Ayurveda, an alternative ancient form of medicine invented in India, has been in existence for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda is increasing in demand as it is a healthier, holistic alternative to common medicine. A practitioner diagnoses a patient using the principles of interconnection between the body, spirit and the mind. Any imbalance of the three principles is considered a disruption to the good health of a person, both physically and mentally.
Good health, according to the studies of Ayurveda, is maintained by the body’s ability to metabolize the various senses ingested such as: sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. All of life’s experiences are digested, including stressful events and circumstances that cause suffering. At other times people’s own choices are said to cause imbalances contributing to disease causing toxins building up in the body. Ayurveda allows the body to heal by utilizing nature and is incorporated into numerous areas of medicine, including toxicology, psychiatry, surgery and many others. The practice utilizes the five sense therapies of touch, taste, sound, smell and sight to treat patients.
Ayurvedic Practitioner Job Responsibilities
Ayurvedic practitioners are responsible for providing patient recommendations to help balance their mind and bodies. The practice highly consists of yoga regiments, meditation, proper diet, techniques in breathing, and several other areas. Practitioners are responsible for prescribing herbal remedies and tinctures, documenting patient progress and providing care as the primary care physician if licensed.
Ayurveda incorporates using plants in medicines and treatments, including cinnamon, animal milk, animal bones and gallstones. Animal fat is also used and consumed in Ayurveda, as well as various minerals, including lead, copper, arsenic and sulfur. Consumption of alcohol is also used in Ayurvedic surgery as a narcotic. In addition, various oils are also used as food, to massage the body and head, and to apply to infected regions of the body.
Ayurvedic Practitioner Training and Education Requirements
Depending on their specialties, Ayurvedic practitioners have varying educational requirements. Many can choose to specialize in a particular specialty, including nutrition and lifestyle, facial and herbal wraps, Ayurvedic massage, yoga and stone therapy massage. Certifications are available for training on the principles of Ayurveda in yoga. The student is taught how to incorporate Ayurveda in yoga training, and can offer individual sessions to students upon graduation. Ayurvedic lifestyle certifications are available for students looking to practice Ayurveda for healing. This study consists of Ayurvedic principles and practices, and teaches the student how to prescribe holistic therapy and lifestyle improvement consultations. In addition, the student learns how diagnose and heal clients using various principles.
Ayurvedic Practitioner Certifications
In the United States, Ayurveda is a new form of medicine that isn’t yet regulated, therefore certifications are not required to legally practice. However, there are various schools that offer formal training which are approved by their respective states. Aspiring practitioners are highly encouraged to complete formal training and a state-approved school. Higher level programs also exist for students interested in acquiring a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree in medicine or surgery.
Ayurvedic Practitioner Salary and Wages
Although Ayurvedic medicine is just starting to gain traction as a form of alternative medicine, the annual salary of an Ayurvedic practitioner is between $20,000 and $60,000. Many experienced practitioners earn up to $150,000 while a small percentage can command as much as $250,000 a year. Employment outlook is expected to continue in growth due to the increasing amount of interest in holistic and alternative medicines.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Ayurvedic Practitioner Professional Associations
CAAM, also known as the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, promotes the growth of Ayurveda as a healing profession in California. CAAM serves to bring the ancient science of Ayurveda into the educational systems and medical practices. The association was founded by teachers, practitioners and students.
NAMA, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, is a national organization that represents the US Ayurvedic profession. The mission of this organization is to “preserve, protect, improve and promote the philosophy, knowledge, science and practice of Ayurveda for the benefit of humanity.”
The AAPNA, also known as the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America, began in 2002 and is a non-profit organization. The association works to integrate the alternative medicine with medical health professionals, corporations, students and academic institutions throughout Northern America and across the world.
The APA, also known as the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, is an association of Ayurvedic professionals in the United Kingdom. The APA is dedicated to supporting the Ayurvedic profession in the UK. The APA grants membership to professionals that have adequate training and education in Ayurveda.