Healing from the Inside Out

Written By: ingridricks - May• 03•17

After spending four years fighting my RP like I’m in the fight of my life, I’ve started undergoing a major shift.

Thanks to Behnaz Esfehani, N.D., PhD, an intuitive and holistic healer who holds graduate degrees in education, psychology, and naturopathy, I’m realizing that I need to love my eyes – not fight against them, and that I need to stop viewing what I do for my vision as a chore or punishment.

Above all, she’s helped me to understand that I’ve been focusing way too much energy on my eyesight and that many of the things I’ve done to try to “fix” my eyesight have been driven by fear.

There is now a lot of scientific research around the mind/body connection and the power of the thoughts, emotions and energy we all carry inside us as it relates to our health.

Here’s what Behnaz has to say about it:

IMAG0202On the Energy Power of Diagnosis: When I was in graduate school working on my psychology degree, we studied this diagnostic manual—a very thick book that’s all about all the different types of diseases. The more I read and focused on it, the more I started experiencing symptoms and believing something was really wrong with me. There is energy that comes with a diagnosis. If I say, “Don’t think about a lemon,” we start thinking about it. The more we focus on the diagnosis and the things we don’t want, the more we energize them. A lot of people know the enormous power around thoughts and energy, but it comes down to putting it into practice

On Disease Fighting vs. Health Seeking: Disease fighting comes from the same energy as disease. It is this duality that there is something I need to fight. It’s that outside orientation–the metaphor of our bodies as machines. We are much more complex. And as I mentioned above, the more we focus on diagnosis or disease and things we don’t want, the more we are gong to energize them. Health seeking is very different. From the perspective of naturopathy our bodies are intelligent and engage in self-healing. It’s a matter of looking at habits – nutritional, emotional, relationships, and going deeper with that. Medical doctors deal with emergencies and mechanical aspects of our body very well. But when it comes to healing overall – there’s so much more to it. People come to me and say ‘What can I take for this or that?’ I can suggest supplements or some sort of remedy, but that’s only a partial story. I’m interested in working with the totality of you. It’s not just about fixing your knee – because ultimately your knee is attached to your heart, your mind and how you feel about your life.

On Diet: We have such a vastness of information available to us that it’s easy to be overwhelmed. From what I understand, it comes down to taking an inside out approach and listening to what our body is telling us. We need to get quiet with it, experiment and experience firsthand what works for us. It’s all the little inklings we get—such as how we feel when we eat certain foods. A lot of times people think they are using intuition, but they are still processing through filters acquired outside. They think, ‘I should be feeling this way’ or their decision is based on fear or obligation. We’ve got to get quiet upon quiet upon quiet. What is going on right this moment within?
Personally I advocate for a plant-based diet. The research around it resonates with me. But I don’t dis people who think differently. It’s about listening to my body and my values, and figuring out what works for me. I used to get cravings for dairy, but I know I do better without it. I also know my body does better with less sugar. I think it all depends on intentions. What are you trying to do? If I’m trying to do cleansing, I go one route, for day-to-day I go another. I tend to shy away from telling people you should dothis or that. It’s about helping individuals to connect with inner resources and knowingness: healing inside out.

For more information about Behnaz and her intuitive and holistic healing practice, visit her web site.

 

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Healing Our Eyesight – A Total TCM Approach

Written By: ingridricks - Apr• 10•17

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Lately I’ve been concentrating on healing myself from the inside out—with an emphasis on self-love and healthy lifestyle choices. And Lee Huang, my Seattle acupuncturist, is focused on the same thing.

Lee, who worked as an eye surgeon in China before moving to the U.S. and immersing herself in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is passionate about helping patients suffering from RP, MD, and other serious eye conditions and has been seeking specialized training and answers for the past several years. As part of her ongoing quest to learn everything she can about treating eye diseases from the TCM perspective, Lee recently traveled to China to learn from Dr Wei Qi-ping, a renowned practitioner whose family has been treating RP for four generations. The approach in China is very different from the U.S.. It involves comprehensive inpatient treatment for as long as a month at a time, as well as ongoing herbal injections. All of the herbs are customized specifically to the individual patient, with a focus on addressing the underlying cause of the eye disease.

Lee has always incorporated constitutional acupuncture into her treatment protocol – which includes micro acupuncture and electro acupuncture. But this time around, she increased her focus on my liver (my weak point) and the blood stagnation that is limiting oxygen flow and the removal of toxins— which in turn impacts my body’s ability to heal.

