunities in the Himalayan region, as well as in other parts of the country. Besides India, trained professionals in Sowa-Rigpa are also in demand in other countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and Russia. Employment opportunities for Sowa-Rigpa professionals are available in training, education, research, public health, government and private sectors.
Some of the career options for a Sowa-Rigpa professional are listed below: