JUNE 2014
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
Guest Column

ACUPUNCTURE AND EYES: VISION FROM THE ORIENT

By DR. ARUN C. GULANI

I recently returned after teaching at a world conference for eye surgeons held in Tokyo. That country fascinates me by its seamless blend of culture and technology. While there, I took the opportunity to learn more about vision and oriental medicine, particularly acupuncture.

In oriental medicine, the skin of the whole body is perceived to have tiny electric eyes known as acupuncture points. The points follow the flow of energy streams -- called meridians -- that when flowing unobstructed the body is free from pain and illness. When blockages exist in the meridians, pain and illness result.

With the predominant belief that the human body is an organic unit with interrelated and mutually dependent functions and tissues, oriental medicine aims to cure the disharmony therein. That’s unlike Western medicine where cause and symptom irrespective of differing individuals are treated similarly.

Traditional oriental medicine teaches that all diseases involving the eye are closely related to the liver and that the eye is nourished by all of the internal organs in the body. The lens of the eye and the pupil basically belong to the kidney, the sclera to the lungs, the arteries and veins to the heart, the top eyelid to the spleen, the bottom eyelid to the stomach, and the cornea and iris to the liver. The spleen and stomach also control circulation in the eyes. Therefore an imbalance in any of the internal organs may lead to eye disease.

There are a number of acupuncture/acupressure points around the eyes along the orbital bones. Some of the major local eye points are:

  1. Jingming at the inner corner where the eye meets the nose and Zanzhu at the inner ends of the eyebrows are best used for eye problems of all kinds from early-stage cataracts or glaucoma to hysteria with vision loss.

  2. Yuyao at the midpoint of the eyebrow in the hollow can be used for eye problems related to mental strain.

  3. Tongziliao in the cavities on the outside corners of the eye sockets are used for eye problems such as conjunctivitis.

Though there are instructions on how to perform acupuncture yourself, I would not recommend it without supervision from a licensed acupuncture specialist

Today, we see an epidemic of vision-related problems with a higher dependency on glasses, more prevalent in industrialized nations. It’s considered a side-effect of technological advances and ever-increasing computer use.

As we forge ahead in my personal desire to deliver beyond 20/20 vision to each patient, we must keep our eyes open to the heritage of knowledge that brought us to this point of success today.

Acupuncture, though I don’t practice it, could be an useful alternative or additive approach to chronic conditions of the eyes that still do not have a direct treatment regimen in modern medicine.

In the race toward bionic replacements for modern problems -- which include futuristic computer chips for retinal pathology, digital-accommodating lens implant technologies for cataract surgery, permanent correction for glasses with LASIK, extra or telescopic lens for macular degeneration -- perhaps we could find an answer in the quiet intellect of the past.

Arun C. Gulani M.D., M.S. is director and chief surgeon of Gulani Vision Institute in Jacksonville. He can be reached at gulanivision@gulani.com or by visiting www.gulanivision.com.

 

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