Sassisailor’s Weblog

A description of my journey to improve my eyesight naturally

Vision improvement since thumb injury April 11, 2008

Filed under: Clear Flashes!,My Daily Progress,Uncategorized — sassisailor @ 6:07 am

An excerpt from an email I wrote to my NVT (natural vision teacher) describing my vision since I injured my thumb.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my vision has been noticeable improved ever since I injured my thumb. I’ve been thinking about it yesterday and today because it has persisted for four days now; I think it’s because it has brought my attention to my thumb (before I was always focused on my vision) and it has forced me to start using my left hand for almost everything. I have had long moments of very interesting and new visual experiences. It’s hard to explain. My vision becomes very sharp and clear and things look much different than they do when I’m wearing my glasses. I don’t know if I can describe it, it’s almost like everything is “alive”… I don’t know if that makes sense… I sat here for a moment trying to think of a way to describe it and that’s the word that came to mind. When this has happened it’s like my relationship (spatial wise) with objects in the room has changed. It’s very similar to the experience I had in the canyon where I was perceiving depth in a very exaggerated way, except in a small room it was that much more dramatic. I then had another new experience when I was looking at my Snellen from 20 feet today; I was able to focus in on the letters I was looking at, almost like I was zooming in my vision and bringing the image closer to me… this probably sounds weird and unreal, but that’s the only way I can think of describing it. My eyes felt physically different when I was able to do this. Unfortunately I had to stop working on my Snellen so I wasn’t able to see if I could keep repeating this strange feeling.”

I experienced clear flashes that lasted for minutes and minutes… sometimes as long as 20 minutes! I’ve been able to start looking at something and “pick out” the correct form and see through the blur to the clear image. Then the whole image clears up and I can see it – this doesn’t happen all the time, just for some objects with well-known and clearly defined boundaries. I haven’t been doing much since I injured my thumb; no long swings, palming or anything. Just an occasional autogenics session. I plan to get back to my Bates practice and Eyebody work today, but we’ll see how I’m feeling. My observations below make some comments about how beneficial some other things may be, but I still think that the traditional vision improvement techniques are very valuable tools and should not be discarded.

Important observations (in my own humble opinion of course):

  • Changing your mental frame of reference is valuable. Being forced to focus my full attention on minute daily activities must be good practice. You could call this “the zen of vision improvement” 🙂
  • You don’t have to be focused on your vision to see (at least some) improvement – for me at least. My vision has been better these past four days than ever before and I wasn’t working on improving my vision. I still think “working” on my vision is important and I still plan to continue Bates/Eyebody and reading about the Alexander Technique. It must be important or I wouldn’t have been at my current improvement before I injured my thumb.
  • It is my unnatural and incorrect habits that have lead to my nearsightedness (myopia). This week I have been forced to do without some habits. Most of us can make it through the day on habit; we don’t have to think about how we breath, stand, sit, type, read, brush our teeth, put your coat on, wear your gloves without the thumb, open a door, typing, etc…
  • I will continue to exam my habits. Maybe some are OK, others I will need to change. I don’t have a source to quote on this but I’ve read many times that it’s very beneficial to the brain to change your habits. Vision is a large part of our brain, I now believe this is beneficial to our vision too. Some suggestions: try brushing your teeth regularly with your opposite hand, put your keys in a new place (but where you can still see them!), put your opposite shoe on first, change the order you get ready in the morning, use your non-dominant hand for anything you can (that is still safe of course).
  • There is no exact “recipe” for improving vision; it is a journey (like most things that we impatiently desire to have right now. Vision improvement requires reflecting on how we conduct ourselves (or “use our self” as stated by F.M. Alexander). Obviously this means that vision improvement is very personal and will differ for each individual. What works precisely for me may not work for someone else. Bates was a very observant doctor and scientist. I believe he had incredible success because he paid close attention to each individual and was able to recommend relaxation techniques based on their personality and habits. After years of studying vision I’m sure he gained a very natural and intuitive sense about how each person’s habits affected their particular eye disorder. It is more difficult, but I think it’s possible for each of us to observe ourselves and objectively decide what action needs to be taken. The natural vision teacher can be of extraordinary help if they are the right teacher for you because they are able to observe you from the outside. They may notice things that you will not. Often we do not see things we do not want to see. There are many resources available to help guide us (Bates, Eyebody, Alexander Technique, and many more) and we all have our own creativity and experiences to augment the improvement process.
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12 Responses to “Vision improvement since thumb injury”

  1. sorrisi Says:

    Fascinating, sister! and very inspiring! This is a true GEM of a post 🙂

    I had to laugh, there were two things you wrote specifically about doing with your left hand – buttoning pants and brushing your teeth!

