Fundamentals of Natural Healing - Ayurveda Health Counselor 750 Hour Certification
Will you be taking the course?
Register for only $241/month until June 30th. Or, register with a $600 deposit now and pay off tuition later. Total registration & tuition for this course if you register now will be $6,499. See payment plan details here. Save an additional $250 by paying your entire balance before the first day of class. Note: Your enrollment isBecome an Ayurveda Health Counselor through this 750 hour certification program that teaches you the fundamentals of natural healing. Master the art of clinical Ayurveda as you apply practical knowledge of diet, lifestyle, and herbs to lead your clients to new health & vitality. This rigorous course presents all the fundamentals of the body from an Ayurvedic perspective. It ensures you have all the necessary skills to work independently with clients and establish yourself as a leading professional in the field of integrative health care.
Please make certain you will be able to attend before you register. Click here to see our full Refund / Return Policy
Upon completion of this program you will be qualified to take the NAMA board certification exam for an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. You'll be ready to setup your own clinic or work alongside other health professionals, opening up a range of flexible and attractive career options.
The hands-on, convenient format of this program will teach you Ayurveda's unique approach to health so that you will excel in your future career in Ayurveda. Exercises will supplement presentations to ensure you have a firm grasp of all concepts needed to excel in your studies and career. Exercises are designed to fine-tune your clinical diagnostic skills and treatment plans based on diet, lifestyle and herbs. Your answers to these exercises will be graded and include feedback when needed to improve your acumen and competency.
This at-your-own-pace course starts in August and takes 2 years to complete. The course is entirely online, and does not require any travel. Students who complete the program in 2 years should expect to spend 7-9 hours a week in study. Students can opt to complete the program in 3 years as well. In that case students should expect to spend on average 5-6 hours a week in study.
In phase 1 of the program, you will receive presentations on all the fundamentals of Ayurveda. Phase 1 presentations will show you how to directly adapt Eastern traditions for a Western audience so your clients can understand, relate to and gain the most benefit from your services.
Students who complete 50 lessons from phase 1 are eligible to begin phase 2, the clinical mentoring phase, starting each October. In phase 2 you will begin seeing clients. Throughout the course you have the option of attending weekly live coaching calls to enhance your learning of the material.
'Fundamentals of Natural Healing' goes far beyond the basic requirements to give you a solid foundation in Ayurveda's insightful and inspiring approach to healing. The Joyful Belly School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion designed this program with an additional 150 hours above the minimum NAMA requirement, ensuring you receive one of the most comprehensive qualifications available and graduate with complete confidence to begin practicing.
Learning Outcomes of the 750 Hour Program
Expect to be challenged, to step into excellence and achievement as you learn the skills, knowledge and confidence to apply the basic principles of Ayurveda, and to work effectively on treatment teams, bridging the gap between Western and complementary medicine.
Seasoned health professionals and dedicated enthusiasts alike will enjoy the discoveries they will make through this foundational program of Ayurvedic knowledge. By the end of this program you will be able to start your clinical practice as you:
Goal of the Program
What if medical doctors could take one look at a client and immediately understand subtle changes happening in their body - in their liver, kidney, and heart? Through this program you will discover the body from a whole new perspective, gain unique insight into human nature, and learn how the body functions as a whole.
By the end of the program you will be able to:
Build Your Clinical Practice
What You Get When You Enroll
* Laws vary by state. Ayurveda is an unlicensed profession in the state of North Carolina. This program does not give you a license to practice medicine. A certificate of completion is given to those graduates who successfully complete the program. This program meets NAMA certification requirements for an Ayurveda Health Counselor. Please text John at 828-785-8213 if you have questions in this area.
Ayurveda is an advanced, holistic approach to health from ancient India that greatly simplifies your health and well-being.
What makes Ayurveda so powerful and unique is puts all of your signs and symptoms in perspective, into a framework that includes your whole body, mind, & spiritual life. What does this mean? Usually people make a list of problems they want to address and then try to fix them one by one. Ayurveda takes a step back, analyzes the list as a whole, and looks at how your symptoms are interrelated.
