Eye Anatomy – Vision-Fitness Exercise
Cornea – Blinking every three seconds
Iris muscles/Pupil – Using full-spectrum lighting; exposing
Lens/Ciliary muscle – closed eyes to sunlight and blinking
Retina/Fovea Eye – Breathing; zooming (near/far focusing)
muscles Overall – Non-staring; moving the eyes frequently
eye/mind relaxation – Eye-muscle stretching
Overall eye fitness – Palming the eyes, Visualizing the parts of the eye while exercising
Palming: Place palms over your eyes, making sure that no pressure is involved, so that all light is shut out from them. Then make a conscious effort to relax your whole body. Stare at the dark, wrapped yourself up in it and focusing purely on the blackness for about 15 minutes. Do this twice a day.
Splashing : In the morning, splash your eyes with first warm, then cold, water-up to 20 times. Do the same thing at night, but start with cold water.
Focusing : Hold something such as a pencil, in your hand at arm’s length out in front of you. Close one eye and focus on it for 10 seconds. Then take another object in your other hand, and keeping the first object at arm’s length, hold the second one a hand’s length from your face. Focus on that for 10 seconds, then blink before focusing on the object held at arm’s length. Repeat the whole exercise five times, two or three times a day.
Swinging : Focus your eyes on some distant object—something in the view from your bedroom window, say. Sway from side to side—in a leisurely way, rather than energetically—while holding your focus. But as you sway from side to side you should blink your eyes—your left eye as you move to the left and your right eye as you move to the right. Continue for five to ten minutes, but repeat as often as you can during the day.
WHAT IS YOUR VISUAL STYLE?
The balanced being/doing concept, as it relates to vision-fitness, is associated with your visual style. You have acquired ways of looking at—or alternatively, seeing—situations in your life. The following exercise will help you determine your visual style. Do you favour seeing or looking? Circle the behaviours that apply to you.
BEING AND SEEING VISUAL STYLE
□ Scores better in reading than in math
□ Tendency to lose place when reading or writing ideas
□ Not precise with language or ideas
□ Distractable, impulsive, fast but imprecise when performing detailed tasks.
□ Tendency for mind to drift, daydream, or ‘space out’
□ Tendency to work from the general to the specific
□ More difficulty driving in the evening than in the morning
□ Difficulty maintaining attention in detailed tasks
□ Inability to sustain near-distance work; tendency to get sleepy
□ Difficulty concentrating on continuing events, such as a lecture
□ Tired to the point of irritability when getting home from work
DOING AND LOOKING VISUAL STYLE
□ Not always aware of the overall picture or the end result of an action
□ Tendency to get caught up in projects and details
□ Tendency to be precise and slow in tasks requiring a broad understanding
□ Difficulty in shifting attention from task to task, idea to idea
□ Feel that you must finish the present task before starting another
□ Difficulty pulling out into traffic
□ Dislike ambiguity (situations involving contradictions)
□ People say you tend to be too logical and analytical
□ Give the impression of being a ‘know-it-all’
□ Tendency not to notice things outside your immediate field of vision
Count the number of behaviours that you have circled for each of the two categories. Optimally, there should be an equal number for each style. If this is not so, which behaviours would you like to acquire or eliminate? Become aware of situations in your life that involve those desirable or undesirable behaviours. For example, if you find yourself rushing through a project and making careless mistakes, are you not focusing, that is, not doing enough? If so, how would you prefer to be performing at that moment? Find the vision-fitness exercise—most likely zooming, breathing, crossing your eyes, or palming—that will restore the balance between seeing and looking.
To further appreciate this balanced being/doing and seeing/ looking concept, some understanding of the brain will be helpful. The brain has two hemispheres. In most people, the left brain performs the mathematical, speech, logical, analytical, linear, and rhythmical functions. The right brain, for most people, is the seat of creative, artistic, musical, and feeling functions.
Ideally, we use both hemispheres, switching back and forth. It seems that if we could separate the hemispheres, each part would have the special qualities.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXERCISE?
As a rule of thumb, exercise for 15 to 20 minutes while your pulse beats between 125 and 145 per minute. Again, moderation is the key. A slight perspiration is satisfactory, but don’t become so tired that you’re panting.
Get in touch with a balance between your being and your doing as you exercise. Your seeing can become more vivid. Your field of vision may widen and colours may become brighter. You may feel as if there is nothing in your way. Your body can feel expansive and open.
Experiment and discover what happens for you with each lifestyle change you make. Nurture your body with good foods and healthy exercise, and your vision will become fit.