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The End is in Sight!
#1
Dear Friends,

I wrote to you last November about using the imagination as a tool for improving vision. It's been a full year since I began my quest for clear vision. I haven't used glasses or contacts in that year and studied from all kinds of books and websites. I've practiced everything from following a pencil as my hand brought it to my face and away (I don't recommend doing this-- waste of time), to "swaying and swinging". There were many concepts in Bates that I didn't understand, but the big one was "allow things to move", or "pretend that things are moving all day". What the ??

Yes, I improved, but the improvement became gradually slower, was never consistent, and I never knew what-- of all the things I practiced-- to attribute progress to. One day, about a month ago, I went running (not unusual). I was on a trail which had small signs posted every here and there for road crossings etc. As I was running, I was pondering what Bates meant by things "moving" and noticed that as I passed one of those small road signs, it appeared to be "hopping" by me. As I bounced up, it bounced down, and vice-versa. I knew I was on to something, and focused my attention on the next thing I passed-- but strangely, it didn't appear to be hopping. Then it clicked: If I looked at the thing expectantly, it was still, but if I let it be as it is and relaxed, then the vertical motion of running created the appearance of movement. (If you try this and have trouble, try crossing your eyes a little bit just long enough to see the bounce, then uncross your eyes and try to keep that bounce). At first it only worked with things relatively close to me, especially as I was passing them, but eventually I was able to incorporate the idea into things farther from me, until even the mountains far in distance appeared to bounce up and down.

I practiced this awareness each time I ran, and it has had the most effect on my vision than any other practice method I have done. It became easier very quickly, and soon I saw the bouncing even if I was just walking. It's been so effective in fact, that I've been running twice as often as I used to before the discovery! I'm now seeing the 20/40 line on the Snellen chart and use only -0.75 for night time driving. I think I understand now, what Bates was talking about.

I'm aiming for 20/20 over the next six months-- mostly with the help of my runs!

Cheers!
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#2
Congradulations on discovering the universal swing! You'll notice as you progress further into it that there is a difference in depth perception (surreal 3D), and horizontal and vertical movement as well. Walk by a chandelier at eye level and notice it move the opposite direction as an example. But you also noticed another very important thing and that is that you see better when you have good subconcious habits, rather than when you are actively thinking about them.
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#3
I'm still not good at swaying/swinging. I mean, if I hold my index finger in front of my face, then move it left and right, and track it either with my eyes only or by turning my entire head... yes, I notice the blurred background is moving in the opposite direction. But that's the only time it happens for me.

I've tried noticing swinging on the big "E" on a Snellen chart... no luck. Either that or I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

I've noticed the swing a wee bit on my commute to work, watching the scenery go by with my peripheral vision. But doing that quickly makes me nauseous. It's far from the "relaxing" thing that Bates' described it to be. I would think that seeing the landscape bounce up and down as you're jogging would make you want to throw up ! Smile
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#4
Susan, I noticed the swing with big objects first. If you can't see the swing on a letter on the eye chart, can you see the whole chart appear to move sideways in the opposite direction when you look to one side of it? Or looking from the top to the bottom of the chart, does the chart appear to move up? This is oppositional movement (the object moves in the opposite direction from your gaze) -- you can see it when you walk forward along the sidewalk and objects "move" behind you as you pass them. Don't force it. Hanging onto objects tightly with your eyes and trying to keep them from moving is classic, and I think the reason people get carsick. Take it slow and be gentle with yourself -- you are already making good progress, and some of these long-time formerly unconscious habits are pretty ingrained and can take time to change, as your body and mind adjust to different ways of doing things.
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#5
susan Wrote:I'm still not good at swaying/swinging. I mean, if I hold my index finger in front of my face, then move it left and right, and track it either with my eyes only or by turning my entire head... yes, I notice the blurred background is moving in the opposite direction. But that's the only time it happens for me.

