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  • #16
    3rd Appointment

    I'm not sure how much acupuncture is helping my eyes but it's definitely helping me relax in a way I never knew possible. I feel like I'm having a "good" eye day today but whether that's due to the acupuncture, distraction, or what, I just don't know.

    Today the acupuncturist did not put a lot of pressure anywhere but some of the needles hurt more than others, like in the past. I do wonder if it has anything to do with my sinuses. Can't remember if I posted this before but I have allergies and even though my allergies aren't bad, they surely affect my sinuses and could easily make areas of my face more tender.

    The relaxation factor is amazing. My appt was at 9 this morning and I still feel "mellow" which is great.

    My next appt is scheduled 2 weeks out.


    • #17
      I had my second acupuncture treatment last Thursday and had the same outcome as you...very relaxing!! She used more needles this time..only one on my forehead and the rest on my arms, legs etc. She taught me more about deep breathing. I am having a terrible time with depression/anxiety and I think I need to get a handle on this before I can concentrate on anything else!! She also told me to try to drink a "green drink" everyday. I am trying whatever she says..can't hurt. I will probably skip this week and go next.


      • #18
        4th appt

        Wednesday I had my 4th appt. Again, enjoyable and stress-relieving but I still can't say that I've had any real improvements with my dry eye. I am benefiting --the stress relief alone is huge for me; I'm learning to use the breathing exercise at random times and I've definitely noticed a calm and ability to handle new stresses much differently / better -- besides the death of my father-in-law, we've had 2 other very stressful occurrences recently and I feel like I'm handling these additional issues really well.

        It's so hard to know if things work because one can have a good day and it just may coincide with acupuncture or whatever. I used a lot fewer drops the day of my appointment than I usually do but does that mean anything specifically? I just can't say, particularly since it hasn't had any lasting effect that I can tell -- a bad day today, a good day tomorrow. At least I am sleeping better now that I'm using Saran Wrap on my eyes. I wish I knew which post I found that suggestion because I really value the tip (so thank you to whoever posted about it -- it may have been an archived post?).

        I have an appt set for 2 weeks. I haven't decided how many appts before I'll give up hope re: helping my dry eye but based on (every week for 2 months), I'm figuring at least 8-10. In the meantime, the ability to manage my stress better is something valuable.


        • #19
          5th Appointment

          My 5th appt was this morning.
          It started out like usual (Q&A about my health) and then someone new came in (I've seen him before but not interacted with him) and he did this sort of massage thing on my face while I was lying down. It wasn't unpleasant, a little unusual. It kind of felt like a combination facial / sports massage for the face, focusing on the eye area. He did apply some pressure but it was comfortable, kind of pleasant pressure.

          After that, my acupuncturist came in and put the needles in. I noticed I was even more sensitive in some spots, more than usual but once the needles were in and a few adjusted, everything was great. Then the best part, relaxing and breathing. I know I've said it before but learning to breathe, via acupuncture, has made a huge impact on my life. I don't have to think about random stressors in my life, no one is bothering me, asking for things, etc, I just get to lay there on a heated massage table and ... zen.

          After the needles were removed, the acupuncturist applied some pressure, more pressure than the other guy, definitely less comfortable but manageable. He suggested I do some massaging around my eye socket (upper bone, 9 times, followed by lower bone, 9 times, followed by middle forehead swooping down the sides of my nose, using my knuckles, 9 times) twice a day.

          After I left, my eyes definitely were tearing. Not excessively but enough that I noticed. I had to stop at a mall where the a/c was on and that brought back all of the dryness so I'm guessing that tearing did not include the meiban gland.
          The good news is that when I got home, I put eye drops in once (over 3 hours ago) and haven't needed them since. On the way to the acupuncturist, my eyes were so dry that I put 1 1/2 vials of tears into them, that was just while driving.

          My next appt is in 2 weeks.


          • #20
            I am so glad to hear that you are finding some success with the acupuncture. I have used acupuncture in the past to help with menopause symptoms. I too found the treatments to be amazingly relaxing, in a deep and lasting manner.

