Realistic Hope

                      For the Effects of 

                      Macular Degeneration

By Dr. Donald Liebell

   According to the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, no treatment exists for early macular degeneration.  It appears that most eye doctors accept this grim decree. 

   Human beings are not machines.  Treating each organ or tissue as a separate part, isolating it from the whole person has its merits in the scheme of conventional Western medicine.  However, it has limitations, as is gravely the case with macular degeneration, which is among the leading causes of blindness, affecting more than 10 million Americans.  

     On the other hand, there are a few doctors (mostly not eye doctors), including me, who passionately disagree.  Seeing is believing.  Macular degeneration is not a hopeless condition.  In this article you will learn how two little-known and unusual treatment methods may give you realistic hope for improvement from its blinding effects.  What’s perhaps most fascinating is that these methods do not involve any direct treatment to the eyes, nor are any drugs or surgery necessary. 

     Sounds strange? New ideas usually do!  You will get the facts in a few minutes.  But first things first…

What is Macular Degeneration?

   Macular degeneration results in its victims seeing the world blocked by a large black spot, which worsens with time.  It is the deterioration of the central part of the eye, called the retina.  It results in impaired vision, particularly for writing, reading, driving, and facial recognition.  Straight lines can appear crooked, and shapes can look blurry, but side-to-side (peripheral) vision is typically unaffected.  There are two types of macular degeneration.  Most people have what is called dry type.  Over time, small spots form underneath the eye’s macula.  These are called drusen.  Drusen breakdown macular cells, which results in distorted vision.

   Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow towards the macula.  Such blood vessels are weak, which may result in leakage of fluids into the eye.  This affects the retina, including the macula, which may result in scar tissue formation and impaired retinal function.  A small minority of patients suffer this form of macular degeneration.       
What Causes Macular Degeneration?

   There is evidence that smoking can double one’s risk of developing macular degeneration.  Otherwise, very little is known of what causes it.  Environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors have been considered, but there is no conclusive proof.  The most significant trend for its development is simply age, hence the term, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

What Can Be Done?

   While there is no outright cure or treatment that can fully reverse macular degeneration, help is available.  The secret is not trying to directly treat the eye itself, but rather stimulating another seemingly unrelated part of the body, which can influence better function and healing in the eye.  Peculiar as it may seem, that body part is… the ear!

   An Ear for an Eye?

   Doctors and patient s from a handful of facilities

around the world have reported significant improvement

 with macular degeneration as a result of a remarkable

treatment called auricular therapy.  It was introduced in

the late 1950s by award-winning French neurologist, 

Paul Nogier, M.D. (1908-1996), but only recently found

to specifically support patients suffering macular

degeneration.  Auricular therapy involves stimulation of

pinpoint spots on the skin of the ear, which can trigger a

healing response in the area of the body with which they

correlate.  It appears that expertly-administered ear

stimulation affects nerves, which in turn, triggers a natural

healing response involving hormones and blood flow to the

troubled eye structures. 

     The exact spots for treatment are detected using an instrument, which registers changes in electrical resistance of the skin, which correlate with whatever part of the body is troubled.  They exist as temporary acupuncture points, which show up only when the corresponding parts of the body have a problem.  Treatment is performed using specialized, semi-permanent ear acupuncture needles.

     The science of auricular therapy has been well documented and internationally researched, with over 800 papers published in peer-reviewed medical journals.  It is not only taught in France, but all of Europe—especially Germany.  It is practiced by several thousand European medical doctors.  In 1990, Hiroshi Nakajima, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) praised Dr. Paul Nogier, and encouraged medical doctors to use auricular therapy.  Despite its success, most North American doctors are unfamiliar with it.  Auricular therapy has proven to bring pain relief and support healing, in many cases, after all other medical interventions have failed.  A rising number of doctors and patients have reported some extremely impressive clinical results using auricular therapy as a wellness-based support for macular degeneration. 

