People turn to acupuncture and other holistic remedies to treat numerous conditions such as allergies, migraines, digestive problems and more, but what about the eyes? When people are faced with an eye condition like glaucoma or macular degeneration, a holistic treatment probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
There is a treatment that has proven to be effective in managing several eye conditions. It’s called Micro Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine that treats patients by inserting fine needles into specific points along energy pathways in the body called meridians. The practice aims to restore the body’s normal balance and flow of energy, known as Qi, so that organs and systems can work together in harmony to repair the body and maintain health.
Micro Acupuncture stimulates Qi energy and blood flow to the eyes through 48 acupuncture points located in the hands and feet. That’s right – The Micro Acupuncture points are only in the hands and feet. None of the needles come close to the eyes!
Micro Acupuncture is a new system that isn’t associated with other acupuncture systems. The 48 points were discovered in 1984 in Denmark by Freddy Dahlgren. The procedure was originally designed to treat arthritis but has proven to be especially effective in controlling eye disease.
Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, clinical director and founder of Acupuncture Health Associates in Westfield, New Jersey, is one of only five practitioners in the world performing Micro Acupuncture with a specialty in eye conditions. The procedure is rare because there is limited information on how to treat eye diseases holistically. In fact, eye disease is only a small part of the Chinese medicine curriculum, Dr. Rosenfarb says. Because the procedure is rare, Dr. Rosenfarb’s patients come from around the world, including Africa, India and Australia. Dr. Rosenfarb, who has been practicing holistic medicine for about 17 years, uses Micro Acupuncture to treat glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions. About 80% of patients attain their expectations for vision improvement, Dr. Rosenfarb says.
There is a lack of improvement in only 2% of patients who are treated. Micro Acupuncture doesn’t aim to cure the eye disease but rather manage the disease. With the procedure some eye conditions can even revert slightly, allowing patients to manage milder conditions.
For example, a patient might have 50% vision loss because of an eye disease. Micro Acupuncture might be able to bring the patient’s vision loss to about 30% and then maintain it at that point with continued treatment.
The procedure also can slow the rate of vision loss. If a patient is losing her sight at a rate of 3% to 6% a year, Micro Acupuncture might be able to slow that rate to 1% to 2% a year and hold it there with continued treatment. Treatment typically starts with an initial vision test and then five treatments over a period of about two weeks. After the two-week period, the patient receives a second vision test. Dr. Rosenfarb then compares the two vision tests to see whether the treatment is working. If it’s successful, the treatment continues until the patient is satisfied or until there is no additional improvement in the vision tests.
Patients usually continue to receive the Micro Acupuncture treatment once or twice a year to maintain the vision correction. Says one patient who received Micro Acupuncture from Dr. Rosenfarb: “My last eye exam…showed that my eyesight went from 25-40 to 25-30. Also, the pressure in my eyes went from 23 to 18. I am thrilled beyond words.”
Dr. Rosenfarb’s offices are located in Westfield and Watchung, New Jersey. Contact information is available on his website at www.acuvisiontherapy.com.
– By Jessica Braun Jessica Braun is an editor at Wholesome. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.