Tibetan Medicine School
The SSI School of Tibetan Medicine originates from the ancient lineage of Tibetan Medicine practitioners who received authentic knowledge of Tibetan Medicine in the historic oral tradition. The oldest existent Treatise of Tibetan Medicine, the Bön, gSo rig ëBum bzhi, grew out of this oral tradition that finally, in one generation, was written down. The treatise is a transcription of the teachings on medicine given by Sherab Miwo, who lived twenty-five centuries BC. The chain of lineage holders who continue to transmit this knowledge remains unbroken.
The Shang Shung Institute of America was founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 1994. In the fall of 1997, Professor Namkhai Norbu and the SSIA Board of Directors requested Dr. Thubten Phuntsok, a Distinguished International Fellow and renowned Tibetan physician, to direct the beginning development of the Institute’s Tibetan medicine programs in the US. Soon after his acceptance to the appointment, the Institute began presenting studies in Tibetan Medicine that included public programs, astrology and modules in traditional Tibetan medicine. Dr. Thubten, together with the SSIA, went on to establish the first full-length certification courses in Traditional Tibetan Medicine available in North America.
Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo joined the school’s faculty in 2001, and later succeeded Dr. Thubten as director of the school. Under her leadership and guidance, and with the arduous perseverance of a growing number of dedicated faculty, staff and volunteers, the SSIA School of Tibetan Medicine was officiated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Licensed Secondary Private Occupational School in 2005. With this distinction, the school began offering a Four-Year Tibetan Medicine Program from which the first cohort of students graduated in 2009. The SSIA four-year TM program was developed in alignment with the traditional curricula of Tibetan medicine programs offered in universities in the autonomous region of Tibet. Graduates of the Four-Year programs are honored to be invited to participate in internships under senior physicians at Xining Tibetan Medical Hospital.
In 2008, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established a Division of Professional Licensure for Massage Therapists. The state’s board director was a principal architect in the structuring of the School’s programming, making it compliant with state regulations for massage licensure in 2009. Serious interest in learning Tibetan medicine through SSI arose in Russia in 2012, and has steadily increased in Italy, Australia, Spain and other parts of the world. Our sister school in Russia currently has a Four-Year TM Resident Program. Both the Australian and Russian SSIs are diligently preparing to offer the SSI hybrid curriculum of On-Line distance learning combined with On-Site practical intensives in both countries. The SSI in Italy currently offers various Kunye massage courses to meet the needs and interests of its students. More details about programs can be read in the Programs pages.
Presently, the SSIA School of Tibetan Medicine celebrates its 10th Anniversary of becoming the first official school outside the Himalayan region to offer the same, traditional Tibetan medicine curriculum that has been passed down in the oral tradition over millennia by master lineage holders of the Tibetan Science of Medicine.