Lee told me that the liver, kidney and spleen are all focal points for people dealing with RP. Some of it, says Lee, comes down to genetics. The other comes from environmental factors. And that’s where we can intervene.

As a person who needs to focus on strengthening my liver, here’s what Lee has to say.

  1.  Reduce Stress. I know this is an ongoing issue for me and I’m continuing to work on it. One thing I’ve just incorporated is a daily dance to Abba music with my daughter, Hannah. It takes five minutes and when I’m done, I’m happy and the stress I was feeling is gone.
    2. Take breaks. Lee recommends that I take power nap breaks during the day to provide more balance. She says I also need to take it easier on myself. For example, if I’m tired after a long day, she says I need to rest rather than force my body into mandatory exercise (though exercise is important for circulation and stress reduction).
    3. Diet and Lifestyle Choices. Okay- I already know this, but I continually slip up on the alcohol part (I’m back on track though).
    4. Self Love, which incorporates all of the above.

Here are some great foods for the liver:

  • • Celery
    • Tomatoes
    • Radishes
    • Orange
    • Grape ruit
    • Green beans
    • Cabbage
    • Napa cabbage
    • Goji berries
    • Rose Tea

Here are foods, lifestyle Choics to AVOID

  •  Fatty foods
    • Deep fried foods
    • Spicy foods
    • Alcohol
    • Smoking


Along with these diet and lifestyle recommendations, Lee has customized an herb formula for me that she says should help strengthen my liver (in conjunction with everything I do personally.)

She also stresses the importance of doing daily eye acupressure, and walked me (and Tanya, a fellow RPer who was in for treatment last week), through the key eye acupressure points. (I used to do eye exercises but slacked off and am now back on it.)

Below is a video Lee has made that walks you through the acupressure exercises. It’s worth watching and starting them. According to Lee, school children in China do these acupressure points in class every day. She says they are essential to eye health.

Okay – I’m signing off to do my eye acupressure points. And then maybe I’ll take a quick power nap.

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Tricks of the Trade: Chapter 2

Written By: Jeanne Aufmuth - Mar• 30•17

March post pic

In a perfect world I’d be driving. Picking up at a moment’s notice and taking myself wherever I need to be. In a perfect world I could see my granddaughter’s sweet little face without having to squint.

But this world is not perfect, it’s just our world. And, as I am sight impaired, I have to craft a realm that works to support my deficiencies as well as my strengths.

The RP-minded brain is always in protection mode – I notice this most keenly as I walk the streets of New York. In NYC a red light is merely a suggestion; the masses are fleet of foot when it comes to crossing their busy streets. I myself have one ironclad rule; crossing a street – either red light or green – means putting another body between me and oncoming traffic. Way to throw someone else under the bus (I hope not literally!) but this is my mindset and it’s called survival.

IMG_3885It’s also just one of many survival tools we’ve all learned to utilize in order to cope with our vision. I’ve written about these before – tricks of the trade as it were – but they are essential to managing visual impairment in a sighted environment and worth revisiting. Here are a few of my favorites.

The handicap placard. Boy was this a hard sell. I have an absolute horror of people cheating the system to catch a break, and thus could not wrap my head around applying for handicap status. But a conversation with a wise RP friend turned me around – she not only uses the placard for parking (especially critical at night) but also to board a plane with those who need extra assistance. Canes can confuse people who label you as “blind” and don’t understand when you flip out your book or your iPhone. The handicap placard is a universal symbol saying something is wrong and none of your damn business.

The flashlight. I’ve written about this before but I can’t say enough about this handy little lifesaver. A tiny one in your bag for reading a menu in dark restaurants. Placed in the nightstand for those wee hour trips to the loo. Shining one into the closet to make out one pair of dark jeans from another. Darkened stairs would be impossible without a steady beam to make out their rigid contours. I would be well and truly lost without this perpetually handy helper.

ipad0The iPad. I have an edema that clouds my vision and, more specifically, wipes out my contrast and color perception. Words on paper are hard to make out and thus I read electronically. The Kindle app allows for white writing on a black background which not only aids in contrast but diminishes the blue light problems that plague virtually everyone who uses an electronic device. In addition to the reading I use my trusty Pad to draw, paint, check scores, text, send email and receive calls. I Face Time with my family and I take photos. My iPad is a second set of eyes; I’m grateful to be living with RP in an age where electronic support is readily available.