Ayurveda takes a categorical approach, grouping your health problems into meaningful patterns. This has the advantage that, instead of having 20 answers to 20 problems, Ayurveda finds 2-3 elegant solutions that address all of your problems across the board. Clients who use Ayurveda to heal their body feel less overwhelmed, and more in tune with their body and the rhythms of nature.
Another unique feature of Ayurveda is that it studies your body's reaction to foods. Not the biochemical reaction, which is Western medicine's approach, but your experience of food. In other words, Ayurveda studies how food makes you feel after you swallow it. Most Ayurveda practitioners can talk at length about how your experience of watermelon, for example, might differ from cantaloupe. Ayurveda has a rich vocabulary to help you become aware of how your body reacts to food, so you can select foods that make you feel better.
Altogether, Ayurveda's profound approach makes healing your body simple, natural and graceful - once you know how.
Format of the 750 hour program
The program includes a powerful blend of presentations, educational materials, discussions, interactions with teachers, and guided personal experiments. Each lesson of phase 1 will include 1 to 3 recorded presentations, introducing you to new ways of thinking and understanding health. Presentations will be accompanied by exercises to facilitate your personal discovery process.
During the course you must attend at least 40 live coaching calls. In phase 2, you must attend at least 25 live clinical reviews. The scheduling of these calls will include options convenient for all time zones globally.
To meet NAMA certification standards, you must complete 50 clinical encounters by the end of the program. To meet these requirements, you will be asked to do 1) consultations with other students in the program, and 2) consultations with clients. You will be asked to present your clinical findings to a clinical supervisor, and in our live clinical sessions.
You will also be invited to participate in an online discussion group, so that communication with the group and teachers is always at your fingertips for the entire duration of the course. Before you start the program, you will have an opportunity to talk with our staff in an orientation so that any questions you have can be answered.
Benefits of an Online Learning e-Course
"I can soon say I am a survivor of an online course. I was very skeptical! But the content was excellent. The basic format of weekly lecture and study group meetings was brilliant. The time to discuss with fellow students was great." - Cynthia Cox (Massage Therapist, Arkansas)
Presentations include a walk through of all Ayurvedic fundamentals. Lecture content is based upon Ayurvedic literature, our personal clinical experience, and the testimony of our clients. We integrate innovations from other traditions wherever possible, including Chinese medicine, Western medicine, Western herbalism and other modalities such as massage therapy, yoga, and Western psychology. At the end of each lecture you will not only understand the concept but also the mental and emotional patterns associated with it.
A partial overview of topics includes:
Excerpt from the ancient texts showing anatomy and sanskrit. Sanskrit was the original language of Ayurveda. At Joyful Belly, we attempt to interpret these ancient texts and present them in a Western context, both modernizing ancient knowledge and making Ayurveda accessible.
Introduction to Ayurvedic ConceptsThese lectures provide an in depth, unique and practical understanding of Ayurveda's foundational concepts such as
Ayurvedic Clinical AssessmentStudents will develop keen observation skills and acumen using Ayurvedic methods of trividha pariksha and dashavidha pariksha. Specifically, students will learn diagnosis of:
Ayurvedic Management of ImbalancesYou will learn the Ayurvedic understanding of the disease process (samprapti) as well as a comprehensive list of the causes of disease.
Clinical Mentoring & PreparationThe culmination of the course is your preparation to work with clients. All aspects of meeting with a client including paperwork, intake forms, legal concerns, note taking, structuring a session, following up and keeping records will be covered in phase 1. Students will learn how to take blood pressure & read the pulse and how to use this information clinically.
In phase 2, you will meet with or observe at least 50 clients under supervision of one of our experienced practitioners to apply all of the concepts learned in the program in a real life clinical setting. Supervision will be entirely online.
