Meet Seattle Eye Acupuncturist Lee Huang

Written By: ingridricks - Nov• 20•15

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I first reached out to Lee Huang nearly a year ago, after an Internet search for “eyesight”, “vision” and “acupuncturist” in the Seattle area pulled up her name.

Like my acupuncture experiment partner, Jeanne Aufmuth, I was determined to find someone local who could help me maintain my remaining eyesight. In my case, it was because the frequent trips across country to access quality treatment from eye acupuncturist Andy Rosenfarb were taking a huge toll on my marriage and I knew it wasn’t a sustainable treatment path for me.

Lee’s background was promising. She had started her career as an opthalmalogist and eye surgeon in China and had spent more than ten years working at the Red Cross hospital before moving to the U.S. in the late 1990s and pursing her other passion: traditional Chinese medicine. She was devoted to helping patients suffering from severe eye conditions and has spent the past ten years seeking out specialized training in TCM Ophthalmology. She returned to China in 2007 to study under Professor Fang Su, a TCM specialist in eye conditions, where she gained hands-on training treating eye conditions ranging from dry eyes and glaucoma, to age-related macular degeneration, vitreous opacities, and retinopathy. She continued her training with renowned eye acupuncturist Hoy Ping Yee Chan, who used periocular acupuncture to treat eye diseases.

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When I contacted Lee, she had already taken an online course offered by eye acupuncturist Andy Rosenfarb and had read his book on Chinese Opthalmalogy .But she needed live hands-on training for Retinitis Pigmentosa and didn’t know where to get it. That’s where eye acupuncturist Lizbeth Ryan came into play. I connected the two of them and Liz agreed to provide the necessary training. It took awhile to coordinate schedules, but Lee completed her weeklong intensive training with Liz in Arkansas in October, followed by a comprehensive one-day workshop that Andy held in Oregon — where he took the time to discuss my case personally with Lee and give her tips regarding the use of electro-acupuncture.

I’m not a religious person. But I’ve been known to shout out a prayer or two and thanks to Lee’s devotion, combined with the willingness of Liz Ryan and Andy Rosenfarb to share their knowledge, I feel like I’ve finally been heard.

My week-long treatment with Lee started on a Monday with a 45-minute consultation, where Lee methodically went through my health background, diet and lifestyle, and determined that I struggle with long-term blood stagnation, which is impacting blood flow and circulation to my eyes. That, said Lee, was the main underlying issue she would address during my treatment week.

Then it was down the stairs to obtain a visual field test from a local eye clinic to establish a baseline (Lee has negotiated a discounted rate of $55 per VF test for her patients) and back up to Lee’s office for a far and near acuity test before starting treatment.

Right Eye Visual Field before treatment

Right Eye Visual Field before treatment

My treatment with Lee consisted of three intensive acupuncture sessions each day: two treatments incorporating the deep penetrating micro acupuncture treatment (hands, feet and points above my eyes) followed by a full-body constitutional treatment to address my underling blood flow stagnation issues, coupled with the electro-acupuncture treatment. Lee also gave me some Chinese herbs that she said would help to get the blood flowing throughout my body.

Right Eye Visual Field after three days of treatments (9 treatments total)

Right Eye Visual Field after three days of treatments (9 treatments total)

On day four, I underwent another round of eye tests. The Visual Field test, which extends 30 degrees, reflected what I already knew: that I have very little central core remaining. But it also showed that after nine acupuncture sessions, I had increased light perception in areas that had gone dim—which for me is a huge victory. My far and near acuity tests also showed improvement. I went from 20/40 far acuity to 20/30. When wearing my reading glasses, my near acuity went from 20/50 to 20/30.

I’ve pursued acupuncture enough to know that the only way to sustain improvements (or even maintain existing eyesight) is to repeat the intensive treatment regime every few months. And at least for me, given the severity of my RP, I’ve learned that I need the regular intervals of intense, eye-focused treatment.

Left Eye Visual Field Before treatment

Left Eye Visual Field Before treatment

Thankfully, because Lee is local (takes me an hour and 15 minutes via two buses to get to her office—but I’ll gladly take that), I now have the ability to schedule monthly maintenance treatments between my quarterly weeklong treatments to maximize the treatment benefits and do everything I can to maintain my remaining eyesight.

The other good news is that I can afford it. Lee is committed to keeping her treatment costs affordable for eye patients and charges $65 per treatment session (she recommends 15 to 18 treatments per treatment week). Her in-depth patient consultations are included at no additional charge.

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I’ll post my VF tests throughout the year so all of you can track my treatment experience with me. In the meantime, I want to again thank Lizbeth Ryan and Andy Rosenfarb for making the RP training available to Lee, and continue to SHOUT out the need for accessible, affordable training for acupuncturists across the globe so anyone who wants to try this treatment has the ability to access it.

 

To contact Lee Huang:

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    Thank you for posting this Amy. I am just beginning my initial research on alternative treatments such as acupuncture for RP and have noticed Andy Rosenfarb name come up quite a bit. Is there a post on your experience with him and his treatment methods? They obviously must have helped if you sought someone who trained under him. I just wish there was someone here in Denver I could go to!

    • ingridricks says:

      Nick — Yes, Andy Rosenfarb is fantastic and definitely helped me. I know…I’m fighting hard to get trained acupuncturists in every major city so anyone who is interested can access the treatment. If you scroll back far enough under my posts, you’ll see my treatment results with him. If you’ve not already done so, join the Determined to See facebook group to take part in discussions. I think the two closest trained acupuncturists to you are in Arizona or Arkansas. We all just need to keep shouting out our need for affordable, accessible treatment.

  2. Alysa S. says:

    Wow, how amazing that these three people came together like this, which will be a huge benefit for anyone with RP. I’m so glad you’ve found someone local who can help you. Continued luck on your journey, and thanks for sharing this information, which I bet a lot of RP sufferers will find extremely helpful.

    • ingridricks says:

      Thanks, Alysa. xo Been thinking of you all week. Hope you are doing well and everyone is hanging in there in Paris. xo

  3. Erin says:

    Amazing to hear how people are coming together to work on RP. What should I look for in tea search a local acupuncturist, etc.?

  4. Erin says:

    Amazing to hear how people are coming together to work on RP. What should I look for in tea search a local acupuncturist, etc.?

  5. Cindy says:

    Hi Ingrid this is awesome and amazing that you found someone local that was willing to train and treat RP at an affordable price. We are trying to find someone local in the Yakima area that would be able to treat my father but have had no luck. Ingrid by any chance do you or any of your contacts know if there is any acupuncturist in the Yakima area treating RP? Thank you very much for all that you are doing to help find an affordable treatment, shine some light on RP and make available for us to read. Thank You!

  6. Nancy Nguyen says:

    The OD check my eyes , she said:”I had wet age-related macular degeneration”,so can you micro acupuncture for my eyes? how long is treatment and a cost ? please may you email to me when you are available,thank you for your time.

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