     Alston C. Lundgren, M.D. is a colleague of mine, whom I met at the 8th International Auriculotherapy Symposium held at Johns Hopkins University in May of 2014.  He practiced family medicine for 18 years, before devoting his practice exclusively to acupuncture—to help people with medical conditions poorly responsive to conventional medicine.  Dr. Lundgren developed what he refers to as the Santa Fe Eye Protocol to Reverse the Vision Loss of Macular Degeneration.

  At the heart of his treatment is auricular therapy.  Dr. Lundgren reports vision improvements (more than 80% of cases) for over 1,500 patients suffering various degrees of macular degeneration.  In 2008, he presented his results to the 18th International Congress of Eye Research in Beijing.  In 2010, Dr. Lundgren presented his findings and his protocol to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Eye Center and the Annual Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA).  

     I am proud to be one of the few American doctors with considerable expertise and experience with auricular therapy.  I have had the great privilege to receive my training from Nader Soliman, M.D., the world’s leading authority on auricular therapy.  He is the director of the Integrated Pain Management Center and the Alternative Medicine Center in Rockville, Maryland.  Dr. Soliman is Board Certified in Anesthesiology, Pain Management, and Medical Acupuncture.  A brilliant researcher and medically published author, He has served as an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain management at the George Washington University Medical Center.  Dr. Soliman received his acupuncture training at UCLA, and has served as the President of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (2003-2005). 

                                                                Another fine colleague of mine, is radiation                                                                 oncologist, Richard Niemtzow, M.D.,                                                                           PhD.   He too, has been successful in                                                                         helping patients suffering macular                                                                             degeneration using acupuncture.  Dr.                                                                         Niemtzow is a retired (2010) U.S. Air Force                                                                 Colonel, who became the first full-time                                                                       medical acupuncturist for our armed forces (1999).  He is a council member for the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine-National Institutes of Health.   Dr. Niemtzow is also Consultant for Alternative Medicine to the Air Force Surgeon General, President of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, as well as the Editor in Chief of its peer-reviewed academic medical journal.     

An Electrifying Response

   Another component of holistic support for the eye is called microcurrent therapy.  It also involves stimulation of acupuncture points, using a device that delivers extremely low level electrical currents.  It is called micro-current therapy because the intensity is so low that it should not be felt by the patient.  Other common electrical therapies require a more intense electrical sensation.  

   Microcurrent technology has been utilized by conventional Western medicine since the 1960s in treatment of many conditions.  Microcurrent devices for the treatment of nerve and muscle pain, inflammation, and other problems have long been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  It has been used extensively in sports medicine and the healing of broken bones.  There are even surgical applications of microcurrent therapy.  I have used microcurrent stimulation for many years in my practice, with much success.  Treatment is applied to various acupuncture points on the ear, body, and face. 

   What’s the Frequency?

   Each tissue type in your body has its own signature electrical frequency, which may be disrupted by injury or disease.  Damaged or diseased cells are out of balance with regard to their electromagnetic frequencies.  Microcurrent therapy works by helping restore the normal frequencies within cells, which has resulted in impressive reductions of pain.  It triggers a significant increase in ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the cellular energy that is the fuel for all biochemical functions in the human body.  It has been suggested that microcurrent stimulation improves protein synthesis, which is important for tissue repair.  It appears that reducing inflammation, improving circulation, stimulating cellular activity, delivering nutrients and oxygen to the retina, detoxifying the macula, and reducing scar tissue is supportive for natural healing from the effects of macular degeneration.  Metaphorically speaking, microcurrent gently “wakes up sleeping cells” and stimulates the healing process. 

Amazing Grace

   One of the pioneers in the usage of microcurrent stimulation was Grace Halloran, Ph.D.  When she was 25 years old, she was told by doctors that she had the eyes of an 80-year-old.  As part of her son’s rehabilitation from an elbow fracture, the doctors were using microcurrent to help speed up the process.  Grace thought it might be helpful to apply electrical stimulation to acupuncture points around her eyes.