I've tried noticing swinging on the big "E" on a Snellen chart... no luck. Either that or I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

I've noticed the swing a wee bit on my commute to work, watching the scenery go by with my peripheral vision. But doing that quickly makes me nauseous. It's far from the "relaxing" thing that Bates' described it to be. I would think that seeing the landscape bounce up and down as you're jogging would make you want to throw up ! Smile

Take Nancy's advice, and know that it doesn't always happen quickly. I think it took me 4 months before I suddenly had a moment (5 minutes) where everything around me moved when I moved (universal swing). Even today it was interesting seeing the road ahead of me swinging side to side AND up and down all at the same time, depending on how I moved while running. Sometimes I'm more aware of it, and other times it is a very vague awareness, but being in a car, and running are the two times I see it the most.
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#6
The first time I saw the letters on the chart move in that pulsing vibrating universal swing, I wanted it to stop, thinking something was wrong with my eyes! Good thing I had read and heard about it, but experiencing it is entirely different (and cool!).
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#7
@ Susan:


I didn't understand it for the longest time no matter what I tried. When people told me to "notice" how this moves that way when when you move this way etc., it just didn't happen for me. Swaying and swinging also doesn't make it work, but for some reason, running does. Oddly, even though I understand it now, I still cannot get it with any of the prescribed methods-- only running and walking (running is better because of the exaggerated movement). I guess we all have to find our own way. Give running a try -- allow the up and down movement to take your eyeballs with, and stay relaxed. I've been running for years but hadn't experienced it until now. One way I try to stay relaxed is to pretend that I'm looking at the "air" in front of whatever object I'm looking toward. You might see just one thing out of the corner of your eye bounce a little as you pass it, sometimes just one bounce!! If it stops bouncing, then you are trying to hard too actually see it. It may not even happen at all the first few times. The most important thing is to not TRY and make it happen-- which is exactly what we do when someone tells us to notice how something moves when we move our eyes!
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#8
anonymous5 Wrote:I guess we all have to find our own way. Give running a try ...

I think, this is a very good advice. Everyone has to find his own way - but sharing experiences and trying what 'worked' for others may be helpful.

For me only very small movements 'work'; for example when I brush my teeth and look at the surrounding without trying to notice something specially (being relaxed enough that my head moves a bit following the brushing movement). Then I first saw the things move and then become clearer and clearer.

I now use this effect very often when I watch TV - I just move my head vey sightly until the image becomes very clear. Once it has 'cleared up', I can keep it that way without moving my head for a rather long time and ejoy the film.

Maybe this effect is due the fact, that the movement forces our 'lazy' myopic eye to react with a corrective saccadic movement to the follow the slightly deplaced image and so come into movement itself.
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#9
Thanks to everyone for their input. 8)

Anonymous5 ~~ I have a question about something you said specifically.

I'll try running on my treadmill for a few minutes tonight and watch for the up and down movement you speak of. But, for now, the best I'll be able to manage is 'a few minutes'.... the thyroid issue causes stiff/tense muscles and pushing any kind of exercise too far results in several days worth of pretty intense pain. Smile However, part of me wonders if I can relax my eyes enough to notice the swing, maybe the rest of my muscles will relax enough to actually run on a regular basis.

Question: if you allow the up and down movement to "take your eyeballs with" and you "pretend to look at the air".... don't you find yourself zoning out, spacing off, or as Bates' would describe it.... "staring"...? I have a tough time not staring when I'm tired or zoning out. I have to remind myself that if I'm going to do that I should shut my eyes and palm.

When first reading about how seemingly stationary objects should appear to swing (and DO appear to swing to those with normal vision), my first thought was, "....that's seems insane.... how do people with 'normal' vision walk without getting dizzy and falling down if stationary objects appear to be, *GASP* 'moving'.....!" Smile The idea of swinging still seems odd. But I'll keep at it.



anonymous5 Wrote:@ Susan:

.............Give running a try -- allow the up and down movement to take your eyeballs with, and stay relaxed........... One way I try to stay relaxed is to pretend that I'm looking at the "air" in front of whatever object I'm looking toward...........
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#10
Just off the treadmill and.... WOW ! I think that was the first time I've ever "run with my legs" as opposed to my "shoulders". Head, neck, & shoulders all stayed loose and relaxed. That's never happened... which is one reason that I've never enjoyed running.

