Discover more from Wholistic Healing
My Concerns About the Holistic Field: Spiritual Bypassing and Clinging to Ignorance
New age people who don't want to be challenged. The balance between standards and stifling health freedom.
I already have an Ayurvedic Practitioner certification, and I passed an extremely difficult board exam to receive credentials from the main Ayurvedic professional association in the United States, NAMA.
NAMA’s minimum educational standards for an Ayurvedic Practitioner include 1,500 hours of training. Another organization, AAPNA, the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America, requires 2,000 hours.
“Ayurvedic Practitioner” in Ayurveda is kind of equivalent to a Nurse Practitioner in the West. Well, at least, it was.
I recently took advantage of an extremely low introductory rate to take a 1,000 hour “Ayurveda Practitioner” course at a large online yoga school. I’ve taken some of their other classes, and find them to be often bare bones and frequently mediocre at best. Given the price points, which are bottom of the barrel, this doesn’t upset me too much personally.
However, I am concerned the school is churning out yoga teachers and soon to be “Ayurveda Practitioners” who don’t know what they don’t know. If that makes sense.
The school is hiring more teachers and looks to be improving (I hope), so I’m not here to bash the school per se.
But what happened today is that in the school’s launch call for the Ayurveda program, I mentioned in the chat the minimum educational requirements from the two major Ayurveda organizations in the United States, and that 1,000 hours was not enough training.
My intention in bringing this up was to encourage the school to add another 500 hours to their program, which would bring more value to the students and more credibility to their certification.
I figured a few people would chime in and say, “Yes, let’s get more hours!”
Not really. One person was upset because 400 hours of the promised Ayurveda training were identical to the yoga therapy training. But other than that…
Guess what? A few people in the chat got MAD at me for suggesting more hours!
And when I say mad, I mean, viciously gaslighting in their anger.
One woman in particular, made numerous comments about my “ego” and my “negative energy” and how she did not wish to engage in my negative energy anymore (all the while writing comments about how bad and terrible I was). She then went on about how she wanted to be in a “space of gratitude” for the school, etc.
In response to someone else bashing me for suggesting that the school at least attempt to meet the standards of the main Ayurvedic organizations, I made some sort of comment about how I thought it was strange that people were being so hostile in response to me trying to get more hours for the course.
Here’s one example comment, which my friend texted me to put her own two cents in…yet another person claiming they need “protect their energy” while being mean and dismissive:
@Stephanie, we are all hostile to you - so what is the common denominator here? I don't mean to be rude, but I won't beat around the bush, you need to look within and try and understand why so many of us are triggering you and also you need to do some more research with regards to the regulated 'medical science'... 7 years of medical school and they know nothing about nutrition, diet, gut health or anything else and yet Ayurvedic medicine has been used by our ancestors for 1000's of years our country was colonised because of the power we had by the British. Their only goal is to prescribe medication that masks symptoms.... As I already mentioned, you have much more to research, you would not be insistent to match this ancient medicine, lifestyle, Vedic scriptures to the science that is only 100/120 years old. I will not engage with you any further as I wish to protect my energy and will not waste mine.
First, I’m not the one who got triggered. They got triggered. They wanted a feel-good rah rah party and were pissed off someone was asking tough questions about the curriculum.
Second…so me saying we should take more than 1,000 hours to study Ayurvedic medicine is somehow the same thing as matching Ayurveda to Western medicine? What?
Um, yeah, I wasn’t saying Ayurveda should be regulated, but I did mention that if it was regulated, which organizations like NAMA may be trying to coordinate, then you’d better have a minimum number of hours in your training…which in the profession is 1,500 hours.
In India, most people who practice Ayurveda get a bachelor’s degree in it…so even 1,500 hours is slim compared to that.
So. I’m frankly disturbed.
Creeped out, almost.
Like, I get why I can naturally trigger certain people. I’m very direct in my communication. Some people don’t like that. What I find ironic, though, is the mean-spirited lashing out they’ll engage in in order to somehow protect their “positive energy.”
Do they not see their own culpability and negativity here? Whatever.
I’m more alarmed that people who are studying to be health professionals are glibly satisfied with the minimum amount of training they can get away with before getting their certificate. And not just satisfied, staunchly defending it.
This is the behavior of mindless people in an Idiocracy.
I have been in the past critical of credentialing organizations like NAMA and whatnot, because they can be problematic for a number of reasons. I am concerned these organizations will become monopolies, and if they do end up making things like Ayurveda regulated, I would then be beholden to an alternative medical board that might censure me for things I write on my Substack.
However, these organizations do set standards, which can be useful.
And given how many thoughtless, clueless people are now scrambling to get their holistic certifications, with the least amount of training necessary, we are going to have a problem in holistic health - not just a credibility problem, but a competency problem.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say, that some of those people in that chat, who were so adamantly holding onto their ignorance, and lashing out at me for wanting an improved curriculum…they have no business becoming Ayurvedic Practitioners.
You need some brains, a lot of knowledge, and good old-fashioned common sense if you are going to be recommending herbs for people’s health issues.
There’s a reason why the American Herbalist Guild has an insane requirement of somewhere between 400-500 clinical hours before you can register with them. They want professionals, not wannabes or people who want to “feel good” but don’t want to do the hard work of study and mastery.
That said, I prefer voluntary boards instead of regulatory agencies. That provides some level of standards in a profession without the government getting involved.
The people in the chat who thought my 1,500 hour request was offensive seemed to be under the mistaken belief that if the government didn’t regulate Ayurveda, then these voluntary professional organizations don’t matter.
They do matter, and it’s better to support voluntary professional organizations than have a free-for-all of ignorance that leads to the government feeling it needs to step in…or worse, a situation where the government has a reason to step in, because some undereducated moron gave someone a toxic herb that caused a miscarriage or worse.
On a final, more positive note, when I brought up the issue to the business owner on video, he seemed amenable to offering additional hours for people to meet requirements of organizations like NAMA. See, was that such a big effin’ deal? (On the negative, I wonder if the school may end up making those additional hours an extra fee, but whatever. I’m just there for continuing education at this point.)
The rest of the naysayers - the “let’s just focus on gratitude and never make any suggestions because that’s negative” students - will find out soon enough that they need more educational hours if they want to join the rest of the professional Ayurveda community and be taken seriously.
Wholistic Healing is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.