Benchmarks for training in traditional / complementary and alternative medicine as prescribed by WHO

The following is from the standards set by the World Health Organization as to the minimum levels of adequate education to provide safety regarding Ayurveda.

Very sadly, I must state that there is no education in America in Ayurveda living up to these standards set by the WHO. Nama, National Ayurvedic Medicine Association, is nothing more than a membership and has no views in standardization of Ayurveda. You would be shocked at the lack of education that there is to become certified as an Ayurvedic Practitioner.

This manual is being sent in to NAMA and I will post the response.

If there is to be any intergrity in Ayurveda as it grows in America, these starndars that are set forth must be upheld and a standards committee must be in place.

Ayurveda is individual based. it is not one size fits all in any way shape or form. It has detailed science behind it and to every statement there are contraindications as to who should be doing that treatment or how it should be done. This is why the minimum of the Ayurvedic education in India is 5.5 years. So when you are being sold the latest in Ayurvedic diets or products that are being touted as Ayurvedic, question them.

Benchmarks for training in traditional / complementary and alternative medicine

The aim of this series of benchmark documents is to ensure that TM/CAM
practices meet minimum levels of adequate knowledge, skills and awareness of
indications and contraindications. These documents may also be used to facilitate
establishing the regulation and registration of providers of TM/CAM.

This document provides benchmarks for training of practitioners of Ayurvedic
medicine including practitioners, dispensers and distributors; training
programmes designed for trainees with different backgrounds; and a review of
contraindications, so as to promote safe practice of Ayurvedic medicine and
minimize the risk of accidents. Together, these can serve as a reference for
national authorities in establishing systems of training, examination and
licensure that support the qualified practice of Ayurvedic medicine .

2. Training of Ayurveda practitioners
2.1 Categories of training
This document describes models of training programmes for different types of
Ayurvedic training. These modes are considered adequate by the community of
practitioners, experts and regulators of Ayurveda. They can be used as benchmarks to
orient training programmes, examinations and licensing systems for Ayurvedic
practitioners.
Training for Ayurveda therapy practitioners should take into consideration who is to
be trained; what the roles and responsibilities of the future practitioner will be; and
what level of education would be required in order to undertake training. Further
consideration should be given to the content of the training, the way training is to be
provided and by whom.
In order to regulate the practice of Ayurveda therapy and prevent practice by
unqualified practitioners, a proper system of examination and licensing is required.
Ayurveda therapy experts distinguish three categories of training programmes –
Ayurveda practitioner training, Ayurveda therapist training, and training of Ayurveda
dispensers and distributors.
Category I: Ayurveda practitioner
• Type I: Limited Ayurvedic education for individuals with no prior medical or
other health-care professional training.
• Type II: Limited Ayurvedic education for individuals with prior medical or
other health-care professional training.
Category II: Ayurveda therapist
• Type I: Limited education for individuals to be trained in panchakarma therapy.
• Type II: Limited education for individuals to be trained in Ayurveda dietetics.
Category III: Ayurveda dispensers and distributors
2.2 Category I, Type I training – Ayurveda practitioners
This training programme is the curriculum designed to produce Ayurveda
practitioners who are qualified to practise as primary-contact and primary-care
practitioners, independently or as members of a health-care team in various settings.
This type of programme consists of at least 2500 hours, including classroom theory and
practical sessions and followed by 500 hours of internship training in an Ayurvedic
clinic or hospital. Acceptable applicants for this training must have completed high
school or pre-university education, or equivalent. enchmarks for training in Ayurveda
8

