How to Become an Ayurveda Practitioner in 5 Steps

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic medical treatment style. Read on to learn more about Ayurveda and how to begin practicing, including training programs in India and the United States. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Ayurveda Practitioner?

As an Ayurveda practitioner, you would utilize an ancient Indian form of holistic medicine to heal disease and promote wellness in the mind, body and spirit. You would treat each patient differently, taking into account diet, behavior, lifestyle practices and recent illnesses. Treatment focuses on removing impurities from the body, reducing bothersome symptoms and increasing immunity to disease.

Step 1: Consider Your Educational Options

There are multiple routes to becoming an Ayurveda practitioner. You could carry out your studies in the United States through Ayurveda training and certificate programs. In addition, you might attend medical school and become a doctor; additional training in Ayurvedic medicine can lend to medical work specializing in complementary and alternative medicine. To receive more comprehensive and authentic training, you can go to Ayurveda school in India.

Step 2: Earn a Degree in Ayurvedic Medicine

Because Ayurvedic medicine originated in India, you will find more options for study there. You can pursue undergraduate work by earning a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS). Or, you can earn a graduate degree, such as a Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (DAMS). Training may take five years.

Step 3: Become an Ayurveda Practitioner in the United States

As of November 2011, the U.S. does not have national standards for licensure, certification or training of Ayurvedic practitioners. There are colleges in the U.S. that have state approval to operate and offer training for practitioners. You would study the fundamentals and practical application of Ayurvedic medicine, such as the three doshas, or energies, in the body. The National Ayurvedic Medical Association recognizes, though does not endorse, Ayurveda education programs in the U.S. (www.ayurvedanama.org).

Step 4: Get a Job Practicing Ayurvedic Medicine

You may need to start your own independent practice as an Ayurveda practitioner. You could work with both healthy and sick patients who want alternative holistic lifestyle medicine. You might seek a partnership with a yoga studio, acupuncturist or naturopathic doctor.

Step 5: Teach Ayurveda

After gaining some experience and a clientele, you may wish to begin educating others about Ayurvedic medicine. You could teach public education classes on Ayurvedic principles, supervise a pancha karma center, teach at an Ayurvedic college or conduct workshops, seminars and retreats.

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