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.


Basic Practice

November 3, 2009

The following sections group the relaxation and vision building techniques into basic practice sessions. The groupings are suggestions to help you get started with your own practice plan. Because some techniques work better for some people than others, you will have to experiment to find the practice plan that works best for you. If you find you cannot stick to a program, you might want to find a teacher to assess your needs and customize a program for you, or work with a partner.

A partner or teacher can direct your attention to things you may not be aware of. For example, if you do not have a good sense of motion, you are probably not noticing enough details. A partner or teacher can help you pick out details. If you have a good sense of motion, but your eyesight is not improving, a partner or teacher can tell you to concentrate on other vision building techniques such as central fixation or memory.

If you wear glasses, you will find the first part of correcting your eyesight is overcoming the strain caused by the glasses. After that, you should concentrate on the mental state that caused your eyesight to weaken in the first place. To change your mental state, you have to awaken your interest at the distance where your vision is not normal.

Foundation Techniques

The foundation techniques provide the groundwork for techniques to come. The goal is to get a conscious experience of a different level of relaxation when you see.


Sun for 10 – 15 minutes with your eyes closed followed by 5 minutes of blinking into the light. The light relaxes your eyes and mind, and the heat soothes tight muscles.

  • The light should be comfortable. Get the correct distance from the lamp.
  • Sunning can be done several times a day.
  • You can sun with your eyes closed until you are accustomed to the light.
  • If your eyes are sticking on the light, follow along the shifter.
  • If you start to stare at any time during the session, sun some more.
  • Start keeping a record of things that affect your vision.


Palm for a few minutes. Visual purple is depleted by light and replenished by darkness. Light and dark contrasts stimulate the visual purple. Palming gives the mind a new opportunity to go into a relaxed state. It soothes and relaxes.

  • Play music while you palm.
  • Turn your head from side to side with your eyes closed while you palm. Imagine the sun moving from one ear to the other to get a short swing going. Sometimes moving your head up and down is better than turning it side to side.


Practice blinking for a few minutes to help break up the mental stare. Transfer the feeling of relaxation you achieved through palming to blinking. A restful blink is when you close your eyes for a few seconds and remember the restful state of palming. After awhile the blinking obtains a restful state on its own.

The mind is straining when the eyes are held open. Once you get flashes of better vision, you might tend to stare and not blink and lose the restful state of mind. Blinking is essential at times like this. Blinking keeps the state of relaxation all day.

  • Blink with one eye. Close your eyes for a moment and blink the other eye. In time, switch blinking from one eye to the other without closing the eyes.
  • Use the air cushion technique to start a blink. Cover one eye and bring the other hand over the other eye pushing and suctioning the eyelid open and closed. Do for 5 minutes at a time 6 or 7 times a day.
  • Start the morning with 3 – 5 minutes of blinking to get into the habit. When you notice yourself staring, blink for a minute or two to break up the stare.
  • Move your head from side to side or look from one point to another with a body sway.
  • See with your nose as if there is a paint brush or a pointer on the end of the nose. Extend your nose out with a brush at the end that brushes over every point on the way. Be careful to not go out on the pointer to see, instead of letting the images come in. Brush with your eyes closed and opened.
  • For close vision, close your eyes and use your finger to draw on a point between the eyes. The mind follows the movement of the fingers.

Motion Techniques

With enough practice, a sense of motion becomes natural because motion is integral to normal eyesight.

  • 10 – 15 minutes of foundation techniques.

– Sunning
– Palming
– Blinking
– Pressure points and massage
– Shifting

Vision Building for Nearsight

Nearsighted persons need to gain a sense of things moving when they move.

  • Finger swing.
  • Short swings, especially the sway. Keep the memory of the motion when you hold your body still.
  • Long swing to dynamic music for 15 to 20 minutes. Compare the long swing to the sway by going back to the sway. Notice the motion. Get a sense of the world moving by you rather than you moving through the world.
  • Edging

Vision Building for Farsight

Farsighted persons need to develop an interest in details at the near point.

  • Reading with memory of white between paragraphs
  • Finger swing.
  • Short swings, especially the sway.
  • Memory swing. Start with a sway, then keep the memory of the motion when you hold your body still.
  • Long swing with peaceful music for 15 to 20 minutes. Compare the long swing to the sway by going back to the sway. Notice the motion. Get a sense of the world moving by you rather than you moving through the world.

Nearsight and Farsight Techniques

The emphasis is on refining relaxation and vision building techniques.

  • Foundation techniques
  • Motion techniques

Vision Building for Nearsight

  • Swinging and edging.
  • Reading with very small print with an awareness of the thin white line. Move your head from side to side while you read to maintain involuntary shifting.

