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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More Swings: Short, Long, & Universal

September 1, 2009

Short Swing

Use a short swing to shift over small points whenever you need to look at a small point for a long time.

Goal – Practice short swings to reestablish the natural movement of the eyes and overcome the mental stare. If you can keep a short sway going all day, your vision will improve dramatically.

Steps – Practice with your head, body, and imagination. Start at the distance where you see best without glasses.

  • Head swing – Move your head from side to side letting your eyes follow your nose to shift across three points in front of you. If you are at a computer, shift across three points on your display. Allow the movement of your head to move the eyes involuntarily while your attention stays with your gaze. Gradually decrease the number of points to two, and finally one.
  • Body sway – Stand comfortably with your legs apart. Move your body from side to side letting your eyes follow your nose while shifting across
    something of interest in front of you. The sway should be about the same width as the object you are looking at. Sway with your eyes open and with your eyes closed sensing the movement of the object in front of you. When the movement becomes very noticeable, shorten the sway to make the swing smaller. Take frequent breaks during your work day to practice this.
  • Variable swing – Do a short swing with an object at a comfortable distance (phone, lamp, plant) and be aware of a different object at about the same distance in your peripheral vision moving nearby (pencil holder, book, poster).
    • At the near point – Do a short swing on an object close to you and be aware of a different object moving in your peripheral vision in the distance.
    • At the far point – Do a short swing with an object far from you and be aware of a different object moving in your periphery nearby. Do a short swing with an object far from you and be aware of objects moving up close.
  • Memory swing – Use a short body sway to see the motion of an object at a comfortable distance. Close your eyes and remember the sense of motion as you continue to sway. Open your eyes and notice motion at a distance where you did not notice it before while you remember the sense of motion as it was at the comfortable distance. Try different distances. Keep the sense of motion going in your imagination.

Explanation – The involuntary motion of your eyes is a reflection of the natural moving and shifting of the mind. Your attention shifts naturally from one side to the other of any point. The memory swing sets the sense of motion deeper into your mind.

Hints – Maintain looseness as you look at smaller and smaller objects. Shifting over 3 points breaks the tendency of the eyes to jump from one point to another. Learn to move your attention without moving your eyes. Your attention should be on the movement of the scene, and not on the movement of your body. Sometimes there is a tendency for the eyes to stay with the object instead of moving with the head or body especially when the body sway is shortened. Let your eyes follow your nose and shift over the object.

Objects appear to move differently depending on how close they are to you and where you look. If the focus is in the distance, close things have a more dramatic movement. If the focus is close up, far things have a more dramatic movement.

Long Swing

The Long swing is one of the best ways to wake up your sense of motion, increase shifting, and achieve eye and mind coordination. The Long swing brings flexibility to the body, which in turn, makes the mind more flexible. Compare your sense of motion before and after you do the long swing.

Note – Unless you work in an office with a door that closes, you will probably have to contain the long swing to home practice. Do it before you go to bed and you might find you have a very sound sleep.

Goal – Learn and practice the long swing.

Steps – Practice the long swing for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. If you practice more than 20 or 30 minutes, your nervous system changes and you might not want to stop!

  • Put on music with a soothing beat so your mind flows with and relaxes into the music.
  • Remove your glasses and stand up straight holding your spine and neck in one unit.
  • You can start with a head swing, go on to a body sway, and move into the long swing.
  • Twist to one side by moving your torso at the shoulders and hips in line with your head until you can see to the side or behind you (however far you can comfortably manage).
  • Bend one leg to allow the maximum, but comfortable, twist in the direction you are moving.
  • Do the same twist in the other direction and continue from side-to-side in rhythm with the music.
  • Let your arms fall loosely to your sides and follow your body as it twists.
  • Release to the rhythm and focus on the feeling and movement.
  • Practice long swings for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and as many times during the day as you can. Swing to one side of an album you like.

Explanation – The long swing affects the cerebral-spinal nervous system by waking up the energy and getting your mind and body moving together.

Hints – Release to the rhythm and keep your spine straight. This gets the cerebral-spinal nervous system moving which stimulates the sympathetic nerves and gets your eyes shifting.