Sharpies. Color me crazy but I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. I will not admit to the number of unopened and freshly pointed packs in my desk drawer, but suffice it to say I could open a pop up shop on the fly. Other kids liked crayons, I did Sharpies. Lo and behold they’re still the perfect tool for our waning vision; among other tips I Sharpie my pants labels to distinguish navy from black. You can actually SEE something written in Sharpie – big, bold and bright in an array of magnificent colors. Sharpies are like an old friend who has stood by through thick and thin.

To all my RP brethren I say kudos to making it through each and every day with your own effective moves and relentless fast fixes. Please share some special tricks that may help someone else navigate this constant course!

 

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Who Are You REALLY?

Written By: ingridricks - Feb• 28•17

View More: http://heatherballisonphotography.pass.us/ingrid-2013

We all have those days where our eyesight struggles do us in. And I know from personal experience how easy it is to let the dark take over.

I’m not talking about lack of light. I’m referring to the dark emotions and energy that can consume us—those inner voices that tell us we are worthless, less than, weak and imperfect.

I was having one of those days when I met with an energy healer last week. And the perspective she gave me was powerful. She reminded me of the healing power of positive energy, and the destruction that comes from dark energy. She talked about the importance of meditation and daily gratitude, and about the need to connect with a higher energy source.

Then she talked about the stories we tell ourselves and said this: “Remember that there is perfection in imperfection. So stop judging yourself. And be careful not to view receivership as a form of weakness.”

Her words were so wise and on point that I’ve been reflecting on them ever since. And I’ve been conscious about my thoughts and about the stories I tell myself.

This is the real story of me and it has nothing to do with my eyesight.

I’m strong and passionate, and a big believer in going after dreams and turning them into reality. I’m a memoir author, ghostwriter and narrative writing coach who helps people find healing and empowerment by writing the deeply personal stories they need to tell.

I’m also a wife and partner to my amazing husband, John, a mother and friend to my two beautiful teenager daughters and a supportive friend to my circle of soul sisters. I love impromptu disco dance parties (think Abba), walks on the beach, soaking up sunshine, and a steaming cup of dark roast coffee. I also love traveling and exploring new countries.

We are NOT our eyesight. Our eyesight is just one aspect that makes us the beautiful, unique, perfect individuals we are.

I’ve told you who I am. Now I’d love to here from you. Who are you? What are your dreams? What do you want people to know about you?

Please share your thoughts in our Determined to See Facebook Group so we can all enjoy YOU.

 

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The Self-Care Campaign

Written By: Jeanne and Ingrid - Jan• 30•17

Funny image for blog post

Jeanne’s Take: If ever there was a time to get serious about yourself, it’s now. Not just about your sight, but in full support of your health – both mental and physical – and your inalienable rights as a healthy human being.

Ingrid and I have embarked on a personal mini campaign to remind each other each and every day just how well we are taking care of ourselves. What did I do to nurture my true self? It can be as simple as walking to work instead of driving, or lingering at the family dinner table rather than firing away at a looming deadline.

IMG_6362Years ago I clipped an article called “The New Aging”. A simple little exercise developed by healthy aging expert Walter M. Bortz MD. On the surface it seemed a trifle – assigning yourself points for achieving daily activities in the name of personal longevity. In short: one point for walking a mile (or swimming, biking, yoga, etc.). One point for reading a book, gardening, drawing, playing an instrument or otherwise getting in touch with your cultural self. One point for making love – or “putting your sensual self into action”. And two points for “pursuing the meaning of life”.

The objective is 5 points a day, 35 points a week. And the equivalents are boundless. An amusing pastime, but it’s not the points that truly count. The real emphasis is on your daily daring, and the fact that you’re seizing your moments rather than sliding through life.

I’m consistently surprised at the ease in which days can slip by without genuine focus on personal success in the name of self-care. And it’s time to make a change. Opt not to go to the crowded mall because it’s difficult to maneuver – a unique form of RP self-care. Watch humanity go by rather than texting. Open up to a friend instead of keeping things bottled up inside. There are myriad routes to the essence of self-care and – points or no points – there’s no time like the present to start treading that path.

 

image1Ingrid’s Take: The daily self-care campaign Jeanne and I have started between ourselves has been a Godsend for me. Every time I see her text come through with a small note about what she’s done to take care of herself for the day, it forces me to take a step back and do something kind for myself. And now that we’ve been doing it for a while, I’ve become more proactive about taking time out for me. As Jeanne noted, it’s the small things that matter: choosing to take a walk on a sunny day, soaking in the tub for an hour in the evening, enjoying tea and a conversation with my daughters, sharing a laugh with a friend.

