Natural 20-20 Vision Book (PDF)

May 14, 2016

Read or download the complete book: Relax, Smile, and Enjoy the View — Natural Relief for Eyestrain from Computer Use and Other Activities, self-published, 1997. Copyright 1997 Monica Pawlan. All Rights Reserved.

Most of the book is also available in the postings on this blog.

See also my posting on a vision game that can help improve vision:  ULTIMEYES: A Game to Improve Vision.

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Game to Improve Your Vision

May 13, 2016

A long-time interest of mine is natural methods for improving vision. For many years my focus was on the methods of Dr. Bates (see my blog Better Vision, Naturally),  and vision exercises taught by local behavioral optometrists.

While age is certainly a factor in declining vision, I know that working at a computer full time for more than 30 years often fought against me in my effort to maintain healthy habits of seeing. No matter how hard I tried to fight it, electronic devices such as my work and home laptops and phone would suck me into a body-less stare where I would lose touch with everything around me in the physical world and become an unwitting citizen of cyberspace.

Now, in a few ways I have made my computer a friend to my vision. A few years ago, I read about how a computer-based game helped the baseball team at UC Riverside improve their vision. At the time, I could purchase a copy of the game (ULTIMEYES) from Carrot Technology for under $10 for unlimited use that never expires. So I did and started to play.

It seems to be working for me. What’s even more interesting is that the way it works supports many of the healthy vision habits described in my free book, Better Vision, Naturally.

How ULTIMEYES Works

ULTIMEYES monitors your reaction time, sensitivity to contrast, and speed as you look for and click primitive shapes. Based on its findings, the game adjusts and customizes the game to your personal needs.

contrast

Possible shapes. One screen displays a set of one type of shape. When you complete that, another screen displays with a different set of another type of shape.

To play, the game displays a set of the same type of primitive shape on the screen that you look for and click with the mouse as fast as you can (reaction time). The shapes are the same color as the background with several types of shading that makes them stand out a little on the screen (contrast).

As you get faster and more accurate at finding and clicking the shapes, the lessons advance and become more challenging. Every few sessions, you are given a vision assessment. The results of the assessment are added into the customization algorithm for an even more personal experience.

Healthy Habits of Seeing

The healthy habits of seeing covered in detail with exercises in Better Vision, Naturally, are supported by ULTIMEYES as described here.

Relaxed, Centralized, and Aware means to not focus on what you do not see, but on what you do see, and to not strain to see what you cannot see.

gabors

ULTIMEYES teaches you to scan the screen with your eyes to spot the shapes and click them. The better you are at identifying and picking out the shapes, the more you are focusing on what you are seeing. If the game detects that you are having trouble spotting the shapes (slow reaction time or inaccurate clicks), it increases the contrast so that your mind remains relaxed, centralized, and aware. Likewise, if you are keeping up and getting faster and more accurate, ULTIMEYES descreases the contrast to challenge you to see better.

Detailed Memory requires a completed relaxed state of mind. Memory techniques take the mind to a much deeper state of relaxation to refine the vision into sharp focus.

ULTIMEYES uses sound to indicate the presence and approximate location of primitive shapes on the screen. In some sessions, the shapes appear one by one with varying amounts of time between their appearance. Then, shapes shapes start to appear more and more quickly and you try to keep up with finding them. If you fall behind, you can try to catch up by using auditory memory to scan the areas on the screen where the sounds had indicated shapes were appearing. If you fall too far behind, the game pauses and waits for you catch up.

Eye and Mind Coordination means the mind is present and interested in what it is looking at. In this state, visual images flow through the eyes and mental thoughts flow through the mind without effort. Holding onto and grabbing at images and thoughts gets in the way of the natural workings of you eyes and mind and blurs your vision.

In ULTIMEYES scanning and clicking the shapes improves eye and mind coordination as you learn to find and click as quickly as you can. You also keep your mind clear of extraneous thoughts, because they only interfere with spotting the shapes and slow you down. Not holding onto and grabbing at the images is implicit in successfully playing the game. ULTIMEYES challenges you enough but not too much so that you maintain the healthy habits of seeing that are required to spot and click the shapes.

