Training Health Professionals for the Future

by Stuart Rothenberg, M.D., Director of Health Professional Training Programs, Maharishi Ayur-Veda Association of America

Everyone knows that healthcare is in crisis. With 100 million Americans — or 40 percent of the adult population — suffering from chronic conditions, and with over 200,000 deaths associated with the use of pharmaceuticals annually, Americans of all ages and persuasions are seeking alternative care.

What most people don't know is that medical professionals are suffering from a sick healthcare system as much as the patients. Pressures to spend less time with patients and to spend more on expensive technology and pharmaceutical drugs have caused many physicians to seek out more natural ways to conduct medicine.

Many physicians have come to realize that only when our current conventional medical system is supplemented by effective knowledge of prevention can we begin to slow and even reverse the spiraling cost of healthcare — which currently costs us over 2.5 trillion annually, or 16 percent of the gross domestic product. The cost of healthcare is continuing to rise rapidly, and is threatening to bankrupt our economy.

A New Way to Train Health Professionals

With solutions to the healthcare crisis in mind, the new Maharishi Ayurveda Health Professionals training program is teaching healthcare professionals to practice the natural therapies of Maharishi Ayurveda along with conventional medicine. The Maharishi Ayurveda Health Professionals program addresses the pressing need in medical education for an authentic, time-tested and evidence-based approach to complementary and integrative medicine.

Maharishi Ayurveda is a modern scientific revival of ayurvedic medicine, the oldest continuously practiced system of healthcare in the world. Maharishi Ayurveda has restored this valuable knowledge in its wholeness in accord with the ancient classical texts. Extensive clinical experience as well as over 600 scientific research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Maharishi Ayurveda modalities.

The program is open to licensed practitioners who are legally entitled to diagnose and provide treatment, including medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, clinical psychologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others. It is offered by the Maharishi Ayurveda Association of America, a non-profit educational organization, in affiliation with Maharishi College of Perfect Health at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

A Multi-Phase Program

The program is taught in several phases. Phase I trains the practitioners in the fundamental principles and practices of Maharishi Ayurveda and covers a broad range of topics. The training allows the healthcare practitioner to expand the scope of his or her healthcare practice by incorporating modalities that address the deepest levels of the body's functioning, the inner intelligence that is at the basis of all self-repair and healing mechanisms.

Course participants are trained in pulse diagnosis, the ancient ayurvedic procedure for detecting the imbalances that are the basis of current and future health problems. They are also instructed in diagnosis of the patient's mind-body type, according to ayurvedic principles. Knowing the patient's constitutional type is the key to prescribing an effective health-promotion program tailored to individual requirements. This includes preventive and therapeutic modalities from the angles of mind, body, behavior and environment.

Proper diet and nutrition is of central importance in preventing disease. In this regard, Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparations play a key role in creating and re-establishing balance. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, herbal preparations contain the concentrated health values of food and herbs, and they act as lively packages of intelligence that reset the body's ability to self-repair in specific areas of the body.

Another important aspect of the program is instruction in clinical protocols to prevent and treat common diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, digestive disorders, mental health conditions, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory and allergic conditions, and women's health problems.

Locations Throughout the Country

The program is currently being offered in three locations: San Diego, CA; Bethesda, MD; and at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. In coming months the course will also be taught at additional locations throughout the US. The course in July will be video-recorded, and subsequently offered on the Internet as an online medical education program.

The Phase I course consists of 65 hours of instruction taught over a 12-day period. The 12-day course is divided into four three-day modules. Participants can choose to take one or more of these modules consecutively at a time.

Phase I is the foundation of what will be a 600-hour training program culminating in a diploma in Maharishi Vedic Medicine. Each successive phase will present more advanced levels of theoretical and practical knowledge to allow the practitioner to enrich his or her skills. Based on this training, the practitioner may choose to specialize in particular areas of Maharishi Ayurveda, or choose to establish a full-scale Maharishi Ayurveda medical center or hospital.

The program is also being offered as a one-year, in-residence graduate level program at the Maharishi College of Perfect Health in Fairfield, Iowa.

A Record of Success

Over 500 health professionals were trained in previous Maharishi Ayurveda training courses between 1984 and 2003. The current course presents new topics and angles on this knowledge, and thus serves as a valuable refresher course for practitioners who were previously trained while offering new instruction for those who are not yet certified.

With the emphasis of the program on prevention and treatment of chronic conditions — two areas where modern medicine is not particularly effective — course participants learn to fill in the gaps in modern health care. Graduates of the program will apply their new skills to managing difficult chronic conditions, promoting health and longevity, and improving the quality of life of their patients. Practitioners who have taken the program report a great sense of personal and professional fulfillment in being able to provide their patients with new knowledge and procedures to unfold their inner potential for health.

For further information and to apply for the program, health professionals can contact the Maharishi Association of America at 877-540-6222. The next courses will be offered in Bethesda, MD, starting May 15; in San Diego, CA, starting June 12; and in Fairfield, Iowa, starting July 25.

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.