Treating Degenerative Eye Diseases with Microacupuncture
Microacupuncture is one of the most effective methods to treat vision loss from degenerative eye diseases. This unique form of acupuncture, microacupuncture is an intensive treatment course that helps the eye heal. It works by encouraging increased blood flow to the deeper tissue of the body. Cellular degeneration happens when there is a lack of regeneration of healthy cells. Because the cells in the back of the eye regenerate every two days, with intense treatment a patient can see results in as little as two days after beginning treatment. There are about 130 million cells in the back of the eye and about 6 million in the macula alone, an area of about a 16th of an inch.
Traditional acupuncture, while important in helping slow the progression of vision loss, is just not strong enough or deep enough to reverse vision loss. Unlike traditional acupuncture therapies, microacupuncture is more effective if performed multiple times a day. We refer to this as “stacking” the treatments. Treatments are stacked one upon the other for a powerful effect.
This treatment modality is used for a variety of medical conditions, but is most notably used for people suffering from macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt’s Rod/Cone dystrophy, glaucoma, diabetic neuropathy, as well as other degenerative diseases of the eyes. I also use this modality to treat peripheral neuropathy, Raynaud’s syndrome, and other diseases of circulation, and see promising results when treating patients with elevated liver enzymes, and problems relating to the brain – since the eyes are part of the brain, anything that helps the eyes will also help the brain.
Microacupuncture was developed in Denmark by Freddy Dahlgren and Per Otte during the 1980’s. In the 190’s Per Otte came to the US. Lizbeth Ryan worked with Per Otte for 6 years in his Hot Springs clinic acting as chief acupuncturist from 2003 until 2009 at which point she opened a microacupuncture center in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Microacupuncture requires extreme care. The placement of needles must be precise because the points on the hands and feet are very small. Also, because of the sensitivity of the where the points are placed, expertise of the practitioner is essential. These acupoints are not part of any other acupuncture system, so it is critical that the practitioner be fully trained in the field of microacupuncture and have sufficient experience in this field.
Microacupuncture Treatments in Northwest Arkansas at the Arkansas Acupuncture Center
At the Arkansas Acupuncture Center we specialize in treating people who are losing vision from a degenerative eye disease. We begin by testing the patient using acuity testing and visual fields scans. This determines the level of vision loss the patient has experienced. The purpose is to establish a baseline from which we can quantify improvement in the patients vision following treatment. We reevaluate the patient after 9 to 10 treatments.
The level of vision loss, how quickly the patient is losing vision and severity of condition determines the number and frequency of treatments. One course of treatment is anywhere between 18 and 23 treatments.
In the beginning, most patients will come more often that those who are on a maintenance schedule. Think of it as climbing a hill. We keep going until we reach the top (in this case, a threshold); after that point patients usually come about once a year, or more depending on many factors, including the particular disease of the patient.