Flower Bone Points for Aging Eyes (Hua Gu Yi)
55.02 Flower Bone One - Hua Gu Yi - Extraordinary Points for the Eyes
The following article is mostly excerpted from a book written by Susan Johnson, L.Ac. with Eric Renaud, M.Ac., called Master Tung’s Magic Points: A Definitive Clinical Guide, published in 2019. They are finishing up their second book, Master Tung’s Magic Points: The Clinician’s Best Friend, with an expected date of publication in early 2024. Most people begin to notice changes in their visual acuity sometime in their late forties that accelerates as we move into our sixties, seventies and eighties. The aging of the eyes coincides with the waning of the Kidney energy, so we might say that as our vital energy begins a slow and steady decline, we also notice graying of the hair, loosening of the teeth, weakening of muscles and bones, and loss of the power of vision and hearing. A healthy lifestyle, including a proper diet low in starchy carbohydrates and sugars, and higher in proteins, good sleep hygiene and gentle but regular exercise will go a long way in assuring a comfortable old age, as it is the habits we create before we get to our senior years that will prove to be the most reliable measure of when and how we die.
Phospholipids (plasmalogens, Omega-3 plant-based or from krill, phosphatidylserine), vitamins A, D3/K2, E and polyphenols, should be included in the healthy diet of anyone with eye disease and/or brain inflammation, such as in autoimmune cases of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Diseases. When directly targeting the eyes, I usually give a combination of herbs including Qi Ju Di Huang Tang /Wan with Ming Mu Di Huang Tang /Wan, and often Shi Hu Ye Guang Wan, though the latter can be harder to find these days.
Master Tung’s Points known as 55.02 Flower Bone One is the most extraordinary point pattern that I have ever come across for any kind of eye disease. Found on the bottom of the ball of the foot and needled into the Liver Valley, these points have the Reaction Area of the Kidney. As the Kidneys govern the power of vision and are the mother of the Liver (water grows wood) and as the Liver governs the anatomy of the eye, I have seen no other points come even close to the strength of Flower Bone One for eye disease. For the eye lids or the muscles around the eyes, we would choose different points. Please enjoy this write up on these truly amazing points.
In this combination, all four needles are found on the ball of the foot, opposite LV2 and LV3. The first point in the pattern is just proximal to the intersection of the distal heads of the first and second metatarsal bones. The second point is just distal to the intersection of the first and second metatarsal-phalangeal joints. Divide the area between the second point and the web of the large toe and second toe into equal thirds and insert two additional needles in line with the others.
Reaction Areas: Kidney, Lung, Spleen
- Night blindness
- Optic nerve atrophy
- Macular degeneration
- Tearing eyes sensitive to the wind
- Inflammation of eyelids (common with alcoholism)
- Supraorbital bone pain
- Aching pain of the nasal bone
Introduction to Flower Bone points: For success in using Flower Bone point patterns, palpation is essential. Once the practitioner has developed extremely sensitive fingers and has accurately located these points on four or five pairs of feet, needling will be more or less routine. In my supervision classes, we spend up to an hour per student perfecting palpation of these points. In my opinion, this time is very well spent, as the Flower Bone One points are unsurpassed when it comes to treating difficult eye diseases. The following description of precise palpation and needling of Flower Bone One also applies to the other Flower Bone Points (Flower Bone Two, Three and Four), and can be viewed in a 30-minute digital film on my 4-DVD set, Master Tung’s Magic Points: Point Location and Needling Technique.
Although the description below is lengthy, the clues provided make all the difference in successfully locating and needling the Flower Bone points:
For almost thirty years, I have needled these points on patients lying face down. When a patient is in this position, I place a pillow under their lower legs, suspending their toes slightly above the table so their feet are completely relaxed. I do not have them place their head in a face cradle for the short time that they will be lying face down, because it is important that their feet are close to the end of the table during palpation and needling. After needling, because this needle pattern requires lengthy retention (up to one hour or more), I help the patient turn over onto their back. This is most easily done if they swing their legs over the side of the table and sit up, then rotate their hips and lie down on their back. I place a bolster beneath their knees. Most patients are more comfortable lying on their back for the duration of the treatment, and additional points may be needled more easily in this position, as well. It was only recently, with a patient who was unable to lie on their stomach, that I taught myself how to needle these points with the overhang produced when the patient is lying face up. I highly recommend that first, you master palpating and needling these points with the patient face down, when the plantar surface of the feet is more easily accessible and you have the advantage of gravity.
Palpating the points is by far the most difficult aspect of properly applying the Flower Bone point patterns. It is absolutely necessary that you sit at the foot of the table, nearly eye level with the patient’s feet; it is impossible to accurately palpate the location of the points while standing, as your wrists will not be able to manage the angle required.
