Top Reasons to Consider Acupuncture for Glaucoma Treatment

Millions of people in America and around the world are affected by glaucoma, a cluster of eye disorders that can result in optical nerve damage, peripheral vision loss and eventually blindness. This disorder usually progresses gradually and alternative therapies such as acupuncture for glaucoma can be effective in preserving the health of the optic nerve and vision, especially if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage.

What Causes Glaucoma?

There are different types of glaucoma and researchers are still in the process of understanding how each type of glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve. For chronic open-angle glaucoma, it is understood that intraocular pressure gradually increases due to improper fluid drainage from canals in the eye. This leads to an accumulation of fluid that gradually damages the optic nerve and retina. Lack of blood flow to the optic nerve and retina is also observed in many types of glaucoma which gradually leads to retinal nerve cell damage and loss of peripheral vision even though the eye pressure does not go up. Acupuncture for glaucoma is a non-surgical method that can deliver positive results in the form of decreased intraocular pressure and improved fluid and blood circulation, especially when the eye drop caused so much irritation to the eyes and still cannot bring down the eye pressure.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can develop glaucoma but some groups are at a higher risk than others. If you’re over sixty, an African-American over the age of forty, if you have near-sightedness, diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, you could fall in the high-risk category. Because glaucoma tends to progress gradually, it often remains undiagnosed and untreated before damage is already done. If you’re at a higher risk, it’s important to get your eyes examined by a qualified ophthalmologist every year to rule out the disorder or catch it at an early stage.

Treatment Options for Glaucoma

There are a wide variety of treatments for glaucoma including eye drops, laser surgery and conventional surgery to name a few. Acupuncture for glaucoma can be considered as a complimentary therapy to preserve and improve optic nerve health, vision and reduce the dry eyes. A combination of early detection, diet, acupuncture, Chinese medicines and medical treatment is the ideal plan to slow down the process of glaucoma and maintain the optic nerve function.

Positive Effects of Acupuncture

You might be wondering why acupuncture can be used to treat glaucoma and if it’s really worthwhile to try. Depending on patient’s condition and severity of glaucoma, an acupuncturist will develop an individual plan for each patient. A series of treatments (24 to 36) involving the use of very fine acupuncture needs at various points of the body may be recommended. Further treatment depends on how well your body responds. When done by a qualified and trained acupuncturist, acupuncture for glaucoma has many positive effects including decreasing intraocular pressure, improving fluid and blood circulation in the eye and improving peripheral vision. Considering all these benefits, acupuncture is a therapy worth considering for glaucoma relief and nerve regeneration.

If you’re ready to try this treatment, make an appointment with an experienced acupuncturist trained in Chinese medicine!

How to Get Maximum Benefits From Acupuncture Treatment for Neuropathy

A sound mind resides in a sound body. For the body to be fit, it is essential for a person to get proper rest, exercise regularly, maintain a well-balanced and nutritious diet, get six to eight hours of sleep and keep away from habits like smoking, drinking and eating fast foods. When a person experiences numbness or weakness in his or her hands, legs or other parts of the body or demonstrates impaired reflexes, this may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy can affect any or all of the nerve groups, including sensory nerves, motor nerves and autonomic nerves. People with peripheral neuropathy may show the following signs:

  • Numbness and tingling sensations in the hands or feet,
  • Acute stabbing pain
  • Drop in the blood pressure
  • Heaviness in arms and legs
  • Weakness of the hands and legs

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Various factors leading to nerve damage are enumerated below-

  • Pinched nerves due to herniated disc or muscle spasm
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Reynaud’s disease
  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disorders
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Vitamin deficiency, especially of C, B-1, B-6, or B-12

Consulting a neurologist or neurosurgeon who would assess your present health condition and diagnose your nervous disorder would help you get a picture of your prognosis.

Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy

Before finalizing the right course of treatment for peripheral neuropathy, it is essential to find out the exact cause that has led to this disorder. If it is caused by a vitamin deficiency, then a change in the diet along with vitamin therapy would be helpful. Likewise, if the nerve damage is due to alcohol abuse or taking a certain medication or toxic substance, then avoiding the substance can restore the health of nerves. One main factor contributing to nerve inflammation is a high sugar and high salt diet. Even you do not have diabetes, avoiding processed food and sweets will save your nerve function, so that, when you reach 90 years old, you still can walk and think normally.

