Sjogren’s disease is an auto immune disease affecting the glands that control tears and saliva. Dryness is the main symptom and especially affects the eyes and throat. The disease affects more women that men and can also cause vaginal dryness. It also typically affects women over the age of 50.
From a western medical point of view there is no known cause or any effective treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine views the disease as having more than one cause and the other presenting symptoms of the patient will determine the course of treatment.
Yin and Yang in the body needs to be regulated in order to treat Sjogren’s syndrome. In fact ancient classic Chinese medicine text books describe yin deficiency having the symptoms of dry eyes, dry throat, dry skin, vaginal dryness, with thirst and flushing. Chinese medicine also views that diseases can be due to environmental factors such as dry weather and dry wind penetrating the body and disrupting the normal distribution of fluids.
In addition, there is a system in Chinese medicine that refers to what is known as the eight extra ordinary meridians which are used to address the constitutional factors of the person. These meridians can be used to treat immune disorders.
Certain acupuncture meridians such as the liver and gall bladder travel to the eyes and acupuncture points on the pathway such as liver 3 tai chong can be used to treat eye problems. In Chinese medicine there is a saying that the tears are the fluids of the liver so if the liver is weak or damaged in some way, tears will suffer.
Furthermore as we know, the kidneys are to do with the filtration of water in the body and hence acupuncture points on the kidney meridian can be selected to moisten the dryness.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used as a specialty in treating eye diseases including the symptoms associated with Sjogren’s syndrome for hundreds of years.
Naomi Jansson on Australia’s Gold Coast has participated in extensive post graduate study of acupuncture and eye diseases.