- Marking the feet: In supervision classes, my students mark the balls of each other’s feet, and then a supervisor checks the marks before students begin needling. The student practitioner sits at the foot of the table, facing the plantar surface of their partner’s feet, and carefully palpates the proximal side of the metatarsal-phalangeal joints, marking what they feel on the feet. When students are using their eyes and not their palpation skills, they tend to inaccurately draw the metatarsal heads in a straight line across the ball of the foot. Accurate palpation reveals that the proximal edge of the distal heads of the first and fifth metatarsal bones are significantly larger and superior to the three metatarsal heads in between. (See drawing above.)
- Tip versus top: When identifying the proximal edge of the distal metatarsal heads, it is important to find the high point of the metatarsal-phalangeal joint and roll a finger over the proximal edge. Most students palpate the tip of the bone (see the dot on the metatarsal-phalangeal head in the drawing of the right foot, shown above) and call it the top. However, the top is the most proximal edge, and it is located more deeply than the tip. The tip of the bone is what makes contact with the ground when we walk. Misinterpretation of tip for top (rolling over the proximal edge of the metatarsal) is one of the most frequent mistakes made by students learning these points, and it inevitably results in their needle hitting bone.
- Push on the toes: If you have a hard time locating the metatarsal heads, push down on the corresponding toe and the metatarsal head will pop right up.
- Find all five metatarsals: It is essential to locate the correct number of metatarsals. When people are standing, the bones of their feet spread; however, when the feet are not weighted, the bones may somewhat overlap, giving the appearance that one metatarsal is missing. Focusing on just one at a time, you will be able to differentiate all five. If the lateral edges of the metatarsal heads overlap, draw them that way. It is at the intersections of these bones, overlapping or not, that the needles are inserted.
Due to the wide variation of bone structure in feet, this is one of the most difficult point patterns to needle correctly. Because the foot bones are very close together, there is absolutely no room for error. As people age, their feet become increasingly misshapen, so it is essential that you practice foot palpation until your perception of the bones beneath your fingers is perfected.
- Needle gauge: It is a good idea to teach yourself to wield a thin needle. I usually use 0.15 x 30 mm needles (#1, 40-gauge needle) for all of the Flower Bone points. Thinner gauge needles will bend without your knowing it, while larger gauge needles are unnecessarily painful. Remember that every time you touch a bone with a needle, the patient feels it.
- Nerves and blood vessels: These needles are not painful unless they plow into the bone or hit a blood vessel. The feet are extraordinarily expressive, and a mild curling of the toes may simply indicate sensation on the plantar surface, where nerve endings are very close together. It is fine to proceed if you see this kind of reaction. However, if you hit a blood vessel, the toes may radically curl or the foot may twitch significantly. Should this happen, you must decide whether to needle quickly through the vessel or remove and/or redirect the needle. It is not always necessary to remove the needle when the sensation occurs after initial insertion, causing the foot to jump. I highly recommend using needle guide tubes with a strong tap in order to move quickly and efficiently through this highly innervated area.
- Perceiving needle depth: Always use both hands and keep the fingers of your non-needling hand on the dorsum of the foot (in the patient’s Liver valley), as this enables you to feel the subtle pressure of the approaching needle tip. The inside of the epidermis on the dorsum is just as sensitive as the surface of the skin, so placing one hand on the dorsum of the foot gives you information necessary to know when to stop, thereby reducing needle sensitivity for the patient. This technique also provides counter-pressure and assures that the practitioner is aware of the precise location of the needle.
One-hour retention is required.
Removing the needles:
This is considered deep needling, so when removing a needle, place a finger on each side of it and pull up firmly. If the patient’s foot twitches as you needle a point, it is likely that you have hit a small blood vessel, so when pulling the needle, be prepared for a tiny drop of blood.
Extraordinary points for the eyes: Dr. Lee taught me to use Flower Bone One, and it has become one of my specialties. In one of Dr. Young’s classes I asked him why he was not recommending Flower Bone One, and he said he doesn’t use these points due to their inconvenience. He was correct in stating their degree of difficulty. However, I use these points all the time and find them to be absolutely miraculous in the treatment of extraordinarily difficult eye diseases, such as optic nerve atrophy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, all of which I have successfully treated multiple times. Without these points, I would have no confidence in positive outcomes for these disorders. In addition to these rather severe conditions, Flower Bone One can also be used for: nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, night blindness, eye inflammation, tearing eyes, photophobia, itching or irritated eyes, trachoma and eyelid infection.
Liver and Kidney energetic pathways: The eyes are the opening to the Liver; the Kidney is the mother of the Liver. Flower Bone One, found in the Liver valley, treats the anatomy of the eye, but in order to treat the vision we must add points that relate to the Kidneys, such as: 77.18-77.21 Two or Three Emperors, substituting 77.28 Bright Light (Tung’s KD7) for 77.21 Man Emperor (Tung’s SP6), along with GB20 Feng Chi and GB37 Guang Ming.
