Sunday, August 24, 2008


Eye exercises have been used for many years and by many cultures to help maintain healthy vision. The eyes need to be exercised much like any other part of the body. Unfortunately, the increased use of computers, television viewing, near work both at school and on the job, has created chronic, excessive stress on our visual system. Our eyes and bodies were not designed to withstand this ongoing stress, which we believe contributes to poorer vision, eye disease, and often neck and back problems.

Is it little wonder that 75% of students in graduate school are nearsighted?

Eye exercises can strengthen eye muscles, help maintain flexible lenses and help maintain sharper vision with just 5-10 minutes each day. Just choose a few of the eye exercises to do during each session. For people who spend hours on the computer each day, you should take a 2-3 minute break each hour for eye exercises (palming is an excellent exercise to do each break).

The exercises below do not represent a vision therapy program. For an individualized vision therapy program or to get an evaluation, you can contact the Optometric Extension Program at (949) 250-8070, or visit their website at to find a qualified vision therapist near you.


Exercises To Help Keep The Eyes Healthy

In order to achieve your goal of improved vision, it is important that you have a good space in which to work. That space should be quiet and private. It should have good lighting.


The following are essential components to integrate into your vision improvement program.

BREATHE: as in yoga the importance of good breathing is essential to getting the most out of your exercises. As you look around your world become aware of when you are holding your breath. Breathing regularly will bring more oxygen to your eyes and reduce stress on your vision.

BLINK: remembering to blink will help you from staring and working too hard as you do your exercises. It will also soothe, and moisturize the eyes.

SMILE: adding a smile to your exercises will help reduce any tension you might be holding in your eyes. So smile as you go through life.

HAVE FUN: these exercises should be looked at as something you enjoy doing rather than a task you have to do. This is for you so enjoy your self.

COMMIT: as in anything you really want in life it is important to commit your self towards that goal. If you don't think that this is the proper time for you to make this promise of improved vision to yourself, then you might have to put this program off to another time.

BELIEVE: you must believe so you can conceive. So check in with your belief systems around improving your eyes. It is possible, so make sure you believe it as you begin the program.


In general, each of the exercises selected should be done for one to three minutes. For active computer users, try to take a 2-3 minute break every hour on the computer for eye exercises. Pick 2-3 exercises out (Palming is a good one to keep doing every hours).

Exercise # 1: BREATHING

How you breathe is an integral part of your health and your vision improvement. Smooth even breathing, deep and rhythmic helps us to center our attention on our inner self. We concentrate on the steady intake and exhalation of breath. Air is taken in all the way down to the bottom of the lungs. As it fills the lungs, they expand and our stomach pushes outward. As we exhale pushing air up slowly from the bottom of the lungs our stomach contracts. Most of us breathe very shallowly. We contract our lungs pull our stomach in and lift our shoulders when we inhale and push them out while we exhale. This is backwards!!! This exercise is very soothing. It can be done anytime, anywhere. It is difficult at first; so practice it patiently.

INSTRUCTIONS for Exercise # 1:

Do not wear any glasses or contact lenses if possible.

Sit on the floor or on a comfortable chair in a quiet room. Or stand in a balanced position with your knees slightly bent.

Close your eyes gently

Notice the rhythm of your breathing

Inhale deeply through the nose. Try to let your shoulders remain down and loose. Lungs are like balloons so let them expand as they fill imagining that they go all the way down to your pelvic seat.

Exhale slowly and evenly through the mouth, pushing the air out from the bottom of your lungs. Feel your stomach and chest flatten but do not squeeze the air out. Let your lungs rest at the end of your exhale and simply allow your body to begin its next inhale. Try not to force the inhale, but wait for the natural impulse to breathe.

Repeat the inhale and the exhale letting a natural rhythm flow continuously. Do not overbreathe.

Concentrate all your attention on the intake and exhalation of air. Let thoughts simply evaporate.

Let your eyelids hang heavy until they gently close. Your eyes should be unfocused and the eye muscles relaxed. Let your jaw go slack. Your mouth should be slightly opened. Say the word " Duuuuuuh" in order to help your jaw drop.

Let your body move slightly to prevent muscles from becoming locked.

Continue breathing for three minutes.

When you open your eyes, don't look at anything in particular. Just let your eyes open without refocusing so that they can momentarily receive light in the most natural and relaxed way.

Practice this breathing technique as often as you wish with and without your glasses/contacts on.


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