INTRODUCTION TO EYE CARE
Vision is something that is often taken for granted until an issue arises. At Russell Family Acupuncture we offer a holistic eye care system that helps maintain eye health and controls those factors that can accelerate vision loss. Through ancient and modern acupuncture techniques, eye health can be improved and vision issues corrected.
Although this concept may seem new, acupuncture has been used to treat eye disease for over 3,000 years. Today, acupuncture can help preserve vision for those with a wide range of eye conditions. Many patients, particularly those with problems like glaucoma or wet macular degeneration, need to be on western drugs. Our eye care system, which combines Chinese herbs, nutritional supplements and a proven acupuncture treatment, provides adjuncts to maximize western treatments, producing even better results. Acupuncture addresses both acute symptoms and underlying conditions.
This proven and specialized acupuncture treatment involves microacupuncture points located in the hands and feet, as well as classic acupuncture points, and special points from a system developed by Master Tung. Thousands of people around the world have been treated with this procedure. Eighty percent of patients treated have had a marked improvement in their vision. In my practice I have found that the microacupuncture points are good for specifically stimulating the retina, and the other classic acupuncture and Master Tung points are good at dealing with the underlying imbalance that contributes to degenerative eye disease. By utilizing all these protocols I am able to holistically treat the patient for the best results possible.
The following conditions are the most commonly treated with the acupuncture protocol:
Macular Degeneration ● Glaucoma ● Cataracts ● Dry Eyes ● Retinal Detachment ● Optic Neuritis ● Diabetic Retinopathy ● Retinitis Pigmentosa ● Optic Nerve Atrophy ● Usher’s Syndrome ● Myopia ● Lazy Eye ● Retinal Occlusion ● Stargardt’s Syndrome.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- The course of treatment happens over a two-week period. The patient has two treatments each day for ten days during the two week period.
- On the first visit a vision field scan is performed to determine the patient’s current vision. The patient will then receive ten treatments over a five day period.
- In addition to acupuncture, nutritional supplements and diet strategies may be recommended. Micro current (electro-acupuncture) may also be used. Micro current is a low-level current that mimics the body’s natural current and can provide instant and cumulative results. (A recent study found that electro-acupuncture on certain meridian points for 20 minutes is effective in reducing the intraocular pressure of glaucoma.)
- Therapy involves acupuncture points that will be stimulated for 20-30 minutes each time. Needles do not go in the eyes.
- After the initial ten treatments, a second vision test is conducted and the two tests are compared. Together, the patient and clinician determine, based on improvement, whether to continue the treatment.
- The average number of visits varies and is based on the severity of the disease and the length of time it has existed. Most patients continue with ten more treatments after the initial ten.
- It is expected that the patient will return one or two times a year to maintain optimal vision and to prevent further vision loss.
MY BACKGROUND WITH HOLISTIC EYE TREATMENT
When I learned of the ability of acupuncture to help people with vision issues, I was immediately inspired to holistically heal these conditions. I set out to learn more about holistic eye treatment, and to be able to include it in my services. I traveled to New Jersey in 2012 to learn this treatment protocol directly from the world-acclaimed Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, who helped pioneer the method in this country.
Dr. Rosenfarb, a few years ago, teamed with researchers at Johns Hopkins University on the first ever clinical study to determine the efficacy of treating Retinitis Pigmentosa with acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies. Dr. Rosenfarb, who has extensive training and clinical experience in this area, trained staff at Johns Hopkins University to administer the treatment to study participants. Based on the success of that initial study, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a second, expanded, clinical study in 2014 that once again utilized Dr. Rosenfarb’s treatment protocol.
I worked and learned, side-by-side with Dr. Rosenfarb in his busy practice in New Jersey, and returned to California having been fully trained in this treatment method. When I returned to my practice in 2012, Russell Family Acupuncture was the only acupuncture practice in Northern California with a vision specialty. Since then I have treated eye patients from all over California and other parts of the country, as well as local residents.
We believe that vision health is ultimately connected to mental, physical and spiritual health; therefore we encourage people to evaluate their overall lifestyle in order to maintain healthy vision and reduce the risk of eye disease. We recommend a healthy diet, regular exercise, and management of daily stress. Health issues such as high blood pressure, a thyroid imbalance, or autoimmune disease can contribute to vision issues, as can the taking of certain prescription drugs – and we take these factors into consideration as we develop the protocol especially suited for each patient.
At Russell Family Acupuncture we are pleased to serve the acupuncture and related needs, including holistic eye treatment, of those living in Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, greater Sonoma County, and Northern California.