Q&A 3/16/23 Tea Vs Water, Thyroid, Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma


00:00 Tea Vs Water
03:00 Camellia Sinensis plant
04:11 Cistus Incantus Tea
09:50 EGCG
11:30 Black Tea
12:05 White Tea
13:42 Summer tea
14:50 Winter Tea
15:31 Caffeine
20:08 Tea Poem
26:11 Cellular hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
35:28 Tea Magazine
36:07 Macular degeneration
41:26 Glaucoma

Transcript from Webinar:

Here we are on another beautiful Thursday afternoon, and I’m not even being facetious about that today. It is gorgeous out here in the San Francisco Bay area here in Alameda.  Get out and get moving around for a few minutes; it is a really good day to do that.  Today I have a couple questions that were sent in. They are on two of my favorite topics. One, I’ll go into a bit more detail than the other, but they are my favorites. 


One of the questions is from a patient named Pat. It says, “For years a friend and I have had a disagreement about tea and water.” That sounds like a fascinating disagreement. “She says, ‘Drinking tea is the same as drinking water.’ I disagree. I feel boiling the water and adding a tea bag transform the water into something different from drinking spring or filtered water, which is what I drink. I have a Berkey filter.” Well, first congratulations on having a Berkey filter. Berkey’s are the bomb. 


It actually almost hurts my heart a little bit when people talk about tea and what I see as a slightly disparaging way.  It was my foray into tea drinking that I think had a huge part to play in my still being on the planet and alive at this point. The first acupuncturist I went to was probably in 1972. I was supposed to have back surgery. I’d blown a couple discs and got a couple of opinions and they said, “Yeah, surgery is the only way.” I went to him, and he kind of laughed about it. He told me to change the error of my ways; give up some of my bad habits. He said to stop drinking coffee at that time, and for very particular reasons. I’m not saying you should all give up coffee. I’m saying at that time, it was important for me and started me on the path of drinking green tea. I also started doing tai chi and qi gong. That combination, I’m quite clear, saved my life.  I went back to him a couple of times for different issues, and that’s what really inspired me to study traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.


In fact, I first started studying with him back in the 70s. He was primarily an herbalist and a Taiji instructor – brilliant, brilliant Taiji instructor.  At 83 years old, he was still doing high-flying kicks and full-out splits, etc.  That’s what got me started with my energy work and also with my herbal and food studies.


So, Pat, let me talk about this a little bit, because, as I said, it is one of my favorite topics. I want to talk a little bit about that. Now, when we talk about tea, many people don’t mean the same thing. We generally talk about tea drinking as drinking the water that has been infused with the Camellia Sinensis plant. In many countries when they talk about tea drinking, they’re mostly talking about doing infusions of different herbal infusions, chamomile, mint, varieties of mints, etc.  I’m going to make that distinction. Mostly when I’m talking about tea today, I’m talking about Camellia Sinensis – the amazing, amazing, miraculous plant. We do use infusions. I do them myself, but we also have many of our patients’ doing infusions. I don’t mean infusion like you stick it in your arm.  I mean you just soak the teabag in it so that it infuses its ingredients into the hot water.


Our number one tea that we use for that is a tea called Cistus Incantus. We get ours from a place that is very, very specifically grown, and it is the most astounding infusion on the planet. It’s our first line of treatment for things.  Things as various as viral illnesses, retroviral illnesses, fungal illnesses. It also has some antibacterial qualities. It was kind of a random discovery. Someone noticed that this island, that was famous for having really healthy goats, had these beautiful trees that were all trimmed just exactly the same and looked really beautiful.  Someone asked them, “Oh, my gosh, who trims your trees?”  The guy laughed. He said, “Well, the goats do that. That’s as far up as they can reach to eat the leaves of the tree.”  Then people noticed that these were the healthiest goats in the area, so they started to study Cistus Incantus and found these amazing, amazing qualities. So that’s all I’m going to talk about infusions for today.


