The International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM) meets every three years for an International
Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine (ICTAM). Founded in 1979, IASTAM is the only international organisation in the field
of Asian medicine making a serious attempt to embrace both academics and practitioners.
The 2009 gathering of IASTAM, the Seventh Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine (ICTAM VII) was held in Thimphu, Bhutan,
from September 7-11, 2009, hosted by the Institute for Traditional Medicine Services (ITMS), Royal Government of Bhutan.
The theme for the congress, ‘Asian Medicine: Cultivating Traditions and the Challenges of Globalization’, was positively received
by both Bhutanese hosts and 200 national and international participants from 30 countries enabling a wide variety of topics
and issues being discussed. The congress brought about unique communications between scholars, scientists, policymakers and
practitioner. We witnessed a growth in the range of topics and methodological approaches in the conferences’ schedule, from
history, philology and religion to literature, Asian medical and biomedical practices and sciences, and from anthropology,
art history, material culture, law to globalisation, gender studies and modernity.