Mentsekhang Tibetan Traditional Hospital

Mentsekhang Tibetan Traditional Hospital

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Introduction

Mentsekhang which literally named as Tibetan Traditional Hospital in English was
established in year 1916 by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. It used to be a regional
government teaching venue in which Tibetan doctors and astronomers were trained.
Mentsekhang had been merged with another medical college that formerly situated on the
Chakpori Hill in year 1959 under the instruction of government. Thus, the Tibetan
Traditional Hospital and its associated Tibetan Medical Factory were founded. The clinic
of the hospital was situated at Barkhor Street, slightly to the west of Jokhang Temple.
The hospital had encountered a large expansion in year 1980 in which Mentsekhang had
therefore turned to be a center of treatment, training, research as well as the venue of
production for Tibetan medicine. The whole area of the hospital has covered 40000 square
meters with over 450 staffs. Moreover, Mentsekhang is also served as the largest Tibetan
Traditional Hospital throughout Tibet. With the aid of modern technology in
manufacturing, the Tibetan Medical Factory which is also the largest one in Tibet
produces over 350 types of medicines in which most of them are famous both nationally and
abroad.
The Tibetan doctors believe that people’s body will change with seasons. Thus, they need
observe the changes of stars, clouds, winds, lakes and even birds when performing medical
research. In other word, Tibetan medical has a very close relationship with the Tibetan
calendar. For this reason, Mentsekhang used to be a training center for the astronomy and
calendar calculation as well. On top of that, Mentsekhang is also famous with its special
medical departments for brain blood vessels, orthopedics, pediatrics, internal medicine
and surgery.
The Tibetan medical theory is portrayed on Thangkas as a teaching tool. For this reason,
numerous Thangkas can be found hanging on the walls of the hospital. These Thangkas
contain the Tibetan medicinal knowledge in all of its aspects, from the beginning of
Tibetan medicine, to pictures of human anatomy, to methods of treatments, dietetics and
acupuncture. The medical Thangkas depict them with succinct pictures and brief words. By
observing the exhibition of special tools and appliances, you will gain a clear
understanding of Tibetan medicine.

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