Hello everyone, I have finally started to get serious about vision training and this journal is to record my progress with hopes that it can help people who are at the same place as me or so more experienced people can chime in some advice.
A little background, my name is Evan and I am a 22 year old myope. I first developed myopia at the half way point of my life around age 11. At that time I had developed a very harsh twitch in both eyes, and was constantly blinking them and feeling pain. At the time also I was feeling a lot of stress in my life and I wasn't enjoying my day to day life as much as earlier in my childhood, and wanted to be elsewhere. Several weeks afterwards I noticed that I could not see the board from the center of the classroom anymore and got some glasses. Although I was very uncomfortable (the glasses were very painful) my parents had glasses and I did not know of any alternative so I kept wearing them until they became habitual.
Fast forward to about 2 years ago, I became obsessed with researching every topic I could, as I had recently got out of high school and soon realized that I did not know much of anything. Eventually at some point in my study of health, nutrition,etc I came across perfect sight without glasses. I really enjoyed the book at the time and tried some relaxation exercises for a little bit, but I wasn't very committed. Throughout the time afterwards I found my thoughts going back to vision improvement, as I had stopped using my glasses altogether immediately after reading perfect sight without glasses and thus it served as a constant reminder that there was a chance I would never need them again.
Around a month ago I re-read half of perfect sight without glasses and started reading david blog, all the while taking my own notes on the information and remembering more and more things about the time where I lost my perfect vision and earlier times in life life when I still had it. At this point I have read davids blog and have been consolidating my notes and ideas into several rules and ideas to go by if I need a refresher and have started vision training in earnest starting today.
After reading up on davids blog I decided to finally start re-training my vision. I posted an eyechart above my desk and another one on my far wall. I was lying down on my bed roughly 16-17 feet away form the chart, which is about as large as 1 sheet of computer paper.
The first thing that struck when I was practicing picking out and shifting between small points is how variable vision can be. My vision constantly fluctuated and as I sped up and varied the points I shifted to it would occasionally get quite a bit clearer and my eyes would water up and make me blink. Out of 7 of the lines I could barely see Line 4 which was quite blurry when I started but at one point during the exercise (about 5 minutes in) I was able to see lines 5 and 6 and for a short time 3 letters of lines 7. A circular tracing shift seemed to be effective for me.
The second thing that struck me is just how little I normally pay attention to things, and how good it feels to be paying closer attention to something. It was quite exhilarating to feel so focused, but it required constant shifting and monitoring on my part to do.
My current plan is to practice the shifting and proper eye movement (or rather, visual movement) and slowly accelerate the time it takes me to make each line on the chart clearer and clearer until the point where I can see all lines within a minute of shifting and then try applying that all the time as I go about my day. I am going to take advantage of transit time to practice as much as I possible can away from home. Retraining my bad vision and attention habits will require me to constantly practice these techniques, but once i get used to the literal higher function (my brain literally felt like it was circulating more efficiently) I should be able to be in that state all the time.
It amazes me that with a person with mild myopia like me (1-1 and a half diopters) has such a bad attention span. Only now do I realize how lazy my attention span truly is. Its hard for me to imagine it being worse, I wonder if the attention issue is as much of an issue with other myopes as it is with me adn whether or not it is proportionally worse as the vision gets worse. Food for thought at least.
Its likely that I will try to keep this at the very least a weekly journal, as I want to have elaborate notes so I can refine the advice and techniques for others if it would be useful for them.
Sometime this week I will print out an actual full size snellen test chart and measure my visual acuity.
Evan, I'm envious that you've been wearing glasses since age 11 and you only had an Rx of 1-1.5 diopters. Mine went out to 4.25 before I came across the Bates method. I'm getting by with 1.75 nowadays and using for only a few hours a week.
I wouldn't say my attention span is lazy but I didn't look for details when I view things. When I was interested in speed reading, it taught to grab large patches of the page and I think that formed a bad habit and discouraged me from looking at small details. The concept mentioned in this forum of using central vision and looking at details helps me see more clearly.
I am curious if you see double vision when you look in the distance. There is a streetlight at an intersection about 100 yards away from me and I am seeing it doubled. Do you have this problem with your mild myopia when looking in the distance? -Lou
I would say its dependent on the lighting of the day. For me when I look at object further away they seem more obscure like there is a small haze at different points around an object. Particularly I have trouble seeing letters at a distance. The 1-1 and a half diopters after all that time might be due to not wearing my glasses over the last 2 years, as things father away have seemed less blurry for me,
Today I have been noticing many details that I usually do not quite routinely, its a very pleasant feeling. I have been taking care not to strain my eyes and have been giving some thought into how to remain present, of which being mindful not to strain tends to keep me in the moment decently well. Last night I read an article bates wrote about imagination and have been thinking about that today, I am going to include imagination into my routine and see how it works. here is the article I read: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.central-fixation.com/bates-medical-articles/study-imagination.php">http://www.central-fixation.com/bates-m ... nation.php</a><!-- m -->.
