The Art of Ku Nye Tibetan Massage

by Jason Whitlow, Director of Sorig Khang Center for Tibetan Medicine


Ku Nye Tibetan Massage is a therapeutic modality of the holistic healing science of Traditional Tibetan Medicine (TTM), one of the oldest medical systems in existence. Known in Tibetan as Sowa Rigpa or Sorig, TTM offers a vast, accessible medical knowledge that supports the cultivation of a happy mind along with a healthy body.


According to TTM, health is a state of balance—specifically, the balance of our body, energy, and mind—and disease is a state of imbalance. The wisdom of TTM shows us how to prevent disease through maintaining balance, and how to cure disease by restoring balance.


TTM explains that our body, energy, and mind (as well as the world around us) are made up of five fundamental elements: space, wind, fire, water, and earth. TTM offers a wealth of therapeutic methods—including lifestyle guidelines, diet regimens, herbal medicines, and external therapies—to help us maintain the balance of these five elements within ourselves, and to live in harmony with the five elements in the environment. The unique healing therapy of Ku Nye massage is especially good for treating disorders of the wind element (that manifest as stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, nervous system disorders, and related conditions) as well as for eliminating toxins and increasing vitality and well-being.


When giving a Ku Nye massage, a skilled practitioner first talks with the client and assesses their current condition using techniques such as pulse reading and tongue inspection. Based on this information, the practitioner customizes each aspect of the massage (from the oils chosen to the techniques used) to help balance the client’s specific aliments, and to harmonize their innate constitution.


Next the practitioner applies warm herbal oils to the client’s body and mobilizes each part, administering heat or cold as needed, to restore range of motion and circulation and balance the internal organ systems. The practitioner then massages the muscles, tendons, and viscera using various techniques, and works with the subtle channels and points of the body to balance the inner energies. Advanced practitioners may choose to augment the massage with additional TTM therapies including Hormé oil therapy, Mébum cupping therapy, Métsa (moxibustion) heat therapy, Yukchö stick therapy, and more. At the end of the session, the excess oil is removed with chickpea flour or a hot shower.


At home, the client can maintain ongoing health with the support of a balanced lifestyle, proper diet, herbal remedies, simple Nejang Healing Yoga exercises, and mantra and meditation practices, all customized to their particular constitution.

Through the use of Ku Nye and the healing wisdom of TTM, we can cultivate what are known as the ‘two flowers’ of good health and long life. From these two flowers, the ‘three fruits’ naturally grow, and we enjoy an open, satisfied, and happy mind and heart. This integrated state of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being is the ultimate goal of the healing science of Traditional Tibetan Medicine.









“May I benefit beings like the sun and the moon…”


—Aspiration from the Yuthok Nyingthig, the spiritual tradition of Tibetan Medicine


“My wish is that Tibetan Medicine would spread like the infinite expanse of the sky in order to benefit all sentient beings.”

  • —Yuthok Yonten Gonpo, Father of Tibetan Medicine, 12th century







Learn the art of Ku Nye beginning June 15–19 in Uptown New Orleans! This intensive Level 1 training is beneficial for health practitioners (doctors, nurses, massage therapists, acupuncturists, yoga instructors) and the public, and forms the basis for further Ku Nye and Tibetan External Therapies trainings in 2019 and beyond.


Ku Nye Tibetan Massage Level 1 with Eric Rosenbush, L.Ac.

15–19 June 2018

Uptown New Orleans


Learn more & register at:


Register by May 20 to receive a 20% discount! Massage & Acupuncture CEUs pending.


This training is hosted by Sorig Khang, a nonprofit organization offering study and practice programs in Tibetan Medicine and the related Yuthok Nyingthig spiritual lineage under the guidance of Dr. Nida Chenagtsang. It is taught by Eric Rosenbush, L.Ac., a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of Tibetan, Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicine who teaches worldwide as a senior instructor for Sorig Khang International.

Sorig Khang Center for Tibetan Medicine

+1 (415) 842 4862