Riding the RP Rollercoaster

Written By: Jeanne Aufmuth - Nov• 11•15


If there’s one thing that’s clear about RP it’s that it’s a moving target. Not only are our eyes in constant flux but the methods with which we treat them are an experimental roller coaster.

And no two RP patients are alike. Ingrid and I embarked on our whole-body acupuncture study together yet from entirely different clinical perspectives. We both emerged with positive albeit diverse results according to our specific challenges and needs.

Acupuncture has done wonders for my visual field and also improved my night vision. Most importantly – and I can’t emphasize this enough – it has helped me combat the fear and depression inherent in losing one’s sight. My weekly session of whole body needling affords me an extraordinary measure of calm and well-being that is sustaining on virtually every level.

But there’s always the search and that search is relentless. I just finished a week-long treatment with David Russell in Petaluma, CA. Micro-acupuncture treatment is an intriguing contrast to the whole-body method – the needling more intense, the points more precise and the sensation more visceral. I went into this round with an improved attitude and a refined visual field so I can’t emphatically claim a sizable boost. However less than a week after treatment I found myself in the unenviable position of second row seats at the movies (heretofore a visual calamity) and – miracle of miracles – I could see the ENTIRE screen. That can only be attributed to the ongoing treatment in all its forms and I’m eminently grateful for it.

There’s no single magic fix and it behooves us all to explore the alternatives and find what fits. Moving forward I’m looking at a healthy combination of the two disciplines – a steady commitment to the intensive eye-based discipline punctuated by the weekly maintenance of “classic” acupuncture.

My personal struggle centers around an edema – a pesky macular pucker that results in glare, light sensitivity and desaturation of color and contrast. That’s my cross and I’m learning to bear it and determined to beat it with all the gusto I can muster!


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  1. Tania says:

    I wonder if this wonderful blog would be able to post a list of micro-accupuncture treatment professionals per state — or at least per major metropolitan city? I’d love to try microaccupuncture in relation to RP, but dont know who or where to turn to or try? Can we put a “call out” to those folks who’ve had successful sessions? Im not sure how many blog followers you have, but it might be worth a try.
    Thank you again, for sharing your experience! So very helpful and inspiring. We all need this.

    • ingridricks says:

      Hey Tania – I’ve tried this before and then took the list down because I didn’t want to feel responsible if people didn’t have good results. But I’ll pull it together again — because the list is growing. Unfortunately there isn’t one in every metropolitan area. it’s been my big push to change that so it’s accessible and affordable for everyone who wants to give it a try. But I will put out the call and get the list going again. Thanks for the nudge. P.S> where are you located?

      • Tania says:

        Chicago area!
        Well, feel free to put a disclaimer on any list/post. But rest assured I would never think to lay blame or the like! — we are all looking for solutions and help and your blog is a life-saver!

  2. ingridricks says:

    So glad I’m riding this rollercoaster with you. xo

  3. Alysa S. says:

    Thanks for this update – and I love your optimism. What wonderful news about the movie screen, too! All the best to you and wishing you continued healing.

  4. Erin says:

    Very interesting post. I too suffer from edema as a result from RP and am interested in exploring acupuncture. Please share the list you mentioned above!

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