Research Update: Acupuncture and Ophthalmologic Health
A study conducted by researchers at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and published by the Journal of Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, demonstrates how acupuncture can improve visual acuity, reduce light sensitivity and decrease visual defects. The study tested the efficacy of a four point acupuncture prescription in the treatment of loss of vision. The researchers used three acupuncture points around the eye and one point in the suboccipital region. All of the points are classically indicated in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of eye problems. The test concluded acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of vision problems.
The eyes can reflect a lot of things regarding a person’s overall health. Illnesses can be detected by the ophthalmologist in the very early stages. And conditions like glaucoma, neuritis and even vision loss can be indicators of systemic health problems. TCM has always known about the connection between the eyes and a person’s health. Many eye conditions respond well to acupuncture treatments and these methods have been used for centuries to assist in keeping the eyes healthy.
TCM pays very close attention to the relationship between the organs and the tissues. Imbalances within the body can sometimes manifest as problems in the eyes. If a person is treated for eye problems, the underlying imbalances that have caused these issues will also be treated by the licensed acupuncturist.
The main concept behind acupuncture is the nourishment and movement of blood and energy throughout the body to create harmonic balance. Quite frequently, there are imbalances in more than one organ system that lead to problems in the eyes. But the organ system most closely associated with the eyes in TCM is the liver. In TCM, the liver “opens to the eyes.” The liver provides the primary energy flow that is responsible for the support of healthy vision. Within the eye, certain meridians have primary influence over specific areas. For instance, the pupil is influenced by the kidney meridian, the retina is influenced by the liver and kidney meridians, and the sclera is influenced by the lung meridian. Reading the eye is one of the tools acupuncturists utilize when diagnosing a patient.
Receiving regular acupuncture treatments can be very beneficial in the prevention and treatment of ophthalmologic conditions. But there are some things that can be done at home too that may also help. Acupressure massage can reduce tension in the eyes and contribute to overall eye health. This can be done multiple times throughout the day to help stimulate blood flow and positive energy into the area. There are also several frequently used Chinese herbs that can help keep the eyes healthy, including goji berries and chrysanthemum flowers. Both of these herbs can be steeped into green tea for a nice eye rejuvenation tonic.
To find out how acupuncture and TCM can help you with any vision issues you might have, locate a licensed acupuncturist in your area and set up a consultation or appointment.