I do want to talk about tea, and the difference between tea drinking and plain water drinking. I think both are really, really, really, really good for you. Tea has gotten a bad rap for two reasons primarily. One, it tends to pull up a lot of minerals from the soil. Well, that’s the good news too, but it will pull up fluoride, for example. Therefore, it’s much better if you’re getting tea that is watered with un-fluoridated water, right? It will pull up too much fluoride.  Now the amount of fluoride that it pulls up I personally don’t believe is tremendously damaging. I think the benefits far outweigh the detriments in that case, but that is one of the issues. All of the things that we typically call tea, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, Pu-erh tea, etc., are all from the same plant. There are slight variations by region that it’s grown, by the soil, by certain subspecies, but it’s all camellia sinensis. It’s basically all the same tea.


Green tea is tea that is picked and is steamed almost immediately. The steaming stops the process of the enzyme activity that breaks down the tea. If you leave the enzyme activity to go for some period of time and then shut it off, you’ll get an oolong or a brownish looking tea. If you crumple it and allow the process to go on even further, the enzymes will turn the tea black, and it’ll have different qualities to it.


Now, amongst the oolong teas, the most prized is Pu-erh.  Pu-erh teas can go for thousands and thousands of dollars a pound – $15,000 a pound for some of the better Pu-erh’s.  Now, rarely is it purchased by the pound; it’s usually purchased by the ounce or in 4-ounce patties. For most teas (green, black, oolong) they do oxidize, and if they oxidize too much, they’re exposed to the elements, to the air, to light, then over time they lose their potency. The exception is Pu-erh tea, which is very tightly packed. It is naturally, if it’s really good stuff, inoculated with certain bacteria.  If it’s not naturally done, it is artificially inoculated with particular bacteria which causes a different enzymatic activity. There are people who search far and wide for Pu-erh. At one time it was stored in bamboo. They’d hollow out the bamboo, well, it’s generally already hollowed out.  They would cut it and put the Pu-erh tea in it, seal it very tightly and then bury it so that nobody would steal their precious Pu-erh stash. Pu-erh in Asian countries has often been sold much like fine wines, bidding wars, etc. 


Now each of those teas has a slightly different benefit, but they are all extremely rich in antioxidants and other compounds that reduce inflammation in the body and help any number of things.  I have one database where I collect research studies or articles – several thousand of them. I have about three full pages on the benefits of green tea alone, everything from curing mouth cancer, preventing mouth cancers, assisting in lowering all forms of cancer risk. I generally recommend it for people with eye problems.


Green tea is particularly rich in a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.  Epigallocatechin gallate has a very interesting property of attracting fluid to the vitreous humour in the eyes (the jelly like substance that’s inside the eye).  When that starts to dry out, you form floaters, or it pulls on the retina. It can actually cause retinal detachment or retinal puckering. You want to keep that fluid really, really rich in moisture.  EGCG found in green tea will maintain high levels of moisture for about 12 hours.  So, if you drink green tea twice a day, it’s one of the best things for eye health. Now people know lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, etc., are great, but any formula for eye health should have green tea or EGCG.


In the journal cancer a few years ago, there was an article that delineated six different natural herbal substances, seven natural substances, that when they were tested in cancer clinics and in cancer studies dramatically and I mean dramatically reduced cancer metastasis and EGCG was one of the primary items in that study, so very powerful.  


When you get into the black teas, some of the antioxidant benefits are a little different. The caffeine levels tend to be a little different, but it’s for many people much more of a taste delight; the light, the very, very nuanced flavors when you get into the Pu-erh tea and the black teas. The green teas, also, although those are more of an acquired taste.


There are also white teas, which are just very early green teas. They’ll only pick off maybe two buds off of each tea bush.  White tea is actually kind of the earliest.


Now in Chinese medicine and in Chinese dietetics, I’ll call it, seasonal eating is the norm and the requirement for good health.  Now, we tend not to do that in our culture because we have so many foods available so much of the time, but our bodies were actually not devised or created to eat all of those foods all of the time. You know, you could never live in Michigan and eat oranges in the middle of winter, and oranges aren’t the best thing to eat in the middle of winter in cold climates. So, our body has adapted to a certain rhythm and flow to our food intake. So, when we’re looking at the teas, I think they’re a great example, green tea is the freshest, has the most vigorous growth properties in it. It’s obviously green, and that’s the color of the liver and gallbladder, and the color of springtime when things are growing. Green tea is ideal in the springtime. It’s also so powerful in antioxidants and polyphenols that it will help restore your immune system after the cold winter, and it will be very beneficial at detoxifying your liver.


