Integration into Daily Life

November 17, 2009

You gain only temporary, short-term relief to eyestrain unless you learn to practice the relaxation and vision building techniques throughout the day and every day. In addition to practicing the techniques, you have to shift to the new mental state introduced by the techniques to truly and permanently relieve eyestrain and clear your vision. Remember, what you learn is based on what you believe you can learn, and the limitations you feel about improving your vision are purely mental.

While you will probably notice relief almost immediately, it takes about six months to a year to get solid and long-lasting results. Use your glasses only when you need them, and take them off when you do not need them.

  • Practice vision building and relaxation techniques for 1/2 hour every day.
  • Set aside at least a 1/2 hour every day to practice daily integration.
  • Do not make an effort with the techniques. Switch to another technique, and palm, shift, or swing frequently.
  • Avoid the mental habits that caused your vision to initially go bad.
  • Develop a curious interest in what you see by noticing motion, details, contrasts, color, and shapes and the near and far points.
  • Ask yourself where you find it easy to keep an awareness of motion at home or work and where you find it difficult. During these times at home or at work, set aside extra time to practice swinging, shifting, and dodging and keep the memory of the motion going as you perform the activities that make it hard for you to keep an awareness of motion.
    • Apply the same approach to centralization.
    • Apply the same approach to relaxation.
  • Do not test your vision by trying to see things more clearly. Instead, see how well you can maintain an easy manner, notice motion, see one part best, or try to keep the Universal swing going all day long. Testing your vision does not test the technique, it tests what happens when you test.
  • Learn to meet life in a relaxed manner instead of taking a mental grip on life. Swing the black dot when you are in a stressful situation.
  • Make a record of what causes your eyestrain and find ways to eliminate the problems by making unfavorable conditions more favorable.

Workplace, Computer, and Television Eyestrain

Working at a computer can be very absorbing and create a lot of eyestrain. You tend to concentrate on what is on the screen to the exclusion of all else, focus for long periods at the same distance, and try to take in the entire screen instead of shifting and seeing one part best. You might unconsciously try to make the characters on the screen solid when, in fact, they are flickering. All of these things result in eyestrain, and for many people, the eyestrain is severe.

Television screens can have similar effects to computer screens except you can sit further back, which relieves some of the tendency to become absorbed. Any detail-oriented or high-stress work can cause eyestrain in the ways described above whether or not you work at a computer.

Whenever you work, are at your computer, or watch television, keep the following points in mind:

  • Be aware of objects around you while you work.
  • Be aware of objects moving in your periphery.
  • Take frequent breaks so that you focus your eyes at different distances.
  • Practice central fixation on the computer or television screen, or on what you are working on at your desk.
  • Remember to dodge and shift while you work.
  • Scan the images on your desk or on your computer screen rather than staring into the middle.
  • If your chair swivels, turn from side-to-side in your chair to create a short swing. Remember the short swing after you stop turning in your chair.
  • Practice short swings when you are on the phone or driving in your car.
  • Leave yourself notes to remind you to blink, sun, palm, shift, swing, dodge, see halos, or practice healthy reading habits.
  • Decide to focus on one family of techniques for the week. Start with motion because developing a sense of motion is critical to improving your vision. You might as well focus on motion until it is a second nature.
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Memory

September 28, 2009

To remember something perfectly or imagine something in vivid detail, the mind has to be completely relaxed. People with photographic memories have very relaxed minds, and would have very clear vision if they knew how to transfer their extremely relaxed state of mind to how they see.

Memory and imagination techniques are practiced after motion and centralization techniques have relieved enough eyestrain so the mind is in a relaxed state. Memory and imagination techniques take the mind to a much deeper state of relaxation to refine the vision into sharp focus.

One day I was riding in the car with one of my students. He was having trouble reading the freeway signs, and I pointed out that he should stop fixating on the fact that the signs appear a little blurry and look for letters that pop out and notice the length of the word instead. But I told him to make himself present first by feeling his feet on the floor and hands on the steering wheel. When he did what I asked, his imagination awakened and he and found he could guess at the words on the signs with amazing accuracy. His vision also cleared.

Memory

Memory is an important tool for refining vision. If something is round and you remember it round, you will see its roundness clearly when you look at it. If you stare at a memory, the memory disappears. Perfect memory brings about the state of mental ease, mental focus, and a feeling of being in the present moment.

