The Lum Medicinal Bathing of Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan Medicine) has been developed by the Tibetan people within a life view based on Jungwa-nga (five elements) – i.e., Sa (earth), Chu (water), Me (fire), Lung (wind) and Namkha (space) – and a view about health and illness based on Nyepa-sum (three dynamics) – i.e., Lung, Tripa and Pekan. In Tibetan, “Lum” indicates the traditional knowledge and practices of bathing in natural hot springs, herbal water or steam to adjust the balance of mind and body, to ensure health and treat illnesses.
The element is centered in the Tibetan agricultural and pastoral areas along the Yarlung Valley and the Tsongkha Mountain Range. It is also widely distributed in areas inhabited by Tibetans in Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. Moreover, it has gradually spread to other areas such as Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang.
Influenced by the Bon religion and Buddhism, the element embodies folk experiences in illness prevention and treatment, and reflects the transmission and development of traditional knowledge represented by the treatise Gyud zhi (the Four Tantras) in present-day health practice.
Lum is practiced under the guidance of a Manpa (traditional physician) in two ways. One is bathing in Five Types of Hot Springs containing different minerals. The other, bathing with Five Medicinal Nectars, includes three methods: immersion, steam-bathing and applications with sachets. In this process, Manpa, in collaboration with Lum Jorkhan (pharmacist) and Manyok (Lum assistant), conducts symptom differentiation based on observation, questions and pulse palpation. Then preparation of medicines includes herb compound, boiling, fermentation and addition of extra herbs.
As a main component of Sowa Rigpa, the element has been transmitted and widely practiced for generations in relevant communities of Tibet Autonomous Region. This includes Lhokha, Lhasa, Shigatse, Nagchu, Chamdo, Ngari, and Nyingtri. The element has also been transmitted in the relevant communities of Xining, Tsoshar, Tsolho, Malho, Tsojang, Tsonub, Yulshul, and Golog in Qinghai Province. On account of its safety and accessibility, the element has been frequently utilized in daily life, religious rituals, folkloric activities and medical practices. It plays an important role in ensuring the health of the Tibetans, and in preventing and treating illnesses. While providing Tibetans with a sense of identity and continuity, the element reflects cultural diversity and human creativity.
Through the initiative of and with the active participation of the communities, groups and individuals concerned, the element was included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Name of Element: Tibetan Medicine (Lum Medicinal Bathing of Sowa Rigpa) Date of Inclusion: June 2008 Serial No.: 448 Category No.: IX-9 Nominated by: Qinghai Tibetan Medical Hospital Competent body responsible for local safeguarding: Qinghai Tibetan Medical Hospital Description: The Lum Medicinal Bathing of Sowa Rigpa consists of the traditional knowledge and practices concerning life, health and illness prevention and treatment. It has been developed by Tibetan people under extremely cold and oxygen-poor living conditions. The element has been transmitted from generati... 【詳細】
Name of Element: Tibetan MedicineLum Medicinal Bathing of Sowa Rigpa (Lhokha Lum Medicinal Bathing of Sowa Rigpa) Date of Inclusion: November 2014 Serial No.: 448 Category No.: IX-9 Nominated by: Lhokha of Tibet Autonomous Region Competent body responsible for local safeguarding: Lhokha Tibetan Medical Hospital Description: The Lhokha Lum Medicinal Bathing of Sowa Rigpa embodies the traditional knowledge and practices concerning life, health, and illness prevention and treatment. Having been transmitted for generations in the Tibetan communities concerned, the element i... 【詳細】