Ayurveda Practitioner: Career Profile, Employment Outlook, and Education Requirements
Ayurveda is a special form of alternative medicine from India which is gaining popularity in the U.S. Many Ayurveda practitioners learn their craft in India or take courses at Ayurveda centers and alternative health schools in the U.S. Schools offering Herbal Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is Ayurvedic Medicine?
Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine that originates from northern India. Those that practice traditional Ayurvedic medicine use holistic techniques to balance the patient's body, mind and spirit. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that by balancing these forces, optimum health may be achieved. In many cases, treatment techniques include the use of plants and herbal extracts. Practitioners also recommend special routines or regimens called dincharya and ritucharya. These routines may be similar to diet and exercise programs often prescribed by personal trainers or dieticians.
What's the Employment Outlook?
According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), the job outlook for complementary and alternative medicine practitioners - a category that includes Ayurvedic professionals - was expected to be good as of 2010 (www.aamnc.org). The AANMC noted that the number of jobs in this industry was expected to increase due to the rising popularity in natural lifestyle and diet regimens versus general pharmaceutical treatments. Secondly, employment growth should also be aided by an increase in the number of senior citizens in the U.S. - a population that requires more medical attention than others.
How Do I Become a Professional in this Field?
Because this tradition comes from India, many Ayurveda practitioners earn their degrees there. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, aspiring practitioners in India can earn a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery or a Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery. A training program may take five years or more to complete (http://nccam.nih.gov).
In the U.S., Ayurveda programs are usually offered at alternative medicine schools or private institutes. There is no established standard of education for programs in the U.S. However, a few states have recognized Ayurvedic training programs that are available through accredited educational institutions.
An Ayurveda certificate program might explore topics like herbology, nutritional imbalance, vital points of the body and healing techniques. You may need to complete an internship in order to receive your certificate. Some standalone or continuing education courses in Ayurveda may be available as well.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: