The heart of Tibetan medicine is the teachings on the five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. The human microcosm, just as the macrocosm, is made of these five fundamental energies. They monitor the vitality of the mind and body. The whole world, the human body, but also illness and medications are in communication with one another.
In our bodies the five elements are represented in us by the three dynamic principles: Lung (the principle of motion), Tripa (the principle of warmth) and Beken (the stabilizing and cooling principle). In a healthy body these three principles are balanced. This balance - and, therefore, health -depends on the mind as on the mental level disharmony leads to an imbalance of these energies which then manifest as illness in the physical body.
Ignorance is the cause of illness. Ignorance provokes the illusion of being separated from the environment. The perception of “I” and “Mine” creates the three interior poisons: hatred, ignorance and desire which lead to an imbalance in the three body principles Lung, Tripa and Beken.
Furthermore, health depends on the individual behaviour and habits, especially also on the diet, the environment and the climatic conditions. Thus the Lung energy increases in cold, dry and windy periods; Tripa energy in dry and hot places, whereas Beken energy increases in humid, sultry or cold regions or climate.