The first step seems to be mindful of what you are doing and slowly but surely relaxing and shifting while remaining present as you train your focus and visual attention. I will be back with more tommorow, as I have less school work to worry about and I need to do my chart exercises for the day. Might edit this later with more.
Spent around 40 minutes practicing at the eye-chart today. I experienced varying type of blur and was constantly changing the pattern I used and what points I shifted between for each letter. The more relaxed ones seemed to be more successful. It got very intense at times and although I never had any pain I started to notice the blood pumping from my heart and was tensing up at certain points, is this because of "strain?" perhaps I should slow down? This definitely warrants more exploration. I am going to practice a few more times today and try my hand at bates' imagination technique.
Also, I tried doing shifting practice for several minutes with each eye individually, and on occasion I had some interesting optical illusions where the paper seemed to lengthen or move forward slightly off the wall.
Yesterday after my vision exercises I practiced as much as I could for the rest of the day. There was a point where I was seeing the subtitles of the videos I was watching with better clarity and focus so I must be doing something right. I noticed that I am somewhat sensitive to sunlight, as it makes me eye uncomfortable (or rather it makes me notice my strain) and its hard to stay completely upright which looking when outside. I also sneeze when I look close to the sun, but usually only once or twice- does anyone else experience this?
Today I am going to experiment more with "allowing" myself to take in and accept what I am experiencing and more sensory data as well as "imagination" exercises.
Interesting day, I am finding the vision training to be quite pleasant when done more skillfully. On a 7 lines letter chart around 17 feet from where I was with both eyes I was able to read 6 of the lines (there was still some blur on each letter but I could read 6 lines clearly after a few minutes, but when I simply glance at it I only see 4), with my right eye only it was 5 out of 7 lines and with my left 5 1/2 out of 7. I did these for about 30 minutes.
Next I tried my hand at imagination but felt myself straining a lot, I am not exactly sure how to get a "perfect memory" as all my visualizations are indistinct, much like my actual vision. I am going to be reading about the imagination exercise in more detail as I would like to add it to my regimine.
When I yawned and my eyes teared up I was able to see the 7th line much better than before, I wonder if its possible that the strain myopes have causes the eyes to not receive the fluids necessary to keep the vision clear?
It seems as if when I relax and keep a state of constant visual attention which moves, the letter get easier to see. I also tryed to (move with an accept) the blur which worked to an extent, but I need more practice before I can deal with the mental surge it brings.
Did the eye chart for about 10 minutes this morning. Last night I was experimenting with the swing and relaxed imagination to see if it affects strain. There was a certain point where I felt incredibly relaxed as if a wave of cool air took the tension out of my body but I haven;t been able to get there anymore. I read more about imagination and particularly the swing last night and have been trying to "notice movement and details rather than strain to see them, which helps relax my quite well.
When I was walking to a friends house this morning I was getting tired of straining to try to see, so in my pain I decided to look at the area in the center of my vision and simply let myself see however well I was going to see. My eyes started getting teary and as I blinked my vision markedly improved and I saw more details. I kept practicing this at the same time as shifting and I was able to get to this state with decent frequency but the improvement always went away mostly when my eyes weren't watery. Does anybody else's eyes get really watery when there vision improves or when you relax your tension? my eyes always seem to get watery when I relax the tension. I think this was an inadvertently discovery of central fixation, at least to a point. I am very glad that I have a point of reference to think about and I will continue to experiment further.
I recently went for a run in the pouring rain and i was soaked, by the end water was in my eyes and that was when i had my first second of clarity and i could see a number plate clearly from a way away.
I enjoy your posts, like you i am early into my journey and looking forward to working at it and hopefully finding improvements.
Thanks, I am doing what I can each moment for the sake of vision. It seems like the hydration of the eyes is very important to keep the eyes healthy and its likely that they naturally relax the eyes so they see normally.
Today I have been giving more serious thought to vision improvement and how I used to feel as a young child in relation to the world around me. I recall that I was much more relaxed, happy and would take my time to look at every little detail of everything I saw. I have a clear memory of myself at recess in the 3rd grade where I simply looked a all the clovers on the ground and all the leaves on the trees-which remain as the things I can see easiest today. I also remember how easy it was to shift and how almost automatic it was.. A clear contrast to today, where I strain to do many things, especially in the field of self improvement. I think my emotions of strain stems for the fear of being bombarded by many painful experiences at once and the unconscious attempt to avoid them by forcing myself to either do something else, or by forcing myself to act in a way that others wish me to act. I think at some point when I was 11 years old, I allowed myself to believe what others were saying about me, that I was badly behaved, or stupid,etc. I think that shock back then along with the horrible twitching and large level of self-consciousness about everything that I did, that I became worried and strained in almost everything I did and that caused me to literally "filter out" the true experience from the world which led to my myopia.
