Studies Indicate the Viability of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Growing evidence reveals acupuncture as being an effective form of modality for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This condition is a degenerative type of eye disorder which in the end can result in blindness. The Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion published a recent study that suggested acupuncture’s ability to protect the optic nerve from damage resulting from intraocular pressure. Acupuncture achieves this by removing stresses on the optic and retinal nerve axonal ultrastructures. This treatment boosted retinal cone activity on retinitis pigmentosa patients, even when the disease has progressed to a far more advanced stage. The study used electroretinograms to investigate the claim. The study ends by saying that acupuncture as well as Chinese medicine can help improve RT symptoms. The study stated Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is able to improve the bioactivity of the neural network. This resulted in a slowing down of the advancement of the disease and the improvement of central vision of RT patients. One other study demonstrated that She Hsiang injection into acupoints UB 18 and 23 helped improve the condition of patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. The study suggested that injection of She Hsiang into points UB 23 and 18 protects the central vision of the patient, improves visual acuity, boosts the flow of blood to the retina and dramatically improves the metabolism and function of optic cells. One other study of retinitis pigmentosa patients ranging in ages seven to seventy five years old demonstrated the that treatment improved visual function and stopped the degeneration of the visual field.

Protocols Used in Acupuncture Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment in Maitland

A number of selected distal and local acupuncture points were treated to resolve the underlying disharmonies and brighten the eyesight of the patient per his/her differential diagnosis. In one particular study it was seen that patients with deficiency in Kidney and Spleen Yang deficiency responded well to TCM. The advancement of the deterioration of eyesight, albeit a genetic disorder, can be addressed by supplementing the internal systems that govern the homeostatic balance of the retina.

Acupoint Selection for Eyesight Improvement

The points Yu Yao, GB 20, Tai Yang, Yin Tang, and St 2 all local acupuncture points are important for resolution of retinitis pigmentosa symptoms. The Lv 3, Sl 6, and GB 37, SI6, and Liv3 are all distal points and are as equally important as the local points for the treatment of RT. The point Du 24 located on the scalp can be triple needled to help clear inflammation that’s combined with heat while the Sp 10 can be treated to help resolve blood stagnation. Sedation and tonification of the acupoints differ based on the patient’s differential diagnosis; most of the time though, the peaceful technique is used in the treatment of local acupoints to avoid overstimulation and help restore harmony to fluid and blood flow to the eye.

Retinitis Pigmentosa and Acupuncture’s Ability in Treating this Disease

A hereditary condition leading to peripheral loss of vision, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the result of the gradual degeneration of structures, known as cones and rods, situated in the retina. The person’s peripheral vision is gradually narrowed as the disease progresses although the person may still have a clear and intact central vision until the condition reaches its final stages. It has been shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for RP. The following is a list of frequently asked questions on how acupuncture works in addressing Retinitis Pigmentosa.

1. If you have been diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, at what point should acupuncture be started?

Resulting in a gradual degeneration in vision, Retinitis Pigmentosa is a disease that needs to be treated at the earliest possible time. Once your eyesight is lost, it would be very hard, even impossible to restore it.

2. How long does the treatment take?

There are two stages in the treatment of RP: the first stage involves an initial assessment to identify the level of response of the patient to acupuncture plus the current maintenance treatment for the disease. The patient should be examined first prior to the start of the treatment in order to determine a baseline by which progress can be compared. To see if acupuncture is really effective, improvements in vision should be observed and measured. Usually, five days of intensive treatment will comprise this initial stage and if improvement is seen, then this stage can be extended for one more week. The next stage involves treatments twice or thrice per year with the duration of each treatment lasting one to a couple of weeks.

3. What results are to be expected?

As early as the initial week of rigorous therapy, some improvements in sight may already be evidenced. Depending on how well the patient responds to the treatment, these results can last for up to three to six months. Occasional therapies may be needed for the maintenance of the results.

4. Is there any difference in using acupuncture as a standalone treatment and in acupuncture complemented with Chinese herbal therapy?

TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and acupuncture in Miami are adjunct therapies for the treatment of RP. To resolve underlying problems, TCM uses herbs. These underlying conditions can be autoimmune, metabolic or issues dealing with chronic inflammation. To halt the further worsening of the condition, acupuncture boosts blood circulation to the eye and stimulates the visual centers of the brain, photoreceptor cells, and optic nerve.

5. Can acupuncture be an ineffective treatment for some RP patients?

Acupuncture treatment causes certain signals to be sent to the brain to activate certain parts of the body to generate a desired response. Brain damage due to disease or injury will make it difficult for the patient to positively respond to the treatment making the treatment ineffective. Certain narcotics and prescription medication and extreme emotional trauma may also be factors that render acupuncture treatment inutile.

6. What is a much better treatment for RP, long-term treatments or intensive therapy? Does treating RP require more than one round of treatment?

Both long-term treatments and intensive therapy are effective. Long-term treatments lead to gradual results and should be continued regularly to prevent further vision loss. Intensive therapy can bring about instant results and follow-up treatments are needed for maintenance of the results and are usually brief.

7. What treatment produces much better results, laser acupuncture or traditional acupuncture?

A recent innovative form of traditional acupuncture, laser acupuncture is a technique that utilizes light emitting diodes producing low intensity laser energy (instead of needles) to stimulate the meridians. Laser acupuncture produces the same results as traditional acupuncture but is a much preferred procedure for people who are scared of needles.

Restoring the Fire Element in Depressed People Using Acupuncture

Classified as a mental disorder, depression is also considered a natural human condition. It is a complex and profound sadness that causes the sufferer to ask existential questions such as “What is the purpose of my life?”, “Why did such and such things happen to me?”, and “Will things ever change for the better?” Depression is experienced uniquely by each person but conventional medicine ignores this fact and so manufactures a “one-drug-treats-all” form of treatment known as antidepressants. Depression, in Western medicine, is a general term to encapsulate the different nuances of sadness in people’s experiences. Although this diagnosis may often seem almost impossible to change, depressed patients often show a small window of willingness to grow and change in order to discover meaning and joy in their lives once more.

Patients who use acupuncture as a way to resolve depression are closely observed by their practitioner in order to determine their unique constitution. There is more to a person’s depression than meets the eye. He/she may be suffering from other illnesses related to immune dysfunction, fatigue, pain, or digestion. The person may have a parent or a child that is sick or may have a highly stressful job. The underlying factors may differ from person to person. What was helpful for a patient one week ago may not necessarily be what he or she needs today. Emotions and feelings can ebb and flow and so the techniques used for treatment can differ as well. All these factors are considered for the selection of a proper treatment plan to help the patient through the darkness and heaviness experienced due to the depression.

Ancient Chinese doctors were aware that the human body can be better understood by observing principles in Nature and health conditions can be addressed by using Nature’s own healing principles. The universe has substances that are found in the human body and these substances are classified into the elements of Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth, and Water. Western science sees living things as made up of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. We are in essence made up as the same elements and molecules as those found in rivers, trees and the stars. From the smallest cells to the largest organs, everything in our body can be categorized by its elemental nature.

Understanding the patterns that nature follow can provide us with an insight of the patterns of depression. The element of fire in us is what makes us want to reach out and forge relationships. Connecting with others by eye contact or even flirting using one’s body is an action generated in us by our internal Fire element. When this element is deficient, it will show in our eyes. The eyes may be a bit shade drawn or look away to avoid eye contact with others. They may be shifty and unfocused. The deficiency of Fire element can show itself as separateness, indifference, and isolation.

For people who are Metal deficient, the pattern of disharmony is quite different from that of Fire deficiency. The season of autumn is associated with the metal element. When metal element is lacking in the body, the person has difficulty letting go and what needs to be released in order grow and mature isn’t released. Autumn is that time of year when nature lets go. Trees lose their leaves to conserve their energy to survive the winter and wait for the regenerative season of spring. People need to also experience changes in their lives even if these changes are painful and hard to do. What may seem precious needs to be discarded since it is no longer helpful for the person’s own growth. Also, energy is lost and depleted when we continue to hold on the past. Of course letting go is hard to do particularly if the thing or person is or was a precious part of your life. But to experience the fullness of life once more, you need to let go.

Acupuncture can assist with the facilitation of the process of letting go. Certain acupuncture points are selected to help make it easy for the person to let go. The process then becomes a quick one as the person begins to trust his/her own judgment of “doing the right thing.” Acupuncture helps rectify the Fire or Metal deficiency making the person whole and rekindling the fire of joy into the person’s heart once more. He/she need no longer depend of solace and comfort in others even if they are willingly offered to him/her. The internal Fire becomes healthy enough for it to radiate externally and thus comfortably warm others.

Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
6840 Dykes Road
Pembroke Pines, FL 33331
Phone: (954) 880-0090