Are people aware of the Buddhist astrological recommendations on timing for surgery?

  • dorji - gyeltshen Department of Traditional Medicine Services, Ministry of health
  • Thinley Dorji Kidu Medical Unit, His Majesty’s Peoples’ Project, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Mongal Singh Gurung Health Research and Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Tsheten Tsheten Royal Centre for Disease Control, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Karma Tenzin Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Phub Tshering Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Sithar Dorjee Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Tashi Tenzin Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan


Introduction: Adhering to the astrological recommendations on timing of invasive therapies are a standard practice in gSo-wa Rig-pa based Bhutanese Traditional Medicine. The day (for La-dza, Sog-dza and Shey-dza), lunar date (for La-ney) and time within the day of surgery (for La-ney), along with Wang-thang (field of power) and Lung-ta (Horse of fortune) are important astrological recommendations. However, there are no information about the patients’ knowledge, attitude and practice on astrological recommendations for timing of surgery in an allopathic setting in Bhutan. The study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of considering Buddhist astrological recommendations among patients undergoing elective surgeries. Methods: A cross-sectional study with convenient sampling was conducted at the National Referral Hospital, Thimphu from April to May 2018. Data were collected using a pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Research Ethics Board of Health, Bhutan. Results: From 420 participants (response rate 99.5%), 188 (44.8%) were aware that there are astrologically determined good timings to undergo elective surgeries. Only four persons (1.0%) were aware about La-ney. Among those who believed in such astrological recommendations, the attitude were more favourable towards the areas in which they had higher knowledge. Conclusion: The patients had very poor knowledge about the astrological recommendations to choose the timing for surgery. A well designed study on the effect of astrological recommendations on the surgical outcomes is recommended for generating evidence for further action.

Original Article