|Qi Mail™ The Acupuncture NewsletterAugust 2010 • Lexington KY
Acupuncture and Eye Health
In This Issue
Acupuncture and Eye Health
Your eyes are a reflection of your overall health. Illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be revealed in the eyes. Conditions such as glaucoma, optic neuritis or vision loss are often associated with systemic health problems. It is this interconnection between your eyes and your health that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can tap into and utilize to treat eye and vision problems. Eye conditions respond well to acupuncture and it has been used successfully to treat a wide range of eye problems for centuries.
How Eye Disorders Are Treated With Acupuncture
Oriental medicine pays close attention to the relationship between tissues and organs. Sometimes an imbalance within the body can manifest as an eye problem, just as the health of the eyes is often a reflection of an imbalance or health problem elsewhere in the body. When you are treated for an eye condition with acupuncture, any underlying imbalances that are attributing to your symptoms will be addressed. The eye problems will also be treated directly by promoting circulation of Qi (life force) and blood around the eyes. Common eye problems treated with acupuncture include:
Acupuncture Points Around the Eye
There are several powerful acupuncture points around the eyes that promote eye health. These points bring Qi and blood to the eyes to nourish the tissue and improve the condition of the eyes.
Jingming (UB-1) – When translated, Jingming means Bright eyes. This point is located in the inner corner of the eye. It is one of the primary points to bring Qi and blood to the eyes and is used for eye problems of all kinds including early-stage cataracts, glaucoma, night blindness, conjunctivitis and blurred vision.
Zanzhu (UB-2) – This point lies in the depression at the inner end of the eyebrow. Like Jingming, it is a primary point for the eyes and is used for all types of eye problems. Some of the indications to use this point include headache, blurring or failing of vision, pain in the supraorbital region, excessive tearing, redness, swelling and pain of the eye, twitching of the eyelids and glaucoma.
Yuyao – In the hollow at the midpoint of the eyebrow, directly above the pupil. It is used for eye strain, pain in the supraorbital region, twitching of the eyelids, ptosis, cloudiness of the cornea, redness, swelling and pain of the eyes.
Sizhukong (SJ 23) – In the hollow at the outside end of the eyebrow. This point is used for eye and facial problems including headaches, redness and pain of the eye, blurring of vision, twitching of the eyelids, toothache and facial paralysis.
Tongziliao (GB 1) – Located on the outside corner of the eye. This point is used to brighten the eyes as well as for headaches, redness and pain of the eyes, failing or blurring of vision, photophobia, dry, itchy eyes, early-stage cataracts and conjunctivitis.
Qiuhou – Below the eye, midway between St-1 and GB-1 along the orbit of the eye. Used for all types of eye disease.
Chengqi (St 1) – With the eyes looking straight forward, this point is directly below the pupil, between the eyeball and the eye socket. This is a main point for all eye problems, conjunctivitis, night blindness, facial paralysis and excessive tearing.
In addition to acupuncture, there are several things you can do each day to maintain eye health and avoid problems. Drink eight to ten glasses of water to keep your body and eyes hydrated. Stop smoking. Exercise to improve overall circulation. Make a conscious effort to stop periodically to rest and blink frequently especially when reading, working on a computer or watching television. Avoid rubbing your eyes. Always remember to always protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV light and glare with protective lenses.
Seven Essential Nutrients for Eye Health
Support your eye health by incorporating these seven essential nutrients into your diet!
Lutein and Zeaxanthin – carotenoid compounds found in the lens and retina of the eyes. These antioxidants protect eyes from free radicals and A diet high in these compounds may protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Carotenoid compounds are found in yellow and orange fruits & vegetables, dark green, leafy vegetables and egg yolks.
Vitamin A – helps prevent night blindness, stop the formation of cataracts, and may prevent blindness from macular degeneration. Deficiency can cause dry eyes, corneal ulcers, swollen eyelids and, if not corrected, blindness.
Vitamin C – can help reduce the risk of cataracts. It may also play a role in delaying macular degeneration and preventing and relieving glaucoma.
Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant shown to prevent cataracts and helps prevent macular degeneration.
Bioflavonoids – give certain foods their color and often work as antioxidants. Any food that contains these nutrients also contains vitamin C. Citrus, red and purple fruits are excellent for the eyes.
Omega 3’s – These essential fatty acids convert into prostaglandins that regulate intraocular pressure, help the eye drain and may help protect against dry eye syndrome. Connected with eyesight development, deficiencies of essential fatty acids may lead to impaired vision, retinal or macular damage. The best source of Omega 3’s is cold water fish such as Salmon.
Essential Minerals – Zinc, Selenium, and Copper are all essential for healthy eyesight. Zinc helps the body absorb vitamin A which is required for normal eye function and adapting to the dark. Zinc has been used for the specific purpose of reducing age related macular degeneration and a deficiency may lead to cataracts. Selenium helps the body to absorb vitamin E to . Copper helps reduce the development of age related macular degeneration.
Chrysanthemums: More Than Meets the Eye
Chrysanthemum flowers (Ju Hua) are boiled to make a popular cooling tea to drink or use topically on the eye. Chrysanthemum tea has many medicinal uses. Used for at least 2,000 years, this herb was first listed by the physician Shen Nong who suggested that continued use would “slow aging and prolong life”.The boiled flowers or tea bags may be kept in the fridge and used as eye masks to ease tired eyes, reduce heavy eye bags and get rid of redness, pain or dryness of the eyes.
Cold Chrysanthemum Tea
*60 – 80 White Chrysanthemum Flowers
*3 teaspoons of Jasmine Green Tea
*Rock sugar or honey
*4 liters (1 Gallon) of water
1. Wash the chrysanthemums.
2. Put chrysanthemum and tea into a cooking pot.
3. Pour in water and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add rock sugar or honey.
6. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
7. Strain and put into the refrigerator.
8. Serve chilled and enjoy!