I will continue to investigate these things, as I know they hold the key to the reversal of these straining tendencies and will lead to more relaxing, joyful and clear perception of the reality around me, or at least what my brain allows me to see.
Again, I woke up seeing better. With a little bit of perceiving I was seeing 6 and 1/2 lines out of 7. It was like this until I got out of bed.
Now I always see the 4th lines and after a moment or two I see the 5th line reasonably. I did some more research into the bates method and have been thinking about how to "imagine" perfectly and how to use that for my vision practice. I have been gathering a series of questions in which I will try to answer and problem solve on using techniques I have learned to see how much insight I can get into my particular problem. I think I more slow, deliberate approach to life will help relax me more so I will do my best to live that way for a long as I can each day.
I think the biggest challenge for us mypoes is to stop "trying" to see or exert forceful control of things and simply allow things to be and occur, while light pointing our attention to something and allowing it to flourish and become more distinct. The disease of strain is far more widespread nowadays than in bates time and physically it seems that many people have lower tolerance for it, so there is a sense of urgency at all times which is really unhealthy. Personally I do not enjoy this at all and know that the natural order of things is far different and I will do my best to align myself towards it.
Today, I noticed that whenever my vision improves markedly, I seem to be able to be notice the unconscious visual shifting that I do automatically. Interestingly enough, when I am able to distinguish it when my vision hasn't improved I notice that it moves around very quickly in a circular shape and letters will warp a little (about an inch at maximum) up and down and in circular motions.
I am doing my best to shift my visual attention between small points without straining, but it might be a bit before I can convince my mind that I can see without "making" myself see. Tomorrow I will have more time to work with the chart.
Week #2, Day 8
Today is a very exciting day vision-wise for me. This morning I went to class and deliberately sat in the back and was practicing sifting with several times where my vision improved markedly. I also, noticed that I was seeing the bigger PowerPoint fonts quite easily and could read the slides, but not the "fine print" of the illustrations which were smaller.
Afterwards I started walking to a friends house and it was a nice sunny day outside so I decided to do some vision training. I was contemplating the ideas of "allowing" myself to see as I have become very aware of just how much effort to see and strain that I do all the time lately.
What I did first was I allowed all the sensations I was having come forth rather than "picking or choosing" which or most importantly "trying" to make colors or other things come out. It was quite overwhelming, my eyes would water up which made me reflexively blink, and this led to plenty of momentary clear flashes. It is still hard to get over how uncomfortable it feels to finally allow myself to experience all the things I have been holding back with effort and strain all these years. As I kept going I would do my best to stay in this state of allowing things to come rather than forcing myself to see and allowing my gaze to move where ever it wanted to. This had very interesting and positive results for me, I was surprised at just how much my eyes would water up, but my reward was a far crisper and clear vision. There was a period of about several minutes where my vision was better and I kept getting clearer flashes (although none of them were quite 20/20) so I will continue to practice this mode of thought and stay in it for as long as I can allow myself to, until it becomes habitual and I can stay into it longer and longer, going deeper and deeper util I reach 20/20 at all times.
The most important thing is that now I have a point of reference and know what type of thinking/actions are necessary for vision improvement.
A few things I noticed
1. Seeing is passive, trying to do something with your eyes to see leads to strain and impaired vision. "trying" to see with my eyes is one of the habits I will overcome.
2. Another thing, while shifting I noticed that when I didn't force myself to see in the center but rather had the idea of it in my head or imagined the idea of shifting from point to point, my gaze naturally moved in that direction when I got out of my own away enough to allow it to do so.
3. A big thing for me personally, I am the type of person who had developed the personality traits of having second thoughts often and would not allow myself to have all the thoughts or feel all the things I was feeling due to fear of unpleasantness or from an attempt to "control" my world. Such actions are fruitless and ultimately give you much less control over your life and your experience literally becomes less distinct (i.e. lowered vision, nervousness, compulsiveness,etc). Whenever you do something that gives a clear flash, allow yourself to stay in that state of mind or be doing whatever you are doing, the brain reflexively will give you a lot of information based on your habits in an attempt to keep the habits alive- do not try to force these down, let yourself experience them uncomfortable feelings because as you work towards perfect vision and to make more and more progress you will need to complete these uncomfortable experiences and come to terms with them. Then they will be replace with the new vision experiences and habits that you have been doing.
So now, the trick for me is to figure out how to relax myself. modify my behavior and mindset such that there is a permanent positive chance in refraction rather than temporary, and do this until I reach 20/20.