            I stopped going because my acupuncturist really did not speak English very well and I often had the sense that there was some miscommunication, if only on my part. I do think she really knew her chinese medicine very well. I may go back to her again.

            I found a web site that talks about various accupressure points around the eyes and ears, specifically for treating dry eye. I didn't bookmark it but could probably find it with google.

            I do believe that energy medicine can work wonders.

            Bella girl


            • #21
              bella_girl - If you find the site you mention, please post it. I did find one article, which I brought to my acupuncturist but I'd love more information to give to him, if possible. My acupuncturist is quite good (he started training when he was a young boy) but hasn't treated someone for dry eye specifically so any additional information would be great.


              • #22
                acupuncture link

                Hi PotatoCakes, It turns out that I had saved this article, Medical Acupuncture, to my computer. Hope this is helpful.




                • #23
                  Thank you!


                  • #24
                    You are very welcome! Keep us posted. I think it would be really good if we could get a collection of articles / sites together regarding what acupuncture points to treat. I suspect that there aren't many acupuncturists out there with dry eye experience.


                    • #25
                      This showed up on my Twitter search re: efficacy of acupuncture for dry eye:

                      "A team of researchers from the U.S. Army performed acupuncture on seventeen volunteers with dry eye and found “there was no significant improvement in the measured clinical indicators of dry eye after acupuncture treatment."

                      Interestingly, this study:
             by the US Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland found the opposite, albeit small improvements.

                      The problem with both studies, IMO, is that the focus groups were very small. In the top study, there were only 17 subjects and in the 2nd listed, only 12.

                      This study, another pro-acupuncture outcome, by Tseng KL, et al., Graduate Institute of Integration Chinese and Western Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, ROC. also has a very small group (43 subjects):

                      No drug would be approved for use with such small study groups so it's hard for me to give credence to any of these studies, pro or con. I'm also unclear, with at least 2 of the studies, how many treatments each patient had. My understanding is that acupuncture has a cumulative effect so that could certainly impact the study, as well as the practitioner's skill. It would be interesting to have this information on all 3 studies to do a comparison. Based on the information I've read, including here from someone who had positive results from acupuncture, I'm figuring it's going to take anywhere from 8-20 sessions.

                      In the meantime, my current thought re: acupuncture...acupuncture is very good at reducing stress; given that so many diseases and other maladies are exacerbated by stress (Sjogren's is a good example), I can see how that in itself could have a positive effect on tear production.


                      • #26
                        I was wondering if you have also taken the Chinese herbs along with the acupuncture. I read somewhere (on an acupuncturist web site) that there a two chinese herbs in particular which are helpful for dry eye. I am already taking so many vitamins and supplements that I would not want to mess with taking any other herbs.

                        Thanks for doing all the research into the acupuncture. I'm off to my meditation class. . . I do feel calmer afterwards and this has got to help in some way.


                        • #27
                          6th appointment

                          I had my 6th appt almost 2 weeks ago. My next one is this coming Tuesday. Another poster was told, to be effective, treatments must be much more frequent so I'm going to explore that but until school starts, this will have to do since I don't have childcare on a regular basis.

                          This time I felt an improvement for about 3 days but unlike last time, where I had a 2 day improvement, I made sure I administered eye drops more frequently. Last time I didn't use eyedrops unless I felt I really needed it and on day 3, I felt a backlash. This time, I didn't have the extreme burning / dryness because I didn't ignore my eye care even though I felt pretty good. That may have helped prolong the positive effects to the 3rd day.

                          One thing that seems clear, the positive affects, for me, seem to be only the watery layer of tears, not the oily or mucus layer. When I'm having those 2-3 good days, exposure to air movement definitely leads to evaporation and I'm back to putting drops in again. This seems to confirm what I've read in various articles I've seen online.

                          bella_girl - Yes, I've been taking Chinese herbs. I'd love to know exactly what I'm taking. It's tempting to take some of the herbs to a lab to find out exactly what they are.
                          Last edited by PotatoCakes; 13-Aug-2011, 17:10. Reason: respond to question