The scope of practice for graduates of our level III Ayurvedic Doctor (AD) certification program is determined by the standards set by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.
The AD program is designed to train professionals of the highest caliber in Ayurveda for accomplishing the two goals of Ayurveda—Swasthasya Swasthya Rakshanam: to preserve the health of a healthy person, and Aturasya Vikara Prashamanam: to heal the imbalances of the sick. Students will gain the advanced Ayurvedic tools necessary to support healing of imbalances in the human mind-body systems and prevent future disease. These tools include a comprehensive nutritional education (Ahara), daily routines and practices to maximize health (Vihar), a clear understanding of the mind and thought processes (Vichara), plus their relationship to well-being, herbs and herbal formulation to facilitate healing, and personalized Ayurvedic detox and rejuvenation (Panchakarma and Rasayana) protocol.
The unique feature of this program is the specialty track to enable our Ayurvedic Doctors to specialize in their chosen clinical area of passion. Upon successful completion of the AD course you will be awarded an Ayurvedic Doctor Certificate.
Ayurvedic Doctors can:
- Analyze mind-body constitution.
- Do history taking.
- Assess the imbalances of Agni, Dosha, and Strotas based on the Ayurvedic Principles.
- Suggest food and lifestyle changes based on the Ayurvedic Constitution (Prakriti) and various imbalances in the mind/body systems (Vikriti).
- Suggest Ayurvedic herbs, spices and Ayurvedic herbal supplements based on the Ayurvedic Constitution (Prakriti) and various imbalances in the mind/body systems (Vikriti).
- Suggest Ayurvedic bodywork techniques based on the Ayurvedic Constitution (Prakriti) and
various imbalances in the mind/body systems (Vikriti).
- Explain about Ayurvedic concepts (related to Prakriti, Vikriti, qualities, etc.).
- Explain the connection between Body and Mind and how diet and lifestyle, meditation, Pranayama, Ayurvedic herbs, Ayurvedic bodywork techniques and Yoga can help manage many
physical, mental and emotional problems.
- Offer talks/write articles on various concepts on Ayurveda.
- Offer simple Ayurvedic bodywork techniques based on the Ayurvedic Constitution (Prakriti) and
various imbalances in the mind/body systems (Vikriti).
- Offer cooking classes giving simple cooking tips.
Ayurvedic Doctors cannot:
- Diagnose diseases.
- Treat diseases.
- Prescribe treatments or medicines.
- Perform Panchakarma (unless allowed in your scope of practice under other licensing).
Comparing the level II Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner and level III Ayurvedic Doctor scope of practice
The general scope of practice of the Ayurvedic Doctor is similar to the Practitioner, though Ayurvedic Doctors possess more extensive, in-depth education and relevant clinical experience in Ashtanga Ayurveda—all eight branches of Ayurvedic medicine. Additionally, they have more experience in teaching, demonstrations, practical Panchakarma training and research methods.
Ayurvedic Doctors understand disease from an Ayurvedic perspective, while possessing a working knowledge of Western medical pathology, pharmacology, diagnostic reports, and treatments, in order to interface with the Western medical community and modify the Ayurvedic management of cases accordingly. They are not required to order Western diagnostic tests and do not prescribe Western medicines. Ayurvedic Doctors have an informed awareness of public health and epidemiology (Janapadoddhvamsa) from the Western and Ayurvedic scope of practice for the Ayurvedic profession. They are informed consumers of research pertaining to the Ayurvedic field, and are able to evaluate, discuss, and apply contemporary research within the context of Ayurvedic knowledge. As the most highly skilled professionals in their industry, they are able to make significant contributions to the profession such as participating in research, review articles, conferences, teaching, or presentation of case studies.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Practice of Ayurveda in the U.S.
What's the difference between an Ayurvedic Counselor/Practitioner/Doctor and Panchakarma Technician?
- Competencies for the Panchakarma Technician (PKT) level of training are pending from NAMA.
- PKT can be taken on its own or as an add-on to the primary three levels of Ayurvedic practice.
- Our PKT program's primary purpose is to provide education and hands-on training in the traditional Ayurvedic bodywork methodologies, going into more detail than the level I, II and III Counselor, Practitioner and Doctor certifications.
- The primary role of a Panchakarma Technician is to implement and perform the Panchakarma therapies. Depending on the Panchakarma Tehcnician's other certifications in Ayurveda, the scope of practice will vary in terms of breadth and the ability to design Panchakarma programs. As with general Ayurvedic practice, Panchakarma must be performed in compliance with local and state guidelines. For more detail, please see the complete Scope of Practice: Panchakarma Technician.
Will I be able to practice Ayurveda with the Holistic Ayurvedic Coach or level I Ayurvedic Health Counselor certification?
What’s the difference between Shamana and Shodhana therapies and how will it affect my scope of practice as a Panchakarma Technician?
We might say that Ayurveda’s current status in the U.S. is analogous to the Chinese medical profession during its early years in the 1970s. While each state does not regulate the practice of Ayurvedic medicine itself, some aspects of Ayurvedic practice may fall within the scope of professions that are regulated. Students and graduates of the academy should be careful not to allow their practice to overlap one of those regulated professions unless they are licensed in that particular profession. Please contact your local state representative for more information about regulations in your area.
While none of the U.S. states currently have Ayurvedic practitioners or physicians as primary care physicians, many of these well-trained professionals utilize their education and skills in combination with other healthcare related credentials.
Yoga Instructors, Massage Therapists, Registered Nurses, Nutritionists/Dietitians, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors and other healthcare professionals are recognizing and utilizing the benefits of educational training in Ayurveda.
The National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) is currently working on developing educational standards, scope of practice, and related materials to support future licensing initiatives throughout the US.
Many Academy graduates use their Ayurvedic education to enhance pre-existing professional careers.