Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome can occur when the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can leave incredibly dry eyes, or the other extreme, the eyes can water continually to try and remedy the imbalance.  This condition can affect up to 60% of menopausal/perimenopausal women. There is some evidence that shows imbalances in progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen can affect the eye. There are progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen receptors on the cornea and the meibomion glands (sebaceous glands located on the rim of the eyelid).[1] This means that there is a connection between tears and the sex hormones. There is an understanding that dry eyes can result from a deficiency in any one of the sex hormones.

ID-100202869In treating a client with dry eye syndrome, I developed a treatment plan focusing on re-balance and detoxification. Attention to the endocrine system is key, along with the liver, gallbladder, and also the urinary system, particularly the kidney.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the organ of the liver rules the eye; the eye it its outlet. So dry eyes might be an indicator that the body is not efficient in detoxifying or there might be an imbalance which is preventing this from happening optimally.

The  eye and the kidney, in reflexology terms, are within the same zone, zone 2. In addition, thinking about meridians (the TCM energy channels) the kidney’s paired meridian is the bladder, and this starts in the medial aspect of the eye. For this reason I decided to pay attention to the urinary system during the treatments.

Sure enough, some nodules presented around the bladder and ureter on the left foot. The following day my client contacted me to tell me that she discovered she was suffering with cystitis. It was fascinating to to find symptoms of an imbalance presenting in the feet before it had presented itself to the person. My client self-treated the cystitis with an over-the-counter remedy which cleared it up in two days. But one could argue, without the reflexology treatment, the bout might have lasted longer, or been more severe.

Another interesting consequence of the treatment was that the client’s eyes stopped watering during the treatment. An instant effect like this I find truly remarkable, even though they continued to water after the treatment.

Let’s return to the liver: TCM would suggest that the liver be worked as the eye is the outlet for this organ, but also it’s pairing: the gall bladder. Emotionally the liver is associated with anger, so as a therapist it is beneficial to remain open minded about what is going on “inside” your client, mentally and emotionally, and not just recently, but long-standing emotions that can manifest in different ways. Similarly, the kidney is associated with the emotion of fear, and this conjures up images of water (crying, tears, weeping, bed-wetting, urinating).

Similarly to my advice given for perimenopause, eating a balanced diet of whole foods, whole grains, organic vegetables and fruit, reduced sugar and processed foods, and a reduction in the use of stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol, can help in re-balancing. In addition, an uptake in omega-3 can also help reduce inflammation caused by dry eye syndrome, as well as balance tear stimulation and the secretion of sebum which assists eye lubrication.

[1] http://www.womentowomen.com

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

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