In Western allopathic medicine ayurveda is classified as a system of alternative healing that is used to complement, rather than to replace the current treatment regimen and relationship that exists between a patient and physician.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word translated as "the complete knowledge of long life". It is a traditional medicine practiced in India and other parts of South Asia. Its roots are traced back to the Vedic period, equivalent to the first millennium BC in the Western calendar. Over the centuries Ayurveda has developed to include use of medicinal herbal preparations as well as surgical procedures.
Ayurveda integrates self-care with the rhythms of seasonal routines; along with the use of spices, herbs, oils, and foods for specific purposes. Ayurvedic healing arts focus on the needs of your body. Employing massage, herbs, oils, steam, body wraps, as indicated by the circumstances. The principles of Ayurveda provide guidelines for making the right choices.
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In India there are more than 150 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate colleges for Ayurvedic medicine. Training can take up to 5 years. Students who receive their Ayurvedic training in India can earn either a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, (BAMS) or a Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, (DAMS) degree.
Some Ayurvedic practitioners have chosen to provide services in other countries.
Training also is available the California College of Ayuverda. The program is offered on location at the Grass Valley/Nevada City (Northern California) location and is also broadcast live over the internet in an interactive format, allowing students to attend from anywhere in the world. The program may be completed through distance learning.