  In 1979 she combined microcurrent treatment with various other wellness-based techniques to help herself improve significantly from both macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic disorder of the retina).  Grace became able to see well enough to earn her doctoral degree, and become a teacher.  She was highly-motivated because doctors told her that her infant son would lose his vision before adulthood.  He did not!  

   Dr.  Halloran’s book, Amazing Grace: Autobiography of a Survivor (1993), is an autobiographical account of her odyssey to overcome supposedly irreversible eye disease…and helping develop usage of unorthodox treatments that dramatically improved her vision. 

   Dr. Halloran joined forces with August Reader, M.D., a neuroretinologist, to conduct a research study that revealed positive results using micro-current stimulation for patients with age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions.  It was published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients (1997).  In 1999, Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education held a Natural Vision Improvement Symposium in Virginia Beach.  It was led by Dr. Grace Halloran and several other internationally-known educators who also overcame serious vision problems.  The program featured holistic approaches to vision care, with workshops, panel discussions, and various speakers.  Although I did not have any vision problems myself, I had the honor of being requested to join Dr. Halloran as a speaker, to teach educators and the lay public about the relationship between the upper neck, the vertebral arteries and the eyes. 

     As a doctor of chiropractic, I treat the spine.  However, chiropractic spinal corrections are NOT bone treatments.  They never have been.  

   Chiropractic is nerve function treatment.  

   Its purpose is to reduce interference to nerve function by improving spinal joint mechanics.  The first chiropractic patient was a man named Harvey Lillard, who in 1895, got his hearing back!  The joints in the upper part of his neck were locked up.  Upon freeing them up with manual treatment, he was able to hear again.  Restored nerve function can result in many health problems getting better naturally.  Auricular therapy, traditional acupuncture, and microcurrent treatments, like chiropractic, are for the whole body.  They do not constitute treatment for any condition in the conventional medical sense.  Chiropractic does NOT treat deafness, nor does acupuncture treat blindness.

   Of course, I did not represent any of the drug-free and non-surgical treatment methods I use as eye treatment.  My board certification is in a neck specialty called Atlas Orthogonal.  I have indeed helped people naturally improve from countless ailments in the course of holistic wellness support.  However, these patients sought my care for health problems unrelated to the eye.  When a person is treated as a whole, versus a medical condition—many improvements are the natural result.  I specialize in health and wellness promoting methods.  This is in stark contrast to disease treatment methods.  It is not just a matter of words. 

Science to Silence Skeptics

   There is no shortage of skeptics, who are quick to shriek that acupuncture and microcurrent have not been proven in large research studies as being effective in support of eye disorders.  Closed-minded naysayers cry that it is not plausible that either treatment could help, therefore any reported cases of improved vision are not legitimate.

  Considering conventional Western medicine offers no effective medical support for dry macular degeneration at all, this is an extremely bizarre and illogical viewpoint.  Critics are typically individuals with no experience or training in acupuncture, who are ignorant of its effectiveness (thousands of years of effectiveness).

  Microcurrent therapy is not new, nor has it been controversial or questionable... until somebody came along with another usage for it.  The fact remains that various medical journals have indeed reported success with both acupuncture and microcurrent therapy.  Many of them however, are not American.  Medical journals from countries such as China, India, Japan, Germany, and Sweden do not seem to have the inherent bias towards pharmaceutical treatments, and prejudice against holistic and natural treatments. 

     Here are a few examples:

        Dr. Yoshiaki Omura published a paper which reported a correlation between low blood pressure and reduced blood flow and macular degeneration (and retinitis pigmentosa).  Improvement of blood pressure and blood flow via electrical stimulation was concluded to be effective in visual improvement.

