An ayurvedic doctor is like an ancient magician who has adapted to 21st-century styles.
Scholars believe Ayurveda is one of the first sciences of healing. Translated as “The Science of Health,” it was founded in India over 5,000 years ago.
So ayurvedic doctors have been practicing for quite a few centuries.
Plus, since Ayurveda is a holistic health system for healing the body, mind and soul, an ayurvedic doctor has natural remedies up his sleeve for a multitude of causes.
Feeling a little gloomy?
Have a dosha imbalance?
Trying to find out why you’re in pain?
A visit with your ayurvedic doc will likely do the trick. But especially if you live in the Western world, finding one isn’t as easy as calling your local doctors’ offices.
But luckily, you definitely don’t have to travel all the way to India!
There are several ayurvedic doctors around the world, more of them than you might think!
What Does an Ayurvedic Doctor Do?
An ayurvedic doctor brings balance to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states. The purpose of this is to cure diseases, boost mood, and improve your overall quality of life.
An ayurvedic doctor’s procedures will vary from person to person and is based on their unique characteristics. Ayurveda utilizes the concept of the five elements. Each person will have a unique combination of these elements, with some being more dominant than others. These are referred to as the doshas.
An ayurvedic doctor identifies your specific doshic makeup through observation of physical characteristics, current state of life, current problems, emotions, goals, and history.
Once the ayurvedic doctor has identified your doshic makeup, they create a custom program to balance out your elements. This is because the domination of one of the elements usually leads to the array of problems you face.
How Does an Ayurvedic Doctor Balance Doshas?
The most common way of balancing out your doshas is through a specific diet. The ayurvedic doctor puts together a diet plan, which helps in balancing out your inequalities.
Good food choices and an appropriate diet are important for Ayurveda. However, an ayurvedic doctor may also make use of other practices to help balance your elements. Again, these practices will vary from person to person, but an ayurvedic doctor may prescribe you one or more of the panchakarma (five actions).
Here is a short guide to the panchakarma:
- Vamana – The ayurvedic doctor assists you gently to induce vomiting
- Virechana – You use laxatives to eliminate excess energies
- Vasti – You use herbal ingredients for this action
- Nasya – Ingest powdered and/or liquid substances nasally
- Rakta Moksha – Detoxifying your blood
If you want to learn more about the different forms of panchakarma, click here.
In addition to these practices and diet plans, an ayurvedic doctor advises you on your lifestyle. They also advise habits that can be implemented in your lifestyle to improve your quality of life.
What to Expect During an Ayurvedic Doctor Visit
During your first visit, expect the ayurvedic doctor to examine you physically. They will ask you questions about your past, present, and what you hope your future to be. You will likely also be asked what problems you are facing, or what things are currently on your mind. This is the first step, wherein the ayurvedic doctor is determining your tridosha.
Try to be as accurate as you can with your answers. The doctor’s physical examination, along with your answers to these questions, will determine what the ayurvedic doctor will prescribe to you.
They will then use a method called rogi-roga pareeksha. Simply put, they analyze the disease you are facing and match that with your state as a whole person.
The doctor will then put together a plan for you to follow, with the purpose of balancing out your doshas and bringing you to a healthier state. The plan will often consist of diets and habits to implement in your daily life.
If you require more treatment, an ayurvedic doctor assists you with the panchakarma. Don’t worry too much about this. Ayurvedic doctors are highly trained, making sure that your session goes as seamlessly as possible.
You will usually undertake preparations before panchakarma. These often include massages, steam baths and the like.
Ayurvedic medicine uses actual medicine which complements your body’s own healing. The key principle of Ayurveda is allowing your body to heal itself.
How Do You Become an Ayurvedic Doctor?
Ayurveda is a way of practicing health, so like other health practices, you cannot simply take a short course on ayurvedic medicine and call yourself an ayurvedic doctor. In order to become an official ayurvedic doctor, you have to complete a full course. The degree is called BAMS – Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery. The course will usually take five and a half years to complete, consisting of both academic study and an internship.
