Navigation Links
Researchers discover ways of integrating treatment of traumatized Tibetan refugee monks
Date:3/12/2009

(Boston) - The Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR) at Boston Medical Center recently treated many of the large number of Tibetan refugee monks who fled violent religious persecution. These individuals arrived in Boston suffering from symptoms of traumatic stress, interfering with their meditative practice. The monks were diagnosed by their traditional healers as having srog-rLung, a life-wind imbalance. Recognizing that barriers exist between western and eastern medicine, the BCRHHR researched and implemented its own complementary therapy options to heal them. These findings appear online in the March issue of Mental Health, Religion and Culture.

According to Tibetan medicine, a srog-rLung disturbance has the potential to develop into a serious mental illness, leaving the victim at odds with the balance of the universe as well as jeopardizing his personal health. Symptoms of srog-rLung include uncontrollable crying, worrying, excessive mental, physical or verbal activity and an unhappy mind. Other conditions affecting the monk's health include anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Research in cross-cultural health settings, particularly refugee health services, shows that successful treatment is contingent on a combination of the patient's interpretation of the illness and biomedical categories. This allows the patient to actively participate in his or her own healing. Cross-cultural psychiatric assessment is also necessary in determining appropriate treatment options, as treatment can be detrimental if not harmonized with the religious context in which mental illness will develop for these monks. The BCRHHR used traditional healers to obtain a dual diagnosis for the development of holistic therapy that responds to both PTSD and srog-rLung.

"This research and treatment involving patients accustomed only to traditional medicine, presented an opportunity for the acceptance of non-traditional therapeutic approaches," explains Michael Grodin, MD, professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University School of Public Health, and professor of psychiatry, sociomedical sciences and community medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. "The difference between Tibetan and Western disease pathologies represents the need for evidence-based complementary therapies, such as the Tibetan monks in exile and other religious refugee populations," said Grodin.

Tibetan Buddhist tradition dictates that the cure for suffering is enlightenment, attainable through meditation. When this occurs, the body is freed from anxieties and fears. The monks who were treated for PTSD and srog-rLung are finding that meditation, once second nature, has become difficult after nights filled with flashbacks that put the monks in a state of hyper-vigilance for the next day.

According to the researchers, in order to provide complimentary therapy for the monks, eastern and western medicine needed to be integrated to properly address both conditions. The spiritual aspect of the Tibetan medical model, which is at the core of the monks' experience of illness, guided this research. Ancient Tibetan Bon tradition of yogic practice was used to induce the mind into a relaxed state necessary to purify oneself through motion. This yogic practice combines movement of the body and controlled breath with movements of the mind to bring mental stability and offers an alternative to the monks' inability to eliminate invasive thoughts. Another therapy that was used is singing bowl therapya form of music therapy, as sound has a direct connection to the heart, which aligns with srog-rLung experienced by the monks.

Grodin said the refugee health center at BMC integrated techniques of western medicine, such as anti-depressant prescribing and psychotherapy, with Tibetan healing practices, including medicines prescribed by Tibetan Amchi, meditation advice, Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises. Grodin is trained in traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture and meditation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Allison Rubin
allison.rubin@bmc.org
617-638-8491
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. European Researchers Call for New Doping Standards
2. Researchers Report Combined Molecules in Red Wine by Far Exceed the Biological Activity of Plain Resveratrol, Consistent With the Composition of Longevinex(R)
3. Japanese Researchers Develop New Smallpox Vaccine
4. U of Minnesota researchers examine the value of health information technology
5. A Lesson for Parents: Arguing in Front of Your Teens Has Lasting Impact, Researchers Find
6. Penn vet researchers identify a critical growth factor that stimulates sperm stem cells to thrive
7. Satellite Healthcare Researchers to Present at 29th Annual Dialysis Conference
8. U-M Researchers ID Gene Involved in Pancreatic Cancer
9. Researchers identify potential therapeutic target in osteosarcoma
10. UT Southwestern teaching hospital halves its rate of premature births, researchers find
11. Researchers identify ALS gene mutation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Only two months after the ... Market (ILTM) show in Cannes (France), XO Private has initiated a second print-run of ... book measures almost a metre across when open, weighs in at more than six ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Dr. Ronald E. Hawkins, vice ... appointment of Peter A. Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-dist., FACEP, as the new ... 10. Dr. Bell comes to Liberty from the Ohio University Heritage College of ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... With millions of ... critically important that we all are aware of our options and are empowered ... to announce the launch of its newest edition of "Vision and Hearing" in ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... With ProGlass Prism users now have the ability ... total control over position, rotation, distortion, edge softness, edge blur, chromatic aberration, individual glass ... , With ProGlass Prism users are given the tools and effects to generate ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The International ... 7th annual “Imagine Me Beyond What You See” body image mannequin art competition. Selected ... will be showcased and the winner revealed at the 31st annual iaedp Symposium, March ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 23, 2017  This ... US$ Thousand by the following Products: ... analyzed in the report include Pharmaceuticals, and Agrochemicals. The ... Japan , Europe , ... provided for the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  The particle ... million by 2021 from USD 275.9 million in ... Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04718602-summary/view-report.html ... spending on pharmaceutical R&D, and growth in manufacturing ... the market growth for particle counters. On the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)...  Xynomic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an oncology drug research ... acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and ... targeting hematological and solid tumors. To ... 2 clinical trials of Abexinostat in US, EU ... been completed, demonstrating that Abexinostat is clinically active ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: