Keeping Your Eye on the Ball
Keeping your eye on the ball is easier said than done, as any golfer will tell you. This is especially true for golfers afflicted with Macular Degeneration. This disease is the degeneration of the central portion of the retina, resulting in a blurred vision and ultimately blindness.
John Lowery, of Hot Spring Village Arkansas, was excited to move to this golfing community because of his and his wife Barbara's love of golf. The Lowery's passion for golf began in the early 1960's when they started to play one to two times per week. It was only natural for them to dream of their "one-day-when" where they would call this golfer's paradise home. In 1988, the Lowrey's purchased a building lot in Hot Spring Village, which is not far from John's childhood home of Hot Springs, in anticipation of their retirement in this beautiful community.
"I love that golf always provides a challenge to improve upon" - John Lowrey
John, a long time veteran, had served our country in both times of war and peace through full military service as well as the Army Reserve for 14 years. He continued with military support in a very successful career as Raytheon's Operations Manager of Field Engineering responsible for the Hawk and Patriot Missile systems. Throughout Lowrey's military and defense industry careers, he had helped to keep our country safer which rendered the Lowrey's always on the move. At last in 1985, they were ready to return to Arkansas, settle down, and enjoy the lifelong reward of playing golf daily. And that is exactly how the Lowrey's retirement began.
After a few years of Johns daily golfing routine he began to find himself depending on others in his foursome to follow and spot his ball. This was not his only clue that his eye sight was deteriorating. Lowrey said, "I was an avid crossword puzzler, but I just couldn't do it any more. It got to where I couldn't read the paper. So i just stopped."
In 1990, John Lowrey was formally diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. He went to see many specialists, but they offered him nothing more than their condolences and vitamins. When his eye sight was only continuing to get worse in 2007, a fellow golfer mentioned that he was receiving acupuncture treatments from the Arkansas Acupuncture Center for his early onset Macular Degeneration.
"Many doctors won't tell patients that they have Macular Degeneration until they start losing vision. This disease is progressive and does get worse over a period of time. Perhaps the reason that some doctors don't immediately inform their patients is because it is hard to deliver the news of going blind with little, that can be traditionally offered, to help" Dr. Lizbeth Ryan, of the Arkansas Acupuncture Center in Hot Springs Village, said. "However, in my experience, I know there are treatments that can and have helped these patients. Proven alternative therapies, especially in the early stages, can slow down vision loss and can often restore some vision."
"I gave acupuncture a try and within one month of treatments, I could see progress!" Lowery stated. "I noticed I could read the paper again and started doing crossword puzzles. It was a quantum help."
John's treatments were done by Dr. Ryan, who practices Oriental Medicine at the Arkansas Acupuncture Center. She began with a Vision Field Scan to determine a baseline for Johns ability to see. After she administered a series of highly specialized acupuncture treatments with the use of tiny needles in the hands and feet (never in the eyes or face!), she did an updated Vision Field Scan to determine Mr. Lowery's progress.
"Today, I am 60% improved in my overall vision with 100% recovery in my right eye. Even though I am still challenged by driving at night, I feel that the acupuncture is extending my ability to drive many years" - John Lowery
Dr. Ryan explained that "Our specialized acupuncture treatment for eye diseases is not a cure, but initiates a process of healing. We are not eliminating the eye disease with this European technique of acupuncture. We are simply helping heal body heal itself." She added, "In the eye there is a constant regeneration of the eye itself, just like the rest of the body. However poor circulation can slow or stop this regeneration from occurring. Degeneration is really the lack of the regenerative ability of the human eye. This poor circulation can occur for a number of reasons. The unique acupuncture treatments that we perform help to get the blood flow re-established within the vessels feeding the eye so that it can heal and regenerate." Over 95% of patients treated with acupuncture for Macular Degeneration do gain some degree of vision. An increase of up to 80% within the visual field is common. Acupuncture rebalances the body and facilitates healing by restoring blood flow to the affected tissues.
"The timeframe for the process of our one-of-a-kind acupuncture therapy is ongoing and varies from patient to patient. Every patient starts with a series of three daily treatments one to two weeks depending on the degree of vision loss. Most patients, when they reach the maintenance stage, will return for treatments according to their needs. I have often witnessed in the patient's second or third year of treatment, something happens that really increases the benefits to the eyes and provides measurable increases in their field vision. I think it is the cumulative effect of the consistent treatments that makes the difference." - Dr. Lizbeth Ryan
Lowery said, "I just completed my maintenance treatment for the year and was quite pleased to have even more significant improvement in my left eye this time. This is my bad eye and now it is even better than when I first started."
It should be noted that an important part of successful treatment is the supportive atmosphere created by the sessions of up to ten people. The patients provide support and encouragement to each other. Dr. Ryan says that it's very inspiring to witness.
Today, John Lowrey plays golf as often as he can. He still needs some assistance tracking his ball, but this is usually because his tee shot goes the furthest of everyone in his group.
For more information contact us at the Arkansas Acupuncture Center.