Fasting for a Healthy Body & Soul: Perspectives on an Ancient Tradition. A Facebook Live conversation with Dr. Camino Díaz, Dr. Choeying Phuntsok, Hilde Larsen, Jamyang Oliphant of Rossie, and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo. Hosted by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Translations are available in multiple languages — click here

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Fasting has become a lifestyle choice among many people concerned about health and longevity, and it’s not just for those watching their weight. A growing body of research reveals many significant health benefits, especially from intermittent fasting, which involves eating only during a limited window of time each day, for example. Joining the conversation are Tibetan doctors (menpa) who value fasting as a key element of their ancient spiritual tradition, as well as Western experts who share their own, unique perspectives on the art and science of fasting. Together, they help us to understand how fasting can contribute to a healthy body and soul.


About the Panelists

Dr. Camino Díaz holds an M.D. from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). A general practitioner and specialist in family medicine and integrative medicine, she is a vocational doctor in heart and spirit with an interest in sharing knowledge that helps patients along their paths to healing and health. Dr. Díaz is committed to promoting a new paradigm for medicine that integrates all disease-related systems including biological, physical, psychic, emotional, and spiritual. She views symptoms as simple signs that point to a much deeper imbalance. By providing patients with information and guidance, she promotes a responsible attitude toward self-management. According to Dr. Díaz, the body has an amazing capacity for self-healing and homeostasis; but because multiple factors may hinder the body’s natural rebalancing, medicine should strive to understand disease in a more all-encompassing fashion that focuses on multidisciplinary and integrated treatments and therapies. Currently, Dr. Díaz is working on a personal project entitled “Medicina I+D+i” — Individualized + Differential + Intelligent.


Dr. Choeying Phuntsok has more than 30 years of experience as a Doctor of Tibetan Medicine (TMD). He specializes in traditional pharmacology, urine analysis, and pulse diagnosis; as well as ongoing research into the application of these approaches in determining accurate patient diagnosis. From his studies at Der ge Medical College, Kham, Tibet, and at Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute, Dharamsala, India, Dr. Phuntsok received the Menpa Kachupa (equivalent to a Bachelor of Medicine) and specialty training in Tibetan pharmacology. Since 1998 he has been working for the Meridian Medical Group, PC, in New York as Senior Tibetan Physician, Advisor, and Consultant: Head of Tibetan Pharmacy. With the Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute, Dharamsala, he has served as deputy director of the pharmaceutical department and faculty member of the physician’s staff; and as assistant physician to the eminent late Dr. Tenzin Choedrak, personal physician to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Dr. Phuntsok served as chief medical doctor for the Tibetan Settlement at the Tibetan Medical Institute, Paonta, India; and as a physician for the Tibetan Regiment, Indian Army. He has been teaching Tibetan medicine, nutrition and health education, and the formula for precious pills — highly specialized Tibetan medicines — as well as giving presentations and workshops at Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute, Dharamsala; Princeton University; and Yale University School of Nursing. Dr. Phuntsok created formulae and advised in the production process for Nyida Khajor, a medicinal therapeutic massage formula designed for the treatment of stress, tension, and muscular and nerve stiffness. He also established one of the first authentic Tibetan medical practices in the United States under the auspices of the Institute of East-West Medicine, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Meridian Medical Group. Dr. Phuntsok is currently a member of the Council of Tibetan Medicine, established under the auspices of Central Tibetan Administration, and a board member of the International Medicine Association, New York.


Hilde Larsen is the CEO and founder of Inspired by Hilde. She is a certified health and mindset coach, keynote speaker, detox specialist, raw food teacher and life enthusiast; and the author of three published books: From Hell to Inspired, Know The Truth and Get Healthy, and No More Bullshit. She specializes in autoimmune diseases, Lyme disease, digestive health, chronic fatigue, parasites, candida, anxiety, depression, and spiritual health. Her glowing enthusiasm for health and vitality plays a leading role in her work. She began her career as an interior architect, CEO and founder of her company Kolage, and designer of cruise ships and hotels. Athletic all her life, for many years she was co-owner of an aerobics and spinning studio. She closed her interior design and building company in 2004 due to severe illness. She then went on to study journalism, and was guided to the path of healing and regeneration, where through experience she had already become an authority in her field. She creates online video programs and has her own membership site, The Inspired Members. Her interest in healing and spiritual growth led her to become a reiki healer. She is highly intuitive and has a strong connection to Mother Earth and the spiritual world. Born and raised in Stavanger, Norway, she and her husband of 30 years have a second home in Florida, USA. She is a proud mother and grandmother and a tree hugger at heart. Called by nature and spirit, she inspires many to take back their power and to live healthy, successful lives doing what they love. Hilde now spends her time traveling between Norway and Florida, speaking, and appearing on different media as the Inspired health and thought leader.


Jamyang Oliphant of Rossie completed his postgraduate studies at Oxford University’s Oriental Institute. His doctoral dissertation examined rejuvenating Tibetan medical practices, with a focus on the literature of the ancient system of chulen. For eight years he has traveled extensively in the Himalayas, meeting practitioners of the chulen system and doctors who specialize in the preparation of chulen substances. Inspired by a passion for Tibetan culture, Jamyang continues to conduct research, lecture, and publish on different aspects of Himalayan religion, medicine, and history. He is the co-editor of Sharro: Festschrift for Choegyal Namkhai Norbu and of the forthcoming About Padmasambhava; Historical Narratives and Later Transformations of Guru Rinpoche. He leads tours to religious sites in a number of Himalayan countries.


Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo has more than 30 years of experience teaching and practicing Tibetan Medicine. She has studied and worked with many celebrated teachers and masters of Tibetan medicine, astrology, and Buddhist dharma studies. Proficient in multiple languages, Menpa Wangmo has taught all around the world and has offered keynote presentations at many international conferences and events pertaining to Tibetan medicine and health care. Menpa Wangmo is passionate about educating children and the general public about Tibetan language and cultural studies. She is the academic director of the Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine in Conway, Mass. She received her advanced degree in Tibetan medicine from Lhasa Tibetan Medicine College (Men-Tsee-Khang) and trained with two of Tibet’s foremost doctors, Khenpos Troru Tsenam and Gyaltsen. Menpa Wangmo had the exceptional opportunity of engaging in extensive clinical training under Khenpo Troru Tsenam for four years. Since 1996 she has dedicated many years to working as a doctor in Eastern Tibet, where she collaborated in and directed the implementation of A.S.I.A (Association for International Solidarity in Asia), a nonprofit organization founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and dedicated to serving the Tibetan people in the sectors of education, health, training, disaster relief, and sustainable economic development.

About the Host

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is an acclaimed author and a respected teacher of students worldwide. As the founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha International, he has established numerous centers and institutes of learning in the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe and India. Fluent in English, Rinpoche regularly offers online teachings in the form of live webcasts, online workshops and YouTube videos. He is renowned for his depth of wisdom; his clear, engaging teaching style; and his dedication to making the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners.
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