Naturopathic medicine for arthritis

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is an approach that some people use to treat their arthritis symptoms. The information below will help you understand more about this therapy, if it can help with your symptoms of arthritis, and how to find a provider.

What is naturopathic medicine?

herbs, glass, mortarNaturopathic medicine is concerned with treating the whole person, with a focus on preventative health. Naturopathy tries to understand and treat the cause of symptoms rather than treating only the symptoms.
Since naturopathic medicine uses many different types of treatment to help people with their symptoms, recommendations for treating arthritis vary depending on the form of treatment you and your naturopathic doctor decide to use.

How does naturopathic medicine work?

Naturopathic medicine uses a variety of approaches to treatment. Treatment plans typically include a combination of approaches to care, including diet and lifestyle changes, use of plant-based and herbal medicine, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and acupuncture. All of these approaches to treatment work differently, with the idea behind naturopathy being that multiple forms of treatment are used together to help alleviate symptoms.

Can naturopathic medicine be used to treat arthritis symptoms?

There is research to support the use of some of these treatment options for people living with arthritis, but research on naturopathic medicine more generally for treatment of arthritis is limited. Since the research on naturopathic treatent for arthritis varies so widely, it is best to talk with your doctor before proceeding with a naturopathic treatment option.

How do I find a provider?

Naturopathic medicine has been well established in Canada since the 1920’s, and naturopathic doctors have since become a regulated profession in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. In these regions, they must complete a licensing training program before they can practice their profession. After completing their training and passing the North American Board Exams, naturopathic doctors receive the designation N.D.

A naturopath working on a patientAlthough the length of the program is often several years long, it differs from the training medical doctors receive in medical school. Naturopathic medicine has less clinical training, with a primary focus on alternative treatment options.

Naturopathic doctors often work in clinic settings alongside medical doctors, offering a holistic approach to preventative care to complement the care people receive from western medicine.

It is important when looking for a naturopathic doctor to make sure they are licensed. You can search the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctor’s directory for a licensed naturopathic doctor near you.

Although regulated and licensed, naturopathic doctors are not covered by government health insurance plans. Some private insurance plans do offer partial coverage, however there is typically a fee associated with seeing a naturopathic doctor. Some naturopathy clinics offer services on a sliding scale or pay-what-you-can basis. If you are concerned about not being able to afford naturopathic services, consider calling some clinics near you to find out what affordable cost options might be available.