Decision Support for Choosing Ayurveda Education
The Ayurveda Boom in Germany and Europe led to the development of numerous organizations, which try to make profit out of the huge demand for educational programmes by offering courses of varying quality. This may bring short-term turn-overs and profit, it does not - however - comply with the main motives of Ayurvedic teachings. The science of Ayurveda cannot be conveyed in a weekend-course, it needs intense and competent teaching.
In order to define a border against these developments the VEAT fixed some guidelines and admission criteria, which every member has do adhere to. Thus the client of Ayurvedic therapy or healing get's the highest level of security, that a member of the VEAT has been educated seriously and extensively, and that the activities are performed professionally.
The VEAT keeps a list of institutions, which educate according to the guidelines of the VEAT.
Do pay attention to the following criteria when choosing a institution or course:
- Both: theoretical as well as practical knowledge is conveyed (Core knowledge of Ayurveda and knowledge based on the subject, e. g. massage, nutrition etc.)
- Integration of allopathic basic knowledge
- Conveyance of both - traditional and contemporary aspects
- Integration of the conveyed knowledge in our cultural, social and climatic context
- Undogmatic, holistic teaching of the educational contents
- Completion of the course with a written, oral and (if applicable) a practical test
- Several years of education and practical experience of the teachers
- Offer of advanced training courses after the basic education
- Offer of practicals or supervision at the educational institution
Admission and Recognition
It is important, to gather information before choosing an educational institution about length and contents of the courses, in order to guarantee a subsequent recognition in an association, with health insurances etc. It is also important to check which rules apply in the new field of work in your own country. It may be advisable to link the Ayurvedic education with a state-recognized course.
Education in Europe
The education in Europe is open to people of all walks of life. At the moment Ayurveda is mainly practiced in the context of prevention and wellbeing, in the long run however the demand for medical treatments will grow. Medical educational programmes are open for medical doctors and healing practitioners exclusively. Programmes in the fields of health (massage, well-being, cosmetics, nutrition) are open for all occupational groups. Currently efforts are taken in many countries to regulate jobs in the fields of complementary medicine and alternative medicine.
Ayurvedic job descriptions can be classified in the following categories:
- Ayurveda-Medicine and Healing
The medical therapies and treatments of Ayurveda can only be executed by recognized doctors and healing practitioners. In order to study Ayurvedic medicine you either have to have completed a medical degree or you opt for a combined programme of Ayurvedic medicine and healing pracitioner. In Austria there is now a post gradual educational programme of Ayurvedic medicine for doctors certified by the ÖÄK (see www.ayurveda-akademie.org). In England Ayurvedic studies can be completed with a Bachelor (BSc) and Master (MSc) within a project for new jobs in the field of public health.
for Physiotherapists, massage therapists, nursing staff and people with an allopathic background.
- Ayurveda-Coaching & -Psychology
If you are interested in a healthy lifestyle and you would like to share this knowledge with others, a course to become an Ayurveda Nutrition and Health coach or Ayurveda psychologist could be the right thing for your.
For medical laymen it is advisable to choose from one of the numerous educational programmes with a focus on massage, cosmetics or medical wellness. These programmes usually take one to two years.
Education in India
In India the education to become an Ayurvedic doctor is regulated by law. The university studies take 5,5 years. After that a one-year practical in an Ayurvedic clinic is mandatory. After successful completion you earn the title of "Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery – B.A.M.S“. After that it is possible to obtain a diploma as a medical specialist in different special fields like internal medicine, surgery or pharmacology.
Educational programmes in sub-domains of Ayurveda - as offered in Europe - are not state-approved. In South-Indian colleges a one-year course is offered to become an Ayurvedic massage therapist. This course is completed with a certificate by the government.
Apart from that there is still the non-academic way of education, as was the tradition in the past. On the one hand there is the familial education for people who grow up in the family of a traditional Ayurvedic doctor, on the other hand it is possible to learn from a healing practitioner directly.
Due to the growing interest of foreigners international educational courses are now also offered in India The quality however varies widely; one should gather detailed information on the scope and content of the courses. Some of the big Ayurveda academies in Europe facilitate access to qualitatively safe educational programmes and traineeships.