Our self-care campaign has made me more conscious about living in the present, embracing the moments and making them count – especially in light of the dark cloud that has settled over the United States recently.

A little self-care can go a long way each day. It not only benefits ourselves, it helps those we love because when we are in a better space – it’s easier to pay it forward.

Hope you all will join us – and share your self care tips with us here on the blog and through the Determined to See Facebook Group.

Here’s to taking care of ourselves.

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Stress: The New Anti-Stress

Written By: Jeanne Aufmuth - Dec• 06•16

I’ve discovered something extraordinary over the past few weeks: that stress is actually good for me.

img_6047Don’t get me wrong – I am intimately involved with the concept of stress and one’s health, and there appear to be no upsides to how it treats our minds, our bodies and, for us in particular, our eyes.

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

We all have our hot buttons –anything from fitness and financial concerns to family drama and maddening iOS updates.

bd6f7919-1dc3-4a66-870a-864e3b2ccf39It’s impossible to wipe stress completely off the agenda – life is life and with it comes baggage in all shapes and sizes. But who knew that chaos could be so cathartic?

This fall has been particularly hectic for me – a lot of travel and a lot of family events (a wedding, a new grandchild, a small remodel). With all the hubbub I’ve unconsciously put aside my relentless concerns for my waning sight; over whether or not I’m taking the correct supplements, over having to beg for rides, over how to navigate a crowded airport or a darkened theater.

Bottom line: I haven’t had time to worry about my eyes and, surprise surprise, the industrious and marginally manic me has been far happier NOT focused on the focus of eyes.

img_5947It’s not rocket science  – naturally one set of busy supplants another. But the reality is I’ve stopped agonizing over something I can’t control in favor of the things that I can. And I like it.

I’m not touting a stressful lifestyle, that would be unwise and unfair. But I am suggesting that taking a step back from the daily – perhaps hourly – worry over my condition has given me a clearer perspective, a renewed sense of purpose and an overdue attitude adjustment that’s reaping nothing but mental rewards.

 

 

 

 

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Giving Cannabis a Try

Written By: ingridricks - Sep• 23•16

cannabus-1

Yes. I’m dong it—both CBD, the non-get-you-high part of the plant, and THC, the feel good part of the plant. And I’m taking them in the name of both my eyesight and my life.

I’ve got Sandro Pretolani and Carrie-ann Sharpe-Musselman to thank for this because Sandro shared Carrie’s post in the Determined to See Facebook group a couple weeks back about how she’s been preserving her vision since turning to marijuana. That reminded me of a study that was done a couple of years ago in which CBD was found to preserve photoreceptor cells in lab rats). And it got me reaching out to other RPers who have turned to marijuana and swear by it for eyesight preservation. Carrie has even devoted a new Facebook Group to it and it contains lots of great information. If any of you are interested in joining. Here’s the link.

cannabas-2It also got me doing some research into both CBD and THC for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)—a really unpleasant form of breast cancer that I was surprised with last Thanksgiving. And as it turns out, there are several western medical studies indicating that both have been shown to fight TNBC.

CBD acts as an inhibitor to metastasis of the cancer cells. And THC has been shown to actually shrink tumors. Yes…. more research is needed for both eyesight preservation and cancer—though given the control big pharma has, I’m not sure when that will ever happen. In the meantime, considering that I really want my eyesight and that my only other option re: the “c” word is to be doused with poison again should it reoccur in my body and hope that it does the trick – I’m all in.

I started with a high CBD product two and a half weeks ago: a 10 to 1 ratio consisting of 25 mg CBD and 2.5 mg of THC. Obviously this is going to be a long-term study for myself, but one benefit I’ve already discovered is that the nightly hot flashes I’ve been experiencing since chemo threw my body into sudden menopause disappeared three days after I started taking the capsules. I’m now incorporating a highly concentrated THC oil generically termed RSO (Rick Simson Oil) after Rick Simson, a guy who reversed his metastasized skin cancer using heavy does of the oil. I’m going for the maintenance mode — about a drop a night – and made sure to get a strain known for the relaxation it brings on. I figure it will  help with the occasional anxiety that creeps in. NOTE: for the THC, I’m using the maintenance dose recommended by Rick Simson. AS for CBD, I’m winging it.

Luckily I live in Seattle, where pot shops are now as common as coffee shops.

I’ll keep you all posted.

 

P.S. I’m also continuing to focus on my whole body health – mind, body and spirit. I eat a plant based diet (with a little salmon tossed in), work out daily, meditate, think positive and ENJOY LIFE.   I know it all goes together.