If your eyes are leading, put your arms out in front of you and keep your eyes between both arms, or close your eyes for awhile while you swing. Do the long swing with your eyes closed if you feel any discomfort in your eyes.

If your shoulders are tight and your arms are not falling loosely to your side, hold your hands behind your back instead and alternate with letting them fall loosely to your side and holding them behind your back.

Notice how the world moves by you, rather than how you move through the world.  Notice the animation and life in the world as it swings by.  Keep a slight sway when you sit or stand.

Make sure you do not:

  • Twist in the torso
  • Separate your r head from your torso
  • Lead from the shoulders
  • Make an effort out of the swing
  • Hold back with the back leg

longswing

Universal Swing

The Universal swing creates a feeling that everything is attached and moving in the universe. It can be done every moment and in every situation, and is good for mental control and calmness.

Goal – Incorporate a deep sense of motion at all times.

Steps – Sit in a comfortable position, remove your glasses, and close your eyes.

  • Sway your body while sitting in the chair and be aware of the chair moving.
  • Think of the chair as connected to floor, so the floor is also moving.
  • The floor is connected to walls and ceiling so these are also moving.
  • The room is connected to the building, so the building is also moving.
  • The building on ground, so the ground is also moving.
  • The ground is connected to city, so the city is also moving.
  • The city is connected to other cities, so all cities are also moving.
  • The cities are connected to the state, so the state is also moving.
  • The state is connected to the country, so the country is also moving.
  • The country is connected to the Atlantic and Pacific so they are also moving.
  • The country and the seas are part of earth, so the earth is also moving.
  • The earth is connected to space and stars, so these are also moving.
  • Stop the body sway and let your mind swing.
  • Come back to the and maintain a sense it is s still moving. Open your eyes.
  • Notice that anything that you put your attention on appears to move.
  • Keep the subtle undercurrent of the swing as you slowly look around.
  • Keep the swing while you stand up and slowly take one step at a time. If you lose the swing, get it back before you take another step.
  • Attach perspective lines between you and the swinging objects so all things appear to swing in a straight line together.

Explanation – The Universal swings takes the sense of motion to a very deep and complete level within your being. If you incorporate it into your daily life, you will be present and alert in the world with a solid awareness of the periphery, and have an awakened sense of motion.

Hints – During the swing, maintain a sense of connectedness to the swinging objects and a feeling of space around you. If you lose the awareness of motion when you look at something, close your eyes and sway. When you open your eyes, notice color, shapes, details, and one part best. Notice motion in everything. Look at an object and without moving your body, use the constant motion within you to imagine its pulsing motion.


Motion

August 24, 2009

There are two types of motion: real physical motion and the perception of motion.

  • Real motion – When your eyesight is quite blurry, you most likely have a very diminished or non-existent perception of water flowing downstream, grasses and flowers swaying in the wind, or leaves rustling in trees.
  • Perception of motion – When your eyesight is quite blurry, you most likely have a very diminished or non-existent perception of the appearance of objects moving in the opposite direction when you move your bodies through space.

To relieve eyestrain and clear your vision, it is very important to awaken a sense of both types of motion. When your sense of motion is awakened, your eyes shift, the mental stare is broken, you have eye and mind coordination, your circulation and breathing are improved, and you are in a state of alert interest. An awareness of motion helps your mind move quickly and effortlessly from point to point as you take in the scene before you. It means your mind is here and not stuck in thought somewhere else.

This category covers many techniques to awaken the sense of motion. The next category “Centralized State of Mind” explains how to transfer your awakened sense of motion to seeing details.

Dodging

Dodging is moving your mind and eyes away from a point you see clearly to keep the relaxed state of mind that created the clear vision. Eyes naturally move away from what they see clearly. If you stare at your computer screen fixing on points while you try to reason out a problem, you will create have an eyestrain that can blur your vision.

  • Whenever you set your gaze on a point, immediately move your gaze to another point or close your eyes (dodge to closed eyes).
  • At the computer, shift your gaze around the display by moving your head and letting your eyes follow your nose. Close your eyes or use eye drops if your eyes become tired.