We aim to take a complex topic and make it easy. In fact, we believe the ability to simplify without losing any rigor is an essential skill of any health counselor. Ayurvedic health counselors are, after all, teachers. So we aim to teach you how to teach your clients. We'll instruct you on how to talk about Ayurveda in simple and easy terms your clients can understand. We'll also share the secrets, tips, and practical advice from our clinical practice and give you great sound bites you can use to educate your clients and help them experience their body.
Expect to experience:
Expect to be challenged, heard, valued, encouraged and supported throughout your development in the course, not only by teachers and staff, but also by other students. Each student will experience powerful and transforming growth.
Homework exercises will greatly facilitate your integration of course material by allowing you practical application of concepts, a key component to your full comprehension of this subject. Assignments and tests are graded pass/fail and are given in a supportive, non-competitive spirit of learning.
Your certificate will be awarded at the end of the program, contingent upon attendance and completion of assignments. You must complete the entire program within 3 years. For an additional fee, students can lengthen the program to four years.
Demographics of the student body
Students who enroll are nutritionists, nurses, yoga teachers and enthusiastic individuals who have been inspired by Ayurveda. Some students will be herbalists, Chinese medicine practitioners, and medical doctors. We aim to select, among applicants, those students who have the discipline and motivation to excel in the field of Ayurveda. To be accepted for admission, students will submit their application within two weeks after registering.
Student discounts are provided to encourage your learning & discovery from the moment you register. A limited number of work study positions are available to qualified students to reduce tuition.
About John Immel
John studied Ayurveda under Dr. Vasant Lad and is specialized in the advanced treatment of digestive tract pathology. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University. He first discovered Ayurveda while working on a public health project in Bangladesh. John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel.
After witnessing Ayurveda's compelling efficiency and practical ease in treatment of his own digestive disorder, John was convinced he could help others. He sought a way introduce Ayurveda to his Appalachian mountain home and the broader American public. This was the genesis of Joyful Belly. Using ingredients familiar from his childhood, John created Joyful Belly to recast Ayurveda in the context of our American food traditions. Joyful Belly proves Ayurveda is accessible and necessary for everyday health & wellness. His simple, practical and familiar approach has helped thousands on their journey to health.
John's love of life, his commitment to the health & dignity of the person, and his humanitarian pursuit of inexpensive health care comes from his Catholic roots and identity. His creativity in the kitchen, and absolute dedication to the epicurean delight of eating come from his Italian heritage. He is fluent in Bengali and French, and enjoys studying Sanskrit & Arabic. In addition to his passion for Ayurveda, John enjoys spending time with his family and studying scripture, two activities which he believes are essential to any health and wellness counselor. He is a member of NAMA, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.
John's Teaching StyleAs a teacher, I strive not only to communicate the basic principles of Ayurveda, but to bring Ayurveda to life by sharing my personal healing journey, and the healing journeys I have witnessed as a practitioner. When I am at my best, you will find that my presentations are rich with anecdotes. Despite the seriousness of the topic, you will find I maintain a sense of humor as we discuss the blood and guts of health. This humor often comes at my own expense, which I hope you will enjoy!
Teaching has been a vocation for me since a very young age, and I have taught at various institutions from Harvard University to my home town. As a student of six languages, I am heavily invested in developing my communication and presentation skills, a core skill of any good teacher. Despite my ability to speak as an authority on the topic of Ayurveda & digestion, I approach the student teacher relationship as a colleague and facilitator, equal to my students, without any illusions of personal grandeur. My approach is not didactic, but inspirational and engaging. I enjoy asking questions as much as giving answers, and recognize that leadership often means giving you the space and freedom you need to draw your own conclusions, with guidance. As much as I love narrating a good story to an audience, I also strive learn from my students, and await full of suspense to hear your insights about Ayurveda!
On a more emotional level, I place a great deal of emphasis on empathy in every interaction I have with my students and my clients. The fundamental skill of empathy is the ability to walk in another's shoes. As a empathetic person, I always strive to appreciate and learn from your perspective and vantage point. I want to know you, and what makes you the person that you are.
