Written by John Immel,
Distinction Between Ayurveda CertificationsAt Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, we offer two seperate professional certification programs. The first is the Ayurveda Health Counselor certification (AHC). This 750 hour program covers all the fundamental principles for the practice of Ayurveda. Over two years you will be immersed in Ayurvedic theory, learning all the tools you need to work independently with clients.
The second program, Mastering Ayurvedic Digestion & Nutrition (MID), is a 500 hour advanced certification. This 10 month program is for those who want to specialize in the field of Ayurvedic digestion. This course goes into extensive detail on digestive pathologies, but does not cover all the fundamentals regarding the rest of the body. The AHC course, on the other hand, covers the fundamentals of digestion, but not in the same depth as MID.
Which Certification is Right for You?In many cases, students wish to take both AHC and MID. The question then becomes, which is the right course to study first? Most students start with the AHC course. These students want to start their studies with a solid foundation in Ayurvedic theory. After building this foundation, graduates develop a specialized knowledge base in digestion with MID.
Other students want to get right to the center of Ayurvedic digestion and nutrition and choose to specialize with the MID certification first. They then go on to expand their knowledge base to the rest of the body with the AHC program. A solid argument can be made in both directions, and only you can choose the option that is right for you.
We recommend that all practitioners incorporate a speciality into their practice at some point. Having a speciality convinces your clients you have the knowledge and experience required to educate them regarding their specific disorder. A specialty builds trust and confidence with a client, and establishes your credibility as an Ayurvedic professional.
What is the Difference Between a Health Counselor and a Practitioner?On completion of the AHC certification, graduates will be qualified Ayurvedic Health Counselors. This qualification allows you to assess a client's constitution (prakruti) and imbalances (virkuriti), and offer guidance to restore balance using Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle techniques.
After graduating, you can continue your studies to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner. The AHC certification is a required prerequisite before continuing to the practitioner level, and is the foundation of all clinical practice of Ayurveda. To enroll in an Ayurvedic practitioner program, you must complete an Ayurvedic Health Counselor program.
An Ayurvedic Practitioner qualification involves advanced study, particularly focusing on specific disease processes. While all of the fundamental concepts of Ayurvedic theory are included in AHC and you will learn how different disease states are related to the person as a whole, specific knowledge of individual diseases will not be covered.
Differences in Licensure Between the Two ProgramsAn important question students ask is about licensure. Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda does not provide a license to practice medicine, nor does any other Ayurveda school in the country. Only a medical doctor can practice medicine. However, you can begin seeing clients after either the AHC or MID program, and educate them about the traditional use of Ayurveda for various conditions, and rebalancing vital energies.
The AHC program meets industry level standards for board certification as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. This is the standard track most Ayurvedic practitioners take. Once you graduate from AHC, you will eligible to take the NAMA(National Ayurvedic Medical Association) certification exam. You simply need to show them your certification as proof of study and pass their certification exam to become a registered Ayurvedic Health Counselor.
MID is accredited by AAPNA (Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America) and is approved for continuing education credits by NAMA. This program gives you a certification as an Ayurvedic Digestive Health Coach.
Laws vary by state. Ayurveda is an unlicensed profession in the state of North Carolina, for example. A certificate of completion is given to those graduates who successfully complete the programs.
International students may have to meet local requirements for certification. In many states and countries, Ayurveda is unregulated so you may be able to practice without board certification. Please text John at 828-785-8213 if you have questions in this area.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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