2.2.1 Learning outcomes of the Type I programme
The following skills are common competencies in Ayurveda training, and could be
used for another category and different types of training programme as reference.
Technical skills
• understand classical Ayurveda and its applications for the promotion of health;
• diagnose and differentiate diseases/disorders according to Ayurvedic
principles and techniques, and formulate an appropriate Ayurvedic treatment
plan;
• gain knowledge and skills related to scientific use of medicines and application
of therapeutic measures for maintenance of health and alleviation of disease;
• develop specific treatment plans based on the individual signs and symptoms
of the patient;
• give nutritional, dietary and preventive medicine advice in terms of Ayurveda;
• review and monitor the health of the patient and modify treatment accordingly;
• independently acquire technical knowledge about diseases not necessarily
covered by the programme;
• create a database of clinical experience and research and communicate this
information to other practitioners and the public;
• appreciate the expertise and scope of Ayurveda to facilitate intradisciplinary
and interdisciplinary cooperation with health-care professionals;
• analyse the merits and demerits of contemporary health-care systems.
Communication skills
• apply Ayurvedic medical terminology appropriately in clinical practice;
• communicate effectively with patients, other health professionals, regulatory
bodies, pharmaceutical suppliers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and the
general public;
• disseminate clinical observations and findings to other professionals in
accordance with ethical principles;
• provide appropriate case history and diagnostic information when referring
patients to related specialists.
Skills in responsible and sustainable practice
• practise within regulatory/ethical/safety frameworks;
• identify key business issues and draw on appropriate professional resources;
• willingness to continue to learn and update knowledge.
Research and information-management skills
• understand and acquire new knowledge from Ayurvedic clinical research;
• remain informed about advances in Ayurvedic knowledge and apply that
knowledge appropriately in clinical practice. Training of Ayurveda practitioners
9

2.2.2 Components of Ayurvedic training
Sanskrit
Knowledge required of this subject includes basic grammar and other exercises,
translation from Sanskrit to English, and vice versa. Upon completion of this subject,
students are expected to be able to read, write and understand the shlokas in the various
texts of Ayurveda (Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya, Ashtanga
Sangraha, etc), translate them as required, and understand, apply and interpret them
scientifically.
Fundamental principles of Ayurveda
This subject covers the various schools of philosophy, including relations between the
universe and the human being, ayuh (life), the tripod of prakriti, purusha and manas, the
correlation between indriya (organs) and their arthas (object), limitations of sensory
perception, details of nava dravya (nine kinds of primordial substances), and theories
and principles of panchamahabhuta (five elements), etc.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the
philosophical concepts of Ayurveda and to apply these concepts in physiology,
pathology, clinical diagnosis and clinical practice. They are also expected to
demonstrate competence in diagnosis and differentiation of disorders and their
management as indicated in Ayurveda.
Ayurvediya sharira rachana
This includes the constitution of body according to the panchabhuta system,
embryological and genetic considerations, anthropometry, various body tissues, organs
and vital points as described in Ayurveda.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the details
of fertilization; sex determination and differentiation; organogenesis and the human
body in terms of dosha, dhatu and mala; and apply these concepts in clinical diagnosis
and practice.
Ayurvediya kriya sharira
This includes a detailed description of tridosha, saptadhatu (seven tissues), upadhatu
(secondary tissues), mala, srotas, the 13 agni and their functions, digestion and
metabolism, sensory and motor organs and the mind, and their characteristics and
functions, etc.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the
normal and abnormal states and functions of dosha, dhatu and mala, srotas, agni and
sensory and motor organs and the mind, and apply these concepts to determine prakriti
(personality and temperament) in clinical diagnosis and clinical practice.
Svasthavritta (personal, social and preventive medicine), yoga and naturopathy
This covers the daily and seasonal regimen of an individual relating to: food; sleep;
social, sexual and other activities; the basic concepts, components and practice of yoga;
the concepts of naturopathy and methods of treatment advocated for various
disorders; components of social hygiene; nutrition; measures to prevent the
transmission of communicable and noncommunicable diseases; national health
programmes and biostatistics. enchmarks for training in Ayurveda
10

Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe and apply
the principles of diet, sleep, behaviour, hygiene and social hygiene for healthy and sick
people. In addition, they are expected to be able to describe the elements and
application of yoga and naturopathy in health and illness.
Dravyaguna vigyana (pharmacology/materia medica)
This covers classification, identification, guna, karma (properties and action),
therapeutic indications, formulations, clinical applications, administration,
standardization, quality control and safety of Ayurvedic medicines.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to: describe at least
250 commonly used plants in Ayurveda (see Annex 3); and apply these herbs
according to Ayurvedic theory, particularly with respect to selection of appropriate
medicines, formulations and basic knowledge and skills in identifying raw and
processed Ayurvedic herbs, including their standardization.
Rasashastra and bhaishajya kalpana (alchemy and pharmaceutical sciences)
This covers classification, identification, manufacturing processes shodhan (purification)
and maran (calcination), standardization and quality control of single and compound
Ayurvedic formulations, as well as pharmacotherapeutics, use of Ayurvedic mineral
and metallic medicines and pharmacovigilance.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to: possess the basic knowledge
and skills needed to identify processed and unprocessed metals and minerals; to
manufacture, process and standardize Ayurvedic medicines; and to have a knowledge
of pharmacotherapeutics.
Agada tantra and vyavahara ayurveda (toxicology and jurisprudence)
This deals with poisons and toxic substances of plant, animal, mineral and metallic
origin; food poisons; incompatible foods; tests for poisonous substances and their
treatment; and jurisprudence aspects of the clinical practice of Ayurveda.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe various
poisonous substances and the tests and treatments for them, and handle jurisprudence
aspects of Ayurvedic practice.
Roga nidan and vikriti vigyana (diagnostics and pathology)
This includes pathological states of dosha, dhatu, mala, agni and srotas, pancha lakshana
nidana (diagnostics); examination and assessment of prakriti (personality and
temperament); shat kriyakala; patient and disease; Ayurvedic diagnostics and
differential diagnosis.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the
examination of the patient, pathogenesis, diagnosis and lines of treatment for common
diseases.
Kayachikitsa (general medicine)
This includes: etiology; pathogenesis; clinical manifestations; disease differentiation;
treatment principles and methods, and appropriate formulae for common physical and
mental diseases; shodhana (purificatory) and shamana (palliative) treatments;
panchakarma (five purifying procedures); theory and practice of medical psychology;
psychological factors and their relevance to mental health; psychological counselling,;
diagnosis and mental health promotion. Training of Ayurveda practitioners
11

Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the basic
methods of differentiation of diseases; and to manage common internal, external and
psychological ailments using Ayurvedic medicines, including the basic concepts,
methods and application of panchakarma.
Shalya tantra (general surgery)
This covers: etiology; pathogenesis; clinical manifestations; disease differentiation;
principles and methods of treatment of diseases due to various causes, including
foreign bodies, as well as the instruments used in diagnosis and treatment. It includes
special ksharasutra treatment procedures for anorectal disorders and various surgical
and parasurgical procedures.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to: demonstrate the
basic practical skills of sterilization and disinfection; describe the basic methods of
differentiation of diseases and manage common surgical problems using Ayurvedic
medicines, including application of ksharasutra and various parasurgical procedures.
Shalakya tantra (ear, nose and throat medicine, including ophthalmology and
dentistry)
This includes etiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, disease differentiation,
principles and methods of treatment of diseases of the head, including ear, nose, throat,
teeth and eye. It also covers various special methods of treatment, including kriyakalpa
and other medicines.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the basic
methods of differentiation of diseases and address common diseases of the head using
Ayurvedic medicines and procedures.
Striroga and prasutitantra (gynaecology and obstetrics)
These include: etiology; pathogenesis; clinical manifestations; disease differentiation;
treatment principles and methods and appropriate medical formulations for common
gynaecological diseases, as well as Ayurvedic methods of preconception, antenatal,
perinatal and postnatal care.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to possess the knowledge and
skills needed for comprehensive diagnosis and clinical management of common
gynaecological diseases using Ayurvedic concepts and methods, and application of
Ayurvedic methods of obstetric care.
Kaumara bhritya and bala roga (paediatrics)
This covers samskara (rites associated with significant developmental milestones); care
of the mother during lactation; care of the child up to 16 years of age; etiology;
pathogenesis; clinical manifestations; disease differentiation; treatment principles and
methods, and appropriate medical formulae for common diseases of children.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to possess the knowledge and
skills needed for comprehensive care of mother and child and for the diagnosis and
clinical management of common childhood diseases using Ayurvedic medicine.
Rasayana and vajikarana (promoting and rejuvenative treatments and aphrodisiacs)
These cover the basic concepts and methods of rejuvenation and care of weak and old
people, and concepts and methods for managing sexual and infertility disorders. enchmarks for training in Ayurveda
12

Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to possess the knowledge and
skills needed for care of weak and disabled people, diagnosis and clinical management
of diseases of the elderly, and menopausal complaints, etc, using Ayurvedic concepts,
methods and medicines.
Pathya apathya (do’s and don’ts of diet and activity)
This covers the concept of ahara (diet) and its importance; ayushyakara and urjaskara
ahara; importance of ahara in health and disorders; ahara dravya and their properties and
classification; hita avam ahita (beneficial and harmful) ahara based on doshika prakriti;
foodstuffs and their action; use of shadrasa in ahara for health; vegetables and fruits and
their properties; types of water and their importance in ahara; milk and milk products
in health and disease; various diets; adjuvants of food; viruddha ahara, pathya and
apathya ahara in various disorders – jvara, atisara, kamala, pandu, raktapitta, unmada,
apasmara, prameha, madhumeha, etc; and satmya and asatmya ahara.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to possess and apply
appropriate knowledge and prescribe a suitable diet for the patient’s condition.
2.2.3 Components of western medical training
The following essential components of western medicine should be included.
Health regulations and medical ethics
This covers health regulations, medical ethics and the professional code of ethics,
including principles of professional behaviour and issues related to various laws and
regulations pertaining to the practice of Ayurveda.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to explain the legal
requirements relating to Ayurvedic practice including the relevant local health acts,
legal responsibilities, standards of practice and related regulations, such as
endangered-species protection. They should be able to identify and explain the ethical
principles of Ayurvedic practice.
Human anatomy
Basic theory of human anatomy, including structure of the normal human body and
components of body systems, the names, forms and locations of the structures of the
human body and the morphological structure of every organ, as well as surface
anatomy landmarks of bones, muscles and skin.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to demonstrate an
understanding of the terminology of anatomy and describe the morphological
structure of normal organs.
Human physiology
This covers the basic concepts and theory of physiology, major functions of human
organs and systems, homeostasis, normal physiological parameters, factors influencing
them and their regulation. raining of Ayurveda practitioners
13

Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to demonstrate the
application of measurement methods for human functional activities and basic
practical skills; as well as comprehensive abilities in observing, analysing and
summarizing problems by applying theoretical knowledge.
Pharmacology
This subject covers basic concepts, theory and terminology of pharmacology, including
pharmacological actions, indications, contraindications, adverse medical reactions,
medicine interactions and clinical application of the main medicines in each category.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to demonstrate an
understanding of pharmaceutical mechanisms and the application of pharmacy and
pharmaceutical sciences in Ayurveda, the practical skills of basic laboratory methods of
pharmacology and the sound application of this knowledge in order to understand the
action of Ayurvedic medicines and formulate prescriptions appropriately.
Pathophysiology and medical diagnosis
This subject covers concepts and etiological factors of disease, including basic theory
and concept of diseases; clinical pathology, radiology and diagnostic imaging; and
clinical decision-making through comprehensive analysis of data from physical
examinations and laboratory tests.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to conduct clinical
interviews, obtain and analyse case histories, and undertake a range of physical
examinations, in order to establish a diagnosis.
Biochemistry
This subject covers basic concepts and principles of biochemistry, routine clinical
biochemical investigations and their interpretation, the role of clinical biochemistry in
diagnosis, and the literature of clinical biochemistry.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to interpret the
results of routine clinical biochemistry investigations, understand the results of
diagnoses, and extract and present relevant biochemical literature.
Clinical medicine
This subject covers basic knowledge and theory of internal and external medicine,
etiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestation, diagnosis and medical treatment of
common diseases, modern surgical concepts, principles and practices for managing
simple surgical problems, modern medical and surgical procedures for eye and ear,
nose and throat disorders, gynaecology, obstetrics and paediatrics.
Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe and apply
basic methods for diagnosis and clinical management of common internal medicine
and surgical conditions.

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