 

PS.

 

 

 

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Tripping ‘Round the World. Literally.

Written By: Jeanne Aufmuth - Jul• 05•16

iceland beachI have travel on the brain this summer. Most people do, as the summer months are an ideal time to step out of the daily routine and explore a great wide world that offers so much in the way of alternate vistas, unusual cultures and effortless relaxation.

But for my part travel is feeling more taxing than relaxing. As my peripheral vision narrows and my contrast dims, the planet’s glorious colors seem muted and relentless footprints are edged with fear not freedom.

Having just returned from two weeks in Sweden and Iceland I’m still basking in the glow of a truly unique adventure. Yet on this particular journey I took fresh note of the strain that a new environment puts on my eyes and consequently my psyche. Dark corners are perilous, every step is guesswork, and crowded airports are throbbing with tension rather than anticipation.

There’s a silver lining to the less sighted art of travel; improbable but true. Majestic rushing waterfalls are undeniably more profound to a traveler whose backup senses are intensified – where the pulsing pounding sound is equal to the thrill of the sight. I can sniff out a good fried fish shack at a hundred paces. And food even tastes brighter and more flavorful – lamb’s heart tartare anyone?

iceland signsThere were down days – there always are. I slammed into a cleaning cart in a mood-lit hallway, and tripped and slipped my way down a muddy, rain-soaked path at an ancient Icelandic hot springs. With each low I was reminded of a recent Facebook post from a wise RP friend. To wit – focus and thrive on what you CAN see and CAN do, knowing you may not always be able to do so. I strove to focus on my good fortune – the sheer physicality of travel, quality time with my beautiful family, and observing foreign customs through my own unique lens.

In conclusion? I won’t stop. None of us should stop. RP can rob of us our sight but we mustn’t let it dictate or obliterate our lifestyle nor the passions that are solely, inimitably us.

Let’s get out there and show the world just what were made of!

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Stretching for Life

Written By: Jeanne Aufmuth - May• 31•16

You’d have to be living under a rock to miss the connection between physical fitness and the health of your eyes. We’ve relentlessly sung the praises of acupuncture on these pages – and all of its marvelous benefits – but never neglecting the fact that good nutrition, a positive attitude and consistent physical health are part of the essential and magical combination.

I first read Bob Anderson’s Stretching (a mimeographed loose leaf copy) nearly forty years ago when some skier buddies of my boyfriend were getting in shape for a Canadian heli-skiing adventure. Fitness awareness was in its infancy and at the tender age of twenty-one I was intrigued by the notion of the positive long-term effects stretching could have on my youthful muscles.

Attachment-1The principles of stretching are as time honored as Chinese medicine and as far reaching as the cave man – to coin a phrase use it or lose it. Anderson was an athlete and outdoorsman who believed in maintaining full body strength via simple stretches that could be done as part of a regular home routine. He was a man before his time – before Jane Fonda urged us to “feel the burn” or Nike implored us to “Just Do It.”

I’ve always been the disciplined sort – punctual to a fault, highly organized – and something in Anderson’s visionary message spoke to me. Looking forward is not the basic tenet of a twenty-something but there was a glimmer of a fitter, future me and I started a daily regime of small body stretches. Anywhere from fifteen to fifty minutes a day, and the benefits were immediately evident. Everything I did was easier as I developed a lithe flexibility that saw me through sports injuries, lengthy car trips and the inherent hurdles my slowly aging body asked of me. Over time I added my own quirky movements from yoga and kick-boxing to tai chi. Headstands became a daily staple, but always with the core principle of stretching as support.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 9.07.44 PMI am sixty years old now and proud to say I haven’t missed a day of stretching in thirty- nine years. Not one day. I’ve stretched on days I’ve given birth and the days after. I’ve stretched on cold dirt floors in Africa and in a tent at 14,000 feet in the Andes. Sure there have been adjustment days (scaled back cheater stretches after knee surgery) but I always find a way. Stretching is like air and water to me – so much a part of my DNA that I literally couldn’t function without it. It has seen me through medical emergencies, sixteen-hour plane rides, grief and joy and loss.

But most importantly stretching has helped me through this challenging journey we call RP. As a wise woman once said, “If Option A isn’t available let’s kick the shit out of Option B!” Not only does the daily flexing contribute to that essential level of fitness, it’s an excellent relaxation tool and stress reliever. Stretching is for life.

