Basic principles

Historically, the amchi would begin their medical training at an early age. Their knowledge and skills have been transferred from teacher to student, often from father to son. Thus, lineages of amchi families exist throughout the Tibetan cultural world. After learning how to read and write classical Tibetan and studying relevant religious texts, students would learn their vocation by apprenticing with an elder amchi and studying the Gyud Shi, or the Four Root Tantra texts of Tibetan medicine. Young amchi would also learn how to identify and collect medicinal plants, make medicine, remove poisonous qualities of certain ingredients, diagnoze disease using pulse and urine analysis, and provide prescriptions for patients. They would also be trained in moxibustion, cauterization, and other healing techniques. Likewise, the amchi would receive training in astrology, which is an essential component of diagnosis and treatment within the Tibetan medical tradition.

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