If you are suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, it is important to find a treatment professional who can help you to manage your symptoms effectively. Unfortunately, because of the complexity of fibromyalgia symptoms, many sufferers find that they have difficulties finding treatments that work for them, but that don’t come with unpleasant side effects. If you are finding it hard to locate treatments that work effectively, consider visiting a naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic doctors have extensive training in holistic therapies which can provide real relief for fibromyalgia symptoms, without causing additional side effects.
What are Naturopathic Doctors?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are physicians who treat patients using alternative therapies. They practice a form of medicine known as naturopathy, which makes use of non-invasive, natural treatment methods. They do not prescribe traditional drugs or medications to patients, nor do they perform complex surgeries in order to treat illnesses. Instead, they focus on treatments that may include acupuncture, nutrition therapy, or massage therapy.
Naturopathic doctors adhere to five main treatment principles:
- Nature has the power to restore.
- Treatments should do no additional harm to the body.
- All causes of illness should be addressed (not just the symptoms).
- Treatments should help a person’s mind, body, and spirit.
- Treatments have the power to prevent further illness.
Qualifications of a Naturopathic Doctor
Like traditional physicians, naturopathic doctors have completed years of education and training. In order to become a naturopathic doctor, students must first complete a four-year Bachelor’s Degree and gain entrance into an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. There are only five such accredited schools in the United States, and one in Canada.
Upon acceptance, students must complete three to four years of intensive study, which focuses upon all aspects of human health. Students learn about basic human biology and anatomy, and learn to diagnose diseases. They are also trained in a variety of naturopathic health care therapies. Naturopathic doctors must then complete a rigorous licensing exam in order to practice in their state or country.
What Illnesses Can Naturopathic Doctors Treat?
Naturopathic physicians work to treat a variety of illnesses including:
- acute pain and injury
- chronic headaches
- allergies and asthma
- digestive disorders
- menstrual and gynecological complaints
- chronic diseases, including chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer
What Treatments do Naturopathic Doctors Use?
Naturopathic doctors are trained to use a variety of different treatments. Treatments may include:
- spinal manipulation
- herbal medicine
- nutritional therapy
How Can a Naturopath Help Treat Fibromyalgia?
Naturopathic doctors can often be extremely helpful for people suffering from fibromyalgia. They can help to address many of your symptoms, including:
- muscle pain
- joint and muscle immobility
- chronic headaches
Because they use natural therapies, naturopathic doctors may also be able to provide you with treatments that don’t cause unwanted side effects. Some naturopathic treatments, such as acupuncture and hydrotherapy, have been shown to be very effective among fibromyalgia sufferers.
What To Expect from a Naturopathic Doctor?
If you decide to visit a naturopathy doctor, you will have an initial consultation, which will then be followed by a number of subsequent appointments. During your initial consultation, your naturopathic doctor will ask you for details of your medical and psychological history, as well as a list of your current symptoms and treatments. Your naturopath will then perform a physical exam and possibly some diagnostic tests (including ultrasound and blood tests). Together, you will discuss possible treatment paths. The initial consultation typically lasts for about an hour and a half. You will return for subsequent visits during which treatments will take place and your symptoms will be monitored. These appointments usually last for an hour.
Finding a Naturopathic Doctor
It is essential that you find a naturopathic doctor who has completed all training successfully and who has been licensed in his country of practice. Some naturopaths have not completed rigorous training, and may not be able to provide you with the quality of treatment that true naturopathic doctors can. In order to find a licensed naturopathic doctor, contact your country’s local association of naturopaths; in the United States, this is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.