Sunning and Palming

Sunning and palming are effective techniques to relax your eyes and increase their shifting. The motion and centralization techniques in later chapters help you maintain the shifting while you are engaged in other activities.

Sunning accustoms your eyes to light and palming accustoms your eyes to dark. The fovea is stimulated by light, and light causes the nerve cells of the eye to replenish visual purple. You may see sunspots (a rosy or purple light) when sunning especially if your eyes are not used to light because visual purple is depleted by light and replenished by darkness (palming).

Sunning should always be followed by palming to build up the ability of the eyes to replenish visual purple. Never sun without palming; however, you can palm without sunning.


Your eyes are light receptors constructed to respond to light. Good vision is a highly developed sense of light perception, and people and animals living in bright light have the keenest eyesight.

If you work in a windowless area, chances are your eyes do not receive enough natural light. Some people like to work in very dark offices when at their computers because it cuts the glare and increases contrasts on the screen Unfortunately, these practices ultimately make your eyes overly sensitive to natural light, and if your eyes cannot handle light, they cannot see well.

Disadvantages to Sunglasses

Because the eyes require light and dark contrasts to function properly, sunglasses inhibit the operation of the eyes and their ability to replenish visual purple. Sunglasses keep this valuable light away from the eyes and also cause a lowering of your energy level.

Note – Ultraviolet light can cause cataract and macular degeneration. If you have an eye condition that requires you to wear sunglasses to keep out ultraviolet light, get the lightest tint you can find so your pupils do not dilate and make sure the tag states the sunglasses block ultraviolet light.

Sunning with a Shifter and Full Spectrum Lighting

Sunning teaches you to let light into your eyes without judgment. A reaction that light is too bright is a judgment. Light is just light. Without light, you see nothing because there are no contrasts, no color, no shadows, nothing to stimulate your vision – vision is not possible without light!

Goal – Accustom your eyes to light. Your eyes will adjust between light and dark more quickly once you become accustomed to sunning and palming.

Sunning is done with a shifter and a full spectrum light. A shifter is made from heavy black cardboard. A shifter is about 30 inches long and 6 inches wide with a row of slats cut across the middle. You can make your own shifter to the following specifications:


A full spectrum light can be purchased at a speciality lighting store or directly from a distributor. The brighter the light the better because you want your eyes to be able to eventually handle a lot of bright light. A 150 watt full-spectrum flood light is good. However, any full spectrum light or natural sunlight will work in the meantime. The full spectrum light works best in a gooseneck lamp so it can be pointed directly onto your eyelids.


Steps – Practice this technique for 10 – 15 minutes at a time. For most people, once a day is enough. If you are extremely light sensitive, sun twice a day. It can take 2 – 3 weeks to overcome a high degree of light sensitivity.

  • Remove your glasses.
  • Lower the neck of the lamp so the full spectrum light is pointing towards you at a comfortable distance.
  • Hold the shifter in front of your face, turn on the light, and move the shifter back and forth between your face and the light while moving your head in the opposite direction. This makes the bright light flicker on your eyelids.

Explanation – The distance of the light from your eyes depends on your current sensitivity to light. In time you will be able to tolerate more direct light by moving the lamp closer because the fovea will be conditioned to handle a lot of light stimulation.

Hints – Sunning can be done by alternating eyes open and closed. Always start with your eyes closed. If your eyes are open, do not lead with your eyes, but let your attention scan across the shifter. If you find your eyes are tight or dry after sunning, you sunned too long. Palm to alleviate the tightness and use eye drops to alleviate the dryness

Note – If your work area is dark, bring in full spectrum lighting to light it. Avoid fluorescent lighting as much as possible. Position the lights and your computer so there is no direct glare on your computer screen.

Sunning without a Shifter

If you do not have a shifter, you can sun in one of the following ways:

  • Close your eyes and imagine the sun moving from your ear on one side of your head to the ear on the other side.
  • Face the full spectrum light and blink while turning your head.