From now on I will do my best to be more specific in what I am doing and what works for me. Today I realized something very important, seeing is not hard, rather it is very easy and we need to allow ourselves to see without pushing it or forcing it and following the feedback we get and learning to stay in those new states that we learn over time.
Might edit later with what my vision is, as I am printing out a snellen test chart today.
The flashes are still temporary and only happen after I yawn and my eyes tear up. Before I got home I realized that it is easier for me to pay attention to what I am doing with my eyes if I am aware of all of the eye at once. I have gotten into the habit of only being aware or using the front of it and remembered that when I had perfect vision this was not so. So what I am going to do now is do this while I shift my attention and be mindful of what is going on with my eyes and how I can make things easier. The hardest thing for me at this point is the fact that I am impatient, which I think slows down the process quite a bit. I need to remember that my vision isn't all that bad and if I am mindful of this as much as I can that I will improve.
At this point it would be interesting to read about what helped people get permanent gains personally to see if I can gain any further insights into what exactly is necessary to bring the visual system back into harmony. I think it would be interesting to get group feedback with each other, I think that might help accelerate the process quite nicely. Anyone interested?
Even more flashes today, I have been straining considerably less than yesterday and have been thinking about and putting into my own words what is going on with what I do to get temporary better vision and why that is. Lately I have really been noticing how colorful everything is outside, its quite fantastic. I notice that when I get "clear flashes" after yawning, things get considerably brighter and more colorful in addition to being more distinct- its a very pleasant feeling and I know that if I think about it in different ways and increase my understanding everyday that perfect vision is not far off, remaining patient and not forcing the issue is the biggest challenge, which is likely one of the main reasons that my vision got blurry in the first place. Especially difficult to not "try" to see when you get the clear flashes! I always get pretty anxious when it happens.
Ill do some eye-chart stuff later, although lately I have simply been doing vision stuff as much as possible and thus have been getting a lot of practice already.
After an afternoon and morning of some strain and trying to remember how I got flashes I learned some interesting things. Specifically I learned some things about eye awareness and had my first couple very clear flashes without yawning and tearing up!
This occurrence has destroyed most of the skepticism I had left about vision improvement, after I have my first permanent improvement it will be gone entirely.
I defined what my problem is so I can keep myself on track. "Since your vision is quite good already (can read the 20/50 line although it has a little bit of blur) the ability to distinguish small detail is the issue. Thus the ability to shift between small details and see the small parts one at a time in rapid succession should be the focus of my vision practice"
At a certain point I was very frustrated about my vision practice and started to swing my heads side to side (like the "long swing" that bates described). I am going to write the notes I took on it, because I am not 100% sure I can distinguish which part exactly was the most helpful and may need a few more days of practice to be positive.
Excerpt from the vision notes I take daily on a notepad
"Be aware of the eye, specifically the front part of the pupil and shift attention from side to side on what you are looking at. While looking with a point as small as possible on the center of the eye, shift or move your head side to side while either not thinking about the eyes or mentally distancing yourself from them or by not physically clenching them (it could have been any of these 3 by themselves or in combination). Let your eyes move and shift physically with the movements and shifts you make. I think I may have also been imagining that the things were moving to the opposite direction of my gaze as I moved.
What I took from this was "let the eyes and head move when you mentally shift" it seems to me that staring while you shift is probably a common mistake people make. I notice that when people with perfect vision look at me their eyes will shift very quickly back and forth before they look away (if its in passing) and their eyes will move quite a lot when they are talking to others.
Also, constantly imagining a small point that I shift over surfaces helps me pay more attention to the action itself and makes it so I am not simply going through the motions but am consciously practicing.
Great day for vision, read a few articles and have been moving towards a more "natural" vision improvement routine without stressing myself. I just went on a walk where I had my longest clear flash yet. I was watching the movements of the trees, feeling the movement of the world around me and the blood in my body as I walked, blinking naturally and imagining the swing as I allowed it to "take over" my world. By being part of this swing and watching it as I put my attention on smaller points it was relaxing and I yawned and had improved vision. It was very sunny out so I decided to allow things to do what they may and not "force" the details out and instead simply shifted over what I could see while constantly feeling the swinging of my body from side to side, taking care to blink.
I got very good results, there were moments where I could see license plates I couldn't see before, things were brighter and more distinct. The best part of the experience was that it felt so relaxing and natural to me to the point that I was very joyful and content. I was enjoying seeing things far more than I usually do and gave it more attentiveness that is typical of me. Overall, this was a very successful day and I will go about my further practice in this type of manner.
I think one of the things that helped was that I let the world come to me rather than trying to impose my will on it, instead I followed the feelings I was experiencing and letting my attention shift naturally from side to side.