Introduction

In the early 20th century William Bates did 30 years of research as an American Opthalmologist. "The theory that poor vision is unavoidable does not fit the observed facts, and I have seen many cases in which errors of refraction spontaneously recovered or changed form." He reported that stress can adversely affect the visual system. He recommended swinging the body and covering the eyes to induce relaxation. He devised exercises to improve eye movements and help sharpen acuity. The field of behavioral optometry was born.

Such ideas are not new, vision improvement exercises have been known in many ancient civilizations including the Greeks, Indian Yogis, and Chinese physicians for thousands of years. The results of such effort varies from individual to individual. This activity should not in any way be a substitute for services from a qualified eye professional.

Vision Training

Vision training includes many factors. Some of the more important one are:

  1. Accomodation - the ability of the eyes to focus.
  2. Convergence - the ability to bring the eyes inward when looking at close objects.
  3. Divergence - the ability to bring the eyes outward when looking at objects from far to near.
  4. Version - the ability of the eyes to look and follow objects in all directions.
  5. Steropsis - the ability to judge the relative distance of objects and to see in three dimension.
  6. Saccades - the ability to quickly look from one object to another.

Vision can actually be enhanced with practice. Visual memory can be improved by seeing in the mind's eye and transfering this image back to the eyes.

Vision Exercises

Wear the pin hole glasses daily for 15 minutes or more each day. Use them for distance and close up viewing. Try them for watching T.V., videos, reading, or working on your computer. Check out the view in the distance. Take in nature that may be close. CAUTION: do not use for activities that are moving or require a full field of vision. Especially do not do sports, drive, or prepare food wearing these glasses. Only wear them when stationary.

The hole pattern will gradually seem to disappear after the eyes adjust. These glasses should be worn over your eyes, not over contacts or glasses. Do the following eye exercises daily -- it is not necessary to wear the glasses for these exercises!

  1. Clock Rotation to Tone and condition eye muscles. Place your vision at the center of a clock. Be far enough away so that it is slightly blurred. Look at the center and imagine you are in front of a giant clock. Look up at 12 o'clock and then back to center. Keep your head and shoulders still. Look up at 1 o'clock and then back to center. Continue till you are back to 12 o'clock. When this becomes easy, add the counter clockwise movement as well.
  2. Visual Jumps to Scan the eyes. Efficient vision requires visual jumps or saccades which direct the vision from object to object. Look at any object in the room. Now look at another object. Then another, from close to far, from objects that are in focus to those that are blurred. Move around the room making accurate jumps. Cultivate this into the daily routine.
  3. Pencil pushups to Improve the ability to focus and converge on near objects -- especially important with difficulty reading or doing close up work. Use a pencil with imprinting on the side of it. Hold the pencil at arms length. Breathe slowly and deeply. Bring the pencil to you on the inhale. Feel the sensation in your eyes as they converge on the pencil. When the imprinting begins to blur or break up, begin your exhale and move the pencil slowly back to arm's length. Try to keep the imprinting in focus at all times and work on getting the pencil as close to you as possible.
  4. Palming to relax the eyes and trigger clear flashes. Close your eyes and cover them with cupped hands. Rest the heel of the palms on the cheek bones and cross the hands on your forehead. Do not apply any pressure to the eyes themselves and be sure to stay relaxed. Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine a relaxing scene like the beach, trees, or flowing water. Visualize as much detail as possible. Palming relieves the buildup of tension or stress in the eyes.
  5. Palming to relax the eyes and trigger clear flashes. Close your eyes and cover them with cupped hands. Rest the heel of the palms on the cheek bones and cross the hands on your forehead. Do not apply any pressure to the eyes themselves and be sure to stay relaxed. Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine a relaxing scene like the beach, trees, or flowing water. Visualize as much detail as possible. Palming relieves the buildup of tension or stress in the eyes.

    Breathe in deeply, filling the lungs completely from the bottom up. Imagine a flow of energy on the exhale coming to the palms and penetrating the eyes -- let that flow bathe the eyes all the way back to the eye center, the back of the brain.

    Once mastered begin to look into the blackness of the palming. Notice that there are spots. Increase the time of palming up to 5 minutes. The field of vision will slowly get darker -- a rich black velvet will help the eyes relax.

    Once mastered begin to bathe the eyes in the light of the sun. Close the eyes and let the sun penetrate through the eyelids. Move the head so the sun is moving across the eyes, then up and down through the eyes. End the sun session with twice as much time in the darkness through palming. This will increase the velvet black response and often improves night vision.

  6. Elephant Swinging or moving the body from side to side provides relaxation to the whole body. It may trigger clear flashes. It helps relieve tension to the neck, back, and shoulders. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart. Gently move the body from side to side. Relax the arms as they hang loosely at the sides. Pick up one heel off the floor (not the toes) while turning away from that foot. Let the hanging arm swing out like an elephant's trunk. Return to a flat heel swinging towards the front. Pick up the other heel while turning towards the other side. Let the other hanging arm swing out like an elephant's trunk. Maintain a relaxed swing from side to side. Allow the eyes to wander without focusing on anything. Relax, breathe slowly, deeply, and relax.
2009 David Scott -- All rights Reserved