Voluntary and Involuntary Movement

The eyes can move in two ways: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary eye movement is when you consciously move your eyeballs. Involuntary eye movement is when your head moves and your eyes follow.

Involuntary eye movement is the same thing as shifting while voluntary eye movement can create eyestrain. Involuntary movement is more rapid than voluntary eye movement and is essential for normal vision. You can stimulate involuntary eye movement with blinking, sunning, palming, dodging, and swinging (described below). Swings are particularly effective for establishing involuntary eye movement and increasing shifting.

  • Voluntary eye movement – Hold your head still and move your eyes from side to side or up and down.
  • Involuntary eye movement
    • Move your head from side to side. Notice the difference in the movement. As your mind moves over the points, notice the points left behind.
    • Move your head while you look at a corner of your computer monitor or something on your desk. Notice the difference in the movement. As your mind moves over the points, notice the points left behind.

Swings

Swings are a family of techniques that increase shifting (involuntary eye movement) and awaken your sense of motion. This family of techniques is called swings because they involve physically swinging your body and mentally noticing how objects appear to swing in the opposite direction.

Swings teach you to see with your whole being from the back of your head, and to let your mind lead and the eyes follow. Once you learn to swing, you should keep a short swing going throughout the day to maintain a perception of motion at all times and keep your mind present and interested in what you are seeing.

In 1988 I worked with a student who had no sense of motion and her mind was in an extreme mental stare. She came to me for lessons to relieve her eyestrain and improve her vision. The first things I taught her were blinking and swings.

With great attention and perseverance for several days she developed the habit of normal blinking and put herself completely into motion by practicing swings all day. Her new blinking habits and awakened sense of motion improved her vision tremendously and her whole being changed.

Finger Swing Technique

The Finger swing is the first step to noticing relative motion. Relative motion is the appearance of stationary objects moving relative to your own movement very much like when you drive in a car and the road and scenery falls away behind you.

Goal – Get into the habit of seeing by letting your eyes follow your nose.

Steps – Use this technique from time to time to break the mental stare.

  • Take off your glasses and relax.
  • Massage your eyes as described in “Massage” on 6.
  • Hold a finger 6 inches in front of your nose and a little to the side.
  • Move your head from side to side letting your eyes follow your nose to prevent you from moving your eyes separately from your hehead. The finger appears to move in the opposite direction of your head.
  • Close your eyes and imagine the motion of the finger as you swing your head.
    Explanation – Stationary objects move in relation to your movement. When you notice this, a sense of motion is awakened on objects that are stationary and moving. If you just move your eyes, there is no appearance of motion. Paying attention to motion brings you into the moment and relaxes your mind so you can register images without effort.

    Hints – Keep your attention on the object moving rather than on your own movement.

Drifting Swing

People with normal sight scan the horizon, get their sense of place in space, and scan around the landscape. The Drifting swing is the first step in learning to scan a scene.

Goal – Scan and notice subtle variations.

Steps – Practice scanning at all times – at your computer, when reasoning out problems, or thinking of persons and places far away.

  • Take off your glasses and relax.
  • Massage your eyes as described in “Massage” on 6.
  • Move your head and think of your nose as a paint brush or pointer while you look through your eyes at interesting items on your desk or on your computer desktop at a comfortable distance.
  • As you drift, notice something about the items that interests you. For example, their size, shape, color, texture, or contrasts.
  • Incorporate an awareness of the scene swinging in the opposite direction as you move your head.

Explanation – Moving your head causes your eyes to shift properly and prevents your mind from grabbing at images. When you notice that objects are not fixed to a point, the stare is broken and motion is sensed.

Hints – If you do not get a sense of motion, adjust the distance and focus on objects closer to you or farther away until they appear to move in the opposite direction from the direction your head is moving.

Trailing or leading with your eyes inhibits the shifting. Let your eyes follow your nose as you move your head.

Shift over more than two points in the scene to help prevent your eyes from jumping from one point to another.

Be aware of small parts within the scene rather than trying to take in the entire scene at once. If you try to see the entire scene without allowing the eyes to shift across it, the scene appears blurred.

Think of your eyes as two big windows the mind is looking through. Remember that vision is the mind looking through the eyes.