When I first made the leap to this endeavor, I didn’t know exactly what I would study; Traditional Chinese Medicine was a foregone conclusion given my prior studies it in and my language skills from 4 years of living in China, beyond that, though, wasn’t so clear. So I set to researching.
Ayurveda seemed like a reasonable choice given its preeminence as probably the second major medical/healing tradition originating in Asia. As I looked more and more into the options for studying ayurveda, I found there were plenty offered in English, of all time lengths, prices, locations, and starting dates. That made the decision to include ayurveda in my studying much easier.
Choosing if and where there would be a third location of study wasn’t yet firm. Yet I decided having three different Asian perspectives on healing and wellness would give me a more rounded viewpoint and make the whole experience more interesting.
At first I started researching Korean Traditional Medicine. But very quickly I found the overlap with TCM would make it nearly a repeat of my earlier studies. There are only 2-3 fundamental differences between TKM and TCM, hardly enough to warrant another round of studying. Furthermore, I couldn’t find any programs taught in Korea in English. Nonetheless, if anyone happens to know any, please let me know, I’m still interested.
Then I heard about Japanese Kampo–herbal medicine based on the principles of TCM but far expanded and tailored to the Japanese. What is interesting about herbal medicine in Japan is it is so highly regarded and well-documented that it is covered by the national medical insurance in Japan. Courses are also offered in at-home applications of Japanese Kampo for housewives. However, in my research I found these to be only in Japanese, besides living in Japan is prohibitively expensive. There is a brief couse, more like an explanation, of Kampo online here.
After that I looked at Unani and some other lesser known schools of medical thought in India and southern Asia, such as Burma (Myanmar) and Bhutan, but couldn’t find anything substantial enough to allow for study in English.
Next I stumbled across T!bet@n Traditional Medicine, which seems to be highly effective as it is based on the integration of TCM and ancient medicine principles originating from the Middle East. I believe due to Communist-T|bet antagonism, and earlier Cultural Revolution that sought to eradicate indigenous cultures across greater China, T1be+an medicine isn’t widely studied or taught in T!bet itself. It is much more actively taught in Europe, Singapore, and parts of the US. The T|bet@an exile area in northern India, around the Ladakh region also offers training in T1bet@n medicine. Finally, the value of TTM is starting to be recognized within China and supposedly will be taught in Qinghai and T1be+ itself at the hospitals or universities. However, I struggled to find concrete information on those offerings. When I reached out to practicioners for advice on where/how to study within greater China, I was rebuffed. While I’m still very interested in studying TTM, particularly if possible in Qinghai or T!bet itself, I’ve given up. If you know of something, please let me know in comments below! Additional resources.
Which leaves me now with the very possible and very exciting prospect of studying traditional Balinese Healing to round out my 9 months and 3 types of healing arts of Asia. More on that in the next couple of weeks as I make the reservations for that program.