Acupuncture and Macular Degeneration

Mary was born in Boca Raton and attended FAU in Boca Raton, where she participated in many social activities and helped female professionals gain workplace rights. After graduating, she worked at different hospitals for many years as a social worker. She’s always had a very healthy diet and tries to educate patients to use food to improve their health. After reaching fifty years of age, she switched to a primarily vegetarian diet: she mostly consumed fish, tofu, and beans, while having chicken once or twice a week. However, she loved eating spicy food and nuts. She had been very healthy until she hit menopause; that’s when she started to develop inflammation in the eyes, intestinal membranes, and feet. She was told she has neuropathy in both feet due to poor circulation.

At the age of fifty, she was diagnosed with macular degeneration in her right eye at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital and began acupuncture treatments at the Acupuncture School in Fort Lauderdale. Her left eye retina was also detached three times and required surgery in West Palm hospital. The scar tissue that accumulated as a result of these multiple surgeries ultimately caused all vision to be lost in her left eye. While the wet and dry macular degeneration in her right eye was severe, she refused to have medicine injected into her eyeball and instead had another surgery in her right eye due to the bad experiences with her left eye. She also developed multiple hernias in her abdominal area which required repair surgery, and foot neuropathy as a result of her surgery and high spicy food intake. She started acupuncture treatment when she turned 50 for her medical issues, including the inflammation in her gut and her feet, her vertigo, and her back pain. Her abdominal muscles became weak with age and inflammation, she developed bowl obstruction many times and had had surgeries to repair her hernia. When she came to her acupuncturist after her last bowel surgery, she became very weak, she lost her appetite, she felt very dizzy and her back and foot pain prevented her from walking for more than two minutes. Her mind is still sharp with good memory. She still has some vision from her right eye, she decided to use acupuncture to make her stronger and reduce the inflammation in her intestine and her retina.

At the age of ninety, she began acupuncture treatment for her right eye at the Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic because she lost her left side vision after multiple surgeries and wanted to try something new to keep her vision on the right side. After just four treatments, she began to feel more energized and became more active socially, playing cards with her friends at her independent living community. Her acupuncturist also recommended reducing her spicy food consumption in order to reduce the inflammation in her intestines and her retinas. After four years of biweekly acupuncture treatment and radical diet changes, she was able to drastically improve her digestion and slow down her macular degeneration. Mary will soon celebrate her 95th birthday, and still drives, walks without a cane, and continues to live a healthy and active life!

In this case, Mary believes that spicy food helps boost immune function and reduces her inflammation. She does have a good memory and had relatively strong immune function up until she reached menopause. Her kidney Yin was weaker due to her menopause; her body could not tolerate too much stimulation and internal heat, which spicy food provides. She did not change this life-long spicy food habit until her intestine and retina had so much inflammation that she had to have multiple surgeries to fix the macular degeneration and her bowel inflammation related obstruction. But Mary is very open minded, she was willing to figure out why all the inflammation occurred to her and even was trying to eat a vegan diet. Mary also believes nuts are very healthy and so she ate a lot of nuts. Nuts can induce a histamine release, aggravating her inflammation in her retina and intestine. She started changing her dietary habits once she realized that her inflammation can be changed with slight adjustments to her diet. When we pass 90 years old, our body has less reserve to balance the extreme diet: too much salt, spicy food, alcohol, sweets and nuts. If you tend to have a big appetite, you need to control the amount of healthy food that goes into your body. Moderation is the key to be healthy and happy with clear mind and sharp vision.

Chinese Acupuncture As an Ancient Medical Treatment

With the many, fast and rising medical technologies these days, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to choose natural treatments which have long term benefits. One of them would be Chinese Acupuncture. This method has been practiced for many centuries and up until now, many patients would still go for this healing method.

If you’d like to widen your healing options, you can consider Chinese Acupuncture as an ancient yet longstanding medical treatment. Here are just some of the benefits you can gain with this type of treatment method:

Personalized Treatments

Although every patient have similar sicknesses, acupuncturists never treat each one of them in the same way. For instance, common colds usually have standard prescriptions and treatment procedures. However upon going for Chinese Acupuncture, you’ll find the specialists will further classify and identify the causes of your colds.