The memory techniques increase shifting and relieve any eyestrain you might have when you focus your eyes. This leaves your mind and eyes free to focus on what you see. Memory techniques work well when you have a good visual memory, or if you have normal sight at some distance (it does not matter what distance). If you do not have a good visual memory, the techniques can help you improve your visual memory, which in turn, improves your vision.

Types of Memory

There are three major types of memory: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. Most people predominately use one or two of the three types. If you know your type, you can gear the memory techniques to your best advantage. You can also develop other types of memory by practicing the techniques according to the types of memory you do not use often or at all.

Visual

People who are strongly visual are thinner, well put together, have a higher voice, and use a lot of visual words. If you predominately use visual memory, slow down and lower your voice as a precursor to relaxation.
Practice flashing (described below) to encourage your visual memory. This works because the visual memory is faster than the auditory or kinesthetic memories and flashing requires quick image recall. Also practice central fixation.

Kinesthetic Memory

People who are highly kinesthetic put comfort before looks. Some kinesthetic people respond to external sensations and are aware of their extremities.

Practice memory techniques by holding the object in your hand. Notice how it feels when your vision is clear as opposed to when your vision is not clear. Keep the memory of the feeling of clear vision.

Auditory Memory

People who are strongly auditory have a rhythm with their walk and ups and downs in their voices.

Practice the memory techniques by incorporating a short swing with the object. Also, keep a memory of the short swing at different distances at all times. Start the swing with your body moving, and then stop your body and keep the feeling of the movement.

Flashing

Begin by practicing memory techniques on what is in front of you at a comfortable distance to take advantage of the state of mental ease you already have at that distance.

Goal – Palm and accept images (flashing). The palming part can be done with eyes closed or eyes opened.

Steps – Take breaks during the day and practice flashing with items on your desk.

  • Place an interesting object in front of you when you palm.
  • Open your hands quickly to get a mental image.
  • Close your hands again to cover your eyes, and remember the image.
  • Palm like this for five minutes every hour.

Other Ideas –

  • Palm and remember a pleasant experience.
  • Flash with a deck of cards by pulling the cards up one by one, looking at them quickly, saying their names out loud (ace of spades), and going on to the next card. This technique builds the visual impulse because there is not enough time to strain to see.
  • Look at one corner of a simple picture, close your eyes, and remember the corner.

Explanation – Flashing is a good way to build mental images, and strong mental images help you see clearly.

Hints – If the memory goes away, it is because you do not have shifting to shift over the points in the image to maintain the memory of the image. Practice shifting by sunning, palming, and swinging.

Shifting

Goal – Allow images to flow into your mind when you remember.

Steps – Practice this several times a day.

  • Pick an object in your environment and let your eyes shift around it in a drifting swing.
  • Close your eyes and shift around the object in your memory.
  • Open your eyes and remember the feeling of the memory of the object with your eyes closed.

Hints – Relax when you open your eyes and do not try to see anything. Let the image flow into your mind. Elongate your head and neck to reduce the strain on your head, neck, and spine.

Explanation – Your eyes have to paint the picture in your mind by shifting. If you stare at the whole picture in your mind, you lose the memory. Keeping the memory with the eyes open prevents you from mentally projecting the picture out and causing eyestrain.

Memory of a Letter

Goal – Use memory to see print clearly.

Steps – Practice this technique whenever you read. If you are farsighted, this technique will help you see smaller print. If you are nearsighted, this technique will help you see print in the distance. Reading is covered in more detail in Chapter 7: Healthy Reading Habits.

  • Find a letter such as the letter Z on a printed page (black print on white is best) and look at it at the distance where you see best.
  • Remember it when you close your eyes and retain the same relaxed state with your eyes closed.
  • Look at the floor and open your eyes maintaining the memory of the Z.
  • Repeat, but this time when you open your eyes, look at a blank wall keeping the memory of the Z.
  • Repeat, and this time let your eyes move up the wall keeping the memory of the Z. If the Z begins to fade, go back to the object and regain the memory.

Explanation – When you make an effort to remember, the memory fades.

Memory of an Object in its Environment

Goal – Have perfect memory at different distances and at a small point. Create a relaxed state where the mind does not go out to see, but light flows into the eyes and is registered by the mind. A simple memory of anything with detail can sharpen your vision.