    Remember that summer when my left thumb crapped out and I had to use my right hand (for me non-dominant those of you not in the family)? Those were the two funniest things to get used to doing with my right hand. It took forever to button my pants the first time! And I bruised my gums and only brushed half my teeth for a week 😉

    Have you started writing with your other hand? It’s pretty fun, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I’ll start doing that again. I’m really glad that you put in the time to detail all of your observations from the last week, this post is a real eye opener 🙂

    Hope it’s healing fast and that things are going well!
    love,
    Sister

  2. vidi Says:

    I agree with your sister in every respect.

    I even attempted to teach myself to write left-handed doing mirror handwriting, from right to left. I thought about learning how to draw, but haven’t invested any time in that either.

    You mentioned, “it’s almost like everything is “alive”… I don’t know if that makes sense”

    Yes, I know what you mean by this. It’s like you’re more “in the present” and objects seem more “tangible” and have a calmer appearance to them. Is that right?

    I’m guessing you already had some moments of 20/20 or better, since I figure that once you hit optical infinity that’s when you really begin to notice the truly powerful effect of things seeming more alive since you can actually see them sharply.

    You also mentioned, “I experienced clear flashes that lasted for minutes and minutes… sometimes as long as 20 minutes! I’ve been able to start looking at something and “pick out” the correct form and see through the blur to the clear image. Then the whole image clears up and I can see it”

    Big wow! I have not experienced clear flashes lasting for minutes the way you have. I find the “picking out the correct form and seeing through the blur to the clear image” part to be of utmost interest. Know why? Because Dr. Bates often talked about guessing and imagining the letter’s four sides to be straight, curved, open – and the vision would clear up if the guess was correct.

    He even wrote about this in one of the most astonishing articles I’ve ever read in which he stated that all persons, even with organic diseases, may have moments of supernormal vision. Interestingly, he also mentions the blank wall you and I discussed previously. Have fun reading this if you have never read it before: http://www.iblindness.org/articles/bates-imaginationvision.html

    I loved this post of yours. Thanks for sharing.

  3. vidi Says:

    “A good clear flash will cause details in the moon’s outline and mares (craters) to emerge. The moon will then appear to be a big boulder. It is there as if it were a real boulder hanging in midair. The same way I have been able to perceive airplanes as if they were very solid objects simply hanging in the air and being propelled by something. An analogy for myopes is this: take a toy car or airplane you can see very clearly. Move the toy car smoothly on the ground, or the toy airplane smoothly in the air. They are very solid and simply there. The same occurs when you become able to see objects in the distance perfectly, such as an airplane or the moon. Even those objects appear to have depth!” http://sorrisi.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/look-at-the-moon/#comment-37

    This was one of my experiences I posted at your sister’s blog. Note how I used the phrase “very solid and simply there” (the objects appeared closer to me also). Is that how you felt when you noticed objects appeared more “alive” and “closer”?

    And here’s one more thing I mentioned at Sorrisi’s blog:

    “The feeling of being alive means to feel more “tuned into the moment.” When you see a blur, it distorts feeling of what is real. When you relieve any blur, the feeling of surrealism is reduced.

    The elimination of blur then expands the feeling of consciousness further, and objects within the boundaries of clarity appear to be more “there.” They become more “still life”-like and tangible-seeming…

    Suddenly, this feeling of calmness in what you see brings a further degree of calmness to your mind. Your sensations become stronger, as you are calmed and become more “in tune” with your senses.

    The feeling of being alive improves as your vision improves beyond 10/40, 10/20, 10/10, 10/8, 10/5, etc. There is virtually no limit because whenever your vision improves, vision at ALL given distances improve as well. . .” etc… http://sorrisi.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/clearings/#comment-117

    Is this what you are experiencing?

  4. sassisailor Says:

    Hi Sister!

    I’m glad you liked my post. I haven’t had time to respond to your most recent posts on your blog but I have equally enjoyed reading about your experience over the past week. The in-laws are in town visiting so I don’t have much time 😦

    I haven’t done much writing with my left-hand but I do a little each day. Brushing my teeth was painful at first too! And it was quite messy… I’m actually really good at it now after only less than a week and now I really enjoy brushing my teeth with my left hand 🙂

    I’m excited about your Alexander Technique appointment. I have been reading more about it and think it is definitely a good tool for vision improvement. I’ll be posting more about this soon. There is so much to write about and not enough time!!! I’ve been having a lot of good realizations and experiences lately and just not enough time to put them into words- especially with the gimp thumb.