Case History: Optic Nerve Atrophy
A 35-year-old woman presented with vertigo and dizziness. Her condition had been diagnosed as Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, an inner ear problem that produces a pronounced and persistent rocking sensation after leaving a boat. She could not walk without falling down. I treated her vertigo and dizziness with 88.17-88.19 Four Horses and A.04 San Cha Three, but her condition did not improve. I also cupped her neck and jaw in order to restore proper blood flow to her brain. This resolved her migraine headaches and TMJ, but the rocking did not change. Both of us were discouraged, and she discontinued treatment. A few weeks later, she was diagnosed with optic nerve atrophy. When she was 15 years old, she had a brain tumor removed; now, twenty years later, scar tissue was impacting her optic nerve. I had been on the wrong track in treating her inner ear. I asked her to return for Flower Bone One, and after two treatments the vertigo completely stopped. I recommended at least ten visits and suggested one treatment per quarter, indefinitely, to continually strengthen the optic nerve in response to the continuous accumulation of scar tissue.
A student asked if I would recommend needling these points for a one-year-old baby with optic nerve issues. Unless you have needled these points quite often, I recommend training the child’s parents to use acupressure to massage these points for five minutes, three times daily. Alternatively, you could also teach them to apply Koryo Hand Therapy pellets1 to Flower Bone One.
Case Histories: Glaucoma
Often in my practice, random patients show up concurrently with the same disease process, even a rare one. This happened more than twenty years ago when I found myself treating three different patients with glaucoma simultaneously
Glaucoma Case 1
The first patient was a 65-year-old man with glaucoma and Crohn’s disease. He had multiple laser surgeries on both eyes, and a large portion of his intestine had been removed. Once each week, I treated him with Flower Bone One and then had him turn onto his back and needled 77.08-77.09 Four Flower Upper/Four Flower Middle, points used for pressure behind the eyes as well as gastroenteritis. His intraocular pressure started to descend nicely, from 22 mmHg to 12 mmHg. His visual field exams also radically improved, and he was able to entirely discontinue his glaucoma medication. With additional support from an herbal formula, his Crohn’s disease was completely healed within three months.
Glaucoma Case 2
The second glaucoma patient was born with congenitally closed tear ducts. Within 24 hours of his birth, the optic nerves were destroyed, leaving him legally blind and with glaucoma. Because the first patient’s treatment had worked so well, I used the same treatment with the second patient. This patient’s intraocular pressure reduced from 19 mmHg to 11 mmHg and stayed there. I treated him once weekly for the first year and occasionally over the following three years. Now, nineteen years later, and without further treatment for his eyes, he is still free of glaucoma medication, though his visual field exams will never improve.
Glaucoma Case 3
The third patient was 73 years old when he entered my practice. He loved nothing more than to spend all of his days tending his orchards on his tractor, in the sun and wind. Because of this, his eyes were like those of a 90-year-old. I tried to use the treatment that had worked so well with the other two patients, but when I saw no obvious improvement within a few weeks, I had to check my thinking. Once I began to use Flower Bone One with modified Two Emperors (77.18 Shen Guan and 77.28 Bright Light), the patient’s eyes began to improve. This patient was never able to discontinue using eye drops, but his visual field exams got better and better. He is now 93 years old and can still be found in the orchards, surrounded by walnuts and oranges.
Cautions: Treatment may reduce the intraocular pressure and improve the visual field. Once the pressure is lowered, the patient may need additional treatments at least quarterly, to prevent the pressure from rising again. Monitor carefully. The first patient described above, with glaucoma and Crohn’s disease, never had bowel problems again; however, his intraocular pressure increased after ten years without treatment. This was a learning experience for me.
Case histories: Macular Degeneration:
This condition can be difficult to treat. Initially, these patients need to be treated at least weekly, though it is better to treat them three times a week for the first few weeks. Chronic conditions such as macular degeneration require a minimum of ten treatments before the practitioner can assess whether the condition will improve. If there are no signs of change and the patient is younger than 80 years old, continue with another ten treatments before making your determination. Patients older than 80 are less likely to respond, due to lack of circulation and significantly diminished eyesight.
Macular Degeneration Case 1
I simultaneously treated a father and daughter who were both suffering from macular degeneration. The father was 78 years old and had the dry type of macular degeneration. With the application of 55.02 Flower Bone One, 77.18-77.19 Three Emperors, GB20 Feng Chi and GB37 Guang Ming, the progression of the disease stopped completely. Recently, the patient reported that his vision had improved and he noticed wavy lines only when he was very tired. We continue treatment bi-monthly so that he will continue to be able to read and drive. Older eyes usually respond more slowly to treatment, and their condition may not reverse or improve.
