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Visiting a Tibetan Doctor

Dr. Dhonden

If you wish to see Dr. Dhonden or another Tibetan physician, it is best to avoid spicy foods, coffee, black tea, and alcohol the night before. Then the first thing to do in the morning is get a sample of the first urine. Next go the clinic between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM and pick up a number to obtain your place in line. Depending on your number, go back to clinic between 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM, Monday through Saturday. Keep in mind that on especially busy days, the number may be all gone by 7:00 AM. The clinic closes for lunch around noon time for about 30 minutes, and is closed on Sunday.


The doctor, or "amchi", will observe the patient, observed the quality of the urine, read the 12 pulses which act as messenger between doctor and patient, and ask questions to discover as much as possible about the patient's current medical condition.

The Patient may receive advice regarding diet and lifestyle, an external treatment, and/or a prescription for Tibetan herbal medicine to be taken three to four times a day.

If you'll be staying in Dharamshala for a while, you'll return to the clinic once a week for follow up visits. When you're ready to leave, you'll most likely receive a two month supply of Tibetan Medicinal Herbs to take with you, and then you can order additional supplies to be mailed to you as needed.
Amchi Tala, Traditional Doctor in Tibet
"Amchi Tala, a Tibetan doctor, holding precious medical books in a remote region of Western Tibet: the 'Gyu Shi' ('Four Tantras'), the fundamental Tibetan Medical classic written in the 12th century, and a manuscript on compounding medicines, written by previous generations of Amchi Tala's medical family." Theresia Hofer, Photographer - anthropologist.

The Roots of Tibetan Medicine

The roots of Tibetan Medicine run deep in Tibetan culture and are the result of thousands of years of development and integration of the major medical systems of the ancient world. Tibetans have created a unique holistic system drawing on and blending the medical traditions of Tibet with those of India, China, Persia, and Greece (much as western medicine has its roots in the Arabic, Greek, and Persian traditions).

The Tibetan Medical system is at once a science, art and philosophy, acknowledging needs of the individual as a whole, encompassing body, mind and spirit.

The science of this Traditional Tibetan System is grounded in a wealth of knowledge and understanding of anatomy, physiology, embryology, and pathology. It has developed a complete system of diagnosis and treatment, an extensive herbal pharmacopoeia, and a vast body of medical literature, including its volumes on Tibetan Psychiatry, the oldest surviving and complete written system of medical psychiatry.

Over time, as the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine became known throughout central Asia, Tibet became known as the "country of medicine" and the "land of medicine plants."

Dr. Yeshi Dhonden Clinic

. Monday - Saturday - Pick up token 6:00-10:00 (token pick up provided as courtesy to Snow Crest guests)

. Clinic Hours Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 2:30

. Closed on Sunday
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