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What are the Different Ayurvedic Jobs?

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  • Written By: Angela Brady
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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With the explosion in popularity of alternative medicine, ayurvedic job opportunities are rapidly expanding. Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional Indian practice that treats holistically, with the mind, body, and spirit interconnected. Ayurvedic jobs involve a number of disciplines, including massage, body therapies, pancha karma, yoga, and herbal medicine, although practitioners usually practice in more than one field. Schooling involves over 1,200 hours of hands-on instruction, as well as two separate six-month internships.

The most common ayurvedic jobs involve massage and body therapies. Many massage therapists incorporate ayurvedic principles into their practice because they recognize the importance of tailoring the treatment to the nature of the client, as well as to the type of imbalances present. Ayurvedic massage is very popular in high-end hotels and spas around the world, and certified practitioners are very much in demand.

The most popular ayurvedic body therapy is Abhyanga, which is a warm oil treatment done on the forehead, but practitioners also perform herbal steam therapies and ayurvedic facials. They manipulate energy points throughout the body with massage, essential oils, and no-touch energy healing, and even create a type of warm dough that is laid over organs to keep healing herbs heated and compressed in the imbalanced area. Clients report pain relief, improved digestion, and relaxation.

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Pancha karma practitioner is one of the lesser-known ayurvedic jobs. Translated literally as “five actions,” the name refers to the five therapies that practitioners use to rid the body of toxins. The actions include nasal therapy, emesis, purging, and two different kinds of therapeutic enema. Because of the highly involved nature of the treatment, most pancha karma jobs are at spas and retreats, where clients can be sequestered from their normal routine to avoid accumulating additional toxins during treatment. Since the client undergoes stress during the purification process, pancha karma practitioners must be patient and have a good bedside manner.

Like massage therapists, many yoga teachers incorporate ayurvedic principles into their business, creating what is probably the most flexible of the ayurvedic jobs. Ayurvedic yoga instructors can work at spas, hotels, or even freelance, and the instructive nature of the job allows them to teach the clients how to lead a more balanced lifestyle, rather than just fixing an existing imbalance. Practitioners evaluate the client, then lead her through asanas, chanting, and meditation specifically tailored to her individual condition.

Ayurvedic herbalists undergo the lengthiest and most intense training of any of the ayurvedic jobs. They do not simply dispense herbal medicines; they learn to grow the herbs and formulate preparations themselves, giving them a deeper understanding of the nature of the plants. Many ayuvedic practitioners in other fields incorporate herbalism into their practices as a way to further the clients healing even after the session has ended. The one requirement for all ayurvedic jobs is a deep and genuine concern for the welfare of the client. This dedication comes through in practice, and is what fosters a sense of trust and respect in the client.

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