Saturday, March 11, 2006

Learning to relax your eyes

So here’s an update on how things have been going for the last week and a bit. I haven’t worn lenses at all. I’ve worn glasses probably for no more than three or four hours a day, often less. I’ve had them on only to go to the shops or when I’ve met up with people. And the rest of the time I’ve been practising the Bates method techniques. Whatever I’m doing I’ll take a few minutes to exercise and relax and improve my eyes.

I won’t go into all the techniques of eye exercises here, because I want to explain them each in detail along with my own experiences. If you want a general introduction, here's the best I’ve found. One thing I now understand: everything about the Bates system is based on the idea that our vision is impaired by the way we strain to see. When your eyes learn to relax, to take things in naturally, you gradually find that things come into sharper focus.

The most basic and relaxing exercise, palming, is also the most useful for letting you understand your progress. It’s so simple really. You close your eyes and cup your hands around them. It’s good to rub them together first to warm them up. Then breathe deeply and shut out the light. The more relaxed and healthy your eyes, the blacker everything will seem. Over the last few days, I've noticed the blackness getting blacker and more soothing, a definite sign that things are improving.

But a more exciting sign is that every so often I have flashes: moments of visual acuity, when a blurry object suddenly or momentarily shifts and becomes sharper. It's an incredible thing: a street sign that had been a coloured mess just jumps out at you, the lettering sharp. This happens when your eyes are at their most relaxed and unstrained. The only problem is that the thrill of suddenly seeing more clearly seems to make me worry and seize up . . . and then the moment of clarity passes.

It's frustrating, but I'm getting these flashes a few times a day, and I hope for more.


At 3:34 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Hello Lucy

Great work. I like to read your blog. You encourage me to start with the training. I read about the Bates Method through the website.

Your explanation is clear and easy to read.



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