Are There Situations Where Acupuncture Treatment For Retinitis Pigmentosa Doesn’t Work?

Todd: Dr Rosenfarb, have you seen times where acupuncture did not work to help slow down the degenerative process caused by retinitis pigmentosa?

Dr. Rosenfarb: Hi Todd. Thanks for the question. In some cases, we do. In some cases, we don’t.  I have certain cases where I kind of know if it’s not going to work or it’s going to be a challenging case.  I usually know that before somebody comes in which is why I conduct free RP acupuncture audits first.  There are some cases that I am totally blind-sided by and just can’t really figure out why a person hasn’t responded.

I hope you caught that. Some unethical doctors would not make statements like that. They would lie or brush it off. I am completely transparent about our response rate.

You know, not everybody is going to respond.  We get about 80-85% success rate with all of our RP patients.

Let me give you a couple of examples of people who won’t respond, RP and non-RP.  If somebody’s had a traumatic injury such as they severed their optic nerve or they’ve really physically destroyed a lot of the retina.

I had a police officer coming from the 911 attack with smoke damage and scar tissue as well as congenital issues. Those are physical traumatic issues or chemical toxicity that’s cause so much trauma and physical damage to the eye that, in some cases, it’s beyond repair, at least, from what I can do with the acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Other cases, where there is brain damage, maybe people have had a stroke or they have a severe history of major mental or emotional illness. Something where they’ve had to deal with a major emotional trauma. Basically, what happens with the acupuncture is you’re putting a needle into a specific acupuncture point and it is sending a signal be it the nervous system up to the brain to stimulate the optic nerves, stimulate the retina, stimulate the visual cortex. If the brain isn’t working or functioning to what we call “normal” or maybe it is in kind of a stressed state, the body can’t interpret or respond to that signal.

You’re putting a needle into a point and it sends the signal to the brain. Next, the brain has to interpret that signal and then send the response and fire off to the retina or the optic nerve. If the brain’s not working or there’s a problem with the central nervous system, you’re not going to get a response. You’re going to get a hang-up in the central nervous system.

Brain issues or if there’s a problem with the autonomic nervous system and the brain in the central nervous system. What is interesting is that it really just depends per situation. I mean, we have had patients that are really, really advanced that respond really well. We have other people that are really in the early to moderate stage now that I would of swore that they would have responded but didn’t.

We do know some medications like corticosteroids and immune suppressants will floor acupuncture. It’s such a heavy anti-inflammatory. It impairs the body’s ability to respond. It impairs the nervous system. People come in intoxicated on heavy, heavy neuro suppressants or pain killers; they’re not going to respond or they’re going to have lesser response than with other people.

The quick answer is yes in some cases we know. In some cases, we really need to explore more of the mechanism of why there isn’t a response. That’s a really great question Todd.