Alternative Medical therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy

Acupuncture has been found to be highly effective for patients with peripheral neuropathy. Besides the pain relief, patients also experience a marked improvement in nerve conduction after completing the acupuncture course specified by the acupuncturist. The number of treatments depends on each person’s medical condition; for a chronic condition, a few months will be required to recover the nerve function.

Researchers have revealed that electro-acupuncture has helped regenerate nerve cells in rats suffering from spinal cord injuries. There are also human studies that have indicated that acupuncture can bring back the normal sensation of the nerves in the hands and feet. Furthermore, acupuncture can help the hands regain their strength. If after a nerve injury, you still have developed muscle atrophy after doing physical therapy for a few months, it is the right time to start acupuncture treatment to help the nerves regenerate as soon as possible.

Nervous disorders that acupuncture can correct

Whether it is alcohol, tobacco or junk food addiction, or it is Bell’s palsy, dementia, headache or a migraine or stroke, getting acupuncture treatment from a specialist and completing a 12 to 24 course of treatments would provide sufficient blood flow to the nerves. If diabetes is the major cause of nerve damage, then acupuncture treatment can also prevent a spike in blood sugar level induced by sugar intake and will help stabilize the sugar level in the blood.

Complications of peripheral neuropathy include falls, infection, burns and skin trauma. Besides getting specialized acupuncture treatment, patients should make healthy choices related to their food, exercise and lifestyle. This would help them minimize the risk factors and prevent any further nerve damage, thereby enabling them to enjoy a long and healthy life.

Some of the important things you need to take care are as follows:-

  • Include fruits, green vegetables, whole grain and protein in your diet for healthy nerves
  • Exercise 30 minutes-1 hour three times a week to improve the circulation to the peripheral nerves
  • Avoid smoking or excess drinking, spicy food, exposure to drugs or toxic chemicals.

How to Get the Most Out of an Acupuncture Treatment

Patients receiving acupuncture want to know how to get the most out of their treatment. Two factors to consider are length of treatment time and frequency of treatments.

One of the most common questions asked by an acupuncture patient is, “What is the optimal length of time for an acupuncture to get the best results?”

The optimal length of an acupuncture session can vary greatly depending on the individual and the condition being treated. When left to rest without being disturbed, most patients are ready to finish their treatment at about 40-60 minutes.

With over eight years of clinical experience, I have observed that it is most effective to determine the optimal length for a treatment based on each individual rather than using a predetermined treatment time. There are some patients who cannot sit still for longer than 20 minutes and some that are more than happy to take a 2 hour nap. These are both extreme examples, but most feel well “done’ somewhere in the 40-60 minute range.

One of the best ways to determine the optimal treatment time for a patient is to instruct them to listen to their body’s signals. Most people will enter a relaxed state during their acupuncture treatment. At some point in the treatment, the patient will become more alert or wake up if they have fallen asleep. This is usually a good indicator that they have gotten the rest they need.

Sometimes a patient may feel more alert throughout the entire session. In this case, using the 30 minute minimum guideline is a good rule of thumb.

The second factor to consider is the frequency of treatment. Patients will often ask, “How soon can I come back?” or “Is it to soon to come back tomorrow or the next day?”

Just like determining the length of treatment for an individual, the frequency of treatment is going to be dependent on how the individual responds to treatment and the nature of their condition.

A patient will generally experience relief from an acupuncture treatment for anywhere from several hours to complete resolution. In the case where the symptoms are completely eliminated there is no need for further treatments. When a patient experiences relief for a limited amount of time, then ideally they should return for a followup treatment before their symptoms return to the original level.

Patients with acute conditions with a high level of pain will generally benefit from more frequent treatment. Those with chronic conditions and more manageable levels of pain can spread out their treatments further apart based on the guidelines presented above.

In China, it is not unusual for a course of 10 treatments to be administered daily or every other day. The closer together the treatments are performed the more effective they will generally be.

These general guidelines produce the most effective results meeting the unique needs of each individual receiving acupuncture treatments.