Treating RP with Acupuncture: My Experience and Thoughts

Written By: ingridricks - Oct• 15•13

New Eye BookI’ve had so many people contact me asking about my experience with acupuncture that I’ve decided to share all of my thoughts about this in one place.

As many of you know, I underwent ten days of acupuncture treatment with Dr. Yu at the Wellspring Clinic in Vancouver last spring and noticed small improvements to my eyesight. The strip of vision in my right mid-periphery expanded some and became more clear. I could also see the tips of my feet when walking and the tops of my shoulders when I turned my head—things I hadn’t seen prior to the treatment.

People with normal eyesight might consider my improvements minimal. But for me, they were monumental because I’ve been told repeatedly by retinal specialists that this disease only goes one way. The positive results I experienced gave me hope that I can do something to help my eyesight and prevent further progression of my RP. But I also know that the improvements don’t stick around without ongoing treatment. Like the vast majority of people struggling with Retinitis Pigmentosa, finances and time are an issue and I’ve realized that the only way for this treatment to be sustainable for me is if I can access it locally and at a price tag I can afford.

Dr. Andy Rosenfarb

Dr. Andy Rosenfarb

This is where Dr. Andy Rosenfarb at Acupuncture Health in New Jersey comes into play. Dr. Rosenfarb has been leading the charge in terms of building awareness of the treatment benefits of acupuncture for RP and validating the treatment through clinical trials recognized by the Western Medical community. He’s also been working nonstop to make the treatment affordable and accessible to RP patients worldwide.

 Here’s a quick summary of Dr. Rosenfarb’s efforts and accomplishments to date:

 

  1. He teamed with researchers from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) on a small clinical trial that utilized a ten-day treatment protocol he developed. The study, which was unveiled at the ARVO conference this past spring, is expected to be published later this fall.  To review the study and results, CLICK HERE
  2. Based on the positive results of that study, the NIH has tentatively approved funding for a larger, one-year clinical trial scheduled to kick off in 2014.
  3. He’s personally trained numerous acupuncturists around the world to treat RP. He’s in the process of developing an education website that will include a list of recommended/trained acupuncturists. For more information now, you can contact his office.
  4. He’s developed an online course for acupuncturists that trains them on his base RP treatment protocol.  The recorded, three-day live course on TCM OPHTHALMOLOGY enables acupuncturists to earn required Continuing Education credits. The cost of the course is $299. To access the course,CLICK HERE He is also in the process of developing an instructional video on how to effectively administer the protocol used in the JHU study. He plans to certify practitioners to administer the protocol and will feature the list of certified practitioners on the acuvision therapy website.
  5. He’s implemented a treatment guarantee for RP patients who come to his clinic for treatment. If patients don’t see measureable improvements in their first five or ten days of treatment, they WILL NOT be charged for treatment.
  6. He educates patients on whole body health–with an emphasis on proper nutrition, diet and lifestyle. He’s also written a book for patients, Healing Your Eyes with Chinese Medicine that contains great info on whole body health.
  7.  He’s co-authored a book titled Ophthalmology in Chinese Medicine that offers acupuncturists an overview of Retinitis Pigmentosa, and provides a basic acupuncture treatment protocol as well as Chinese herb recommendations. Dr. Rosenfarb notes that the protocols in the book yield good results, but adds that some acupuncture schools don’t teach  the methods used in the JHU study protocol–such as deep needling around the orbit of the eye and electro-acupuncture methods. It’s for this reason that he says that special training is required to administer the protocol.

n533276241_411456_306As I mentioned in my last blog post, I used his book as a guide to help explain the eye disease and basic treatment protocols to an acupuncturist here in Seattle who I very much respect. She, in turn, used that information as a base to conduct her own treatment research. I’ve had five 50-minute sessions with her to date and have experienced tiny improvements—nothing earth shattering, but enough to keep me going back. I plan to have three sessions a week for the first month, then go down to two sessions a week.  I’m excited because both her acupuncture treatments and herbs are very affordable, making it possible for me to continue this protocol for as long as necessary. And should she need additional training or help, I know that Dr. Rosenfarb has us covered.

I realize I keep stressing this, but I’ve definitely learned that acupuncture is only one important piece to managing this disease. Every patient I’ve met who has experienced success with acupuncture has also adopted very healthy eating habits, exercises regularly and is focused on whole body health—both physical and emotional.

Okay, I’m signing off for now. I have to limit my eyestrain.

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. I always love how you share information – and this is no exception. Bravo to you for another informative, fascinating post, and bravo to Dr. Rosenfarb for all that he’s done! I’m also really glad that you’re still happy with the acupuncturist you’ve been seeing. Best wishes to you, as always.

  2. Alysa S. says:

    That”s weird – I wrote a comment herr the other day snd I guess it didn’t show up… I reallly enjoyed learning more about this aspect RP treatment. Dr. Rosenfarb’s dedication is admirable, as are you. Continued luck, and, as always, best wishes.

  3. kailash kushwaha says:

    I am suffering with R P since 49 y. i loss my peryfery vsn. i belongs to middle family and live in India. please advse me about treatmnt and cost.

  4. Ganesan says:

    i need have treatment for RP , please advise me

  5. Laura C.S. says:

    I have RP and have been going to Dr. Yu for two years. I visit every six months, sometimes for two weeks, and sometimes 1 week. My first meeting I regained some peripheral vision with just the herbal tea. I like that you stressed eating a healthy diet and exercise. We also need to try to lower stresses in life. All these work together. I had lost about 70% of my peripheral over 10 yrs (starting at age 48). I regained about 40% through the herbs and acupressure/acupuncture from Dr. Yu. Now I see well out of my left and right side, regained some of my lower peripheral and upper. I’m still missing a ring around my central vision. Overall, It has helped me quite a bit. Hope this helps others. (I do think I responded well due to good diet, exercise, and pretty low stress.) Costs/travel may prohibit some from visiting him. For me I’m just able to afford this treatment within my budget. It is worth it for me.

    • ingridricks says:

      Thanks for sharing, Laura. I’m glad he is helping your eyesight. Because he is so cost prohibitive, Jean and I have focused on accessibility and affordability and thankfully – numerous acupuncturists are now starting to treat RP…and at a very reasonable price. I’m hopeful that one day there is a trained eye acupuncturist in every major city around the world. I know have a fabulous acupuncturist I see in Seattle…and she charged $65 per treatment

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