Dr. Weidong Yu, the founder of the Wellspring Clinic, finds a solution to treat RP patients with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). (Xinhua/file Photo)
By Xinhua Writer Jiang Yaping
NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a hereditary degenerative eye disease, believed to be an incurable disease with Western Medicine Treatment, but traditional Chinese Medicine Therapies offered a new hope for the successful treatment of RP patients.
RP is a group of genetic disorders that affect the retina's ability to respond to light. This inherited disease causes a slow loss of vision, beginning with decreased night vision and loss of peripheral (side) vision. Eventually, blindness results. Western Medicine believes there is no cure for RP right now.
Patients who are diagnosed with the disease are usually advised by their doctors to learn how to walk with a cane and to prepare for a vision-less life.
But currently, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments are available. RP patients have seen the light of hope in the dark tunnel after they come to a clinic in Vancouver in west Canada.
Dr. Weidong Yu, the founder of the Wellspring Clinic, has found the solution with TCM.
Yu told Xinhua in a recent interview by email that his method of treatment is based on TCM, and uses a combination of acupuncture and herbs to stop the progression of RP. So far, he has received more than 600 RP patients and nearly 400 have been fully recovered, with the rest greatly improved of their eye sight.
The 54-year-old Yu is a Chinese-born doctor. Before he settled down in Vancouver nearly 20 years ago, he had received Bachelor of Chinese medicine in China's Shandong Chinese Medicine college and Master of public health in Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.
Richard Schuit from Ontario in eastern Canada was diagnosed with RP in 1991, and was told by his doctors that there was no treatment for the disease. He would go blind gradually and should be prepared to find a guide dog and learn to read braille while he still had some vision left.
With eye sight deteriorates year by year, Schuit started looking into alternative means of treatment, and found Yu's clinic while searching on the internet. At first, Schuit had some doubts about Yu's Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment, but with virtually no other options, he was willing to give the treatment a fair chance.
After three treatments of 10-days each over the course of several years, Schuit regained almost all of the peripheral vision that he had previously lost, going from an initial 30-degree field of vision to his present state of 180 degrees.
It was such a wonderful treatment as if "thin layers of black are being peeled off every time that I come here," Schuit said.
Yu said the idea of treating RP with TCM started in 1999 when he first saw a RP patient.
"When I discovered that she had the condition, I believed that TCM could help her improve, and decided to give it a try. My reasons for choosing TCM were not arbitrary or random. Back when I worked at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, there was a research group that conducted clinical research on Chinese medical treatment of Retinitis Pigmentation, the results of which were very promising," he said.
Since then, Yu has been providing treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa and offering his patients a more hopeful and positive future. After his successful debut, patients from all over the world start flying to Vancouver to receive treatment from Yu over the past 17 years.
Phyllis Brown, an accountant and former teacher from Atlanta, Georgia, first came to Yu's clinic in 2015, with the hopes of stopping the decline in her peripheral vision. With a background of Western medicine, she was initially skeptical about the efficacy of alternative medicine. But the first two treatments strengthened her confidence as her peripheral vision opened up steadily, and she saw improvements in her central vision acuity as well.
"Yu not only saved my eye sight, he saved my life as well," Brown said.
Yu said acupuncture is the primary means of treatment as it regulates energy flows in the body and balances the Yin and Yang, which is one of the most fundamental concepts in TCM, as it is the foundation of diagnosis and treatment.
"The method does not involve direct contact with their optic organs. Instead, I am rehabilitating and restoring their self-healing ability through holistic treatment," he explained.
"With his magic method, Dr. Yu provides us with hope -- a hope that eventually helps us overcome the disease and see the colorful world again," another patient said.