Results from a recent study on Acupuncture for Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a group of genetic disorders that affect the retina’s ability to respond to light, leading to a progressive loss of vision. What happens is there is a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina (photoreceptors). Symptoms typically start with night blindness and peripheral vision loss, gradually advancing to central vision loss. The condition varies widely in its onset and severity, and while there’s currently no cure, treatments aim to slow progression and manage symptoms.

But there is hope! Acupuncture (specifically MicroAcupuncture) can help to wake up and regenerate those dormant and dying retinal cells and restore some of your vision. Acupuncture is the only real hope right now when it comes to Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Let’s dive into a recent study showing the positive benefits of acupuncture for retinitis pigmentosa.

The Study

In a pilot study, 50% of Retinitis Pigmentosa patients showed significant improvement in visual function following a standardized acupuncture protocol. Notably, enhancements in dark-adapted sensitivity were observed in 25% of participants, suggesting acupuncture’s potential as a complementary therapy for retinitis pigmentosa.

In this study, a very specific type of acupuncture was performed, called MicroAcupuncture. Dr. Hanson, DACM in Tampa, FL has spent the last 10 years using MicroAcupuncture for a wide variety of degenerative eye conditions affecting the retina. Patients travel from all over the country for the 4 Day Intensive Vision Restoration Program he offers (read more by clicking here).

How Does Acupuncture Help Retinits Pigmentosa

So how does acupuncture (specifically MicroAcupuncture) help Retinitis Pigmentosa? MicroAcupuncture was discovered in the 80’s by Dr. Zhang and further developed by a couple of Danish doctors (Freddy Dahlgrahn & Per Otte).

When it comes to degenerative eye conditions there are a few constants we find present:

  • Oxidative stress – the imbalance between free radicals and protective antioxidants. The retina is especially vulnerable to stress from free radicals. Inability of the retina tissue to have enough oxygen available leads to deterioration of the pigmented layer which protects the retina from UV and blue light damage.
  • Poor Blood Flow – lack of blood flow and oxygen leads to cellular death. All of our cells are very sensitive to low blood flow and oxygen levels and the cells of our retina can easily become stressed and become dormant or even die off.
  • Apoptosis – cell death is a natural phenomenon in the body as worn and damaged tissue is removed and replaced. However, in the retina excessive cell death is closely tied to oxidative stress.
  • Inflammation – the inflammatory response is the body’s attempt to rescue tissue from cell injury. When there is a lot of inflammation, the natural healing and regenerative process of our cells cannot occur.

MicroAcupuncture is a very specific style of acupuncture involving points on the hands and feet and works by stimulating increased blood flow to the eyes, reducing oxidative stress, waking up dormant retinal cells and moving you through the cell danger response so your body can get back to healing and regenerating.

Our eyes are constantly healing and regenerating old and damaged cells. When your body can’t keep with the need to replace damaged or injured cells you get vision loss. The bad news is that these retinal cells and photoreceptors break down and regenerate every 2 days. This is also good news, because we can see positive changes very quickly by stimulating these cells and helping them to heal.

What acupuncture treatment look like for retinitis pigmentosa?

*Note: acupuncture is not a cure, but a treatment that helps the eyes to heal from the damage caused by the disease. Most patients require an intense series of treatments then treatment performed yearly to maintain the improvements we made.

With intense treatment a patient can see results in as little as two days after beginning treatment since that is the amount of time it takes our retinal cells to repair and regenerate.

Microacupuncture is more effective if performed multiple times a day. This allows for a significant increase in blood flow and a compounding positive effect on your vision.

Treatment with acupuncture for Retinitis Pigmentosa is done over the course of 4 days at our clinic in Tampa, FL. We will perform multiple treatments a day over the period of 2 hours. The needles are placed in very specific locations in your hands and feet and left to rest for 20 minutes. We take a 10 minute break between treatments. We begin each intensive vision treatment plan with testing of your visual acuity and visual fields and then we re-test these at the end of your treatment.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa, there is hope. Reach out to our clinic and schedule a call with Dr. Hanson to see if he can help. We are happy to answer any question you may have. Call us at 813-534-0311.

Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

Ready to live pain free?

Schedule Your Initial Consultation + Exam to see how we can help. If we can’t help, there’s no charge! We will leave room to also perform your first treatment if we can help.

Schedule Your Visit

Recent Posts

Ready to live pain free?

Schedule a Complimentary Phone Call To See How We Can Help

Free Consultation
Scroll to Top

Want to see how we can help?

Fill out the form below and we will reach out with a call or text message to setup a phone call with Dr. Josh Hanson to see how we can help!