Yet, the most important quality and teaching skill I possess is neither language nor empathy. Instead, it is my enthusiasm for Ayurveda, and for you. I am eager to give myself fully and passionately to the learning process. This enthusiasm is the true source of my confidence. Why am I so enthusiastic? Where does the boundless energy I offer for teaching come from? The bottomless well of energy I bring to our discussions springs from my great faith in each and every individual's capacity to learn and grow. Teaching is therefore a true celebration for me. This great hope I've invested in teaching is something I will never give up on, which means I will never give up on you!
What people are saying..
Comments from students in our 500 Hour certification program
"These were so helpful. Even as a practitioner this was not something that I had a lot of experience coming into the class and the things I discovered during these exercises were amazing." - Marilyn Parker (Ayurvedic Practitioner, Florida)
"I loved the course, especially the development of felt senses, practical experiences offered, and herbal remedies. I was amazed by my experiences. John, you have a fabulous way of getting folks like me to think differently and I am deeply grateful for what I have learned from you." - Susan Buck (Student, Connecticut)
"I have gotten so much out of this. I feel a bit emotional about it coming to an end! I'd love to stay in touch and keep learning from all the wise folk here" - Bel Steer (Yoga Instructor, Australia)
"I have really loved my experience in this program and have learned so much that I can take with me anywhere. I feel honored to have been a part of this program and there are so many amazing practitioners and aspiring practitioners here. I'm really excited for more learning! John, you have really brought heart and meaning to ayurveda in this program. It shows that you really love it and care." - Kate Empey (Student, Utah)
"Thank you! All! I feel that the wealth of knowledge I have seen here is huge and feel that this is more of a beginning than a parting. I feel that this is a forum and platform for collaboration and much more shared knowledge." - Andrea Karahalios (Yoga Instructor, Florida)
I'm grateful for the experience and feel that I am coming away with a deeper understanding of Ayurveda. I hope to continue with this path. - Ashley David (Herbalist, West Virginia)
Commonly Asked Questions
Will I be a practitioner after graduating?You will be certified as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor through Joyful Belly. You will also be eligible for certification through NAMA.
Ayurveda is still an unlicensed field in most U.S. states. Even those of who have practitioner status through NAMA are still only educators in the eyes of the law. Only a qualified, licensed medical doctor can diagnose, prescribe or treat disease. Legally, you will be able listen to people's health concerns and educate them on the Ayurvedic perspective and approach to those concerns including diet, lifestyle and herbs. Please seek legal advice if you have questions about your scope of practice after graduating.
What is the scope of practice?The National Ayurvedic Medical Association has approved the following scope of practice for Ayurvedic Health Counselors: Ayurvedic Health Counselors are competent in health promotion and disease prevention. They utilize the principles of Ayurvedic medicine to create diet and lifestyle recommendations according to their assessment of the patient's Ayurvedic constitution and imbalances. After the completion of academic study they have Ayurvedic clinical experience (supervised clinical practice) including a minimum of 50 patient encounters. They educate, motivate and counsel patients in order to support them to be successful in implementing the principles of Ayurveda into their lives. Ayurvedic Counselors refer patients whose disease stage (samprapti) is beyond the third stage to Ayurvedic Practitioners or Doctors of Ayurveda for diagnosis and treatment of disease.
What do people do after they graduate?Our graduates use the program to advance in their current careers as well as into a new and a diverse array of professional settings. Here are just some examples:
What is the basis of the research? What is the source of the course material and how do you verify accuracy of material learned?The lectures have been developed from primary and secondary sources - pubmed studies, wikipedia, the classic texts of Ayurveda, and the opinions of Ayurvedic experts. Individual teachers frequently innovate based upon their clinical and personal experience, as well as the individual needs of the client. Ayurveda, like Chinese medicine, is not a research based science but an ancient tradition. Although there have been more studies conducted in recent years, many perspectives you will learn in the course have not been researched or approved by the FDA. Instead, your clients will have to assess any Ayurvedic recommendations you give them to determine their suitability and appropriateness for personal use. Client's individual constitutions and needs do not always conform to statistical norms, even in a Western medical context. Ayurveda's highly individual approach offers flexibility that science cannot when it comes to working with and assessing the unique imbalances of the client.
