Reading at lunchtime. All windows open, but it’s a cloudy day.
Reading at lunchtime. All windows open, but it’s a cloudy day.
Today was a super busy day for me and I didn’t do very much Bates practice (some sporadic swaying). I only completed one and a half warming sessions on my right arm, so it won’t count as one of my days. I was so tired I fell asleep during the second session. I shouldn’t let my work consume my whole day, but with this looming Feb 1 deadline I’m going to have to push through and try to get my work done- even at the cost of losing a little ground with my eyes. It’s sad, but unfortunately I must do well on my qualifier exams or I will not pass!!!
Exercise: Today I did 5 Sun Salutations A and I walked on my treadmill for 25 minutes using a hill climb workout. I had been sitting most of the day and I had a strong urge to move my legs and stretch my body. There is nothing quite like yoga to stretch me out and increase my oxygen intake. The treadmill is one of the best investments I’ve made (spent around $600) because when the wind blows here it is miserable to be walking/running outside. Having the treadmill means that I can ‘take a walk’ or ‘go for a run’ even when it’s -10 deg F outside with wind chill factor. My husband and I decided last year that using our money to buy exercise equipment was a good investment because improving our health will save us a lot of money in the future. Plus we feel so much better when we exercise regularly!
I read my Snellen card today and I was reading at 8/200. This was really discouraging for me because I had maintained my 10/200 reading for so long. I am confident I can work back to the 10/200 in little time. Nonetheless, I was discouraged. I read however that ups and downs in progress are to be expected so I’m not letting this get me down.
I learned a valuable lesson today. My autogenics training and Bates methods do help me focus better while I’m at work. I worked many hours today but I didn’t feel as productive as normal. Making time for my relaxation throughout the day and before meals helps to focus my mind which benefits me at work as well as in my personal life. As a result I’m going to make a better effort at getting in my practices regardless of how much work I have to do. The autogenics is the most beneficial of any of my practices at this time. I think it’s the best for me right now because I can achieve a deep level of relaxation within a short period of time. This relaxed feeling lasts for hours and when I’m doing it regularly I look forward to my next session. I highly recommend this practice for anyone, it’s a wonderful technique and has a myriad of uses!
Last weekend and throughout this week I have been experiencing a series of clear flashes! I remembered to write a post because I had three this morning! We were sitting in the car in the driveway getting ready to go to school and I had my first one. The clock and temperature display cleared up and I could read them! I continued to blink through the flash and I could still see!!! The bricks on our house were also crystal clear. I maintained my level of thought and relaxation through this time, attempting to maintain the feeling I had when the clear flash started. Then, my vision started to blur a little and I was able to bring my clear vision back! It’s almost like I had it figured out how I was blinking and looking at things in order to bring back the clear flash. As we pulled out of the driveway and drove down the street I was able to read license plates as well! The clear flash ended after this, but it was incredible. I’m learning a lot about my vision when I have these because if I pay attention to what precedes the clear flash it teaches me something new about how to ‘see’. I think the key this morning was my relaxed vision and my blinking. I wasn’t looking at the clock to see it, I just noticed I could see it! This may be related to the Bates’ observations about the lack of refractive error when staring at a white wall (also discussed on sorrisi’s blog). Perhaps I was viewing the inside of our truck like a white wall- perfectly relaxed, for a minute. Unfortunately once I am conscious of this happening my adrenaline starts pumping and I become aware of using my eyes to see and I must induce strain as a result. Hopefully I will be able to keep holding on to these clear flashes for longer and longer periods of time!
I forgot to put in my post for Monday the 28th that I did 25 minutes on the treadmill and 5 Sun Salutations A.
I completed 2 right arm warming A.T. sessions today. I did a prolonged relaxation after the sessions and began to feel like I do after I’ve been meditating for at least 15 minutes- it’s a strange state where I feel very connected to my body and I lose a sense of where my limbs are. My eyes were once again very relaxed after these sessions. I then did the swaying/swinging from morning routine. I am thinking of using my spring break time to spend the whole week doing these relaxation techniques (the A.T., palming, eyebag over my eyes, swinging, and test card reading) to try and see what this does to my vision if I concentrate my relaxation and do it for hours every day.
The natural vision teacher I contacted gave me an inspirational article from one of the better eyesight magazines (BEM). This guy spent two weeks with the Bates’, six hours per day and saw significant improvement in this time. This is the link for the article:
I can see the value in this because currently my eyes are experiencing bits of relaxation intermixed with strain. I must wear my reduced glasses at work otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done. I can leave them off for reading, but at the very least I am wearing negative lenses anywhere from six-ten hours per day… which is unacceptable in my mind for seeing lasting progress in my vision. Today I was better about not staring at my computer screen but I’m still not swinging consistently. I use swing windows (see the central-fixation website) to swing the screens that I can, but I’m currently using a program that is not compatible with swing windows, so the window I work in the most remains stationary. I’m setting up my calendar to remind me every 20 minutes to take a break, look around get up and stretch so I think this will help.
I think I’m going to order a pair of -6 D OD glasses. My -7 D are too strong but my -5reduced are slightly weak when I have my computer monitor pushed way back. I still haven’t made a decision about the trial lens kit vs. the focometer. I’m leaning toward the trial lens kit however.
