by Craig Burton
For those who are keen to try to improve their eyesight naturally here is a compilation of possible things that may help:
Exercises First a word on exercises from the personal trainer
A classic among eye-exercises is what is called the push-up. Here you focus your eyes on point close (e.g. holding a pencil near your nose) then look out at a specific point some distance away (like 20 feet).
However this may not help!
But isn’t exercise good for me, wouldn’t it help those lazy eyes?
The jury doesn’t seem to be out among natural vision therapists as many believe that eye problems originate from straining and overuse rather than under use. Like a person who does too much strenuous exercise in the gym without balancing it with stretching and relaxation activities like yoga or Chi Gung, leading to injury and an unbalanced body, so too can the eyes be affected be overstressed.
So when it comes to exercising the eyes try not to do anything that strains or requires a lot of effort. Try to keep relaxed and curious looking at a many of ranges at different focuses.
Relaxation and positive habits
One of the most effective techniques considered by Bates practitioners is palming.
“Palming” was originally a yoga technique. Bates “borrowed” it and incorporated it into his system of vision improvement after he noticed its beneficial effects on the visual system. Palming can be practised as often as possible – especially when your eyes feel tired after looking at a computer screen or straining the eyes. (1)
- Relieves eye strain
- Promote visual imagery – for example, visualise your day ahead, making the images as vivid as possible. This activates your right-hemisphere and may increase creativity and promote imagination.
Start by being in a comfortable position with good posture (tall, but relaxed). Place your palms over your closed eyes blocking out as much light as possible. Cup your palms, but do not press on the eyeballs. This will put pressure on the blood vessels and reduce circulation of blood and nutrients.
Finally just relax in this position and visualise. (1)
The Sun is important for our health, including enabling us to manufacture Vitamin D. Eyes (like the skin) that have been deprived of adequate sunshine are weakened. Obviously we can get too much of a good thing and we need to protect our eyes from the sun as with our skin from overexposure. However sunglasses can prevent our eyes from getting adequate sunlight and lead to light sensitivity. The more we wear them, the more we are sensitive to light. Hence a vicious cycle develops. (1)
Benefits of sunning
Dr. Bates recommends that we sun our eyes. We can reduce our sensitivity to light and sharpen our eyesight. Many people have reported that their vision improves after sunning. I do recommend though following these guidelines:
Only do sunning in the morning or evening, never during the hot afternoon sun.
Do a low amount for each session.
How to do
Close your eyes and face the sun directly. Slowly move your head left and right to let the sunshine reach every part of your retina. Notice the sun moving in the opposite direction. Breathe deeply and slowly. Do this for around 30 seconds then move on to palming for about 2 minutes. (1) 3. 10-10-10 rule A common rule used for the office environment in the 10-10-10 rule. Anytime you are focussing on a something close range for around 10 minutes (e.g. Computer screen), take your gaze away and focus on something around 10 feet away for about 10 seconds. This will help relieve some of the near-point stress.
3. Stop staring – this time it is to help relieve the strain on the eyes. Bates believed that the rigidity of staring was bad for the eyes. One technique devised by Bates to train the eyes not to stare is swinging. To do this exercise, the patient should focus on a fixed object, then swing the head or the entire body from side to side while keeping the object in view by moving the head instead of the eyes. Alternatively next time you catch yourself staring, shake off that stare, move your head and eyes, take a deep breath in, and return to regular relaxed blinking.
Nutrition Here is a list of foods recommended to improve eyesight:
Fish or Krill Oil: A fat found in fish called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help protect and promote healthy retinal function. DHA is concentrated in the eye’s retina and has been found to be particularly useful in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.
Green Vegetables: Green vegetables are a vital ingredient to health. They are believed to help the eyes in numerous ways including: Vegetables contain lutein a carotenoid commonly thought to promote vision. However always consume with an oil. It is important to note that lutein is an oil-soluble nutrient, and if you merely consume the vegetables without some oil (olive, fish, flax, coconut) or butter you can’t absorb the lutein. Green vegetables also contain Vitamin B2 – Vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is also known as Riboflavin. It is needed for growth and for healthy skin and eyes. (Vitamin B2 can also be found in the following foods poultry, fish, liver)
Eat Dark Coloured Berries: The European blueberry, bilberry, is known to prevent and even reverse macular degeneration, and bioflavonoids from other dark-colored berries including blueberries, cranberries and others will also be beneficial. One food to Avoid: Trans Fat
A diet high in trans fats appears to contribute to macular degeneration. Trans fat may interfere with omega-3 fats in your body, which are extremely important for your eye health.
Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like french fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers (2).
Here are a few websites that include articles on improving eyesight plus exercises, strategies and tips:
–Contains eye charts to download
– US site with many links
– UK leading natural vision site with many links
– Website of leading natural eyesight practitioner and author Tom Quackenbush
– Website of Dr. Ed Kondrot, Ophthalmologist specializing in eye disease.
– Includes a series on eye exercises
I hope this list and suggestions help those of you seeking a natural method towards improving your eyesight.
(1) Perfect Sight Without Glasses, William Horatio Bates, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Perfect_Sight_Without_Glasses
(2) Four Tips to Protect Your Eyesight as You Age, Dr. Joseph Mercola with Rachael Droeg,
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