Traditional Chinese medicine has been used to treat night blindness for centuries. In the modern era, this methodology has been applied to the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), because night blindness is the most distinctive symptom of RP. Retinitis pigmentosa is a family of ocular diseases resulting in progressive degeneration of the retina. RP is notably characterized by progressive night blindness and a loss of peripheral vision. Many patients with RP eventually experience loss of color (notably blue) and day vision, and most become legally blind before the age of 60.
Retinitis pigmentosa is thought to affect 1 in every 4,000 individuals. There are about 1.5 million people around the world living with RP. In western countries, RP is the most common cause of blindness in people under 70. For many years, this rare disease was thought to be untreatable until Dr. Yu began treating RP at the Wellspring Clinic with traditional Chinese medicine in 1999.
Dr. Yu Explains the Effects of Yang Energy on Vision
According to TCM, our vision depends on the continuous flow of blood from the liver and Yang energy from the spleen. Blood sustains our eyes and maintains their physical integrity, while the Yang energy enables our eyes to function. In a healthy person, Nature’s Yang energy rises during the day, followed by the body’s yang energy. Dr. Yu believes that an increased supply of Yang energy allows our eyes to see better. At night, Nature’s Yang energy goes down, followed by a decline in the body’s Yang energy, which leads to decreased visual capabilities at night.
Dr. Yu claims that most retinitis pigmentosa patients are deficient in Yang energy. When the body’s supply of Yang energy decreases at night, those with deficient Yang energy will have more difficulty seeing things, leading to night blindness. Yang energy continues to deplete over time, leading to a loss of day vision and eventual blindness. However, he attributes some RP patients to liver blood deficiency, which is often a secondary result of spleen Yang deficiency. This deficiency of blood from the liver could affect the physical integrity of the eyes, resulting in poor vision.
Developing a Revolutionary Treatment Protocol
To address these issues, the Wellspring Clinic designed a new clinical protocol, the Wellspring Vision Improvement Protocol (WVIP), for the treatment of RP. The revolutionary WVIP treatment consists of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and antioxidant supplements.
In the acupuncture phase of the treatment, the Wellspring Clinic’s trained staff place very fine needles on the patient’s face, arms, and legs. Depending on the patient’s individual needs, this relaxing procedure occurs 2-3 times a week, every day, or even twice a day. Each course of treatment consists of 15 to 20 acupuncture sessions; the whole phase takes between 1 and 3 months to complete before the next round of treatments begins.
The next phase is Chinese herbal medicine. Dr. Yu has formulated a proprietary herbal formula called ‘Guang Ming’ for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. The Guang Ming formula typically contains 18 herbal ingredients, but is uniquely modified to meet each individual patient’s needs. The main determinants in the modification process are the patients’ symptomatology and constitution. Patients are asked to boil the herbs as a decoction drink 2-3 times a day. One course of Chinese herbal medicine treatment lasts 3 months.
Of all our bodily organs, our eyes are among the most vulnerable to oxidation damage from free radicals. Thus, antioxidants are thought to be beneficial for the protection of the eye from further free radical damage. Patients are asked to take antioxidants on a daily basis.
Treating the Untreatable with Traditional Chinese Medicine
The Wellspring Vision Improvement Protocol has not only proven to be effective in the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, but it is a safe and natural method that harnesses the power of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used to heal vision for centuries. Dr. Yu is one of Canada’s most trusted doctors of traditional Chinese medicine, and he’s glad to give hope to over a million people living with a disease previously thought untreatable.