Millions of copies and umpteen editions later Bob Anderson is still leading the stretching charge, with contemporary additions on computer stretching et al, and it’s still my bible. Even if you’re allergic to exercise there’s a simple stretch that will work for you – always available and perpetually worthy. It’s crucial to keep moving – for your body, for your eyes and for being the best you can possibly be!

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The Courage to Do What’s Right

Written By: ingridricks - Apr• 25•16

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.14.43 PM

Jeanne and I have come under attack for sharing Per Otte’s protocol—which has been available in the public domain for years—on this blog. We’ve also been criticized for spotlighting Eye Acupuncturist Mats Sexton and his desire to share his knowledge to help people around the world gain affordable, local access to treatment that could possibly save their eyesight.

Like many of you who follow this blog, Jeanne and I have benefited from specialized eye acupuncture and are grateful to all of the acupuncturists out there who have sought out training and specialized education to help those of us suffering from RP, MD and other devastating blinding eye diseases to hold onto our eyesight.

But the lengths to which a few acupuncturists have gone to block or greatly control the access other acupuncturists have to this treatment protocol is, in our view, unethical and unconscionable and goes completely against the holistic healing philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Here’s our response to those who are angry with us for sharing information and for our ongoing commitment to do everything we can to make this treatment affordable and accessible for anyone, anywhere in the world, who wants to give it a try.

  1. Mats Sexton did not disclose Per Otte’s acupuncture protocol. Per Otte disclosed his protocol in an abandoned patent application (click here to access) that has been in the public domain for years. This isn’t the first time that a blog has featured it. It was spotlighted on a blog post as far back as 2010. I’m disappointed with myself for not digging deeper sooner—especially given that my husband is a patent attorney. I get two or three emails a week from people all over the world who are desperate for local, affordable treatment options in hopes that they will continue to be able to see.
  2. We are NOT Money Trees. We are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who are fighting hard to hold onto our eyesight so that we can watch our children grow up, see our spouses grow old, continue to support our families, do the work we love and maintain our independence. We are not independently wealthy and cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars every few months and take off four to six weeks from work each year for the rest of our lives to fly across the country or half way around the world in hopes of accessing a treatment that can help us save or maintain our eyesight.
  3. Affordable, widespread training is critical. This should be taught in every acupuncture school in the world. It’s simply not true that acupuncturists aren’t interested in learning this protocol and helping patients save their eyesight—despite the argument I’ve heard repeatedly for a couple of years now. Thanks to the increasing awareness about the possible benefits of acupuncture, numerous patients and skilled acupuncturists have been clamoring to access the needling points and necessary training and have been consistently shut down. We are thrilled that more skilled acupuncturists like Mats Sexton are stepping forward to share their knowledge with others—without concern about creating competition for themselves by helping millions of people around the world access a treatment that might benefit them.

Of all the criticisms and ridiculousness I’ve heard since THIS BLOG POST  appeared, this one I received Sunday from a long-time eye acupuncturist stands out: “Many people are so attached to their conditions that you could put a cure right in front of them and they’d refuse it. It’s not up to you to have every blind person treated with acupuncture.”

In the three years since starting this dedicated quest to save my eyesight, I’ve connected with thousands of people suffering from RP and other blinding eye diseases and every one of them is fighting hard to save, maintain and help their sight. To suggest that we are attached to our failing sight or that we would prefer to lose it is downright cruel and there is absolutely no place for that brand of negativity. The last thing Jeanne and I want is to mandate that every “blind” person be treated with acupuncture. We’re working to ensure that an affordable, accessible treatment option be made available to those who are doing everything in their power to rescue their sight and want to give acupuncture a try. We will continue this battle so that everyone struggling from a blinding eye disease has a way to hold onto his or her precious sight. And we invite like-minded acupuncturists and naturopaths to join our fight.
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One final thought: We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog promoting the merits of acupuncture. But that is only one component of traditional Chinese Medicine and naturopathy. Diet, exercise, lifestyle and emotional health are ALL key to maintaining our eyesight and overall good health.

As many of you know, I’ve spent the past few months undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and am now teaming with a wonderful naturopath in Seattle to focus on building my immune system and nourishing my body – physical, mind and spirit. Over the next few months, this blog will focus on diet, lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and mental health—with an emphasis on personal empowerment and all we can be doing ourselves to promote our eye health and overall health. Jeanne and I invite any naturopath or acupuncturist interested in providing patient education in this area to do a guest post on this blog.

Here’s to our eye health—and to all of those practitioners out there whose first priority is their patients, not their pocketbooks.

 

 

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