(Omura Y. Non-invasive Circulatory Evaluation and Electro-acupuncture & TES Treatment of Diseases Difficult to Treat in Western Medicine. Acupuncture & Electro-therapeutics Research, The International Journal. 1983;8(3-4) 177-256. PMID: 6145300).

      Another paper published in the same journal reported 50 cases of degenerative eye disease experiencing some improvement in vision after acupuncture treatment (Dabov S, Goutoranov G, Ivanova R, Petkova N. Clinical Application of Acupuncture in Ophthalmology. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1985;10(1-2) 79-93. PMID: 2861724).

     The American Journal of Chinese Medicine published a report, The Use of Acupuncture in Ophthalmology.  The object of their study was to determine if acupuncture could be useful in support of eye conditions.  Although no scientific explanation of its mechanism of action was determined, the authors of the study concluded through evaluation of over 500 cases that acupuncture was indeed useful in support of symptoms of various eye conditions, including macular degeneration (Susan Wong and Renald Ching, Am. J. Chin. Med. 08, 104 (1980). DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X80000098). 

       Dr. N. Subramanya Reddy and Dr. R. Narasimha Murthy Fouzdar of the Institute of Ophthalmology, Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, Hyderabad, India encouraged doctors to offer patients hope through acupuncture.  Patients can improve, plus it is easy and harmless.  These doctors, who are not blinded by the bias of conventional Western medicine say it is our duty to not to deprive people of the opportunity for better vision (Reddy N S, Fouzdar NM. Role of Acupuncture in the Treatment of “Incurable” Retinal Diseases. The Indian Journal of Ophthalmology 1983;31, Suppl S1:1043-6).

      Dr. Yoshiko Sagar and his colleagues from the Departments of Ophthalmology, Biofunctional Science, and Geriatric and Complementary Medicine at the Tohoku University Hospital, Japan say acupuncture can improve vision by several mechanisms.  In the Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine (Vol. 209 (2006) No. 3 July p. 235-241), they reported that acupuncture can improve blood flow and nerve activity in the eye.

        The Journal of Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion published a paper stating that acupuncture has good therapeutic effects on incurable eye disease, including macular degeneration (Xu H, Liu J, Xu SW, Zong L, Zhang R. [Analysis on Literature of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Treatment of Intractable Eye Diseases]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2008 Aug; 28(8) 625-628. PMID: 18767593). 

        In addition to considering acupuncture to manage the effects of macular degeneration, considerable attention has also been given to investigating its use for retinitis pigmentosa.  According to Ava K Bittner, OD PhD of Johns Hopkins University, Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, patients who have this genetic eye condition are motivated to try complementary or integrative therapies to slow disease progression.  Dr. Bittner and her colleagues conducted a pilot study, the results of which support the hypothesis that acupuncture may improve visual function (Bittner, A. K., Gould, J. M., Rosenfarb, A., Rozanski, C. and Dagnelie, G. (2014), A Pilot Study of an Acupuncture Protocol to Improve Visual Function in Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 97: 240–247. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12117)

        In 2008, the German Journal of Acupuncture published a small study of 328 patients diagnosed with macular degeneration.  The researchers concluded that acupuncture may be a useful treatment option (Acupuncture may Improve Vision in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD): An Observational Study, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur Volume 51, Issue 3, 2008, Pages 25–28). 

        A Chinese study was conducted comparing the results of a group of patients receiving acupuncture, a control group receiving no treatment, and a group of patients given vitamins.  The conclusion of the study was that acupuncture can substantially improve the quality of life in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science, Clinical Study on Acupuncture for Quality of Life in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration, Xia Yong  Liu Rui  Sun Jing-jin  Xin Shi-en  Cui Hua-shun  Liu Shi-min  Han Chou-ping.  Supported by Scientific Research Fund of Traditional Chinese Medicine from Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau (2010L001A)).