Steps – Pick an object in your environment to remember. Shapes, letters with serifs, or any object near you will work. It should have enough detail to keep your interest, but not too much detail so it is difficult to remember.

  • Recall the object with your eyes closed until the visual memory is equal to or close to equal to the real object. The size, color, and position relative to your periphery should be the same with your eyes closed and with your eyes open.
  • Recall the object with opened eyes against a blank surface in the room (a wall or table top) at your best distance.
  • Try other distances. If the memory starts to go away with opened eyes, recall the object with your eyes closed.
  • Recall the object with opened eyes against detailed surfaces in the room (carpet or closed drapes) at your best distance.
  • Try other distances.

Explanation – Memory works the same way as vision. The mind shifts over many points to get the image. You remember an object when you have an image of the object – its shape, color, position in relation to the periphery, and you maintain the same feeling with your eyes closed that you had with your eyes open. Do not make work out of the memory. Just think about it.

Hints – Do not project the memory out. Remember the object with your eyes open at the same distance and size as it is with your eyes closed. Ask yourself if the object is on the wall or in your mind. It should be in your mind. If it is on the wall, you are not being present when you see and present when you remember. Memories can help the vision if you bring yourself into the present.

If you get a negative after image, you are remembering with strain. If you tend to strain on a memory, move a part of your body to break the strain. If you have trouble getting a mental picture, you do not have central fixation developed enough. Go back and practice the central fixation techniques.

Apple

Practice the “Memory of an Object in its Environment” on 49, but use an apple or other fruit as the object. Include the crunch, taste, and smell of the apple as part of the memory.

One Eye at a Time

Practice the “Memory of an Object in its Environment” on 49, but work with one eye at a time by covering one eye. This will correct a distortion in the open eye.

Nearsight

Goal – Use memory to improve vision at the far point.

Steps – Close your eyes and pretend to draw pictures on your extended hand, or make a 1/4 inch circle on your forefinger with your thumb.

Explanation – These techniques bring the attention in and create an internal swing that moves with your mind and eyes.

Hints – Be aware of points in the circle by counting numbers. The thumb works best when you are aware of the connection between you and your thumb.

Farsight

Goal – Use memory to improve vision at the near point.

Steps – WIth your eyes closed, draw letters of the alphabet with your index finger on bridge of your nose between the eyes.

Explanation – This brings your attention in.

Hints – If you have a turned-in eyes, draw the letters on the side of your temple instead.

Dodging

If you can keep a memory when looking at the blank surface, but lose the memory when you look at objects with your eyes open, the best thing to do is dodge to a blank surface or to closed eyes. Dodging allows the memory to stay because it keeps the mind from fixing on what your eyes are seeing.

Memory Swing

Do a short swing on an object and remember it swinging with your eyes closed. Now remember it swinging with your eyes open. Practice the memory swing whenever social conditions prevent practicing short or long swings.

Cards

Hold two cards at different distances. Look from one card to the other and retain the memory of the last one while looking at the current one.

Palming

Palm and have someone read you a story. Create mental images as you listen to the story.

Black Dot

Find a small black dot such as a solid black period in text. Use memory and palming to remember the black dot. Get a short swing going with the dot in your mind.

Keeping a Memory when Seeing

Find an object you like and remember it all the time to maintain the state of clear vision. For example, think of an apple, and look in the distance and remember the apple.

Stimulating the memory stimulates the vision and vice versa. If you remember detail, you think details, and therefore, you see details. Keep a visual picture in your mind at all times.

Keep a a picture of yourself before you wore glasses near you to help you remember the state of mind of clear vision. Never remember blurred vision. Take yourself back to a time when you had clear vision by talking about it to a partner or friend.


Motion and Centralization

September 22, 2009

Centralization and motion are key to correcting eyesight. Some people work better with one or the other. Centralization is being fully present and aware in the moment. Motion is not being attached to any point by moving to the next.

An awareness of motion promotes flexibility because it causes your mind to stop trying to make things happen. If you are so flexible that you lack focus and direction, practice central fixation with an emphasis on awakening your interest in detail. This will make your sense of motion more precise.

If you try so hard to be focused that you lack flexibility and are unable to move on to new things, improve your central fixation by emphasizing the periphery, developing an interest in motion, and dodging.

Edging

Edging is brushing around the outline of shapes with your nose by letting your eyes follow the brush (your nose). The key to edging is to keep a relaxed sense of the points flowing into your mind while your attention moves around the outline noticing detail. Edging is a technique of motion and central fixation.

