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Tibetan Traditional Hospital
Tibetan Traditional Hospital, originally called Mentsekhang or Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, is the first hospital in Lhasa, originally built in 1916 by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. It was once the place of research for Tibetan medicine and calendar calculations for the previous Tibetan governments. With a large expansion in 1980, it turned into a center of treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicines. Nowadays, covering an area of 40,000 square meters and holding more than 450 employees, it also becomes the largest Tibetan hospital in Tibet.
Mentsekhang contains special medical departments for pediatrics, brain blood vessels, surgery, orthopedics, and internal drugs, etc. Additionally, it has one Tibetan medicines factory and two institutes of Tibetan calendar calculations and traditional medicines and drugs.
Tibetan medicine is thought to have a close relationship with the Tibetan calendar. The Tibetan doctors believe that human body changes with seasons; thus, they always observe the changes of stars, clouds, winds, lakes and even animals when carrying out a medical research. According to this, Mentsekhang once used to be a training center for the astronomy and calendar calculation as well. Consultants not solely calculate and edit Tibetan calendars, but also do analysis in astronomy.
When stepping into the hospital, you will see eyeful Thangkas hanging on the walls, which are acted as teaching tools, since the Tibetan medical theory is traditionally portrayed on Thangkas, with pictures and brief words, the Tibetan medicinal knowledge in all of its aspects, ranging from the beginning of Tibetan medicine to pictures of human anatomy. By observing the exhibition of special tools and appliances, you will gain a clear understanding of Tibetan medicine.