Then when we get into the summer, we want the coolest tea that we can find (the least heating) and that would be the white tea. You could go with a light green or you could go into the white teas. Again, they’re very cooling. As you get into the fall, I would switch to an oolong, which is slightly warming and is very rich again in polyphenols and can help protect the lungs; the Pu-erh teas in particular.  Then during the winter when you need to keep the heat internal, you need more heat.  You don’t need to get rid of heat. You’d switch to a black tea.  If you look at, say, in England where they are big tea drinkers, during the winter in particular, they’ll drink Earl Grey teas, which will have cardamon or some other heating herb in it.  Those are herbs that bring the heat to the interior of the body as opposed to things like chilies and peppers that make you perspire. When you perspire, that is the body’s way of lowering the temperature.  You don’t want those during the winter. What you want are the deep, deep, rich things like ginger, cardamon, etc.  You could do a little cinnamon. Alternating through the year to these different types of teas can have amazing beneficial effects.


Now, as I said, they’re very high in antioxidants, but the concern I mentioned was the potentially high fluoride levels.  The other one that I hear a lot is that they can be very dehydrating.  That would be a reason to drink water instead of tea, but I want to put that in a little bit of perspective here.  Then also the caffeine levels.


Now, one of the beautiful things about tea is that it does have caffeine, which is a very powerful neurostimulant. It will help you think more clearly. It reduces reaction time. It reduces dementia risk, etc. If you drink a lot of caffeine, as with coffee, it can make you generally rather jittery.  That is because the caffeine isn’t balanced with the chemical theanine which tea is. Tea has caffeine, but it also has theanine, which is one of the most relaxing substances. You’ll see theanine in a lot of sleep products, but even more so in relaxation products. That is why you can get your mind opened up and have a little brighter and quicker thinking but not get jittery. If you’re going to be taking an exam, tea is usually much better than coffee.


In terms of caffeine content, green teas might have 16 to 20mg of caffeine per cup of tea. If you get really, really strong with two grams of tea leaves, which is a fair amount, you might get 35 to 40mg of caffeine. If you have the strongest tea that you can find and you let it steep for a long period of time, five minutes or even a little bit more, you could get it up to 120mg of caffeine. To put in that in perspective, one cup of coffee and by cup, I mean 8 ounces, not a 16-ounce Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee, which also have higher caffeine levels anyway, but one cup of coffee will have up to 200mg of caffeine, so about twice the caffeine level than you’re going to find in the tea. If you’re doing an energy drink, which I hope I sincerely hope you don’t get near there. Energy drinks are deadly; there are many deaths a year from them.  Energy drinks will give you about 160mg. Even though it’s lower than in caffeine, you could potentially have a little dehydration problem.  In studies it’s shown that in order to have a truly a diuretic effect, meaning you pee a lot, that’s going to dehydrate you, that you need to consume about 500mg, which is about 6 to 13 cups of tea depending on how you brew it. That’s a lot of tea. If you, if you do moderate amounts, it’s as hydrating as water is. 


I don’t remember to drink. I’m always busy. So, on my desk, I have four (actually five but four that I use regularly) cups on my desk.  One of them has tea, one of them has a magnesium and vitamin C drink, and so on. I won’t leave work until I finish all of those.  I drink the tea partially because it’s hydrating and partially because it’s calming and partially because I get a little lift in my mood from it.


There was a study that gave 50 heavy coffee drinkers, either coffee or the same quantity of water for three consecutive days (that was 26.5oz).  It was equivalent of about 80oz of tea. There was zero difference in markers of hydration between the days when coffee was being the primary beverage and the days when water was the primary beverage. So, you have to drink massive amounts of tea and quite a bit of coffee before it is extremely dehydrating.


Again, the last four studies that I saw on coffee were that there was a significant increase in lifespan and a decrease in dementia risk, and those figures have been out there for tea for quite a while.


