Ophthalmology 101 for Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists

Kimberly Burnham
3 min readNov 21, 2020


A Natural Health and Wellness Essay.

Imagine walking into an ophthalmologist’s office with macular degeneration, the first place you expect her to refer you is not to a massage therapist. If someone walks into an optometry office the optometrist doesn’t think first of sharing this patient with an acupuncturist. Where as if someone comes into a chiropractors office with migraines and visual auras, the chiropractor is likely to suggest a visit to see an ophthalmologist.

Improving vision health with Alternative Medicine by salvatore ventura on Unsplash

There is interesting research on the potential for alternative medicine therapies like Integrative Manual Therapy, acupressure, Reiki and Matrix Energetics to improve vision and eyesight related issues.

In a 2013 study to “examine and compare the effects of massage and matrix rhythm therapy in young women on the peripheral blood circulation,” researchers found, Matrix rhythm therapy and massage increased peripheral blood flow in young women.” Taspinar, F., U. B. Aslan, et al. (2013). “Implementation of matrix rhythm therapy and conventional massage in young females and comparison of their acute effects on circulation.” J Altern Complement Med19(10): 826–832.

This study looked at therapies applied by a physical therapist and studied the effects on blood flow in the legs.

Another study in 2009 encourage further study of alternative medicine approaches. Researchers said, “we hypothesize that stasis [lack of movement or flow] of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) occurs commonly and is detrimental to health.” Whedon, J. M. and D. Glassey (2009). “Cerebrospinal fluid stasis and its clinical significance.” Altern Ther Health Med15(3): 54–60.

Physiologic factors affecting and affected by the normal circulation of CSF include:

a) cardiovascular system
b) respiratory system
c) vasomotor influences [blood vessel wall muscles]
d) the electrolytic environment of the central nervous system (CNS)
e) influences systemic acid-base balance
f) serves as a medium for the supply of nutrients to neuronal and glial cells
g) functions as a lymphatic system for the CNS by removing the waste products of cellular metabolism
h) transports hormones, neurotransmitters, releasing factors, and other neuropeptides throughout the CNS
i) stasis [lack of flow] within the spinal canal
j) adverse mechanical cord tension [tightness]
k) vertebral subluxation syndrome [spinal joint and back pain]
l) reduced cranial rhythmic impulse
m) restricted respiratory function [problems breathing]
n) increased sympathetic tone [fight or flight anxiety],
o) facilitated spinal segments, dural tension, and decreased CSF flow

Visualize yourself with the eyesight of an owl, able to see in the dark and all the opportunities that are there.

Therapies that focus on improving blood flow, lymph drainage and cerebral spinal fluid flow include:

a) osteopathic care (especially cranial manipulation),
b) craniosacral therapy,
c) chiropractic adjustment of the spine and cranium,
d) Network Care (formerly Network Chiropractic),
e) massage therapy
f) lymphatic drainage techniques
g) yoga
h) therapeutic breath-work
i) cerebrospinal fluid technique
j) Integrative Manual Therapy
k) acupuncture
l) acupressure

If you are a health-care professional, what are you doing to help people maintain and improve vision and eyesight?

Getting better blood flow to the eyes brings more nutrients and healing oxygen and helps remove waste and toxins allowing healing.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on June 9, 2014.



Kimberly Burnham

Writer, Poet, Ekphrastic Writer-in-Residence, Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Coach, Author of The Traveling Brain: Illuminating Peace Poetry in 5000 Languages.