I have been trained in the Western medical system, will this course be accessible to me?One of the things that makes our program unique and accessible to all is that we teach Ayurveda from an experiential point of view, instead of a mystical one. Ayurveda does have an energetic understanding of the body, but it's different from energy medicine. What you learn in the program are concepts that you can experience in your body. You learn the foundation of Ayurveda's ancient wisdom and then experience it directly creating cause and effect connections akin to the scientific method as well as intuitive understanding. Our students from Western medical backgrounds find this creates a more robust understanding of health and healing for them.
Will the course include herbs?Yes, you will learn many of the most effective herbs in supporting health.
Can I go at my own pace?Yes, you can do the work on your own schedule. However, you must attend at least 40 coaching calls and 25 clinical presentations.
We understand that life events may prevent you, from time to time, completing assignments on time and have a policy to accommodate you. Extensions are granted on a case by case basis.
What if I have a busy job, a rambunctious 2 year old? Can I still take the program if I have to take a leave of absence for several weeks?Yes, you can take the course at your own pace. This course is designed for the busy professional, is family friendly, and quality of life focused, with the flexibility to complete the course in 3 or even 4 years if needed. Our school and coaching call schedule includes breaks for all major holidays, as well as winter, spring and summer break.
Will there be enough mentoring / support?Coaching calls will supplement your self-paced learning during phase 1. Additionally, exercises will be graded and include feedback when needed to improve acumen and student competency. During phase 2, live clinical encounters with clients will ensure all students meet our high academic and clinical standards. The Facebook group also provides an opportunity to voice questions and concerns. Teachers are also available by appointment to address any concerns or questions you might have.
Do you offer scholarships or other payment options?Rather than offering scholarships to a select few, we have opted for a competitively priced program accessible to all. Although we cannot offer scholarships, we do offer payment plans and a limited number of work study positions for qualified individuals. Please contact email@example.com for details.
What if I can't take the course next year, will you offer it again?Starting in August of 2018, you can begin phase 1 of the course at any time that works for you.
Still have questions?Click the maybe button below for instructions on how to setup an inquiry appointment.
Requirements for AdmissionOur student body is one of the greatest assets of this program. Primarily, we accept students who are determined to succeed and make a good name for Ayurveda. We screen for students who are self-motivated, disciplined, and excited to participate. That's why we created a demanding program - gear up for excellence!
Students from all professional and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Equipment Requirement: Students must have a laptop or a desktop computer, a webcam, a headset, and, a reliable internet access with internet speeds upto 3.1 Mbps - 6 Mbps to participate in the distant learning online course. This will help the student keep up with class communications and access to research and study resources. In addition, students must have basic computer skills including word processing. Students do not need to buy or download any software. However, students may be required to download a FREE APP to login to live classes via their computer, smartphone or tablet.
How to RegisterCurrently, we are accepting applications for the 2018 program. The self paced phase 1 will begin in August. There is no deadline for application, however we expect the program will be filled to capacity, and applications are considered on a first come, first served basis. You will receive a full refund if for any reason your application is denied.
See details below for registration options. Once you register, you'll receive participation instructions over email. Throughout the program, you'll receive notices to guide you through each step. You'll also have an opportunity to ask questions via the Facebook group.
Will you be taking the course?
Register for only $241/month until June 30th. Or, register with a $600 deposit now and pay off tuition later. Total registration & tuition for this course if you register now will be $6,499. See payment plan details here. Save an additional $250 by paying your entire balance before the first day of class. Note: Your enrollment is
Please make certain you will be able to attend before you register. Click here to see our full Refund / Return Policy