Alternative/Traditional/Holistic Medicine careers
There are many different kinds of Alternative Medicine programs in India, such as Diplomas, Certificates, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, and even a few Doctoral degrees. The three main types of Bachelor’s degrees in Alternative Medicine are BSc Alternative Medicine (Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine), BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) and BUMS (Bachelor in Unani Medicine). With a BAMS degree from an accredited school, one can practice as an Ayurvedic Practitioner/Doctor, with the option to further pursue one’s education with a specialization (via Masters degree, Certificate course, Diploma course, or Doctoral course) in any of the following: Medical Astrology, Gem-Tele-Chromo Therapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Electro-Homoeopathy, Hypnotherapy, Traditional Chinese Med, Aroma Therapy, Reflexology, Radiesthesia & Radionics, Iridology Science, Medicinal Herbalism, Holistic Health & Nutrition. With the BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine & Surgery) degree from an accredited school, once can become a Homeopathic Practitioner/Doctor, with the possibility to further one’s education through the aforementioned specializations (via Masters degree, Certificate course, Diploma course, or Doctoral course).
The BAMS degree also covers some aspects of Ayurvedic massage, being that it’s a part of Ayurvedic treatment options, so following it up with a Diploma or Certificate course in Massage Therapy/Reflexology would allow one to practice as a Massage Therapist. Another way to become a Massage Therapist is by getting a BNYS (Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences) degree, as it too covers massage therapy techniques at length, as part of the wellness practices and treatments in Naturopathy. Other treatments within Naturopathy include “natural and non-invasive...herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and in some cases other complementary techniques including massage, acupuncture or aromatherapy.” This means that a BNYS also provides the necessary training to become an Acupuncturist, a Chiropractor, and a Wellness Counselor. Finally, the most obvious and arguably most comprehensive of the careers afforded by a completion of a BNYS degree is that of a Naturopathologist. A Naturopathologist in India can work in any number of places, such as private and public/government hospitals, community health and wellness centers, clinics, and - upon the completion of a postgraduate and graduate degrees - even in research facilities.
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Another popular career for someone with an Alternative/AYUSH medical background is that of a Researcher at a research institution; India’s government in particular offers many research opportunities within its 4 AYUSH Councils: Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN), and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH). In order to work as an AYUSH Researcher in India, one must obtain a undergraduate degree in an AYUSH discipline, like a BAMS/BUMS/BNYS, as well as a graduate degree, like a Master's in Psychotherapy and Counseling (MPC), and/or a doctoral course like a Doctor of Medicine in Alternative Medicines (MDAM). There are also many AYUSH Diploma programs that allow individuals to pursue professional careers in medicine with as little as a completion of the 10+2 in Science stream; one such example is the Diploma in [Ayurvedic] Pharmacy, which is a 2-year course that, upon its completion, allows individuals to work as AYUSH Pharmacists in places like dispensaries and rural clinics. Salaries for all AYUSH positions vary, because there are so many different ways to go about pursuing a career within an AYUSH field, so much so that even the medical/educational qualifications vary from place to place and especially from job to job; this makes one’s potential salary very hard to predict. As a general statement regarding AYUSH salaries though, it’s been observed that one can make more money by opening one’s own practice than in working in someone else’s, and that the private sector tends to pay more than the public sector. And as always, the higher one’s education, the more likely he/she is to get a job and to make more money.