Every person has a personal and unique health history. The details of a person’s appearance will also be considered by the acupuncturist, as these may be manifestations or signs of how the patient’s chi is balanced or imbalanced. Given the detailed diagnosis, each patient may then be given his or her personalized treatment.

It Definitely Works

For a method to last through centuries, it must be able to have positive effects on the body. The reason why Chinese Acupuncture is still widely used is due to its effectiveness. It works on the principle of activating or stimulating the body’s natural capacity to heal itself. Through very thin needle insertions, specific meridians of the body will allow a much more open flow of energy. If you’re thinking of lessening your drug intake, you’d be glad to find how you may not need medications when specific acupuncture techniques are applied to your body.

Effective for Stress Relief

It’s lately known that those who undergo acupuncture sessions have lessened instances of feeling stressful. The hormones which activate high levels of stress have significantly been reduced. The body’s fight or flight response wasn’t as evident upon having regular sessions of acupuncture.

It Relieves Anxiety and Depression

Instead of taking medications, some patients have actually resorted to acupuncture sessions to feel much better. If you’d like to know how your body can adjust itself to relaxation, you can ask your specialist on which specific techniques can work best for you. While acupuncture predisposes your body to feel calm and relaxed, it must however be noted that it can’t be the sole solution to anxiety and depression. It’s best to complement the sessions with your doctor’s advised methods so you can be on your way to wellness.

It Boosts Your Fertility

If you’d like to have a family soon, it may be a good idea for you to try acupuncture. For women, this ancient method has the capacity to regulate your hormones and increase the blood flow towards the ovaries and uterus.

These are only few of the benefits which can be gathered upon considering Acupuncture as method of treatment. If you’d like to know how the ancient practice can be beneficial to your specific condition, be sure to speak with a specialist soon.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is very safe when performed by a well-trained, qualified professional using recognized standards of clean needle technique and sterile needles.

Since 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been classifying acupuncture needles as medical instruments, and requires acupuncturists to use only sterile, disposable needles. Manufacturers of acupuncture needles are required by the FDA to label them for single-use only. Also, acupuncturists will swab the acupuncture sites first with an antiseptic, so there is very little risk of infection. Considering the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used per treatment, relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported. It’s very important to visit a licensed practitioner, however, because poorly sterilized needles and improper clean needle technique can transmit infectious diseases.

Are There Side Effects?

Usually not. Side effects are rare but the most common side effects with acupuncture are minor irritation or slight bruising at the needle site. Acupuncture redirects energy and promotes blood circulation and hormonal releases to activate natural healing. People general report feeling a deep sense of relaxation with treatment. Occasionally after a treatment a person may feel a little lightheaded or tired or may feel elated or invigorated with such sensations often passing in a short time never requiring more than a bit of rest.

Safety in Comparison to Other Treatments

In regards to the relative safety of acupuncture in comparison to other treatments, a consensus panel from the national medical research agency – Nation Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that “adverse side effects of acupuncture are extremely low and often lower than conventional treatments.” They also stated:

the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same condition. For example, musculoskeletal conditions, such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and tennis elbow… are conditions for which acupuncture may be beneficial. These painful conditions are often treated with, among other things, anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) or with steroid injections. Both medical interventions have a potential for deleterious side effects but are still widely used and are considered acceptable treatments.”

Qualified Professional Standards and Training

Accredited acupuncture schools are required by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) to provide formal testing in clean needle technique before a student can handle needles in the school clinic during internship. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is the recognized national organization that establishes and promotes recognized standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public. NCCAOM regulates the national board exam for acupuncturists. Licensing in Rhode Island requires a diploma from an accredit school and passing the NCCAOM board exam.

An interesting article in Acupuncture Today containing safety information on acupuncture titled: Surveys Confirm the Safety of Acupuncture comments, “When asked why they use alternative forms of care, one of the most common responses people give is safety.”