I would like to have some clarity about Alternative Medicine, and I am specifically interested in knowing about courses in Alternative Medicine and Career Prospects? (Jyothi Nirmala)
Alternative Medicinal System dates back to thousands of years. There are around 130 therapeutic practices around the world in Alternative Medicinal treatment. Every country or region has its own traditional medical cures. It is acupuncture for the Chinese and magnetic healing for the French. The curanderos in the Peruvian Andes dedicated their life to administration of remedies for mental, emotional and physical illness and so did kallawayas, their Bolivian counterparts.
We too have our Agathiar and Siddhars of Palani in Tamil Nadu. Alternative medicine is all about staying with nature The result of it are Ayurveda with Siddha, Auricular Therapy, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Yoga, Magneto therapy, shiatsu, Herbalism, Meditation, Flower Medicines, Aromatherapy, Massage, Chromotherapy, Cellular Therapy, Counselling/ Psychotherapy, Dance Therapy, Electrotherapy, Diet Therapy, Hydropathy, Reiki, Feng shui, Iridology, Kinesiology, Hypnotherapy, physiotherapy, pyramid healing, Reflexology, Tibetan medicine and Unani. The list is inexhaustible.
With chemically altered allopathic medicines creating side effects, people are now turning to alternative medical practices. Mostly the treatments are preventive, non-invasive and economical. Even the Indian Army has turned to specialists of alternative medicines to treat ill soldiers and other dependents. The popularity of complementary medicines has paved the way for the proliferation of fake practitioners.
The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) is a statutory body that functions under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It regulates the practice of Indian System of Medicine. It also implements curricula of study for traditional medicines and recognises the Institutes of Alternative Medicines. There are several diplomas and degree courses. There are scores of oneyear diploma programmes after Class 10 or also as post graduation courses.
Yoga and Massage, medicinal herbalism, naturopathy, gem therapy, Chinese medicine, sound therapy, reiki, traditional and holistic medicine are a few. Bachelor programmes include courses in Alternative Medicines, Naturopathy and Yoga, Acupressure & Magnetotherapy, Bio-Chemic and Aromatherapy. The duration is mostly two years except for Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine & Surgery (BAMS) that takes around six years to complete with an internship.
The post graduation courses are available for those who have finished any degree. It is always better to have completed a relevant or remote diploma in alternative medicines. There are Masters and doctoral programmes in a number of disciplines.
After completing the course, one can apply for Government attestation from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs to practice globally. The career options include the academic, clinical and general practice, drug manufacturing, pharmaceutical and research. It has become mandatory for government hospitals and primary health centers to recruit doctors in alternative medicine. It has widened the career scope in the field.
With tourism industry and hospitality sectors entering the market the demand for alternative medicinal professionals has increased and provide highly remunerative jobs. There may be a parallel wing in all the hospitals for alternative medicines. Go on and decide which area of alternative medicine interests you and keep inventing the alternatives elixirs for illnesses.