There was a poem that I used to quote, and I don’t remember it exactly, but it really, really speaks to how I feel about drinking tea:


“The first cup moistens my throat. The second cup breaks my loneliness. The third cup all the wrongs of life pass through my pores.” I love that one because that’s kind of what it feels to me. It’s like, wake up in the morning. Okay, I’m thirsty. Oh, I don’t really want to get up and go to work. Oh, okay. I’m feeling okay now. Oh, now. I could never be upset with anybody. I feel great.


I don’t remember what the fourth cup does, but the fifth cup, I’m purified. The sixth cup calls me up to the realms of the immortals.


I need to tell you, although those sound kind of overblown, that’s kind of my experience.  A few years ago, I was writing a book with a doctoral classmate of mine about fertility.  We finished for the day, and we were walking back from where we were working on the book to her office where my car was.  We passed this building. It was an old small Victorian and she said, very Yoda – like, “You should go in there.”  I said, “Okay, well come on.” She goes, “Oh, no, I don’t have anywhere near enough time to go in there.”  I thought, “This is really weird.” But I went in, and I engaged the fellow that was in there who it was his tea shop. It was called Chaikana. You know, I’d been a tea drinker from the early 70s. What’s that? Almost 40 years I’ve been drinking tea, and, you know, I tend to dive into things and study them a bit, so I thought I knew something.


Well, within ten minutes, he totally disabused me of the notion that I knew anything.  He was very sweet about it. I mean, it wasn’t like an ego thing. He was just a tea master.  He had studied with his teacher, who was a certified tea master and one of the world’s experts on Pu-erh teas. He came and said, “Well, here, let’s have a cup of tea.” So, I did, and it moistened my throat.  Then we had another one, and gosh, there goes my loneliness.  Now I’m in communication with this person; it’s like deep communication. Then he said, “You know, let’s try some of the better stuff. Now, the stuff I was drinking was expensive by my standards, but then he pulled out his $500 tea. I don’t remember what how many ounces it was, but it wasn’t a lot of tea. We drank that and all the wrongs of my life passed through my pores. By the next cup, I was purified. He said, “So what do you think?” I said, “This is amazing.”  I was relaxed. I was in a complete meditative state. You know, the birds singing outside were like songs playing in a cathedral. It was amazing.  Then he said, well, let’s try the really good stuff.  He made some of the really good stuff, and it was basically like I got called up to the realm of the immortals.  It was astonishing. I could see more clearly. I could think more clearly. I could hear more clearly. I was so deeply involved in communication with this person. It was truly astounding.


So, as you can tell, I love my tea.  It’s not like I’m a tea lover. It’s “I love my tea.” We have a little love affair going on, and I’m sure if there is reincarnation, this has been true for me through many incarnations.


If you want to check this out a little bit more, there’s a tea seller that puts out a magazine called The Global Tea Hut. It’s Tea and Tao.  Check out the September 2020 edition, and it’s entitled Classics of Tea, the sequel to the Tea Sutra. Another place you can look at is a place called Tearroir.  You can also check out Chaikana in Santa Cruz or locally. I don’t know if they’re both still open since the pandemic or not, but Imperial Tea Court in San Francisco or in Berkeley. In Berkeley, it is there on Shattuck, where all the fine restaurants are, kind of up and back of some of them, and they will lay out a complete tea service for you and let you sample any number of really, really wonderful teas. The owners are fabulous.


Pat, enjoy your tea and drink a little water, too. It’s good.  I love that you have a Berkey, which, of course, you’d have a Berkey.


I’m just going to touch briefly on. Another question, and the reason I’m going to touch on it briefly is because I have done and could do many hour shows on this topic. I teach this, and it takes me days to go through, but I’m just going to say a couple things, and then I’ll probably say a little more next week.


I’ll read the question.  It says, “I’ve been reading from the book The Thyroid Debacle.  That cellular stress is the initiator of cellular thyroid homeostasis, cellular hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.” (Okay, so don’t tune out yet; I’m going to break this down a little bit.) “Also, what triggers cellular hypothyroidism is the lack of thyroid hormone in the body as a result of loss of thyroid gland function, reduced amounts of thyroid hormone entering the cells, and the cells actively deactivating thyroid hormones before they can bind to receptors.