   Eye “Candy”

     Nutritional support complements the auricular therapy and microcurrent.  In October 2001 the National Eye Institute, published the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, which concluded that nutritional supplementation was indeed effective against macular degeneration.  I am an ardent advocate of getting nutrition through whole foods rather than costly and questionable vitamin pill supplements.  Fresh raw green vegetables provide important nutrients for eye health.  

     Dr. Johanna M. Seddon and associates at Harvard University published their findings that the substance, lutein, significantly reduces one’s risk of developing macular degeneration (1994, Journal of American Medical Association 272:1413-20). Lutein is found in highest concentrations in kale.  Spinach, turnip greens, collards, and broccoli are terrific sources too.  Oranges and tangerines are also sources of lutein.  Another nutrient called zeaxanthin, which is found in the 
macula can be provided by these foods.  Fish oils have also been reported to be beneficial.   

Why are the Majority of Doctors Providing 
These Treatments Not Eye Specialists?

     It certainly seems extremely odd, at first glance that a doctor such as myself, licensed in chiropractic and acupuncture, would be sought out to help people afflicted with a degenerative eye condition.  

   The main reason is that acupuncture and microcurrent are procedures used primarily by doctors in the pain management field.  

   I suspect that few ophthalmologists and optometrist read the medical literature associated with the fields of orthopedics, chiropractic, acupuncture, and sports medicine.  I suspect most eye specialists are unaware of the potential value of both auricular therapy and microcurrent acupuncture point stimulation in general, let alone as a support for eye conditions.  The vast majority of conventionally-trained physicians in the U.S. have no acupuncture background. 

     Fortunately, there are a handful of doctor/acupuncturists, and licensed acupuncturists who are well-qualified to administer these safe treatments, using medically-accepted and proven devices and methodologies.  Most are not eye doctors, but there are some exceptions.

  A shining example is Edward Kondrot, M.D.  He is no ordinary ophthalmologist.  He is the author of the book, Microcurrent Stimulation: Miracle Eye Cure?   Dr. Kondrot’s patients report significant success combating the effects of macular degeneration by means of microcurrent stimulation.  Additionally, he uses homeopathic supplementation, as do I in my practice.  

   An interview with Dr. Kondrot regarding microcurrent therapy was published in the January/February 2014 edition of the medical journal, Alternative Therapies.  Dr. Marc Grossman, who is both an optometrist and an acupuncturist, is another holistic doctor who employs microcurrent.  He is the author of the book, Greater Vision: A Comprehensive Program for Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Clarity

   Safety, Affordability, and Realistic Hope

   The results of the various small studies done around the world have been nothing but positive.  Unfortunately, there are those who hold the opinion that such results, as well as numerous testimonials of patients reporting vision improvements, do not justify patients trying treatment.  They believe peer-reviewed double-blind studies must first be conducted and published in a major medical journal.  Despite high levels of patient satisfaction, these aggressive and jealous naysayers apparently feel justified in denigrating auricular therapy and microcurrent treatment.

     Even more pathetic is the hostile accusation that we doctors, who provide holistic therapies are taking advantage of people who are so desperate to improve their vision—they will try anything that is safe and free of side effects. 

   An deep Internet search will reveal comments from individuals who seem to relish in dismissing the various small studies, with the preposterous claim that their motivation is to “protect” the public from being duped into wasting money on unproven therapies that may not work.  

   This is laughable at best, considering the obscene costs of conventional medications, and the woefully unimpressive results. 

     There is no denying that acupuncture and microcurrent will not help all patients to manage the effects of macular degeneration.  Countless FDA approved medications, devices, and procedures regularly fail… but they are still used without much question.  

   Shamelessly warning the public to avoid trying safe treatments that have already helped others improve vision naturally, seems highly unethical, greedy, ignorant, and suspicious, if you ask me.  

   I fail to see the logic in demonizing doctors who provide low-cost and effective treatments with unparalleled safety, simply because there is no certainty that it will work.  Anybody who believes that every drug and surgical procedure available has been scientifically proven, is sadly mistaken. 