I took my glasses off, hopped onto the treadmill, and watched objects in my basement (the overhead hv/ac pipes, water pipes, water/gas meters, washer/dryer, even the console of the treadmill itself) begin to bounce/hop in the opposite direction of my movement. As you mentioned, the bounce was even more noticeable if I "watched the air" in front of the object using my peripheral vision. And I don't think I was staring because I was aware that I was blinking as I continued to observe the movement. It was so interesting that I actually ended up alternating 5 minute runs / 5 minute walks for a total of 2 miles in 35 minutes. Smile

Anonymous5 ~~ You may have just given me the tip that will help me lose the 15+ lbs of water weight that I've gained due to the thyroid issues over the past year, as well as helping me continue toward better vision ! ((((( hug )))))
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#11
Hey Susan! I'm so glad to be of use! I agree that you cannot really be staring if you are relaxed, blinking and moving. Yet, to "see the air in front of something" is a very abstract concept and difficult to communicate. I'm glad it worked for you! And the bonus to healing your eyes with running is being in great shape too! In good weather, you might also take it outside, where there is a greater variety of things to see and their distance from you (good light helps too). Also, the forward movement along with the vertical movement is helpful.

Happy glasses-free running!
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#12
Anonymous5,

I was able to run/walk three times on the treadmill this past week, without the glasses, for a distance of 2 miles each time. And each time, I paid attention to the bounce of objects around me... which definitely helps pass the time. I thought about buying a magazine with some scenic photos that I could hang up on the wall around me to provide something else to look at. I'm significantly less sore on the rest days between the runs then I have been in the past. I think this is due to having worked my way up to 2.5 grains (170mg) of dessicated thyroid med. Everything I've read and spoke to my naturopath about says a typical dose of thyroid med is 3 - 5 grains. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up the run/walks while I slowly increase the med. Part of thyroid issues is one does not heal as quickly as those without thyroid problems. It's a slow road back to health. But just like healing ones vision, it takes patience.... something I struggle with. Smile

For now, I'm not too keen on running outside. Probably the introvert in me. And I've never felt safe on trails, even in the city. Where I live, we do have the occasional issues with joggers (especially female joggers) being attacked on trails. For now, I think I'll keep to the treadmill.
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#13
susan Wrote:Anonymous5,

For now, I'm not too keen on running outside. Probably the introvert in me. And I've never felt safe on trails, even in the city. Where I live, we do have the occasional issues with joggers (especially female joggers) being attacked on trails. For now, I think I'll keep to the treadmill.

There also though is the idea of going for runs with a local running group, which I'm sure you can find via google. A group enthusiastic about running will gladly accept you on group runs, and as long as you feel (or can feel) comfortable around people, it would say bye-bye to being attacked on the trail by another human. There'd probably even be a beginners pack that you could stay with without feeling like you are slowing everyone down (assuming you just jog).

Just a thought. And btw, I LOVE running outside and can hardly stand being on treadmills for any length of time anymore. Although I can do a well designed stationary bike…
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#14
Hi Fiat,

I think even running with a group of beginners will have to wait for a while. I would definitely be the slow one in the pack. I "run" at 4 mph and "walk" at 3.6 mph. I know people who "power walk" faster than I'm able to "run". lol Smile Plus, I went from weighing 150 lbs before the thyroid problem to weighing 170 lbs (currently 167 lbs). So, when I "run" I'm hauling around significantly more weight than a lot of folks. One of the things that has surprised me with the increase in thyroid med is, I have less pain when I run now than I did a couple years ago, yet I'm 20 lbs heavier.... this leads me to think that I should feel a TON better once I lose the 20 lbs (and any weight beyond that) in future running.

I like your idea of finding a running group and we do have them here. But for now, I'm more comfortable doing this on my own.... no competition, no fear of looking bad in front of others, no fear of slowing others down. By doing this on my own, I'm really learning a lot about how to accept my body for what it is... and be happy / content with what it is capable of accomplishing. I'm running because I "can".... for the first time in years, maybe for the first time ever. Smile
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#15
Susan,

Okay, at least you're still enjoying yourself! Each person has deifferent things that they like, or different ways.

Have fun!
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