One of the modalities being used to manage dry (and sometimes wet) Macular Degeneration is Microcurrent Stimulation (MCS).
Ophthalmologists, optometrists, naturapathic doctors, homoepathic doctors, and acupuncturists have all been recommending it to their patients, who have reported using it successfully.
As we age, Macular Degeneration develops most commonly because of circulation problems in the retina and nutritional deficiency in the macula, the central part of the retina, which is starving for oxygen and nutrients. This severely inhibits the retina’s ability to eliminate waste products (i.e., drusen).
In Microcurrent Stimulation, a weak electrical current is applied to eight specific acupuncture points around the eyes from a device known as a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators) unit. The device locates the correct points to stimulate.
A leading homeopathic ophthalmologist, Dr. Edward Kondrot, MD, author of Microcurrent Stimulation: Miracle Eye Cure?, described his successes in treating Macular Degeneration with Microcurrent Stimulation in the October 2002 Townsend Letter. (He used the image above to explain his technique.)
The electronic pulse from MCS increases circulation – helping blood flow to the eyes, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the retina and detoxifying the macula (getting rid of the waste).
Using MCS, people have reported their conditions being stabilized, their macula’s drusen free and their vision improved.
There is no conventional medical treatment for dry Macular Degeneration. While wet Macular Degeneration is treated with Lucentis® and Avastin® injections (to stop the bleeding), yet it does not address the underlying cause.
Microcurrent stimulation does.
The theory is that MCS re-stimulates retinal cells that have become sluggish and dormant, increasing blood supply and boosting the cells’ ability to eliminate waste.
Microcurrent devices for the treatment of pain have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MCS is an “off-label” use of an approved medical device. Doctors can recommend it if they believe it could be beneficial to the patient.
The use of electrical current has been around since the early 1980s. In fact, the prototype of the current units was patented in 1919. In 2009, FDA-guided and supervised clinical studies using electrotherapy for dry Macular Degeneration found that 61 percent of 400 patients “achieved visual acuity improvements of two lines or more on the Snellen chart.”
One pioneer of MCS was Grace Halloran, Ph.D. who in 1979, with hereditary Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and other visual issues, decided to use a TENS unit for her eyes after her son had used it successfully for a serious injury. She used electrical impulse on the eight acupuncture points around her eyes to stimulate ATP (adenosine-5-triphosphate) energy production, help with nerve conduction and help break down the drusen membrane.
She was able to recover a lot of her vision and became a teacher.
Another practitioner of Microcurrent Stimulation is Dr. Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac., a leading holistic eye doctor and author of Greater Vision: A Comprehensive Program for Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Clarity, among other books.
Dr. Kondrot became interested in MCS in 1998 after reading that legendary golfer Sam Snead had improved his vision. Four years later, the doctor treated Snead with MCS in exchange for golf lessons!
There is also Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, ND, L.Ac., CA, founder, clinical director of Acupuncture Health Associates and author, a leading expert in the world in the field of Holistic Eye Health who uses acupuncture to treat eye disorders such as Macular Degeneration, but has patients who have successfully used Microcurrent Stimulation.
“I know that there’s a lot of literature out there that says it can’t do any harm, and I don’t think it could harm the eyes,” he cautions. “But I think if you have a lot of inflammation – people with chronic ocular inflammatory conditions need to be particularly sensitive, or if you’re sensitive to electricity – it can actually make things worse and, if you use it over time, you may do some damage.”
TENS units proliferate for home use on the Internet. Microcurrent Stimulation has been reported to be safe, with no side effects. BUT – MCS is contraindicated for pregnancy, pacemakers and neurological disorders. Again, it is necessary to consult a physician if you are considering it.
The physician will determine the number of treatments and a nutritional regime, how much current and the amount of treatment time on each acupuncture point.
Two studies are often cited on Microcurrent Stimulation.
First, Dr. Halloran’s two-year study (1983-1985) of 114 patients at The Center for Eye Health Education, the clinic she opened in Sonoma County, Calif., where 16 of 18 patients with Macular Degeneration had vision improvement.
Second, a ten-year clinical study of 400 eyes by Drs. John Jarding and Leland Michael (who studied Dr. Halloran’s techniques), which showed electrical stimulation stabilized vision, with 78 percent of eyes showing improved visual acuity on the first nine lines of the chart.
Dr. Rosenfarb, on using MCS: “Generally, you want to spend about 20 minutes a day doing these treatments and you don’t want to feel the microcurrent, and this goes with any of them, people just have this innate thing where they feel like they have to feel it. And the thing with microcurrent is that you’re not supposed to feel it. It’s not like you’re trying to get rid of back pain or something like that and you’re supposed to turn up the microcurrent until you feel it and then back it down a notch so you don’t feel it. [Treating your eyes] you are not supposed to perceive the current. That’s why it’s called microcurrent. Less is more in this type of situation.”
As the research has shown, and we talk about it all the time in these posts, Macular Degeneration is responsive to diet and lifestyle considerations, which are part of the treatment and management of AMD.
As such, electrical stimulation is almost always complemented with daily multivitamin and mineral supplementation.
I’d like to hear from you!
If you are intrigued about MCS, we can tell you more. We can review different machines, we can tell you about the different approaches and protocols used by different doctors and, of course, we can tell you what the expected outcomes could be.