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In early June, 2016, I had the pleasure of interviewing two excellent students in the online MS program in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine. Both students, Shellie Lackman and Rick Dunstan, are about to complete the second year of this 3-year program.

Shellie Lackman:Shellie

Shellie was naturally attracted to the MS in MAVIM program because she has been committed to healthy living all of her life. She came by this interest naturally because both of her parents were very health conscious.

But her study of Maharishi AyurVeda has taken her understanding to a much deeper and more comprehensive level. Shellie says, “We learn how to look at the broad spectrum of influences within and outside of an individual—every aspect of life that impacts our health, consciousness, physiology: our own nature, the laws of nature, our actions, emotions, thoughts, and the near and far environment.” She says that she’s come to understand the importance of attuning one’s life to the rhythms of nature.

Her most avid fan, Shellie says, is her 93-yer-old mother, who consults with Shellie about health, herbs, and food preparation—and uses her advice!

“The MAVIM program, based on the organ systems, teaches us how to determine a person’s constitution so we can prescribe highly personalized wellness modalities,” Shellie explains. “We are exposed to a multitude of case studies, which also show us a wide variety of individual makeup and imbalances.”

Students learn how to detect an imbalance early through pulse diagnosis and other assessment tools, and how to prescribe adjustments in the person’s regimen of sleep, exercise, diet, natural supplements, and other modalities.

Shellie says this program is perfect for people who want to learn a preventivesystem of complete health knowledge. She points out, too, that a growing number of medical schools are incorporating ayurveda and other alternative practices into their programs.

Rick Dunstan:Rick Dustan

Rick loves the fact that this MS in MAVIM program is online because he can easily re-watch the video-recorded lessons. “AyurVed is the oldest and most individualized medicine on the planet,” Rick explains. “It is very fortunate that this knowledge was re-invigorated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to be more accessible and practical for the modern age.”

Because the program is integrative, Rick tells me that almost every lesson includes both allopathic and ayurvedic knowledge provided by doctors in both traditions. He quotes Maharishi as saying, “We use what works.”

Like Shellie, Rick applies what he is learning to his own life. He happily announces that he has not sneezed in over a year! Rick had allergies his whole life. He gives credit for this cure to incorporating dietary, herbal, and lifestyle changes recommended by MAV. In his early ‘60s, Rick says he is enjoying a degree of health and vigor he never had before.

As a long-time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and related techniques, Rick tells me that TM supports not only his studies, but every aspect of his life. “TM gives me calm, clarity, stability, and balance,” he says.

After he graduates in a year, Rick plans to practice Maharishi AyurVedic medicine. Always an athlete, and still an avid tennis player, Rick would love to help professional athletes extend their careers by preventing and treating common injuries.

Rick is very proud of the quality and depth of knowledge he is learning in this program. He quotes his professor, Dr. Paul Morehead, as saying that very few people outside of India have the knowledge given in this program.

Ruthie Hutchings is a contributor the the MUM blogs. She did graduate work in English Literature at Emory University, holds an MA in Professional Writing from Maharishi University, and also does writing and editing for websites, magazines, books, and instructional materials.

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