Goal – Incorporate central fixation and motion to see details along a line.

Steps – Practice edging to refine your sense of motion and centralize your mind.

  • •Remove your glasses and relax.•Find a line in your environment at a comfortable distance so you do not strain to see it. It can be the line where a wall joins the ceiling or floor, the edge of a table, door, or other piece of furniture in the room.
  • Feel your feet on the floor, close your eyes, and relax.
  • Open your eyes and move your head and follow your nose along the line noticing every point as you go and that the point you are on is the point you see best.
  • When you get good at this, add motion.
    – Notice each point as it comes into view, and notice the present point moving away as the next point comes into view.
    – Notice the point in view is the point you see best, and keep a feeling of the points moving into and out of view as you brush along with your nose.

Explanation – The eyes and mind must coordinate to take in small points of detail without skipping over any points in the line. You also have to be completely present in the room and interested in what you are looking at to not skip any points.

Hints – Maintain a smooth motion with your eyes and head. Do not jump over points in the line. If you find you jump over points, take a few deep breaths and palm. It might help to find a line at a more comfortable distance.

If you have worn or currently wear glasses, you probably have an unconscious mental habit of straining and you might strain when edging. If so, practice for short periods only, palm before and after edging, and keep an awareness of motion and see one part best while you practice.

Edging and Swinging

When you become proficient with edging, add swinging.

Goal – Use swings to widen your field of vision.

Steps – Your eyesight should be fairly good before you attempt this technique because if it is not, this technique will can create a strain.

  • Remove your glasses and relax.
  • Find a line in your environment at a comfortable distance so you do not strain to see it. It can be the line where a wall joins the ceiling or floor, the edge of a table, door, or other piece of furniture in the room.
  • Get a short swing going across the joint using a head swing or body sway.
  • Once you have the swing going, notice an object in your periphery and keep it swinging with you.
  • With the object swinging in the periphery, find an area along on the joint and see one part best.
  • Keeping the peripheral swing going, edge along the joint seeing the point you are on best, noticing the point move away and the next point moving into view.
  • Edge along the joint in both directions several times.

Explanation – This technique lets you see points along the joint the way a person with normal vision would see them: with relaxation, motion, central fixation, and peripheral vision.

Hints – Make sure you keep breathing and do not strain. Keep the points along the joint moving and the object in your periphery moving.

Dim Light and Night Vision

When your eyesight improves, you can refine your vision for dim light and night vision. Contrast is more subtle in dim light. At a distance where your vision is clear, dim light does not affect your ability to see. It takes imagination to see in dim light or at night at a distance where your vision is not clear because your eyes are not shifting or centralizing. People who practice central fixation see more contrast and see better in dim light.

One man who had a keen interest in shapes used this interest to improve his night vision by contrasting the lights and darks by searching for the lightest light and the darkest dark. Once he became good at this, he started to look for colors while contrasting lights and darks. Over time as he became good at seeing details in dim light, his vision improved tremendously.

If you are having trouble seeing in dim light or at night, your peripheral vision is shutting down, you are not noticing details, or both.

  • If you see in the periphery, but have trouble seeing one part best, you need detail work.
  • If you see one part best, but are unaware of objects in relation to other objects, you need periphery work. See “Peripheral Vision” on 41

Accept What you See

Goal – See objects in dim light as they are.

Steps – Sit in a dimly lit room and let dark things be dark and light things be light.

Explanation – This reduces the strain of trying to see objects in dim light in a way other than how they really appear.

Hints – Do not strain. If you find yourself straining, palm or swing.

Awaken Interest in Details

Goal – Wake up an interest in detail, shapes, and color in dim light.

Steps – You can practice this technique alone or with a partner. If you have a partner talk to each other about the details you see in the dim light.

  • Sit in a dimly lit room and start noticing dark, the light within the dark, and go on to contrasting light and dark.
  • As you progress, find smaller and smaller areas of light and dark, and then start contrasting colors.
  • Add motion as you move from light to dark, dark to light, and from color to color.
  • Notice different bands and continuation of color.
  • Compare hues and be aware of shapes.
  • Drift over the memory of details.

Explanation – The peripheral vision shuts down in dim light due to strain. Noticing details alleviates this strain and opens the peripheral vision.

Hints – Start with details that interest you.


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.