imgresKENMORE, Wash. — Licensed massage therapists have a new option for meeting the increasing client demand for ayurvedic treatments and bodywork: Bastyr University’s Master of Science in Ayurvedic Sciences is now accepting applications for its fall 2015 class. Previously open only to licensed medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, the program has been revamped to allow qualified applicants with a “license to touch” and a bachelor’s degree to enter the program.

The two-year graduate program, which is the first regionally accredited program of its kind in the United States, offers hands-on clinical training with experienced faculty and includes an optional externship in India where students observe and assist ayurvedic practitioners in clinics and hospitals.

“After years of hard work, we are thrilled to see Bastyr University’s ayurvedic program become a reality,” said Bastyr University Senior Vice President and Provost Timothy C. Callahan, Ph.D., who collaborated with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and ayurvedic experts in both India and the U.S. to design the program. “We believe that this form of natural medicine is growing in popularity as people seek preventive solutions to their medical issues, and the need for providers with accredited training will increase in the coming years.”

Ayurveda, which has ancient roots dating back 5,000 years in India, is the Hindu science of health and medicine based on healing and prolonging life. According to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey, more than 200,000 U.S. adults had used ayurvedic medicine in the previous year, citing reasons such as the high cost of traditional health care, side effects from prescription drugs and ineffectiveness with other forms of medicine.

Many licensed massage therapists looking to expand or augment their services with other healing modalities may find ayurvedic medicine to be a perfect fit to meet their clients’ needs and interests in time-honored healing traditions from around the world.

“Ayurveda addresses the purpose of life and how to live your life to its full potential with minimal suffering,” said Dhaval Dhru, M.D., director of Bastyr’s ayurveda program. “It offers a way to keep ourselves and others healthy and happy, and to proceed with the full benefits of what life has to offer.”

For more information, including how to apply (the priority deadline is April 15, 2015), contact the Bastyr University Office of Admissions at (425) 602-3330 or admissions@bastyr.edu.

About Bastyr University

Bastyr University (www.bastyr.edu) is internationally recognized as a pioneer in natural medicine. As the largest accredited university for natural health arts and sciences in the U.S., Bastyr’s campus, located near Seattle, Washington, offers more than 20 degree and certificate programs in fields such as naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, midwifery and whole-food nutrition. Founded in 1978, the university now includes a research facility (the Bastyr University Research Institute) and clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, ranked as one of the Puget Sound’s top medical facilities for patient experience in 2013. The University’s second campus, Bastyr University California opened in San Diego in fall 2012 and became California’s first and only accredited school of naturopathic medicine.