“Can cellular hypothyroidism be addressed with acupuncture, herbs and lifestyle?”  I’ll start with the last part first. Yes. Acupuncture can be very effective for hypothyroidism, although I will generally do some supplements and herbs to speed up the process. It takes a few treatments for most people. There are other hands-on techniques. Red light therapy can be extremely effective. We have something that we import from England called “Circulation Cream”that we have people massage into the throat near the thyroid, not right on the thyroid, but near it to help circulation. There are people that have been using this for years that say you can basically clear and cure all hypothyroid if you’ll do this consistently for several weeks. I’m not going to go into the whole treatment protocol now. So, there’s one that you could do at home with red light, which is very inexpensive. You can get one for less than 50 bucks that is the right frequency for this. You can use a thyroid cream. Then there are a variety of supplements that you could take, depending on the specific type of thyroid disorder you have.


The most common things that we see are selenium, iodine, and tyrosine. Thyroid hormone T4 is four thyroid atoms tied together by tyrosine. That’s the less active form.  90% of the thyroid hormone that’s released into the system is T4, again named because of the number of iodine atoms that are in this molecule.


When you need the active thyroid molecule, one of those iodine breaks off and it becomes T3. Makes perfect sense.  T3 is the Energizer Bunny. That’s what gives you the energy to live your life. Every cell in your body needs iodine and every cell in your body needs thyroid hormone to function. That’s not quite true. There are a couple of cells that are not involved in this, but let’s say 99% of your cells need those things to function properly.


We are a very, very iodine deficient country. Iodine deficiency leading to thyroid deficiency clearly shows up as a risk factor for all forms of glandular illnesses and cancers in Japan, where they get up to 100 times more iodine in their diets than we do, and almost everyone gets it 10 times more than we do on average, Breast problems are a fraction what they are in the United States. That includes breast lumps, breast swelling, breast cancers, etcetera. The other glandular problems are lessened, also. Ovarian problems, prostate problems. The glands of the body need the highest amount of iodine. Now, some of the glands are tiny, so they don’t need a lot. But your pituitary gets the first hit of iodine, but it is tiny and does not need a lot.  The thyroid gland needs quite a bit because it’s making your thyroid hormone.


Now, most people in our culture don’t have enough iodine to even fuel proper thyroid hormone production, but then they don’t certainly have enough to protect the breast tissue, the ovarian tissue and the prostate tissues, which are all glandular tissues that need even more iodine. This is a significant problem. Sometimes just doing iodine, selenium, tyrosine, some combination. Again, depending on what your precise problem is, it can restore proper thyroid health. Often it won’t because we have so many insults that we have done to the thyroid gland. For example, the number one cause of inability to lose weight in middle age, particularly in women, but in men, too, is stress. When you’re under stress, one of the hormones that gets released is cortisol. Cortisol binds with leptin, the hormone that tells your body it’s safe to burn fat. So, you won’t burn fat because under stress, the body thinks there’s an emergency. It may be a famine, and we need to keep our fat stores at all costs. It’ll burn muscle. That’s okay, but don’t burn the fat, because that’s what we’re going to need to survive on. You won’t burn fat, and high cortisol binds to T4 and prevents the conversion to T3.  So, you can have enough thyroid hormone being released, but you’re not getting the conversion, so you’re not getting the active form of thyroid. Also, when you have high cortisol, you’re going to generally have higher levels of inflammation and the cytokines, the chemical messengers can block the thyroid receptor sites so that even if you have enough T4 and you have enough T3, you still your body won’t use it.  That’s why the testing you have to be very careful with. You can have perfect TSH, perfect T4 and perfect T3 and still be functionally hypothyroid.  That’s why you’ve got to go to even deeper levels of examination to see exactly what the problems are.


Now, one of the questions was: Cellular hyperthyroidism. Yes. You measure it in the serum, right? Because it’s very hard to measure cellularly, but the serum is going to carry the thyroid hormone to the cells.  So, this is a cellular hypothyroid problem. Then the thyroid hormone doesn’t enter the cells because the receptors are blocking it, and the cells actively deactivating the thyroid hormone. I just mentioned a couple ways that that happens, but there are more.


