By Vishakha Moghe
Ayurveda is a Vedic Science which has a distinctive approach towards life. Have ancient Indian scriptures always fascinated you? Have you been awestruck as to how medicine evolved over the years, though the practice and application of basic principles of this age-old science ever remained constant?
The internet is full of articles that explain what Ayurveda is all about. The knowledge is often manipulated to make it all look rosy and promising. Promising, yes! Rosy, not at all times. Very often, people with no background of or exposure to Ayurveda, take the science into their own hands. The problem is that genuine people are the ones full of doubt and the ones with half knowledge fearlessly propagate whatever it is that they know.
What does it take to be a learner of Ayurveda?
1. Patience and Compassion for every being are the obvious ingredients for becoming a good “Vaidya”.
2. One must be ready to set aside the theories of modern science that were previously learnt. A fresh approach and a different perspective are both necessary.
3. Be ready to question every fact. Not everything that is mentioned in the texts is to be assumed as true in the first go. Questioning facts gives you an in-depth clarity about the basics and makes you ready to get in deeper into complex facts.
4. A basic knowledge of the Indian culture and traditions that have an intimate connection with Ayurveda almost always makes you a better (effortless) practitioner because picking up basics becomes easier.
5. Being closely connected with the natural elements that make up the universe will help you unveil the magic of this science.
6. Set your goals. Find a good school. The best place to pursue a career in Ayurveda is undoubtedly India. There are different branches of Ayurveda. The universities and colleges offer various courses ranging from short-term to full-term.
7. Find your “Guru”. You might have all that it takes to be a good vaidya but not finding a Guru to teach you the essence by guiding you makes this journey meaningless. The ancient Indian teaching was based on “Guru-Shishya Parampara” which was the ideal form of learning due to innumerable reasons.
Want to be a full-time learner of Ayurveda?
If you want to pursue a full-time career as an Ayurvedic practitioner, an in-depth study of all the branches is necessary. Various schools and universities in India offer full-time courses in Ayurveda.
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) is an integrated Indian Degree in the medical field. This degree programme is conferred to those students who study the modern medicine and traditional Ayurveda. BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) is the opening degree in Ayurvedic medicine and Surgery.
Course duration: It is a 5 years and 6 months degree program containing a 41/2 year academic session and 1 year compulsory internship training program in the urban hospitals and rural health centers.
Course syllabus: The entire course contains the modern anatomy, principles of medicines, physiology, social and preventive medicines, forensic medicine, principles of surgery, toxicology, ENT, botany and pharmacology.
Looking for short-term courses in Ayurveda?
If you’re not looking for full-time courses, there are various institutes that offer short courses on the basics in this field. What’s even more important is, these short courses “do not make you eligible to practice the ayurvedic medical system full-time”. Ayurveda is a vast science and even after pursuing a 51/2 year graduate degree and a 3 year post-graduate degree one feels the need to learn more. Short-term courses therefore do not make you eligible to be full-time Ayurvedic practitioners. Some of the courses are as mentioned below:
1. Ayurvedic Cosmetology (1 week course) – Introduction to Ayurveda, Fundamentals of Ayurveda, Tridosha and Panchamahabhoota concept. Practicals include Udwartana (powder massage), Mukhalep (face massage and face pack application), Shirobhyang (head massage), Padabhyang (foot massage)
2. Traditional Ayurvedic Massage and Panchakarma Therapy (1 month) – Introduction to basic concepts of Ayurveda including concepts of Panchakarma, concepts of body, mind and soul, Dinacharya, Ratricharya and Rtucharya. Practicals include the knowledge and practice of various ayurvedic massages.
3. Traditional Ayurvedic Massage, Panchakarma Therapy, Identification of Herbs and Preparation of Simple Ayurvedic Medicines.
You may refer to the page to get the necessary details by clicking on the link below.
An Ayurveda graduate undergoes rigorous training before he gets out of school. An additional 3-year training after graduation (M.D. Medicine) gives him an added advantage to enter the clinical world and handle acute and chronic cases. It is not possible to gain this expertise upon learning ayurveda through short-term courses. So in the end it is essential that one understands one’s strengths and limitations while practicing medicine to avoid ethical issues in the future.
We, at Ayurvedafinder recommend you to visit India to learn more about the various courses offered here.
About the Author
Vishakha is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga counselor and a passionate traveler. She lays emphasis on living a healthy life by nourishing the body and mind with wholesome and natural food, meditation and yogic techniques. An Indian at heart, she aims at propagating the goodness of the Indian culture across the seven seas and stimulating thoughts by creating a hunger for knowledge.