Shifting is the involuntary movement of the eyes that allows you to scan an entire scene and pick out the minutest details. The normal eye shifts 70 to 100 times per second to see all details in a scene clearly. With eyestrain and blurred vision, the shifting of the eyes has an erratic, sticking or jumping motion that causes details to be missed and indicates an unfocused state of mind. Shifting breaks the mental fixing and jumping of the mind.

As you learn to scan the screen looking for and clicking the shapes, your eyes and mind learn to shift. Over time as you play more and advance to higher levels, the shifting becomes faster and more even.

Motion is the perception of motion as you move through space. Your awareness and perception of motion is key to mental relaxation.

Shifting leads to a better perception of motion that stays with you after you stop playing and go about your daily business.

Awakening a Sense of Space means thinking of an object and where it is before you look at it so that your mind can shift scale before you look at the object with your eyes. Blurred vision occurs when you look up after focusing at one distance because the mind is still at the focus point while the eyes attempt to see at a different point. Shifting scale helps you maintain eye and mind coordination.

In ULTIMEYES, you are seeing everything at the same distance as you play, so you would expect to have blurred vision when you finish. But that is not the case. And honestly, I am not sure why. Perhaps it’s because the game uses the other healthy habits of seeing discussed above to such an extent that you have no trouble shifting scale when you stop playing and engage in other non-computer activities. If this is the case, that implies that the other habits are keys to unlocking a flexible state of mind that awakens a sense of space around you.

If anyone else has any theories about how this works, I would love to hear them!

Computer Eyestrain

I have noticed that even after playing ULTIMEYES that if I spend a lot of time on the computer doing regular work, that my eyes get blurry again. Of course playing nearly every day and following some of my own advice in my book, Better Vision, Naturally, help to keep my vision in a healthy active state.


Awakening a Sense of Space

August 17, 2009

If you spend a lot of time focusing at one distance (such as working on a computer, working at a desk, sewing, or painting for hours), your eyes have probably lost some of their ability to shift scale and see clearly without eyestrain at varying distances. When you look up, objects a little way off may be in a blur while the objects close up that you are looking at are in focus.

Objects blur when you look up after focusing at one distance because the mind is still at the focus point while the eyes attempt to see at a different point. If you think of the object and where it is before you look at it, your mind shifts scale before you look at the object with your eyes. Shifting scale helps you maintain eye and mind coordination.

Shifting Scale — General

Goal – Learn to shift scale so your eyes can focus at all distances.

Steps – Practice this whenever you spend time focusing at the same distance.

  • Blink your eyes and think of an object in the room at a different distance from the one you have been focusing at. It can be something like an object on your desk or a poster on the wall.
  • Massage your eyes as described in Relaxed Breathing and Massage.
  • Briefly look up at the object.
  • Repeat with other objects at different distances.

Hints – Keep a feeling of your feet on the floor and the chair you are sitting in. Also develop a sense of things behind you. It is easier to shift scale when you are present and interested in what you are looking at

Shifting Scale — Computer

If you work at a computer, practice the general shifting scale technique and this technique.

Goal – Learn to shift scale while working at your computer.
Steps – Practice this frequently while working at your computer.

  • Place interesting pictures or objects in your work area that are easy to see from your position at the computer. Behind the monitor, on your desk near the computer, on the ceiling, on the walls to either side or above the computer are some possibilities.
  • Blink your eyes and think of one of the pictures or objects.
  • Massage your eyes as described in Relaxed Breathing and Massage.
  • Look up from the monitor at the picture or object.
  • Repeat with other objects and pictures at different distances.

Hints – Keep a feeling of your feet on the floor and the chair you are sitting in. Also develop a sense of things behind you. It is easier to shift scale when you are present and interested in what you are looking at.

Using Affirmations

Use the following affirmation to establish and widen your sense of space:

My world gets bigger and bigger every day

Using Visualizations

Goal – Develop a sense of space around you and the objects you look at.
Steps – Practice this technique several times a day, when you get up in the morning, and before you go to bed.

