The most famous Tibetan external therapy is the traditional Ku Nye (bsku mnye) massage, who has been in practice since the 7th Century and was mentioned in the Four Tantras of Medicine in the 13th Century, by Yuthok Gompo. By ours days, this treatment is in common usage in Himalayan hospitals for number of disorders.
This complete massage (the most completed I had never practised in more 15 years of practice) is especially efficient in prevention and treating rlung (wind energy) disorders, relative to stress, depression insomnia, nerve system dysfunctions, with main effect to balance the internal elements of the body. In that way, Ku Nye can be used for almost every patient, and is very helpful to soothe and relax tension of the body and the mind.
Ku Nye can also be use in more curative intent for specific individual disorder like:
Insomnia, sleep disorders
Nervous system and autoimmune disorders, such Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Multi-sclerosis, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis...
Muscular disorders (contractions, spasms, cramps, frozen shoulder...)
Spinal and peripheral injuries
Mood imbalance, depression
Inner organs disorders, such intestinal pain, diaphragmatic pain, chronic hiccough, chronic liver diseases...)
Chronic headache, sinusitis
Prenatal and postnatal healthcare (for pain relief, better rest, emotional disorders like baby blues, structural issues which arise in pregnancy and childbirth, and to avoid bearing-down syndrome)
In that way, some relative contraindications of Ku Nye are to be considered:
Cancer or tumors, patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, because massage can spread tumours and toxins deeper into the body, but Ku Nye will be really helpful after such treatments and conditions, to help the body to eliminate toxins and clean its physiology.
People with a weak digestion, lack stomach heat, any chronic indigestion, diarrhoea, vomiting conditions.
Skin conditions with strong inflammations or open wounds
Ku Nye Massage has many forms of application according to the patient and his conditions. Following a well defined frame, each Ku Nye will be in fact tailored for each patient, the practitioner using specific oil, specific additional technics or focusing on certain parts of the body during his treatment.
There are 3 principals stages in the Ku Nye procedure:
‘Ku’, (bsku), a preliminary treatment with oil application, general joints movement (for those knowing the GOT (General Osteopathic Treatment), this part looks very similar and shares the same aims), warming up the cold part of the body with hot compresses or hot stones, etc.
‘Nye’, (mnye), the actual massage including different methods (kneading, rubbing, tapping, palpate-rolling, acupressure points), instruments (shells, hot and warm stones, gemstones, wooden stick, horns) and treatment of specific locations etc.
‘Chi’, after-treatment, to clean the organism , such as removing the excess of oil with different kind of powder, bath or shower.
Additional technics care frequently add to this frame to treat specific condition, such acupressure points employed during the massage to work on the nervous system and organ levels. There are other specific technics (with shell, stones...) and movements designed to open the channels (particularly paralysis channels, channels specific to Traditional Tibetan Medicine) and increase energy flow and vitality. Tibetan Massage incorporates work on the head and the cranium to release facial and neck tension and to balance the jaw
Ku Nye originates from the practice of tantric yogis who used various methods, like massage, oil application, Yuk Cho (stick therapy), particular yoga..., on themselves to balance their energies and health.
In Tantric practices, any stagnancy or blockage of energy in the subtle channels leads to create disorders and difficulty to control the mind during meditation and will disturb deeply the yogi's aim. The effect wished under these treatments was to clean and open the energetic channels, to obtain a clearer mind, stable and free from emotional perturbation.
With generation of practice, the understanding of the subtle body channels increased and lead to the development of the Tibetan chakra system and to a better understanding of the energy pathways, with a huge implication in Sowa Rigpa, the Tibetan science of Healing.
From this origin, various technics of massage, with different oils, fats, herbal decoctions, applications with stones, shells and herbs during massage, compress applications, for very specific conditions, emerge and compose the rich tools-box of the Ku Nye.
For more info...
About Ku Nye massage, please have a look to these following videos, by Dr Nida Chenagtsang, Medical Director of Sorig Khang International
If you wish to learn Ku Nye, you can also visit the Sorig Khang International website for more info about Traditional Tibetan Medicine, External Therapies and SKI Medical Education program.