    Love you,
    Sister

  5. sassisailor Says:

    Vidi,

    Yes! It seems you definitely understand the experiences I am having. I apologize for not having written and responding thoroughly to your posts. I respond last to you and my sister as I know you will both understand and I don’t want to discourage newcomers in thinking that I won’t eventually respond. Thank you for your patience. It has been a tiring week 🙂

    It’s interesting that you mention the feeling of consciousness, I have been meaning to write a post about this (and I will). I will briefly comment here. When I experience these long clear flashes I feel much more connected to my environment and experience the same feeling I get during deep meditation. My mind relaxes and I get what my old zen teacher calls “big mind” where you feel “one with the universe” 🙂 I know that sounds corny, but it’s a pretty accurate description. Objects do have more depth and are much more “tangible” as you said. I thought of a way to describe this. When I wear my glasses it’s as if I’m viewing a picture (the picture being my surroundings). When I experience one of these extended clear flashes it’s as if I’ve stepped into the picture.

    As far as the blur, yes, when I imagine what it looks like the real image just comes through. It’s a very surreal feeling to experience seeing something very blurry (indistinguishable) and then have it take shape and be completely clear. Lately I have also been able to “interpret the blur” very accurately. I plan to write a post about this as well. I can look at my alarm clock and know what time it is even though I can’t read the numbers. It’s hard to describe. Then I’ll move my head closer and sure enough I knew exactly what time it was; to the minute! I can do this with my digital clock in the bathroom too. If I look at it long enough the numbers will start appearing clear; but I know what the time is before this happens. Anyway, I’ll be posting about this in case people don’t always read these comments.

    Sassy

  6. sorrisi Says:

    hey sister!

    ‘When I wear my glasses it’s as if I’m viewing a picture (the picture being my surroundings). When I experience one of these extended clear flashes it’s as if I’ve stepped into the picture. ‘

    I have the same experience!

    And, you wrote that you can look at the clock and you know what time it is even though you can’t read it. I also have had that happen! It’s happened so many times, and I’m always confused because when I realize I know what time it is, I look back at the clock and it’s blurry, so I go up close and am always amazed I had it right…

    don’t worry about writing everything down at once, there’s plenty of time!
    love,
    sister

  7. vidi Says:

    Sassy,

    I’m glad you think I understand your experiences. 🙂

    I think I overlooked how long some of my clear flashes were. For example:

    There was one night when I was able to make the black period appear to be physically manifest right in front of my eyes. It was so real I thought I actually saw it! Immediately following, I acquired a much higher visual acuity that lasted for hours. I couldn’t resist the urge to go to Walmart at nighttime to see what this new vision would be like indoors. I noticed that people seemed so 3D and clear, and everything simply was, with much less blur.

    On a different occassion, a similar episode of prolonged clear flash was triggered. I mentioned on Feb 1 at your sister’s blog: “The vision improvement after the castle visualization was instantaneous and lasted for weeks.” You can find this at this particular comment, near the bottom: http://sorrisi.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/look-at-the-moon/#comment-66

    I’ve had several similar instances. I can’t believe I just overlooked this. I now recall having some clear flashes that lasted maybe up to 30 minutes, but most of the prolonged clear flashes that were triggered did, in fact, last for hours or days.

    Also, I’ve had that “interpret the blur” happen to me several times. I’d not be able to really read something in the distance, and I’d be looking away instantly yet I would somehow know exactly what a sign or clock display was saying. Happened with the tiny neon display clock on the cable box right under the living room TV. I couldn’t read it from a certain distance. I’d take a look glance, look away, and suddenly the exact time popped up in my head repetitively. Out of curiosity, I walking closer and to my astonishment I discovered that I knew the time to the minute! It happened even with the tiny kitchen microwave neon display clock!

    My thinking was like, “How on earth can this be?” But if you actually looked at the link I put in comment#2, you will find that Dr. Bates said, “These flashes of supernormal vision are so short that they are not realized. Some persons, however, are able to prolong them and may even make them permanent.”

    What I believe we have been doing is we have been prolonging those flashes so that we become more conscious and can actually “think” of them. It works in stages. I’ve gone even further than simple blur interpretation with this entire thing. I was even able to develop a temporary yet real photographic memory in which I could do things like read a line in a book, look away, and be able to recall lines I had unconsciously read above and below that line. I could recall these lines word-for-word.

    I look forward to reading your post on consciousness. I have a couple of things to say on the subject too. The “stepping into the picture” metaphor you use, in addition to what you say about how glasses distort one’s perception of the world is how I experience it too.

    I understand about the comments thing. You are going to get more visitors before long and I hope you can keep up. I have noticed that there are now more views of your blog than your sister’s blog. Sassy and Sorrisi, let’s remember this isn’t a competition! 🙂

  8. Eye doctor’s rarely discuss the role of diet, nutrition and lifestyle considerations regarding preserving vision for those with different eye diseases. Dr. Marc Grossman, leading holistic eye doctor and author of 5 books on natural eyecare, will be providing a series of free teleconferences on natural eye care beginning May 15th, 2008 at 8:00, This first teleconference will be on Visual Longevity.