Vision Building for Farsight

Refine reading. Move the head from side to side while reading to get the involuntary shifting going. Direct attention towards the white and develop a sense of motion when you read.

Healthy Reading Habits

October 19, 2009

Because your eyes are naturally interested in light, they are attracted to the white spaces between and around print. Black does not reflect light, and so your eyes naturally shift around and pick up the light reflected by the white. The reading techniques in this section use this natural tendency of the eyes to seek out light to relieve eyestrain and achieve relaxation when reading.

Do not practice reading until you are comfortable with the motion and central fixation techniques.

For reading practice, use black print against a bright white background (for maximum contrast) in the following sizes: Large (11 to 14 points, medium (9 to 11 points), small (7- 9 points), and very small (6 points and under). Once you learn the techniques in this section, practice them whenever you read. If you find you enjoy very small print, you might want to experience with points sizes even smaller than 6.

While the healthy reading habits described in this chapter relieve eyestrain and clear blurry vision for anyone who reads, farsighted persons respond very well and rather quickly to the reading techniques. This is because farsighted people have trouble reading small print up close while their vision in the distance is fairly clear. When farsighted persons learn and practice healthy reading habits, they not only become comfortable reading small print up close, but their distance vision becomes sharper too. When nearsighted persons learn and practice healthy reading habits, they can focus better in the distance because they do not acquire eyestrain and an inability to shift their focus to far points when they read.

One day at my day job in a software company, a coworker explained how he has trouble reading small print. I told him to remove his glasses, take a deep breath, and on the exhalation think of something bright and white. When he opened his eyes, he could easily read the print on a memorandum I had pinned to my bulletin board.

Looking at White Space

Because eyes are light reflectors, it is easy for eyes to see white reflected light. Because black absorbs light, fixing on black letters creates eyestrain.

Goal – Accustom your eyes to picking up the light reflected by the white space between black letters.

Steps – Use a white page or card with black print that you can see.


Here are ways to practice shifting when you look at black type and awaken your eyes’s natural tendency to seek out white.

  1. Without reading the type, look at the margin of a white page with black print against white and shift along the top of the black print. Your mind does not strain to see small print if you do not try to read the print.
  2. Turn the page upside down and shift below the bottom line. Notice the whiter white next to the black letters. Turning the card upside down prevents the distraction and resulting eyestrain of trying to read the print.
  3. Turn the page right side up and still without reading the type, zig-zag shift down the page.
  4. While you practice the three techniques above, pause and close your eyes at the end of each paragraph to relax your eyes and mind. Think of something very brilliant and white during the pause. Remember the brightness when you open your eyes and go on to the next paragraph.
    • Notice the whiter white next to the black letters.
    • Maintain a memory of the white with your eyes open.
    • If you have trouble remembering white, look at something white, close your eyes, remember it, and open your eyes again a few times. Alternately, swing the letters on the card by moving your head from side to side and remember the sense of motion with your eyes closed.
    • After you have made some progress, pause at the end of each page instead of each paragraph.
  5. Do the same shifting with the card, but now read as you shift. Maintain a memory of white as you read. Let your eyes follow your nose and brush back and forth along the line. Do not think about reading the letters, just let the words and the meanings of the words flow into your mind.
  6. Start with large print you can see easily and gradually move to smaller print. With print you do not see clearly, scan over the white space without paying too much attention to the print. Every now and then, you might catch a capital letter or notice where a paragraph begins or ends. These are flashes of telescopic vision. Everyone gets flashes of telescopic vision but most people are unaware of them. With practice, you can be more aware of telescopic flashes of vision. which produce greater centralization, motion, and relaxation.
  7. As your vision clears, move the card closer if you are farsighted or farther away if you are nearsighted to accustom your mind and eyes to reading at different distances.

Explanation – Your eyes are light finders and seek out the tiny bits of light between and around the lines, letters, and paragraphs on the printed page in tiny, unconscious shifts. The shifting increases centralization, motion, and relaxation, and improves your vision in all activities at all distances. Your attention has to come away from the black print to read without eyestrain.

Hints – Remember to relax and breathe. Take a deep breath at the end of each line. Be sure to shift your eyes over the white line when you return to the beginning of a line instead of jumping over this space. Use blinking to relax your mind and eyes.

If you tend to strain and try to read the letters, bring the card close to your face, or use a card with very small print and skim the page for the white.

Do not test your vision while you read by noticing how clear or unclear the type is because this causes eyestrain and blurred vision. Instead, notice motion as your eyes shift across the line or remember something brilliant and white.

You can shift and scan small and very small print whenever you have spare time – talking on the phone, waiting on hold, waiting for a ride, waiting in line, or during commercial breaks.