Most people don’t think of acupuncture and Chinese medicine as an alternative way to treat disorders of the eye. Indeed, it is hard to find an acupuncturist who specializes in ophthalmology. Yet acupuncture can be used to treat so many different conditions in the body because of it’s holistic approach to health.
Recently I have been doing continuing education on ophthalmology so that I can be of service to those with various disorders of the eye, particularly those that create degenerative vision loss such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, optic neuropathy, optic neuritis, and retinitis pigmentosa. I have always been fascinated by the eyes and by vision. When I went to college I planned on having a major in Brain and Cognitive Science and took a lot of coursework in that field. I even was a lab assistant for a professor in the Ophthalmology department at the U of R medical center. Obviously I did not stick with the career track of being a researcher and became an acupuncturist instead. Though now it has come full circle, in a way, since I can combine my two interests.
So how does an acupuncturist treat disorders of the eye? No, we do not poke the eyes with needles! Just like treating other disorders/diseases the first step is to identify the cause of the problem. Those root causes are then addressed through nutrition (including herbal medicine) and lifestyle recommendations (such as wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes). Acupuncture is used to address the imbalances in the body that gave rise to the problem since everything is connected in the body and the eyes are no exception.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are safe and effective ways to address degenerative vision loss. While restoring vision to 20/20 is not feasible with many of the more severe conditions it is possible to slow and at times reverse the damage to the eye and protect it. It is important to note that a lot of eye disorders are treated with laser surgery. Laser surgery can be effective but does have inherent risks. Therefore it is important to look for natural alternative treatments when possible. So if you or a loved one suffers from any eye disorders please contact me to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help. If you are not in the Syracuse or Oneida area and are reading this please be sure to do your homework when finding an acupuncturist to treat your eye disorder. This is a very specialized area of treatment and finding someone with the proper training and know how is very important.
PS – today (Jan 9, 2014) Dr. Andy Rosenfarb will be a guest on the Dr. Oz show. He will be discussing acupuncture and eye health. Not only is it great to have acupuncturists being given airtime on a show like Dr. Oz’s but of more personal importance is that Dr. Rosenfarb is who I have been learning from. He has done a lot of great work and is really a pioneer in acupuncture ophthalmology.