Online Ayurveda Certification and Certificate Program Information
The ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine originated in India. Practitioners attempt to use non-invasive procedures and natural remedies to treat illness within people. Although it is more commonly studied and practiced in Asia, Ayurveda and related alternative health and wellness courses are available to traditional medical workers in the U.S.
Ayurvedic educational programs are unavailable from accredited schools and colleges within the U.S. Those who practice Ayurveda within the U.S. are typically trained in other countries, particularly India.
Alternative educational programs for those interested in the field of alternative and complementary medicine might include a massage therapy diploma or certificate program (available as a hybrid program from a small number of schools) or a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science or Dietetics program (available online).
Ayurveda Study in the U.S.
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient practice that has yet to develop national standards for training or licensure within the U.S. The National Institute for Health (NIH) notes that the majority of Ayurvedic practitioners complete their training outside of the U.S., typically in institutions throughout India (nccam.nih.gov). In America, however, no online or on-campus Ayurvedic programs maintain accreditation from boards approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Despite the rarity of Ayurvedic programs, there are some courses in this field offered to students studying alternative healthcare in the U.S. These classes are often part of an integrative medicine program, and may feature visiting speakers from widely recognized Ayurvedic schools in India. Parts of these programs may be hosted online, or include the use of online resources.
In the meantime, many certificate and certification programs in the U.S. focus on practices related in theory or application to Ayurveda. These educational programs and certification processes are often available via Internet. Due to the lack of subject-specific accreditation in this field, it is important for prospective students to verify that the schools offering such programs are nationally or regionally accredited.
Other Holistic Healthcare Options Online
Fields related to Ayurveda that are more commonly practiced in the United States include kinesiology, acupuncture, sports medicine, massage therapy and nutrition. These are all non-invasive components to holistic healthcare that may be preferred by practitioners seeking to prevent or complement traditional or pharmacological medicine. For each of these subject areas, there are several online certificate programs available at the college level. For specific information about a few of these fields and their certification requirements, continue reading below.
Sports Medicine Certification
Sports medicine is a supplemental field that focuses medical expertise onto the science of motion and exercise. Those with a bachelor's or master's degree in a traditional medical specialty can become certified in a variety of subset fields, including cancer exercise training, clinical exercise physiology and physical activity for public health. Offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), certification generally requires students to meet minimum educational standards, ranging from a high school diploma to a master's degree, in addition to passing an exam. All options require up-to-date CPR or basic life support certification.
Massage Therapy Certification
Massage therapy is a widely recognized therapeutic specialty used to relieve muscle pain, treat migraines and reduce anxiety, among other applications. In addition to passing an exam offered by the National Certification board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), aspiring massage therapists must complete a minimum of 500 hours of NCBTMB-approved training. The NCBTMB examination is utilized in 38 states, as well as the District of Columbia, to regulate the practice of message therapy.
Nutritionists help clients make healthy eating and activity decisions in order to accomplish a variety of goals, including cholesterol reduction and weight loss. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) offers multiple certifications for nutrition experts and other medical professionals. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree and complete one of the CDR's didactic programs in dietetics. It's important to remember that certification is not synonymous with licensure; requirements for the latter vary by state.
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