Yesterday I didn’t make a post so I’ll combine it with today’s (I didn’t do much anyway). Yesterday I finished the heaviness phase of my A.T.! This was an exciting milestone and I didn’t realize how exciting it would be. I still have a ways to go on my training but today I started the warming phase. I did two sessions of the warming phase so far today and plan to do another before bed. The autogenics training for me is best when I lay flat on my back so after I finish it I keep laying still (with my eyebag still over my eyes) and I work on relaxing my eyes just like you’re supposed to in palming. Laying down with the eyebag is much more comfortable for me than palming and my Snellen test card was slightly clearer afterward. When I’m laying down with my eyebag over my eyes I focus on happy memories and happy objects. I took my sister’s advice and have been visualizing a chocolate brown horse and it is the most relaxing image I have used so far. For some reason this image is very relaxing for both of us. This is kind of funny as I am not a rider, I do love horses, but we never had them growing up. When I’m visualizing though I can feel the texture of the hair, especially on the cheek, and the smell comes back to me very strong. I’m curious if anyone else has this experience or if it’s just me and my sister! I tried to visualize a flower that I knew well (as suggested by Emily Bates in a magazine article) but this was more straining for me so I moved on to something else.
I have also been doing the swaying and swinging after my modified ‘palming’. I much prefer the long swing to the sway, but I try to sway if I’m just standing around other people or if I’m cooking. It helps me to keep moving and is quite relaxing. I’ve also found that the long swing, when done for quite a while, really works my quad muscles! I consider myself to be in very good shape and I was surprised that such a simple movement could cause fatigue!
As far as computer work goes, I’m still having problems not staring for long periods of time. I put up a sticky note on my computer that says S, B, and B but I find that I stare so bad that I never look at it! I’m trying to devise a new method for reminding myself to not stare. I’m thinking about programming my watch to go off every few minutes or something, or have my Google calendar pop up a reminder on my screen. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? I think my problem is that when I get really focused on my work I just stare intently at what I’m typing or reading. Maybe I need to just start swaying in my chair….
I heard back from a Natural Vision Instructor in my area and I’m going to an Intro Workshop this Saturday! I’m really excited and looking forward to having a teacher to help me through this process.
The other news is that I’m considering buying either a focometer or a trial lens kit in order to monitor my own refractive error. Both of these are pricey enough that I’m still thinking about it, but if anyone has any experience regarding either of these methods, or an alternative I would be very appreciative to hear your opinion!
I spoke with my sister yesterday and she made some very useful comments about my post yesterday. I had stated that I was looking for some kind of ‘routine’ in order to structure my Bates practice. She made a good point though- if I do the same thing everyday, it may halt progress as my eyes may stop paying attention and my brain would probably become bored. She’s completely right and so rather than finding a set of things I do everyday I’m going to type up all of the relaxation techniques and recommendations from the Bates Magazines and keep some visible cards of little things I can do throughout the day. Of course I’ll still be doing my ‘sketch, breathe, and blink’ all day, in addition to my morning routine, and autogenics training. I guess I’m just having a hard time changing my left-brain personality of order and schedules 🙂
My autogenics training is going really well. Tomorrow will be my last day of the heaviness phase. It’s a really good exercise in learning to be aware of your body and how to relax the muscles. I’m going to finish this through to the end and I think it will be a valuable relaxation tool for the rest of my life.
Today I completed:
Today was a grueling day for me. I had to work on the computer for over eight hours and I’m just exhausted. I’m working toward a deadline of next Friday so there’s only a week left. Luckily I’ve been able to relax my eyes well enough during the day that my vision hasn’t degraded, but it also has not improved in the past few days. I did another Snellen card reading at lunch at I can still read 10/200 so I was encouraged to see that I had at least maintained my previous progress!!!
Today I worked on palming and swinging for longer periods of time. It felt really good. Previously I think I had been too impatient and was looking for results to happen quickly after starting these techniques. It really does take at least a few minutes just to get relaxed. I read about this on the iblindness.org forum today. I’ve been feeling a little bit frustrated at my palming and swinging. I’m hoping with practice these things will become more relaxing. It’s taking me a while to find the most relaxing chair and table to palm on and I’m still not sure if I’m swinging correctly and at the right speed. I’ve contacted a natural vision teacher near my town and am hoping that I can take some lessons to see if I am on the right track!
I took a short 15 minute walk tonight with my dog, but it was bitter cold and windy outside!!! It was nice to be outside, but the sun was almost down and the lack of light in addition to not wearing glasses results in quite significant blur! Luckily the snow reflects a lot of light so it was still easy to walk around as I could see the beaten path on the snow.
I’m most interested in finding information about the Bates Method that outlines more specifically how many times per day and for how long I should practice my techniques. I realize that I need to practice my sketch, breath, and blink all day and I do this as best as I can. At least now I am aware of when I start staring and I am still becoming more aware of all the places in my head and face that I hold tension. By practicing times I mean about reading the test card and doing the palming and swinging techniques. I guess I’m somewhat of a detail person and like to have an outline of what I should do so that I know if I’m doing enough. I’m slowly compiling information from what I’ve read/am reading. But if anyway out there as information as to where the Bates’ outlined anything of this nature, or even routines that worked well in the correction of your eyesight I would be most grateful.