     It seems that those who are antagonistic to new or differing methods have little or no practical or hands-on experience in the sciences they criticize.  Regardless, they appear to take great pride in bitterly denouncing advancements and contributions in health care made by others.  This has consistently been the pattern throughout history. 

Too Good to Be True?

     Nobody is proclaiming either auricular acupuncture or microcurrent therapy to be a cure for macular degeneration.  

   What those who have had the privilege to see it in action are saying is that improvements can be made, which undoubtedly make it well worth doing.  

   Edward L. Paul, Jr., O.D., Ph.D. is one such physician.  The Visiting Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of the Department of Continuing Medical Education at St. Lukeís University School of Medicine, Goteborg, Sweden says microcurrent is a very effective treatment, which might be beneficial for patients to receive long-term.  

   Dr. Paul declared in his presentation to the International Society for Low-Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ISLRR) that since microcurrent has been an FDA approved treatment, a doctor can use such a device to try to help new problems, if he or she feels it is in the patient’s best interest.   

 Dr. Paul concluded that since it cannot do any harm, coupled with the fact that no other effective treatments have existed, eye specialists should not wait until long-term research studies are conducted.

     I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Paul.  Our holistic treatments are technically considered experimental as support for the effects of macular degeneration, but they are not experimental at all for general usage.  They pose no harm, and therefore should not be discouraged.  

   Eating Kale for example, is a healthful practice, and a smart thing for anybody afflicted with degenerative eye disease to do.  It does not matter whether or not double-blind research studies have been published in medical journals revealing proof its consumption will help prevent or halt the condition.  

   By the same token, there is no valid or ethical reason for anybody to warn anybody to shy away from auricular therapy and other holistic methods.  I have found the loudest naysayers are those who believe that “real” doctors only use drugs and surgery.  

   They call those who use so-called alternative medicine “quacks.”  However, they clearly do not know what a quack even is!  A quack is somebody who pretends to possess skill or knowledge—a phony.  

   Frightened bullies, who have never mastered any of the methods they trash, insist they are not actually effective, but merely claim to be.  It is fascinating how these critics appoint themselves authorities on subjects for which they have no actual experience or knowledge, but are certain of their opinion.  They believe acupuncture, homeopathy, and every other holistic health method should be eliminated in favor of “real” medicine…you know, the stuff that’s among the leading causes of death in the U.S. 

      It is true that there is limited data published in medical journals, and I have not personally accumulated enough case results yet to publish either.  Nevertheless, it is beyond my comprehension why safe and low-cost methods with the potential to help the visually impaired would be subject to criticism.  

   Because no large-scale clinical trials have been conducted?  

   Seriously?   I think I may safely assume that such critics have never practiced any of these healing arts, let alone shared the privilege and joy of witnessing patients succeed.  Perhaps the burden of proof should be on them!  I have never seen any large research study that disproves the validity of auricular therapy and microcurrent in support of macular degeneration. 

     It is the fault of our health care system that large-scale medical studies for non-drug treatments are not being conducted.
  Who funds large medical research studies?  Drug companies, that’s who.  Funding for large-scale studies for holistic health care methods is extremely poor and rare.  When no potentially lucrative pharmaceutical is involved, there is little corporate financial motivation to fund scientific investigation.  When there is, the wallets open, and the money pours in, as was the case with a drug called Lucentis.  

   Lucentis was approved by the FDA in 2006 to treat the effects of severe wet macular degeneration.  Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in clinical trials for its development.  At approximately $2,000 per dose, patient costs for its usage are in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Injections of the drug are received by patients every four weeks.  

   Lucentis has certainly helped patients, but there are also many side effects, including other eye problems!  Lucentis has been a top-selling drug for its manufacturer (Roche), generating nearly 2 billion dollars in annual sales.  

