Volunteers and Students are Welcome
Ladakh, in the eastern portion of Kashmir, is best known to Americans and Europeans for its trekking possibilities and nearby Dharmasala, home-in-exile of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. During the traveler’s
season, April to September, you meet numerous Indians, Europeans, North Americans, as well as Ladakhis enjoying the sunny yet cool terrain.
The area is also home to a form of traditional medicine called "Amchi,” closely linked to Tibetan medicine, and there are many opportunities to learn more about this prevention-oriented medicine that is
gaining worldwide attention. Amchi focuses on the whole person by seeing general imbalances as opposed to individual problems. A patient with a knee injury may receive herbal medicines, spiritual guidance, and counsel to change his or
As the population grows and becomes westernized, many organizations are working to preserve ancient Ladakhi traditions, including Amchi.
Sojourn Asian sponsors a comprehensive study tour of Ladakh focusing on Tibetan medicine and herbal medicine research.
The Ladakh School of Tibetan Medicine, Ladakh, India, may be contacted by writing directly to the school.
In nearby Dharmsala, the Men-Tsee-Khang teaching clinic provides traditional Tibetan medical care. Teaching includes identification, gathering, and preparing ingredients for hundreds of different medicines
as well as diagnosing and treatment. Contact Men-Tsee-Khang, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala, 176215 District Kangra (H.P.), firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Society for Ecology and Culture sponsors the Farm Project, which gives people of all nationalities the opportunity
to live and work with Ladakhi people for one or more months during the growing season to learn about growing medicinal plants.
The Tibetan Plateau Project supports the practice of Tibetan medicine and assists local communities in developing income-generating projects using medicinal plants. It also promotes biodiversity and
sustainable development: www.earthisland.org/tpp/.
Programs for local people include:
Amchi Health Worker Training Program, established by Save the Children Foundation (SCF), trains Ladakhis as Amchi practitioners to serve their local communities. Contact: Tsering Samphel,
Leh Nutritional Project (LNP), Housing Colony, P.O. Box 59, Leh 194 101 Ladakh, India.
The German-based Yuthog Foundation was launched in 1997 to revive and develop traditional Amchi medicine. Contact: www.yuthog.org.
The local Ladakh contact: Tsewang Smanla, P.O. Box 101, Leh 194101 Ladakh, India.
The Ladakh Society for Traditional Medicine offers training to local people in medicinal plant identification and collection with expert Amchis. Local contact: Ladakh Society for Traditional
Medicines, Rizong Labrang, P.O. Box 97, Leh, 194101, Ladakh, India.
JONICE OWEN, a chiropractic physician, a naturopath and classically trained homeopath. She practices in Emeryville and San Francisco, Ca.