Top 5 Ayurvedic Doctor Programs in the US and Online
So you want to involve yourself in the beautiful science of Ayurveda? Here are our top 5 picks for the best ayurvedic doctor programs.
Kerala Ayurveda Academy (California)
Kerala Ayurveda Academy is one of the best schools to go to in order to become an ayurvedic doctor. The school is approved to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
It offers courses for different levels. This means that whether you are new to Ayurveda, or already familiar with the science, then there is likely a course appropriate for you.
However, if you want to become a certified ayurvedic doctor, then you will have to accomplish their full certification program. Here’s the breakdown:
- Level 1 (1 Year) – Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC)
- Level 2 (1.5 Years) – Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner (AWP)
- Panchakarma Technician Certification (11 Months)
- Level 3 (2.5 Years) – Ayurvedic Doctor (AD)
Ayurved Sadhana (Colorado)
Ayurved Sadhana is another excellent choice. They are approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
The school breaks down its course into 8 semesters, totaling four years. The four-year program offers an in-depth look at both pathology and indicated treatment. The program of Ayurved Sadhana also offers an extensive supervised externship. This students to further refine their skill-sets and to prepare them for practicing Ayurveda after graduation.
Here is the breakdown of school fees:
- Total Base Tuition Cost for 4-years program: $23,000.00
- Panchakarma Hands-On Training (Required Course): $1200 (Pay when class is offered, monthly payment plan will be offered 5 months before)
- Authentic Ayurvedic Experience in India (Required Course): $5800.00 (Pay when trip is scheduled, monthly payment plan will be offered 10 months before)
- Non-refundable Application and Registration Fee: $150
- Non-refundable Tech Fee: $150 per year = $600 for program
As you can see, Ayurved Sadhana offers monthly payment plans. So if you want to develop your skills, but can’t find the money to dish out all at once, then this school is a great choice.
California College of Ayurveda (California)
The California College of Ayurveda is perfect for those residing in or nearby California. CCA has an impressive track record of training students to become successful doctors. Its programs in ayurvedic medicine are all approved by the State of California.
The California College of Ayurveda, starting in 1995, is the longest-running state-approved professional training program for studying ayurvedic medicine. Along with its main certification program, the college also offers several short courses and workshops.
One key benefit of the California College of Ayurveda is they offer both an actual school in Nevada and live stream classes online.
New World Ayurveda School (Portland)
The New World Ayurveda School is the first of its kind to offer online Ayurveda studies. This highly acclaimed school is recognised by:
- The National Council on Ayurvedic Education (NCAE)
- The National Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges (NAASC)
- The Association of Ayurvedic Professional of North America (AAPNA)
It is certainly one of the best choices if you want to study ayurvedic medicine remotely. If you are still unsure if you want to commit full time to take up Ayurveda, this school is currently offering a free summer webinar series on ayurvedic medicine. Choosing this course gets your feet wet and helps you decide whether or not becoming an ayurvedic doctor is for you.
The Maharishi International University offers a three-year, part-time course. It allows its students to immerse themselves in integrative medicine and become an ayurvedic practitioner.
Maharishi International University is an accredited university. It offers students a flexible online course. Students are required to complete around eight to nine hours of class each week, but the time is flexible. This makes the school a perfect choice for busy people.
Despite being an online class, you will still be immersed in the community. This community includes other students who share the same passion as you, as well as ayurvedic professionals. Both are sure to help you through your journey.
After three years, you’ll be able to graduate as a Maharishi Ayurveda Practitioner. The school is sure to equip you with all the needed knowledge and confidence to practice Ayurveda in the outside world.
Andrew Abad Santos is a Filipino freelance writer, who graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Santo Tomas—the oldest university in Asia. If you wish to contact Andrew for freelance writing or business work, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.