New Light on Tibetan Medicine: Volume I - Foundations


OUT NOW! A pioneering textbook that provides a comprehensive overview of Sowa Rigpa’s foundations, focusing on Tibetan medical theory and physiology. With more than 100 illustrations and tables!

  • English title: New Light on Tibetan Medicine: Volume I – Foundations
  • Tibetan title: བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་འོད་སྣང་གསར་པ།
  • Author: Dr. Pasang Yonten Arya
  • Year of publication: 2022
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 28 x 21,7 x 2,4 cm
  • ISBN: 978-2-9701464-3-8
  • Hardback: xxii + 258 pp.

Book Description

Foundations is the first textbook of the New Light series. This beautifully illustrated volume introduces the Buddhist roots and historical development of Sowa Rigpa, as well as the structure of the most important Tibetan medical text: the Four Tantras (Gyüzhi). Based on this classic yet adding novel insights, the main focus of the book is the systematic explanation of the three humors, metabolism, embryology, and the functions of the organs, channels, and chakras. Summarized in the form of metaphorical tree diagrams and placed in the context of the physician’s ethical code, these chapters provide a solid theoretical foundation for understanding the gross and subtle physiology of the body-mind. New Light on Tibetan Medicine: Volume I – Foundations is clearly structured, packed with insightful figures and tables, and backed up by an extensive glossary of Tibetan terms, making this pioneering work easily accessible.


New Light on Tibetan Medicine is a welcome, long-awaited, and thorough introduction to Tibet’s medical legacy written from the perspective of an eminent Tibetan medical practitioner. It offers Pasang Yonten Arya’s knowledgeable commentary based on decades of personal study and skills in teaching Sowa Rigpa in Europe and beyond. Foundations—the first volume of the New Light series—is beautifully designed, clearly written, and well-structured. Presenting a contemporary example of cross-cultural translation in action, it indeed sheds new light on a continuously evolving medical tradition.

Dr. Barbara Gerke, social and medical anthropologist (University of Vienna), author of Taming the Poisonous: Mercury, Toxicity, and Safety in Tibetan Medical Practice (Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021)