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Question: When Should You Return for Additional Treatments

When a new patient receives eye treatments the first time, they often believe that whatever improvement they receive at that time is all they will ever receive, and that all subsequent treatments are for maintenance.  Not true. With each treatment, the patient will usually regain some vision, and if they receive acupuncture treatment for degenerative eye disorders on a regular basis, at a rate that keeps up with their rate of vision loss, there will always be a net gain, unless there is a significant event of vision loss due to leaking or bleeding when the patient’s macular degeneration condition has progressed to the wet type.  To experience a net gain over time, you need to return before you lose everything you gained in your last treatment.  This can be from once every three years to three times a year.  The same is true for acupuncture for retinitis pigmentosa, treatments for glaucoma, stargardt’s disease treatments, or diabetic retinopathy acupuncture treatment. What I Learn Much of what I learn is through my patients.  For instance, most of those with retinitis pigmentosa tell me that, although there was positive change in the vision after the first course of treatment, it took about Read More »

Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatments That Work

Here at AAC we love to share the success stories of our patients. Josi Smith, a resident of Bartlett, Illinois, has been battling the effects of Retinitis Pigmentosa and with the help of our treatments has significantly improved her vision. Josi has visited our clinic twice and here is a testimonial on her results. The AAC and Dr. Ryan provide cutting edge medical treatment in a comfortable setting. As an RP patient of the AAC, the treatments have indeed improved my vision significantly. Dr. Ryan has a terrific bedside manner and will honestly answer any questions you may have. Would highly recommend this clinic. Josi Smith First, she noticed that her peripheral vision had expanded when she was back home after her first visit to see us. Josi was standing at the top of her stairs at her home and noticed that she could see both of the doors to the bedrooms. She has since been back to our office and her scans show incredible improvement.

Definition of Blindness

Definition of Blindness According to the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases there are four levels of visual function: 1.  normal vision 2.  moderate visual impairment 3.  severe visual impairment 4.  blindness. Moderate visual impairment and severe visual impairment together comprise “low vision.”  Low vision together with severe visual impairment and blindness represents all visual impairment. Most people believe that blindness is the total inability to see anything.  The fact is most people considered blind have some vision. The National Federation of the Blind consider a person blind if their sight is bad enough, with corrective lenses, that they must use alternative methods to engage in any activity that persons with normal vision would do using their eyes. The United States Bureau of the Census say that “Significant vision loss” encompasses both total or near-total blindness and “trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.” The statutory definition of “legally blind” is that central visual acuity must be 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction or that the visual field must be 20 degrees or less. 20/200 means that a person who is legally blind must stand 20 feet (6 meters) away from Read More »

Acupuncture for Migraine Headaches

Treating Migraine Headaches with Acupuncture In my clinic, I treat a lot of patients with migraine headaches. In most cases, patients experience lasting benefits, sometimes a complete cessation of symptoms can result, but in many cases, symptoms are managed so that patients experience fewer headaches, with a reduction in frequency and intensity. Over the years I have observed that patients who suffer from migraines experience the symptoms when under stress, and when there weather changes are imminent. Often they do not notice the connection because with stress, the migraine usually starts a day and half or two days after a stressful episode. When affected by weather changes the pain usually starts about a day and half or two days before a period of low pressure. I have developed an herbal formula that combines herbs from three different headache formulas. I have noticed that migraine headaches often do not respond to some of the traditional treatments. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the type of oriental medicine I was trained in and practice, we treat patterns, not diseases. We ask the patients lots of questions and start to see a pattern emerge. We treat the pattern. There are about two hundred patterns, and Read More »

Acupuncture for Anxiety

Anxiety – Is Acupuncture Helpful? If you have ever suffered from anxiety, you know it can be a crippling experience. In traditional Chinese medicine, we speak of anxiety with fear and anxiety without fear. When I am speaking to a patient about their problem with anxiety, the first question I ask is, “does your anxiety occur when you are in a situation that causes apprehension and fear, or is it something that comes on when you are relaxed, possibly even waking from sleep? The cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is what we call “pattern differentiation.” We don’t treat diseases, we treat patterns.” Patterns are groups of signs and symptoms, and the patterns identified in Chinese medicine have been used for thousands of years. Often, patients exhibit several patterns at once. Our job is to determine those that need to be addressed to mitigate the condition the patient has come to us for help with, and to try and unravel how these patterns fit together. There are several patterns of imbalance that relate to anxiety, often related to what we call Yin deficiency. We are all familiar with the terms Yin and Yang, but do we know what they mean? Read More »

Sugar Consumption, Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Degeneration

How Sweet it Isn’t – Sugar Consumption and Macular Degeneration According to an article appearing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating lots of sugary or starchy foods may make eyes more vulnerable to age-related macular degeneration. It is recommended that you consume carbohydrates that don’t make your blood sugar spike quickly. These include unrefined, or unprocessed grains; avoiding foods made with white flour, white sugar or corn syrup. People with diets highest on the glycemic index were the most likely to have advanced AMD in at least one eye. Researchers estimate that at least a fifth of those suffering from advanced AMD might have been able to prevent the disease by eating foods low on the glycemic index. The study showed a correlation between blood sugar spikes (from foods high in sugar or corn syrup) and poor eye health. Simply put, the glycemic index, which goes from 100 to 0, indicates how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Glucose is rated at 100, and the closer to 100 a food is rated, the more it affects blood sugar levels. The more refined the food, the higher the glycemic index. White sugar and corn syrup are way up Read More »

Treating Stress and Depression with Chinese Medicine

At the heart of every acupuncture treatment is a mechanism for reducing stress and combating depression. Acupuncture moves the Qi, and moving Qi will release the constraint that causes us to feel stressed and depressed. When we get stressed, the Qi of the body stagnates and starts a vicious circle that creates more stress. Over time, this constraint on the ability of the Qi to move as it should depletes the body of vital substances and we often end up feeling depressed and exhausted. The main function of the Liver is to keep the Qi moving throughout the entire body. An old Chinese saying, “if there is pain, there is stagnation” means that when the Qi is sluggish we experience pain and emotional distress. Pain associated with Liver stagnation is often in the low back and/or the neck and shoulders. Our emotions are a reflection of the imbalances of the body, and each emotion is related to a different internal organ. The Liver is associated with anger, depression, frustration and pent-up emotions. The emotion associated with the Lungs is grief and the Kidney fear. The Heart’s emotion is “over joy” which most of us think of as manic behavior. Bi-polar Read More »