Goal – Develop a sense of space around you and the objects you look at.

Steps – Practice this technique several times a day, when you get up in the morning, and before you go to bed.

  • • Find a comfortable sitting position and remove your glasses.
  • Take a few deep breaths with long exhalations and relax your shoulders, relax your jaw muscles, and become aware of the floor beneath your feet.
  • Massage your eyes as described in Relaxed Breathing and Massage.
  • Close your eyes and sense the space around you.
  • Gradually push the space out in all directions by imagining the objects around you while maintaining an awareness of the floor beneath your feet.

Explanation – An awareness of space is important for being present in the world and maintaining eye and mind coordination.

Hints – Feeling the sky is a cap over your head and sense objects behind you at the horizon.


Sunning and Palming

August 10, 2009

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.

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:

shifter

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.

sunning

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

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.


Healthy Habits of Seeing

August 3, 2009

People with normal vision experience eyestrain on occasion, but generally have clear vision. If their eyesight becomes temporarily blurry, it soon clears when they practice the healthy habits of seeing again because the healthy habits of seeing make the eyestrain go away. People who have clear vision most of the time are usually quite unconscious of this process.

If you learn and incorporate the healthy habits of seeing into your daily life, you can relieve your eyestrain and clear your vision too. The techniques in the rest of this book show you how to learn and practice the healthy habits of seeing. “Integration into Daily Life” on 79 and “Workplace, Computer, and Television Eyestrain” on 80 provide advice on how to incorporate the healthy habits of seeing into your daily life.

The healthy habits of seeing are the following:

  • Relaxed mind – A relaxed mind lets images flow through the eyes and into the mind with no mental effort to hold onto or grab at the images. True relaxation involves a centralized mind and an awareness of motion.
  • Centralized mind – A centralized mind sees by focusing with interest on one tiny point best, and moves quickly to the next point. A mind not centralized attempts to take in everything at the same time and with the same degree of focus. A centralized mind is fully relaxed and perceives motion.

Your eyes are designed to see a series of small details in succession, and not take in large chunks of visual information. The part of the retina with the most visual acuity is the fovea. The fovea is a very tiny indentation in the central portion of the retina that, because of its size, can receive only one small point of light at a time, but receives the point with acute clarity. The fovea sends an impulse to the mind once and is ready for the next impulse. If you train your mind to relax, shift, and see small points with interest, the light strikes precisely on the retina and the fovea receives numerous points of light and sends the impulses directly to the mind in succession with extreme clarity.

  • Motion – A mind that perceives motion is aware of objects falling away in the opposite direction as the physical body moves through space. This sense of motion is an illusion, but is a very necessary component for clear vision. A blur results whenever the mind tries to stop motion in much the same way a photograph blurs when a camera uses too slow a shutter speed to capture a still image of a moving object. People with normal vision have an unconscious perception of motion all the time because a perception of motion is everywhere whenever the body moves. Any attempt to mentally stop motion creates eyestrain and blurs the vision.

Eye and Mind Coordination

A relaxed and centralized mind that perceives motion in the world around is coordinated with the eyes. Eye and mind coordination means the mind is present and interested in what it is looking at. It never becomes stuck on a past or present moment by holding onto or grabbing at images, but lets visual images flow through the eyes and mental thoughts flow through the mind without effort. As soon as you try to hold onto or grab at the images or thoughts that come into your mind, your eyes and mind are not coordinated. These attempts at control only make your ability to see and your mental processes less efficient. The eyes and mind are designed to register a single image or thought instantly and then go on to the next. Holding onto and grabbing at images and thoughts gets in the way of the natural workings of you eyes and mind.

The reason you try to hold onto and grab at visual and mental images is that you are unconsciously either sticking in the past or jumping into the future. If your attention is easily divided between two activities to the point that you lose your sense of being present in the world, your eyes and mind are not coordinated and you cannot practice the healthy habits of seeing. This is because the division puts your mind into an unrelaxed and uncentralized state. Not being present makes it impossible for you to perceive the illusion of motion as your body moves in space. In fact, your body might not be moving
at all!