Acupuncture can treat that. (1) By reducing stress and (2) by activating blood flow to the thyroid gland, which is going to help. Herbs and supplements are the primary way that I treat thyroid disorders.  Then, lifestyle is the most important thing. A diet is critical, absolutely critical. The number one, nothing else is even close, the number one trigger for elevated thyroid peroxidase antibodies, so that’s TPO antibodies, which is usually the first sign of Hashimoto’s or autoimmune thyroiditis. The number one trigger by far, and I’ve tested this on patients is wheat.  Nothing else is even close. We could spend an hour going into why that occurs, but it’s a very real thing.  Sorry, not to bash your old wheat, but it really deserves a bit of bashing.


At any rate, that’s about all I’m going to say about thyroid right now. 99% of the MDs that you go to will not truly understand thyroid disorders on a level that you probably need them to be understood.  You can do some research on your own, or you can find someone that actually does look a lot deeper into the problems because thyroid disorders are running rampant in our country.


I’m sitting here in my recliner at home. Usually I’m working on Thursdays, but today we switched a couple of days, so I’m home. Any more questions?


Kathryn: Yeah. “Can you say the name of the magazine again?” 

John: Sure. Global Tea Hut. It’s subtitled Tea and Tao. The one that had a whole list of articles. It’s kind of poetic in a way. Any of their editions are fine. They go through great detail about tea brewing and tea types, etcetera. The one that I looked at was September 2020.


Kathryn: Okay. “Could you address what to do for macular degeneration. I’ve tried lutein and zeaxanthin, bilberry and fish oil with no improvement in vision.” 

John: Yeah, there’s a ton that can be done. Acupuncture is actually quite valuable for that also. You know, you’re looking at lutein and zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, all those “ins” are all beneficial at really increasing antioxidant activity in the eye. Some of them increase blood flow.  I certainly would add green tea or green tea extract or EGCG to that. Also, luteolin is kind of a late comer on the block in terms of looking at these compounds that are so beneficial to the eyes, but Luteolin is extremely valuable. I would recommend looking into light therapy. There are certain frequencies, and I’m not going to go into the exact frequencies here because you really need to do a little more study or see someone who does that. However, red light shined around the eye in particular ways, particular patterns, can be very effective at helping that.


One of the big problems when we look at macular problems is what’s happening generally. Now, there are a few different potential processes, but generally it’s a matter of blood flow problems. So, you can do everything else right, but if you have sticky blood, what Chinese medicine calls blood stasis, you’re not going to deliver those nutrients to the eye. It doesn’t matter how many, you know, tons of nutrients you have in your bloodstream. If your blood is static and it can’t get through those small vessels leading up to the retina, it’s not going to help at all. You’ve got to make sure that the blood flow is maximized, absolutely maximized.  For that I prefer my number one choice is PEMF mats, Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Frequencies, which help the blood to coagulate, and so they can flow better. I also would use some of the proteolytic enzymes, and it depends on what else is going on, which ones I would use.


Nattokinase is extremely safe and would certainly help. Serrapeptase is very safe, and I would certainly think about that. Lumbrokinase is a lot stronger, but still safe enough that I would consider that. You really need to look at blood flow, and the first place to look at blood flow issues for this type of blood flow issue are the sublingual veins underneath the tongue. Get a flashlight, stand in front of the mirror, stick out your tongue, and then lift your tongue up so that you can see the bottom of the tongue. Ideally, you won’t see anything literally, and people are stunned after a while when those sublingual veins kind of disappear. But the sublingual veins, if they’re enlarged, if they’re purplish, blue, etcetera, then your blood’s not moving. It’s hypercoagulable there, so it’s not delivering nutrients. This is what’s important. There are photomicrographs that you can find online of blood in people that have been around high levels of electromagnetically high levels; the levels most of us are at, which are high of electromagnetic frequencies. The blood in the vessels looks like rush hour on the LA freeway. It is barely, barely moving, and when you get to the little off ramps where it’s going into the smaller vessels, it looks like a six car pile-up. Literally, you’ll see 5 or 6 red blood cells blocking the exit so that other red blood cells can’t get into the blood vessels. If they can’t get into the blood vessels, they cannot deliver oxygen and they cannot deliver nutrients. Equally as important, they can’t take away the waste products. Now, most people diagnosed with dry macular degeneration are first diagnosed with Drusen.  Drusen is a deposit on the surface of the retina, but it’s really waste products that are not being removed by those blood vessels behind the retina. Those blood vessels are tiny, tiny, by the way.  So, the waste products just get dumped onto the surface of the retina.  They are not getting oxygenated, and they are not getting nutrients. So. Guess what? They’re going to suffer. The cells are going to die. The retina is going to become damaged, and eventually you lose vision or at least partially lose vision.


