Conference: Golden needle or the acupuncture (sergekhap) therapy is the most sought treatment among the 11 therapies the traditional hospital in Thimphu provides.

Almost 27 percent of the patients, who visited the hospital last year, were treated with acupuncture therapy. Monthly more than 400 patients visit the hospital for golden needle therapy.

According to data with the therapy section of the National Traditional Medicine, 10 of the diseases that received therapies had more than 60 percent curative rate. When treated with golden needle therapy, among the ailments, wind disorder (rlungned) had the highest healing rate at 82.6 percent, followed by skin disease at 82 percent.

Patient with wind disorder, according to Drungtshos at the hospital, would suffer from giddiness, headache, hearing difficulty and inability to sleep.

Arthritis and phlegm (calmness of temperament) disorder and Lumbar pain had curative rate of about 74 percent. Curative rates were calculated based on the experiences of the practitioners.

A cross-sectional survey carried out in August 2013 to study patient satisfaction with tradition medicine service at the traditional hospital in Thimphu found that 94.5 percent of patients visiting the hospital were highly satisfied. For the survey, 101 patients above 18 years of age were questioned.

Patients were highly satisfied with courtesy, quality of care, physical environment, convenience and behavior of Drugtshos and staff of the traditional hospital.

During the recent annual medical conference, senior lecturer at the traditional medicine faculty, Tempa Gyeltshen, said the study also found that patients who had low education qualification and patients aged 45 and above were more likely to have a high level of satisfaction with traditional medicine services.

“Providing more information about traditional medicine services to educated and young generation can help increase the level of satisfaction in traditional health care system,” he said.

Presenting on “Ignorance the root cause of all illness”, Drungtsho Jigme Singye of Lhuntse hospital, said in the context of traditional medicine philosophy, ignorance (Ma-Rig-Pa) meant a person lacking knowledge on non-existence of “I”.

“One cannot see the real phenomenon because of ignorance; when it clings to self-only, it gives rise to the three mental poisons- attachment, anger and delusion,” he said. “So ignorance and three mental poisons constitute the etiology of sicknesses and sufferings.

He added that ignorance leading to the three poisons make people adopt varieties of lifestyles and diets, eventually changing their living style, which leads to illness.

By Nirmala Pokhrel