Macular Degeneration Case 2
This man’s daughter was in her early 50s and suffered from the wet type of macular degeneration. She had received injections into her eyeballs every ten days to treat this condition. It was expected that over time, the injections would be less and less frequent. Unfortunately, her response to the injections was not good, and after six months, she still required them regularly. After four acupuncture treatments in four weeks, she was able to wait two weeks between injections. After four months of weekly acupuncture, she was able to receive her injections six weeks apart. At that point, I referred her to another practitioner and have not heard about her progress since.
Macular Degeneration Case 3
I treated an 80-year-old patient who also had the wet type of macular degeneration. She came to me after receiving injections in her eyeballs for a number of months. She vowed never to have these injections again because she had an allergic reaction to the medication that had caused her severe pain in both eyes after the last two injections. She lived alone and was extremely distraught about the possibility of losing her driver’s license and therefore her freedom. With this motivation, she came for treatment three times weekly. I also treated her for upper back, neck and arm pain. The cupping of her neck and shoulders, where the skin was black after cupping, helped to open the blockage to her eyes. After eight weeks of treatment and no further injections, she saw a new ophthalmologist who reviewed the records sent by her previous doctor, claimed that her eyes had improved, and said she no longer required the injections. Due to her age, she will always require at least quarterly treatment to maintain this improved condition.
Macular Degeneration Case 4
A number of years ago, I treated a 90-year-old who had no central vision at all, and the treatments were unsuccessful in making any noticeable change. We discontinued treatment after twelve visits in three months, as her degeneration was too far advanced.
Additional information about these case histories: Although I thoroughly cupped the neck and shoulders of the three successfully treated patients mentioned above, I did not bleed their Tai Yang area or Ear Apex. If I had had less encouraging results with any of them, I would have bled these areas. All three patients took Chinese patent herbal medicines for their eyes and also the supplement called Complete Eye Factor, a combination of zinc and lutein.
Since the advent of corrective lenses used in cataract surgeries and the fact that the vision is immediately restored after these surgeries, I always recommend that patients take advantage of this surgical correction offered via allopathic medicine.
Eye diseases (commentary, Dr. Lee):
“Flower Bone One is very good for eye diseases. There is not much trachoma in the United States but there are many cases of red eyes or conjunctivitis due to overeating fried foods and drinking alcohol. Inflammation of the eyelids may also be due to overdrinking alcohol, especially if the alcohol is poor quality. Eyes sensitive to the wind and fearing light are symptoms of Liver Yin deficiency. Patients with this type of condition should go to bed early, usually before 9:00 pm. Such people have used up their Liver Blood. Going to bed early allows the Liver to refill with Blood. Going to bed late prevents the Liver from storing the Blood adequately. Therefore, besides doing acupuncture, such patients also must change their lifestyle.” (Dr. Lee, 1992).
For weakness of the eyes or degenerative eye diseases, I frequently combine a few herbal formulas: Lycii & Chrysanthemum (Qi Ju Di Huang Tang /Wan), Bright Eye Rehmannia (Ming Mu Di Huang Wan), Dendrobium Night Sight Pills (Shi Hu Ye Guang Wan) and a supplement called Complete Eye Factor by Vital Health, a combination that includes zinc and lutein. Zinc is reported to halt the progression of macular degeneration.
- Dry or tearing eyes: Bilaterally: 11.17 Wood (Anger), 55.02 Flower Bone One, 77.18 Kidney Gate (Shen Guan) with 77.21 Man Emperor (Tung’s SP6) or 77.28 Bright Light (Tung’s KD7).
- Patients younger than 60 years old: 55.02 Flower Bone One combined with 77.08-77.09 Four Flower Upper/ Four Flower Middle.
- Elderly patients: I am more likely to use 55.02 Flower Bone One with 77.18-77.28 Three Emperors, GB20 Feng Chi and GB37 Guang Ming. However, if the patient presses on their eyeballs with their warm fingers and finds this uncomfortable, use 77.08-77.09 Four Flower Upper/ Four Flower Middle instead.
- Macular degeneration: 55.02 Flower Bone One, 77.18 Kidney Gate (Shen Guan) with 77.28 Bright Light (Tung’s KD7), GB20 Feng Chi, GB37 Guang Ming.
- Optic nerve atrophy: 55.02 Flower Bone One, 77.18 Kidney Gate (Shen Guan) with 77.28 Bright Light (Tung’s KD7), GB20 Feng Chi, GB37 Guang Ming.
- Miscellaneous eye diseases (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, night blindness, eye inflammation, photophobia, trachoma and eyelid infection): 55.02 Flower Bone One, 77.18 Kidney Gate (Shen Guan) with 77.28 Bright Light (Tung’s KD7), GB20 Feng Chi, GB37 Guang Ming.