Many chronic degenerative diseases of the eye, such as macular degeneration, are rooted not just in our genetic makeup but in our total being. This includes our diet, work environment, exposure to toxins and stress levels. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a bridge where Western medicine and natural medicine can come together to help people maintain healthy eyesight.
Acupuncture is an ancient method that offers another way to improve the function of all organ systems. Our skin is covered with approximately 360 points that offer a means to stimulate or sedate deeply located organs. These points have been shown to possess elevated electrical conductivity. They are like way stations for the energy or chi that courses through our body. Every point is a window of heightened sensitivity which monitors and controls the electrical energy that helps control and regulate flow of blood and fluids.
According to TCM theory the function of sight depends on healthy function of the internal organs. The liver is most closely related to visual health. The eyes are said to be the gate of the liver. In Western medicine, there is definite correlation between retinitis pigmentosa and poor liver function. TCM holds the view that liver is always involved in chronic or degenerative problem with vision. This liver dysfunction is typically diagnosed as congestion resulting in blood stagnation or stasis.
As important as the liver system is for treating degenerative eye conditions, there are no liver points around the eye socket. This is because the liver is a yin organ. The yin and yang principle is a foundation of TCM. The physical body is composed of yang energy while yin represents internal energy. Yang energy moves toward the center while yin energy moves from our center to the periphery. In this case, yang (eyesight) relies on yin (liver) for optimum health. Yang flourishes from yin.
The liver may be stimulated or sedated by needling its yang paired organ, the gall bladder, which has its first point near the outside of the eye. Using this gallbladder point along with 5-6 other Yang points surrounding the eyes is the primary protocol used for improving vision. In addition, points on the body and ear can be used to improve liver function and effectively treat a number of degenerative eye diseases including dry macular degeneration.