Licensed massage therapists have a new option for meeting the increasing client demand for ayurvedic treatments and bodywork. Bastyr University's Master of Science in Ayurvedic Sciences is now accepting applications for its Fall 2015 class. Previously open only to licensed medical professionals such as doctors and nurses, the program was recently revamped to allow qualified applicants with a "license to touch" and a bachelor's degree to enter the program.
The two-year graduate program, which is the first regionally accredited program of its kind in the United States, offers hands-on clinical training with experienced faculty, and includes an optional externship in India where students observe and assist ayurvedic practitioners in clinics and hospitals.
"After years of hard work we are thrilled to see Bastyr University's ayurvedic program become a reality," said Bastyr University Senior Vice President and Provost Timothy C. Callahan, PhD, who collaborated with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and ayurvedic experts in both India and the United States to design the program. "We believe that this form of natural medicine is growing in popularity as people seek preventive solutions to their medical issues, and the need for providers with accredited training will increase in the coming years."
Ayurveda, which has ancient roots dating back 5,000 years in India, is the Hindu science of health and medicine based on healing and prolonging life. According to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey, more than 200,000 U.S. adults had used ayurvedic medicine in the previous year, citing reasons such as the high cost of traditional health care, side effects from prescription drugs and ineffectiveness with other forms of medicine. That number is sure to grow as more people gain exposure to ayurveda.
Many licensed massage therapists looking to expand or augment their services with other healing modalities may find ayurvedic medicine to be a perfect fit to meet their clients' needs and interest in time-honored healing traditions from around the world.
"Ayurveda addresses the purpose of life and how to live your life to its full potential with minimal suffer," said Dhaval Dhru, MD, director of Bastyr's ayurveda program. "It offers a way to keep ourselves and other healthy and happy, and to proceed with the full benefits of what life has to offer."
For more information, visit www.bastyr.edu.