Interview: Andrea Burnand, acupuncturist.
Today, I'm talking with fellow acupuncturist Andrea Burnand about her practice and what led her into treating eye conditions using the Boel method and the Micro Acupuncture 48 System:
Where is your practice based, and how long have you been in practice?
Based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I've been in practice for 15 years. I changed my career after having my children. I wanted to look for more natural holistic ways of caring for myself and my children and my interest led to lots of study, another degree and endless training. My thirst for knowledge has never gone away. I just want to help people as much as I can. I also teach complementary therapy too.
Tell me a little bit about how you became interested in treating eye conditions with acupuncture?
I’ve always chosen to be treated holistically whenever possible and when I lost 70% of vision in my right eye overnight I consulted with colleagues who recommended 3 possible clinics to try. I was desperate, couldn’t see properly, couldn’t drive and was full of fear for the future. I was initially diagnosed with wet macular and myopic CNV and had an injection in my eye within a week of diagnosis. I reacted badly and my eye was blurry and painful. I approached the Boel clinic in Denmark and they offered to help me with a two week intensive treatment. I phoned on a Thursday and travelled a few days later and began treatment on the Monday. When I set off I couldn’t see the train, I needed help to read the notice boards in the station, find the platform and had special assistance at the airport but made it onto the plane. I stayed overnight near the airport and then made the journey to the Boel clinic in Aulum. A bus, a train and google maps got me there. Such is my trust in the acupuncture system of healing. I was keen to get started
I began treatment on the Monday afternoon and stayed in the patient house a walk from the clinic. I remember being given a map to find the house and got lost, it was so quiet, but I eventually got there.
Two treatments a day with an hour apart in a clinic with at least 15 cubicles. 6 needles per treatment. My eyes were tested by a lovely acupuncturist and we had a chat. As soon as the first needles were in I relaxed and trusted that I was in the right place and the treatment would help. The village is so quiet and it was a walk to the supermarket but I stocked up and made some healthy dishes watching how I used the knife and cooker!!!!!! The first week seemed like an age but I got through it. Now came he weekend and time off. Although I didn’t realise at the time my eyes were healing, my sleep was improving and I was enjoying the peace to heal away from home.
At the end of the first week lots of people started arriving at the patient house some of which were Danish acupuncture students there for a weekend course. I had a great time chatting with them and had the opportunity to meet the founder of the eye acupuncture treatment John Boel and his lovely wife Bodil. John invited me to attend his English speaking training course the following January in Copenhagen and I knew then it would be an opportunity to give back and treat people in the UK who like me were struggling with an eye condition. I also met a lovely South African couple who had travelled for a two week intensive treatment also. It was great to talk to them and learn what steps they had taken to help with their eye health. Tom had macular degeneration and had lost some central vision.
Roll on week two & a repeat of week one. I was walking miles everyday, eating well and sleeping like a log. I practised mindfulness each day and listened to relaxing music. I was so chilled and I do think it helped me get through the fortnight. I then reached Friday my last treatment and then I had my eyes tested. I must admit I was nervous but the results were undeniable. My eyesight had improved by 30% in my affected eye. I was over the moon. I knew it would be even better once I had my prescription in my glasses changed as well. It gave me so much hope for the future and I felt in control of my condition and was determined to improve and preserve my sight and return for further treatment on a regular basis.
I returned home & could manage so much better. Started to drive again and was able to work. In short it gave me my life back. I returned to Denmark for training and then made it my ambition to help others searching for natural ways to improve sight.
My research also led me to another ophthalmology acupuncturist in New Jersey, Andy Rosenfarb. I read his books and attended some of his training courses to further my skills. Nutrition, supplements & lifestyle changes have also taken place and I’ve gotten involved with local charities. It’s my aim to promote acupuncture for eye conditions.
What conditions do you treat in your clinic?
Age related macular degeneration both wet and dry, myopic CNV, juvenile Stargardt’s, glaucoma, dry eyes, punctuate inner choroidopathy, occular migraines, floaters, optic nerve damage, birdshot uveitis so far but there are so many other eye conditions,acupuncture is a natural treatment option for so many conditions.
You can find out more about Andrea's clinic here