Small Magnifying Glass

Use a single small magnifying glass to direct natural sunlight onto your closed eyelids. This technique requires a partner to handle the magnifying glass while you keep your eyes closed. Be sure to keep your eyes closed and do this with natural sunlight only. Do not use the full spectrum light bulb and lamp with the magnifying glass because the intense heat can burn your eyelids.

Goal – Relieve eye tension.

Steps – This is done for 5 minutes at a time. The time can gradually build up, but should not be so long that it creates a strain.

  • • Close your eyes and face the sun.
  • Have your partner move a single small magnifying glass over your closed eyelids. Keep your eyes closed and the magnifying glass moving.

Explanation – This technique provides instant relief from tension and an improvement in vision.


Palming is resting your elbows on a table and placing the palms of your hands over your eyes to create a state of total blackness and rest to gain a deeper sense of relaxation. Palming relaxes your eyes and mind and relieves eyestrain.

It is easier to relax when your eyes and mind are not constantly stimulated by visual input. The goal of palming is to create a restful state and to maintain that restful state throughout the day when you blink.

Palming can be done any time during the day when your eyes and mind feel tired. Always follow sunning with palming to further accustom your eyes to dark and light contrasts and replenish the visual purple.

Creating a Restful State

Goal – Get into the habit of taking frequent breaks from your busy day to palm and refresh your mind.

Steps – Palm at least 6 times a day for a minimum of 5 minutes at a time. The ability to palm for a long period of time and maintain the restful mental state when not palming comes with practice.

  • Find a comfortable place to sit in a chair with a table in front of you. Remove your glasses.
  • Rub and shake your hands to relax them.
  • Massage your eyes as described in “Massage” on 6.
  • Breathe from the abdominal area.
  • Lean over from the hips and place your elbows on a desk or table on something soft (a pillow, pile of papers, or a coat or sweater will work).
  • Place your palms over your eyes to shut out as much light as possible.
  • Maintain a positive frame of mind.
  • Devote the first 3 -5 minutes (or 35 – 45 breaths) to being aware of your breathing. Take in the pure air, exhale it and imagine the world dripping off your shoulders and that you have no cares in the world.
  • After being aware of your breathing while palming, put on some nice music. If you are in an open work area, you might have to use headphones for this. Music helps you achieve centralization because the mind centralizes on the music. Music also causes your mind to move with the music which awakens your sense of motion. The best music for palming is gentle and flowing with one or two lead instruments rather than a complicated orchestral piece.

Explanation – Effective palming changes the state of your nervous system, establishes a centralized state of mind, and awakens your sense of motion.

Hints – Palming is the most restful and effective when you remain alert. At first, the mind tends to fall into its old thought patterns of running around aimlessly with no particular focus or direction. Try following the notes of the music or thinking of something you find interesting such as your favorite color and all objects in the room of that color. In time you will be able to follow the notes easily and focus your thoughts.

Remembering the Restful State

Goal –Remember the restful state achieved through palming.

Steps – Practice this technique throughout the day.

  • Remove your glasses and close your eyes.
  • Massage your eyes as described in “Massage” on 6.
  • Do a long inhale (a few seconds to half a minute), and open your eyes with the exhale.
  • Remember the restful state achieved through sunning and palming.

Hints – You may need to palm first so you have a restful state in your mind to remember. In time, you will be able to remember the restful state without palming first. This technique supplements the restful state achieved from palming – it does not replace it. You should continue to palm during the day in addition to remembering the restful state.

Blinking and the Restful State

Goal – Establish the blink as a way to return to a restful state of mind.

Steps – Practice this technique throughout the day.

  • Remove your glasses.
  • Massage your eyes as described in “Massage” on 6.
  • Rapidly blink your eyes and remember the restful state achieved through sunning and palming.

Explanation – You may need to palm first so you have a restful state in your mind to remember. In time, you will be able to remember the restful state without palming first. With time, any blink will achieve as much of a restful state as palming does.


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