New Online Master of Science in Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine Launched
“Only a holistic approach that takes into consideration all aspects of mind and body together can be successful in handling health.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Last year saw the launch of a Masters programs in Yoga and Yoga Therapy at universities across the country, and so it was only a matter of time before a Masters programs in Ayurveda would follow.
Marrying the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with the most advanced developments in Western medicine, Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA just launched an accredited graduate-level Masters of Science program that is one of the first if its kind in the nation. What’s more, a large part of the program will be available for students to study online.
With the 5,000-year-old medical tradition of Ayurveda (“the science of life”) gaining popularity in the United States, the faculty at the Fairfield, Iowa-based university hope to bring this holistic healthcare approach to the masses. The new Master of Science in Maharishi Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine is designed to meet the need for skillful practitioners trained and accredited in the traditional Hindu medicine of India and able to practice in modern medicine in the United States, according to Keith Wallace, Founding President, Maharishi University.
“Right now modern medicine is changing and there is a direction back to natural and lifestyle medicine that is personalized for each person,” said Dr.Wallace. “For thousands of years, Ayurvedic medicine has been focused on this natural system of healing, but it has not been embraced in the West.”
“Now, that is changing, and that change is being seen in small, but significant ways, such as the way we are embracing yoga,” added Dr. Wallace. “People and the medical community are looking to focus on this consciousness in a scientific way.”
Dr. Wallace said the university is meeting that need by formalizing a graduate degree program so that doctors, scientists and health coaches can assimilate Ayurveda traditions with modern science.
“We are hoping to give health practitioners more thorough knowledge of the protocols used by Maharishi Ayurveda in dealing with different health conditions,” he added.
Beginning this fall, (September 1), the program is being offered online to its first class of doctors, nurses, medical students, health coaches and wellness experts eager to incorporate integrative medicine into their practices. It is the first graduate-level training to focus specifically on Maharishi Ayurveda, following closely on the heels of Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, which started its Ayurvedic Sciences Masters program in 2013. Maharishi Ayurveda provides tools for the prevention and treatment of disease, and deals holistically with consciousness, physiology, psychology, behavior, and environment.
“With our healthcare system in such a state of crisis, there is a greater need now more than ever for health providers to combine the protocols of Eastern and Western medicine and focus on wellness versus the treatment of disease,” said Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, one of the most academically accomplished, classically trained Ayurvedic physicians in the United States. He is among the roster of distinguished Ayurvedic practitioners and teachers who make up the faculty and will teach via Skype and other digital tools from his California base.
“Right now there are very few, but excellent physicians trained to practice this cutting-edge and very unique way of treating the mind, body and spirit,” said Dr. Kshirsagar, author of The Hot Belly Diet: A 30-Day Ayurvedic Plan to Reset Your Metabolism, Lose Weight, and Restore Your Body’s Natural Balance to Heal Itself. “Our students will graduate as guides in practicing healthcare that focuses on the simple tools of medicine and enlightenment – yoga, diet, exercise – and the values preventative medicine, and that health is a by-product of caring for the self.”
“We are intentionally trying to keep it small the first year,” he said, “and we have a wide range of students enrolled in the program from physicians and nurses to health coaches. We spent a lot of time reorienting traditional Western medical curriculums with Ayurvedic traditions.”
The faculty are some of the most renowned Ayurvedic practitioners from all over the world, he added. In addition to Dr. Kshirsagar, Hemant Gupta, M.D., Founder and Director of Shree Ma AyurVeda Institute & Wellness Centre Inc. in Ottawa, Canada also is on the faculty.
Courses cover the gamut of healthcare from Maharishi Ayurveda anatomy and physiology in the context of the eight major organ systems, to comprehensive Ayurvedic health assessment techniques, including traditional pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, individualized diet and lifestyle recommendations, health assessments and assessments of mind-body type and therapeutics for mind, body and environment. Students also will learn about the five sense therapies (touch, smell, sight, taste, sound), the principles of Vedic Architecture and participate in an introduction to the clinical applications of traditional Chinese medicine, Homeopathy, Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy, Chiropractic, other natural medical systems and modern integrative medicine.
Once a year, students will attend a week-long intensive clinical training on MUM’s Iowa campus.
Teaching Maharishi Ayurveda for more than 25 years. Maharishi University of Management was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced Transcendental Meditation in the United States in the late 1950s and gained fame in the 1960s as the spiritual guru to the Beatles.
“At the end of the day, what we hope will happen is that our graduates will become guides for others to help them see health as a product of enlightenment and to help them start to and learn to follow this way of living and staying healthy,” said Dr. Kshirsagar.