Human beings are complex creatures. They can let visual images flow through their eyes and into their mind while mental thoughts flow into the mind. Sometimes the mental thoughts are stimulated by the images flowing in, and sometimes the mental thoughts seemingly come from nowhere. Your mind and eyes can lose coordination if your mind is taken away by the mental or visual images, but as long as you remain present and aware of your surroundings, eye and mind coordination is there regardless of the number of images and thoughts flowing through your mind.

Goal – Be present.
Steps – Practice this technique as often as you can to establish and maintain eye and mind coordination throughout the day.

  • Remove your glasses and take a few deep breaths.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet firmly on the floor.
  • Be aware of the floor beneath your feet.
  • Keep the awareness of the floor and add an awareness of the chair you are sitting on. Feel the seat beneath you and the backrest behind you.
  • Put your arms on the armrest (if there is one) and notice how the armrest feels holding your arms.
  • Do some deep breathing and think of something pleasant or listen to music while you keep a sense of your feet on the floor and how it feels to sit in the chair.
  • Transfer this technique to a standing position by feeling the floor beneath your feet. Do this whenever you are standing in line or standing and waiting for someone or something.

Explanation – When you are taken away with your thoughts, you lose the physical sense of being in the world. A good way to bring your mind back and coordinate it with your eyes is to become aware of your body in the world. If you maintain this awareness while you think and see, your eyes and mind will remain coordinated and you will not be taken away by your thoughts.

Joy

The value of joy in your life cannot be underestimated. Joy opens your heart and mind, increases your energy, and brings wonderful feelings. Mental tensions and negative emotions like anger and animosity cannot be present when joy is present. The mind cannot fix on anything because joy is movement.

When you are in a joyful state, you are present in the world in a happy way. Seek out activities and people who make you feel joyful. If you can transfer a feeling of joy to how you practice the techniques presented in this book, you will make better progress than you would without a feeling of joy. A joyful mind is coordinated with the eyes and happily accepts images without tension
or judgment.

Think of something that brings you joy – grandchildren, music, dancing, a favorite restaurant, special people, singing – and take a few deep breaths. Eyestrain will leave you immediately as you achieve a restful and happy state of mind through joy. Let the feeling of joy infiltrate your mind and body.

I particularly like to use the Long swing described in the future blog, “Motion” to get my body and mind into a happy and joyful state. I found that many of students had this same experience. Joy is awakened by motion and music which are the major components in the Long swing technique.

Shifting

When the mind is in a restful state of interest and happiness, the eyes have a natural and pleasing sparkle and the eyeballs have a smooth shifting motion. Shifting is the involuntary movement of the eyes that allows you to scan an entire scene and pick out the minutest details. The normal eye shifts 70 to 100 times per second to see all details in a scene clearly. With eyestrain and blurred vision, the shifting of the eyes has an erratic, sticking or jumping motion which causes details to be missed and indicates an unfocused state of mind. Shifting breaks the mental fixing and jumping of the mind.

Shifting occurs when you let your head move and allow your eyes to follow your nose, so you are in effect looking with your nose. People with clear vision never try to see. If they cannot see a point, they shift to another point. They move from point to point while the mind notices and registers what is in front of their eyes. Shifting is an unconscious process for persons with clear vision, and can be consciously learned by others.

Shifting techniques teach you to let your eyes follow as your body, head, and nose move to look at something. This method breaks the mental tendency to hold onto and grab at incoming visual images and increases shifting.

Your eyes contain a vitreous fluid similar to lymph. In the same way that muscle action moves lymph through the lymph nodes and cleanses it, shifting moves the vitreous fluid in the eyeballs. The more you move your body and let your eyes follow your nose, the more you will shift. When there is a lack of shifting, the vitreous fluid becomes sluggish and the result can be blurred vision.

Note – Do not practice any one technique presented in this book for so long you become tired and strain on the technique. Have fun, relax, and stay interested because relaxation and interest are critical to maintaining good vision. If you are not making progress with a particular technique, return to short periods of sunning, palming, shifting, and swinging (described below) to restore the relaxed state, and find a different technique to try.