   Isn’t is it disturbing that our mainstream medical system offers nothing to treat a condition in its early stages—declaring it incurable… but has an obscenely expensive drug to manage its symptoms for its advanced disease state? 

     The holistic treatment services described in this article cost mere hundreds of dollars.  Patients receive between 2-10 treatments over a period of a few weeks.  Hundreds of millions of dollars would not be needed to fund a research study.  It would cost in the lowly thousands, and might result in further proof of methods that could help millions of people.  Practitioners such as myself, who have personally seen patients make vision improvements, would thrill to the opportunity to participate in large studies, and publish results. 

A Different Philosophy 

   My practice has existed since 1993 to serve primarily people who have been told by previous doctors to “learn to live with” their health problems.  Throughout my career, I have consistently seen impressive results for conditions I had never seen before, using my holistic methods.  I had been in practice more than twenty years before treating my first patient suffering from macular degeneration.  And much to the thrill of my patient, her family, and myself… her vision restored naturally following auricular therapy ear acupuncture and microcurrent stimulation.  I realized, wow… I can help people who suffer a serious problem that I didn’t even know I could help... using methods I was already expert in!

     For the sake of those visually impaired by macular degeneration, I hope more eye doctors will embrace this holistic health approach, and work in conjunction with practitioners such as myself.

  Obviously the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders is the domain of ophthalmologists and optometrists.  None of my diagnostic or treatment services constitute the practice of ophthalmology or optometry, nor have I ever represented myself to treat eye disorders.  

   Under no circumstances do I conduct eye evaluation or treatment of any kind, and in no manner do I claim to have a cure for macular degeneration.

  Any health improvements resulting from any and all of the holistic health services provided, are a natural outcome from such services, within the scope of my practice in both acupuncture and chiropractic.  I make no promises or outlandish claims.  I simply provide whole-body health treatment, using internationally-accepted methods. Anybody seeking natural holistic wellness care, prevention, health coaching, and pain management is welcome at the Liebell Clinic. 

     The human race has continuously sought cures for blindness, and seems open to trying virtually any potential solution.  Conventional Western medicine has had failed, over more than a century to find a way to halt or reverse the effects of macular degeneration (and a long list of other health problems).  There is no doubt that along the way, many opportunists seeking fortune, have peddled bogus treatments.  

   Skepticism is a logical stance to take.  

   However, when effective and internationally-established medical treatments, which pose no absolutely no harm are considered for new purposes, an ounce of leeway is reasonable.   Preliminary research reveals these methods provide realistic hope for a  having a positive effect for sufferers of macular degeneration... a problem for which NO other support has been successful.  

   Millions of people could potentially see better, and live happier lives, and nobody will go broke from trying.   The clock is ticking.  The public cannot afford to wait for mainstream medicine to fund, conduct, and publish large research studies before trying the methods described in this article.  

Microcurrent therapy macular degeneration

​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452 
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F 

(By Appointment Tu, Sat) 


 How is

Auricular Therapy Performed?

Treatable ear acupuncture points are different for each individual, based upon their particular pain or illness, as well as its stage (acute, chronic, and/or degenerative).  

The doctor detects ear acupuncture points during examination using a sophisticated electrical sensor instrument.  The same device is used to apply microcurrent stimulation.

 Once microcurrent (neuro-electric) 
treatment is complete, the doctor inserts specialized ear acupuncture needles.  These are 3mm long, hair thin filaments, which are delicately taped to stay in place for several 
days, to provide ongoing stimulation.  

The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions

Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief


“The deposition of waste products known as drusen in the membrane beneath the retina interferes

with the transfer of nutrients

and waste products between

blood vessels and retina...  

Three-phase auricular therapy proved to be helpful in improving vision in many patients within a few treatments."

Nader Soliman, M.D.
Medical Acupuncturist 
  President, American Academy of Medical Acupunture (2003-2005) 
Excerpt from: Soliman's Textbook of Auricular Therapy