    To sign up for this free teleconference, go to http://www.naturaleyecare.com/geninfo.asp?g_num=34

    Follow-up teleconferences will cover specific eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, computer eye strain, cataracts, and more. Additional free teleconferences will be listed http://www.naturaleyecare.com

  9. sassisailor Says:

    All,

    The comment above from Dr. Marc Grossman is not something I endorse and I have no experience with this establishment. I looked at the natural eyecare website and it may be relevant for some people, but is not targeted at those who are nearsighted or farsighted. It is a homeopathic site however so I was happy to approve the comment in case anyone finds it useful.

    Sassy

  10. James Says:

    If I remember correctly Quackenbush is a vegan. Not exactly a dietary approach I recommend. And sadly, despite diet having little effect on eye health, at least FUNCTIONAL eye health, many of these natural vision improvement people and Bates teachers will give dietary advice. As far as I’m concerned, they’re mostly just plugging their own diets. I do not believe (most of) these people know a lot about nutrition. I mentioned Weston Price and vitamin A here on this blog, but I explicitly express my skepticism concerning what improved nutrition could do for your eyes.

    And I’m not fond of homeopathy.

  11. sassisailor Says:

    James,

    You’ve probably used homeopathic remedies before and just don’t associate them with this method. Ever used a cool wet washcloth on your forehead when you have a fever? drink plenty of liquids when you have a cold? etc… I think it just gets a bad name as being “alternative medicine” but it is in fact one of the few ways (one of the only right ways in my opinion) to treat the body without all of the negative side effects from prescription drugs. Of course acute/traumatic injuries must be treated at a hospital with traditional Western medicine in most cases. I hope you learn more about homeopathy, it will change your life 🙂 I find it interesting that you are concerned about things like Vitamins but are not fond of homeopathy. What is the point of making sure you have enough Vitamin A if you’re stressing (possibly destroying) your liver with prescription drugs and OTC medications like Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil, Sleep-Aids, etc.? (i.e. the healing techniques of allopathic medicine).

    Many people are probably plugging their own diets; that’s true, I won’t argue with you there. I’m not a fan of fad diets or specialized diets like that of veganism. Each person has to decide for themselves if the nutritional information given by a person is correct for them. But the majority of Americans NEED good dietary advice. They just need to be careful of where they get it from. I think each person should research it for themselves, but most people don’t care enough to do this. But I think you and I would agree on that point. I didn’t read anything by Quackenbush in “Relearning to See” about diet that I didn’t agree with. Unless I’m mistaken I don’t believe he ever stated you had to abide by a vegan diet to improve your eyesight. Quackenbush being a vegan, and stating that he encourages all vision improvement students to be a vegan are two totally different things. To my knowledge I don’t believe he does the latter. I could ask my Natural Vision Teacher, he trained with Tom Q.

    How can nutrition NOT affect your eyes? They are part of our body! No part of our body is exempt from the effects of nutrition. Even our hair shows signs of dietary stress and it’s not living tissue. Our eyes are composed of cells, muscles, nerves, glands, etc and each of these parts requires the correct vitamins and minerals to operate properly. Our bodies require vitamins and minerals like engines require oil, gasoline, transmission fluid etc. You can’t take one or many of these away and expect then to work properly, even from a functional point of view. Can an athlete run his best if he isn’t properly nourished? Your opinion seems to coincide with that of the majority of people and optometrists, which treat the eyes as some separate entity and that they do not have to abide by the laws that the rest of our body does.

    I would only ask that you keep your comments positive on my blog as I do support homeopathy and correct nutrition for eye health. I enjoy your commentary and encourage conversations with beneficial information. My blog’s purpose is to accurately document my progress so that other’s may learn from my experiences and take what they wish from what I write. Part of my lifestyle includes natural health and homeopathy; for what part this plays in eyesight I will never know exactly (unless I could travel through a school bus through my eyes 🙂 ), but it is part of my experience and if you don’t choose to use this in your own vision therapy then that is definitely your prerogative, but please don’t post negative opinions without some foundation or proof — this doesn’t benefit anyone, only plants seeds of negativity. There is already enough negativity surrounding this process which makes it difficult enough for people who wish to improve their vision naturally. I believe people need all the encouragement they can get. I have proof that these methods work and I hope to only inspire people to help themselves.

    Thanks,
    *S*

  12. sassisailor Says:

    I have unapproved some comments as I feel that the person who posted and I have some misunderstandings that need to be resolved first before cluttering my blog with this dialogue.

    James — I have emailed you in response to your comments.


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