This simple technique gives you a beginning idea of what shifting involves. The techniques that follow build on the basic ideas you learn here and provide additional ways to increase shifting.

Goal – Increase the shifting of your eyes and mind.
Steps – Practice this several times a day. Put a note in an easy place to see to remind you to practice shifting.

  • Remove your glasses and take a deep breath.
  • Extend your arm and hold your index finger in front of your face.
  • Move your head from side-to-side.
  • Notice how your finger moves to the right as your head turns left, and moves to the left as your head turns right. Do not let your eyes stick on your finger, but follow your nose as your head swings in either direction.
  • Continue doing this for several minutes until you are comfortable with it.

Hints – Elongate your head and neck to reduce the strain on your head, neck, and spine. Do not stick on the object as you shift past it. You might tend to lead with your eyes when you move your head, or let your eyes hang behind. Follow your nose to counteract these tendencies.

Shifting at your Computer

After practicing the shifting technique above, apply it to your computer.

Goal – Increase the shifting of your eyes and mind.
Steps – Practice this several times a day. Put a note on your monitor to remind you to practice shifting.

  • Remove your glasses and take a deep breath.
  • Look at a corner of your monitor and move your head from side-to-side.
  • Notice the corner move the right as your head goes left, and move to the left as your head goes right.
  • Take another deep breath and rock your body from side-to-side so your head and body move together.
  • Keep the awareness of the corner of the monitor moving in the opposite direction from the direction of your head and body.
  • Take another deep breath, keep your body rocking, and move your head letting your eyes follow to the computer desktop.
  • As your body, head, and eyes move, start noticing individual items on your computer desktop.
  • Notice the background color.
  • Notice the foreground color.
  • Notice the shapes and colors of the icons.
  • Notice the applications you have running.
  • Do not pause on any item, but let your gaze continue around the desktop by moving your head and letting your eyes follow.

Hints – Interest and relaxation are the keys. If you keep your interest in the individual objects on the desktop as you shift over the desktop, you will counteract the tendency to take in the entire desktop – or large chunks of the desktop – at once. Elongate your head and neck to reduce the strain on your head, neck, and spine. Do not stick on the object as you shift past it. You might tend to lead with your eyes when you move your head, or let your eyes hang behind. Follow your nose to counteract these tendencies.

Long Term Vision Improvement

If you are like many people, you probably found that shifting and incorporating the healthy habits of seeing – relaxation, centralization, and motion – are very different from how you normally see. The challenge is to make this new way of seeing unconscious and permanent, and is perhaps, the biggest challenge for improving eyesight over the long term because you have to change how you use your mind to see.

To make the mental shift, you must be fully present and interested in what you see. You have to break the habit of drifting off into space with your thoughts, or getting into a fixed gaze (mental stare) without blinking when you concentrate. You have to learn to close your eyes and palm (described below), notice motion, or find interesting details, when you eyes and mind feel tired and you are tempted to drift off with your thoughts or go into a mental stare.

People with severe nearsight are very prone to poor mental habits of seeing and can find it particularly difficult to improve their eyesight on their own. If after using this book, you find you are not making much progress by yourself, check local health food stores, book stores, or alternative newspapers for advertisements by teachers who provide one-on-one instruction in natural methods of vision improvement based on the Bates method.

As long as healthy habits of seeing are part of your life, you will not experience eyestrain and your eyesight will be improved. However, circumstances can create opportunities for poor vision habits to subtly return. If your eyesight was normal once and is now less than normal, undoubtedly this is exactly what happened. One way to defend yourself against the recurrence of poor eyesight is to continue the practices after your eyesight has improved and you have incorporated new healthy habits into your life. Another approach is to resume the techniques when you notice stress or strain in your life or your eyesight is no longer good. The sooner you remedy the problem, the faster your eyesight will improve because poor habits of seeing will not have had as much time to become ingrained in your unconscious mind.

With computer work, you have to be especially vigilant – particularly if you spend long hours at a time working at your computer. The nature of the work can make you highly prone to acquiring poor vision habits or making existing poor vision habits worse, which can ultimately blur your vision.