So do all those nutrients- they are all great, and thin your blood; make sure your blood is moving.


Kathryn: Another question. It might actually be that you already answered it.  “I was diagnosed with glaucoma and cataracts. Can you speak to that? And how to treat. Or can glaucoma be reversed?”


John: Yeah, glaucoma can be reversed.  Glaucoma is a buildup of pressure in the eyeball, and eventually that pressure can cause too much pressure against the retina, and it will damage the retina and can cause blindness. It has historically been a major cause of blindness. There’s a narrow angle and wide angle. If it’s narrow angle, they’ll probably want to do surgery because of the pressure.


There are two different drugs that can control glaucoma.  The drugs are pretty good. They work most of the time without a lot of side effects. Ten years ago, I probably would have said, “Yeah, just do the drugs. They’re drops in the eyes.”  I had one fella come in. He was a veteran, and VA sent him over, and I was kind of surprised that they let me treat him for glaucoma because acupuncture is not a known treatment with them for glaucoma. His doctor said, “Yeah, great, go for it!”  So, I treated him. We got another test. No decent results.  His pressure had gone down just a touch. So, I said, “You know what? I’m going to stop doing that traditional treatment, and I’m going to do another treatment.”  I did it based on the names of the points primarily, and I gave it a completely different set of points. Well, after six weeks, I got a call from a doctor at VA, and he said, “What the hell are you doing to my patient?”  I gulped a couple of times and I said, “Oh, what do you mean?” He named the patient and said, “Don’t do any more work. His eye pressures are getting too low. We’re going to take him off medication.  I was totally blown away. They then started a study through VA of treating glaucoma with acupuncture. I’ve also had it work with other people, so I know it can work. I would not never say that it’s 100%, but I have seen cases where it has worked. Primarily, I would use supplements. So, yes, that is treatable.


Cataracts. It’s kind of like if you look at a headlight on an old car, you’ll see they are hard to see through. They’re oxidized. That’s what happens with the cataracts, primarily through exposure to sun. They get oxidized, and they get cloudy. When they get cloudy, that’s the lens, so it’s very difficult to see through.  The key is how to make it less cloudy. The single best thing that I’ve found is eye drops of l-carnosine. There’s one brand called Can-C that used to be available through Life Extension Institute. I assume it’s still available.  For mild-to-moderate cataracts, I’ve seen them completely resolve.  Severe cataracts are probably going to require surgery.  Yes, both of those can be treated with a variety of methodologies.


Just a reminder. We now have a new acupuncturist, a delightful woman, that does some slightly different specialties. She’s very good at treating jaw disorders, TMJ, and also does facial acupuncture.  She also does sports medicine. As you know, Jenny, my wife, isn’t always available because she’s off running around the country with sports teams, but we now have two other people that have done significant studies with Jenny and with Jenny’s mentor doing sports medicine and orthopedic acupuncture. They are very, very good. The great thing for me is, Gabi, this young woman’s name, is available on Sundays. That’s been a big hole in our schedule, so now we can get people in on Sundays.

I want to thank you. Thank you for joining me. I love doing this. I will be back next Thursday.   Same bat time, same bat channel. Bye bye.

Dr. John Nieters L.Ac, DAOM, is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, functional medicine, writer, teacher, and leader in the community. In this episode, John talks about his experience with the importance of finding your vision and purpose in life, in order to create the right goals for you.

Disclaimer: Dr. John Nieters received his Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture degree from Five Branches. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Nieters is a licensed acupuncturist in California. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Nieters and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. TheBalancingPoint.net, Alameda Acupuncture, and Dr. John Nieters L.Ac, DAOM are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

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