It’s Active Focus Time, [s2Get user_field=”first_name” /]!
Are you excited?
Here’s the deal with active focus.
You already know about the muscle in your eye, which moves the lens, and thereby controls the focus. (near and far)
Right now that muscle is seriously neglected.
It’s probably in a state of permanent spasm, since you keep it super tense all day long, staring at that screen in front of you. The ciliary, for whatever biological reason doesn’t have a feedback mechanism like other muscles in your body. Therefore you can’t feel the “burn” or strain. It just quietly sits in your eye and gets wrecked by those all day close-up sessions.
You are working towards fixing that, already though. How?
- You take breaks from close-up regularly.
- You stopped wearing that giant minus prescription when using your screen.
- You know that better quality light equals better eyesight, and maybe are sitting near a window or bought some full spectrum UV bulbs for your desk.
- You just learned about the “diopter bubble”, and realized that you want to keep at the far end of your “distance” vision, even up close. For that you have the new differential prescription.
I call that getting your money’s worth!
But we’re barely getting started. You did make it past some of the more challenging things already, learning all the things necessary to get that reduced prescription. Again, well done.
Today we want to work a bit more on that ciliary muscle.
First step was to teach you how to relax it. Know how?
Distance vision! The further away you are focusing your eyes on, the more relaxed the ciliary muscle is.
It’s got another job though, the focusing business.
This gets pretty limited when you wear those big minus glasses. They are designed to just make everything sharp to infinity. That does all sorts of bad things, some of which you already know about. (hyperopic defocus risk which equals myopic stimulus, being a big one)
All right. Ready for active focus then?
You have your differential prescription. You see your screen clearly, but at the far end of your comfortable (!) ergonomic distance, there’s a bit of blur.
That blur is your target.
Remember, when you did your first centimeter measurements?
Odds are it wasn’t that easy to be really clear on where the text started to blur. Maybe that blur distance even moved a bit, as you were trying to figure out the exact distance.
And that’s really the key. The change in blur distance.
If you really focus on where the text starts to blur, (and yes this is a pretty strange experience0, it will clear up.
There’s a bit of extra “wiggle room” up there at the end of your focal distance.
You have to have a prescription that creates a diopter bubble that includes clear vision, and blur at the further (usable) end for this.
Let’s use an example.
With your differential prescription, you can see clearly to 60cm. At 65 cm, there’s a bit of blur. At 70cm, there’s a lot of blur.
So what you want to do now, is look at that range, 60-65cm.
Stare at a simple white page, black text, average font (like 14 points or so). Regular Web page is easy. Medium.com has a great font.
This is a bit like trying to teach somebody how to wiggle an eyebrow, or flare a nostril.
It’s hard to explain. You have to sort of “luck into it” the first time. And then it gets much easier, once you experienced it once.
So, patience with this one!
Stare at the slightly blurred text. Now blink at it, “willing” the blur to clear up. Know that you can, and realize that it’s a big leap to connect to the focusing muscle.
It might take an hour, a day, a week. A month.
It’s the most challenging experience in terms of finding a connection, that we’ll have in this program. The differential prescription was the difficult thing to build up to, in terms of learning principles and basics. Active focus is the most challenging internal experience.
You did the differential, you can do the active focus.
Blink at the text! Not violently, not in exasperation. Contemplate the blur. Blink at it, maybe move back a bit further, try it with more blur. And less blur.
The key is to notice any change in sharpness of the text.
Do it for 10 minutes. Later, try it again for 10 minutes. Don’t force it, just be on a path seeking the sudden change in clarity.
Onc you got it once, the second time will be much sooner and easier. And the next one even easier.
That’s what you’re looking for. This will give you the key stimulus activity to combine your lower prescription and focus activity, which will improve your eyesight.
No exercises, no eye vitamins.
We’ll use this newfound ability to build on. There are lots of things you can (and will) do with active focus. We’ll use this with a reduced distance prescription, and to assess more details about your eye health, later.
Once you find active focus, you’ll be able to challenge yourself, throughout the day, to get to that 65 cm (as example), rather than to stay at 60, or to creep up to 50cm. (remember, last time we talked about good ergonomic habits)
The more time you spend close to your maximum distance, the less eye strain you get.
And building in time to challenge your eyes to clear up some blur, will add some stimulus to actually improve your eyesight.
And that’s the beginning of that topic. Realize that any kind of close-up activity is going to have a very minor impact on improving your eyesight. There are some sites and practitioners out there who copy my guru-esque awesome approach, but they don’t really understand the bigger picture. They think you can recover your eyesight with just this close-up activity.
And of course, they’re wrong.
Close-up best practices = less strain, less myopic stimulus.
You might get marginal improvement here, but the big thing is to be able to use close-up, without creating a lot of eye strain. Still you need breaks. You can move from 20 minutes to 40 minutes if you like, and in another week you can add 20 minutes more.
Ideally you’ll never (!) go past three hours of close-up at any one time.
If you spend 10 hours a day in close-up, with one break, your eyesight will never get better. Even for me, even during days when I was earning $1,000 an hour, I’d stop after three hours, for an hour. There is no amount of money or pleasing the boss that’s worth killing your eyes over. 3 hours is the absolute hard limit.
And I’ll show you why that is too, in a future session.
Find active focus. Be patient but persistent.
We’ll be talking about active focus again in upcoming sessions, since it requires a bit of fishing for most of you. Here’s some more reading on the topic:
Some of these are a bit dated, and I don’t fully agree with a 100% of all of them. Still, read, take it in, and start experimenting with finding your very own connection to that lovely circular muscle inside your eye.
Questions? Remember the forum! It’s here for you.