Can Anything Help Macular Degeneration?

Can Anything Help Macular Degeneration?

Three years ago I was in a classroom at five o’clock on a Saturday evening. I had just spent three days receiving intensive training in CranioSacral Therapy. I sat slumped in a chair, thought processes melted into a puddle of exhaustion.

I noticed that I had received a text from my sister. It was a short sentence. No explanation, no hysterics. Just a few words stating that she had been diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is a condition where the patient loses the ability to see in the middle of their vision. This makes it hard from them to read books or recognize faces, although they can often glimpse enough through the side of their eyes to continue with daily tasks. It is estimated that up to 30% of people over the age of 70 have macular degeneration.

My sister seemed much too young to suffer from a degenerative condition like this. I sat staring at the message on my phone, wishing I knew something that could help.

The instructor came back into the room. “I know everyone is tired,” she said. “But we have one more technique we are going to learn today. It is very helpful for people who have macular degeneration.”

Coincidence? I think not.

mail-2With macular degeneration it is important to get as much nutrition to the eyes as possible. One of the problems is that there are membranes within the skull that can become tight, just like a muscle. When they are tight they can put pressure on blood vessels, restricting the amount of blood that reaches the eyes. Using CranioSacral Therapy I coax these membranes to release their tension, thereby allowing the maximum amount of nutrient-rich blood to reach the eyes.

My sister drove up once a month so that I could treat her. At the end of the year she went to her eye specialist. Test results showed that her macular degeneration was only 50% of what it had been a year before.

My sister is relatively young to have the disease and I started work on her soon after it was detected. Her results may have been more dramatic than others might experience.

But if you are sitting patiently at home while your vision deteriorates from macular degeneration, know that there is something you can do. You can come into my office and see if the gentle techniques of CranioSacral Therapy can improve the blood flow to your eyes so that your body can heal itself.

*picture of CranioSacral System by John Toribio and Dr. Lisa Upledger

But I’m Not Going On A Cruise

That was my response when my acupuncturist recommended I get a massage. I was slightly offended. Here I was in serious pain from nerve damage and all he offered was a day at the spa?

The problem was my limited understanding of massage. I’d never had one myself, so the sum total of my perceptions were formed by images I’d seen in the media. These fell into two groups: a pampered trophy wife with cucumbers on her eyes, or something that was vaguely associated with the sex trade. But I was in pain and desperate. So I agreed to go to a therapist he recommended, one who specialized in CranioSacral Therapy.

The experience was not what I expected. I lay on my back, fully clothed while the therapist touched me gently on my hips, shoulders and neck. It was so contrary to my expectations that in the first few minutes I considered walking out the door. But then she got to my neck and all such thoughts vanished.

Let me say here that I do not cry easily. But that day I did. As she accessed the vertebra that had been damaged, the relief was so great that tears trickled out of the corners of my eyes, trailed across my temples and filled up my ears. I had experienced one aspect of the infinite variety of healing possibilities inherent in massage.

A multitude of cultures throughout history and around the world have developed methods of improving health through touch. I have been trained in four types of massage, CranioSacral, Lymphatic Drainage, Shiatsu and Swedish. There are dozens more that vary greatly in their approach.

But there is something that unites all of the different types of massage. It is one human being using the fundamental vehicle of touch to help another human being get well. It is basic, it is universal and it works.

And you don’t need to be on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean before you allow yourself to experience it.