In macular degeneration, the light-sensing cells of the macula (the central portion of the retina directly opposite the lens) mysteriously malfunction and may over time cease to work. The macula is rich in cones, the cells which enable us to see fine detail and color. There are three classes of cones, each most sensitive to a different color: red, green or blue.
Macular degeneration occurs most often in people over 60 years old, in which case it is called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). Much less common are several hereditary forms of macular degeneration, which usually affect children or teenagers. Collectively, they are called Juvenile Macular Degeneration. They include Best's Disease, Stargardt's Disease, Sorsby's Disease and others.Acupuncture and Macular Degeneration
Western medicine considers this disease untreatable, and many Americans have gone blind because of its effects. In practice, Doctors have been using acupuncture to improve and restore the eyesight of patients with macular degeneration. Acupuncture encourages stronger blood flow to nourish the eye and stop the pace of the disease. While faster results occur in patients who are young and healthy, acupuncture is still quite effective in older patients.
Here are some examples of how Acupuncture can help Macular Degeneration
"Between five and six years ago, the ophthalmologist I was going to for cataracts said I was developing the beginning stages of macular degeneration in my right eye and I should take an herbal supplement to prevent it from advancing. Since that time, I have been taking herbal supplements and vitamins because I didn't want the macular degeneration to advance. In 2002, I had a macular hole surgery in my left eye and my vision is limited in it. After this surgery, the protection of my right eye with macular degeneration became a great concern with me because it was my good eye.
When I read a handout about Dr. Jiang's background it showed she specialized in ocular degeneration. During our initial interview, Dr. Jiang said acupuncture works very good with the beginning stage of macular degeneration and I decided to take a series of acupuncture treatments. About five or six weeks ago, I visited my ophthalmologist and he said I did not have macular degeneration my right eye. I credit Dr. Jiang's acupuncture treatments with eliminating the macular degeneration in my right eye."
"Two years ago, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. A year later, all three conditions had got worse. I was told that the macular degeneration wasn't treatable, so I was really relieved when I learned acupuncture treatments were available for eye problems, including macular degeneration… Now, after eight months of treatments and Chinese herbal medicine, I've returned to my eye doctor to be retested. His exam has shown that the macula is now clear (no macular degeneration) and that both the glaucoma and cataracts are improving.
With the most difficult condition gone, I'm now looking forward to full recovery using this new approach to traditional Chinese medicine. That will certainly make it more enjoyable for me to pursue my passion for sculpting."
"In June of 1997, I lost my vision in both of my eyes. I was diagnosed with anteriorischemic optic neuropathy, and I was legally blind. After making numerous efforts to try to get more professional opinions on what could be done to help the condition, I was willing to try some very invasive treatments. But each time, I was told by a new doctor, 'I think this is just kind of going to be the way it is.' It was not until I met a new Doctor, my condition greatly improved, despite the other doctors saying they 'did not expect to see any improvement.' I would like to mention that from May 3, 1999, I did not receive any other treatment outside of my new acupuncture technique. By March 1, 2001, I had passed the driver's license test and could drive again. Now my vision is greatly improved, and I am working and enjoying life!"
FROM CHINA TO COLORADO: NEW HOPE FOR EYES
"Everything old is new again"
West of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a slender, laughing, 41-year-old woman is holding out hope to those suffering from glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal and other ocular problems.
Dr. Nawei Jiang was nationally acclaimed in China when she left to come to America in 1999. How did this remarkable woman attain such fame?
Her story begins in the province of Jilin in Northern China – close to Mongolia and Russia. The oldest of three children – one sister, one brother – she was reading and being taught music by the age of four. It was the age of Chairman Mao, and her parents were obliged to work on a farm, but Nawei continued to play music for the next five years.
Her parents found increasingly good music teachers for her and, at the age of 14, she passed the national test for professional music and art. Her studies took her to Chang Chun, the largest city in Jilin Province. Within six months, her father arrived to discuss her future with her. Chairman Mao had died, and choices needed to be made. She would no longer have to work mandatory years on a farm when she was 18.
Each year, a nationwide test was held on three days in early July to determine the studies for which students could apply. These tests were held under the strictest conditions. Body checks were done, and doctors were available to treat those who fainted from the stress (!). Subjects included Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, Japanese and so on.
Ten business days later, scores were announced. She and her father argued about her direction: pure Western medicine, architecture, etc. She chose a combination of Western and Chinese medicine, and began six years of study at the age of 17.
A prize student, she continued on with three more years of study thereafter, receiving her Master's degree in 1990. She was one of only five students attaining that degree. She then moved on to the University Hospital for another five years. During that time, she married and had a son, David, in 1994.
By the time that she had received a Ph.D. in the "very European" city of Harbin, she had begun to search for "the best teacher" – feeling that she could now move beyond all of her studies. She found Zhang Jin, Chairman of the Acupuncture Society and, also, a Western surgeon. His knowledge was vast, and he was an acknowledged master in his field. (His own teacher had been physician to the Emperor.) Zhang Jin initially refused to teach her, believing that a woman with a family could not fully devote herself to his method. She convinced him.
What he taught to her was Shao Shan Huo – SET FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN – an ancient method of healing. He believed that, while the basic technique might be taught, the practitioner had to also have a gift – had to have a certain strong power in the hands. He refused to give students a key to this, laughing that they had to find it themselves – or not! (Many believe that this practice is now non-existent. Nawei Jiang, however, became the only known practitioner.)
Mastering her practice, Dr. Jiang joined the Opthalmology Department at University Hospital of TCM – Hei Long Jiang Province. While there, she began to use SET FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN. Several practitioners from America began to follow her and, one morning, they watched as a 46-year-old woman named Yu Liqun (from Shuang Feng, Tieli, China), who had been unable to see at all, looked up into the sky and realized that she could see an airplane flying overheard. Yu Liqun began to cry with joy. The American observers were overwhelmed, and began to launch a campaign to bring Dr. Jiang to America to teach.
Meanwhile, news of her work spread. Journalistic reporting in China was very strict, yet innumerable well-researched articles began to appear. Sufferers with eye problems were desperate to reach her. They telephoned the newspapers – then the journalists themselves. Finally, some would manage to find her home, often appearing on her doorstep after having flown in from faraway places! By 1997 and 1998, people were flocking to her from throughout China.
In October of 1998, she received her America visa. She and her family arrived in Colorado shortly thereafter. She had been convinced to give seminars at the Colorado School of Chinese Medicine in Denver. She soon found a home near Colorado Springs, and began practicing acupuncture from her own clinic.
Her success rate since that time has been impressive. Numerous success stories abound. (She has now moved on from the practice of general acupuncture to specialization in eye problems only.) In an age when sufferers are often told that there is no help, Nawei Jiang's particular use of acupuncture and herbal therapies offer hope where there has often been none.
"Dr. Jiang is the first Doctor to use this special technique
(called "Set Fire to the Mountain and Cool the Heavens") for ocular
degeneration. . . . with this treatment, when the needles are
inserted, a warm feeling radiates out from the needle point . . . .
Dr. Nawei uses this technique combined with the direction of the
body's energy, to heal. . ."
- Chinese Health News, Beijing, China
Friday, September 11, 1998
By Dr Nawei Jiang
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