Following Up On Yesterday:
Hopefully you have ordered a Snellen already, or printed the chart.
We will wait a few days to make sure you have a Snellen chart ready. But please don’t wait to get it ordered; it will be quite important as one of the core measuring tools.
Did you complete the morning sharpness differential exercise? Hopefully you did!
You’ll want to make a habit of this. Take in the world as it is for 20 minutes, every morning. Give your eyes a break from always being behind those glasses.
Think of these sessions as small pieces of a big puzzle.
When you read about vision improvement in books or online, they usually start off in the middle. Even the very few who understand that strain and glasses got us to the problem we have today don’t fully understand how to fix the problem.
Let me explain.
Everybody is focused on the eye. The eye this, the eye that. But the retina in your eye – the part that “catches” the light – is considered to be part of the BRAIN. Part of your brain is actually connected via the optical nerves housed in the eyeball.
Nobody realizes this, or has any clue what it means.
Well, not nobody. I mean, “they”.
Here’s a bit more information about that first 20 minutes. Glasses hide from your brain, from your visual cortex (which takes up an almost unimaginable THIRTY percent of your whole cortex), the axial elongation.
So your feedback system becomes short circuited. Your visual cortex doesn’t know that the eye has been manipulated into an unnatural shape.
When we start the day with those glasses off, we are gradually letting the brain know there is a problem. We don’t just start going around without glasses because we don’t want to send the system into panic mode. We just nudge it with 20 minutes in the morning.
Your BRAIN drives your vision. The eyeball is just a tiny piece of it.
If you tried other vision improvement techniques before, that’s a big reason they why don’t work (besides having no guru-Jake). They don’t understand the big picture. We’re working on your brain.
Now back to the baby steps of 20 minute sessions. I just want you to understand where we’re headed.
20 minutes gives you a primer. Then, as we go through this program, we’ll start to reduce prescriptions to go with it. Instead of hiding the symptom from your brain, we’ll gradually introduce it. We’ll take off just a little bit of prescription, expose the flaw, and then use stimulus to encourage your brain to correct it.
This is what works. This is what nobody else gets. Your visual cortex is the key to myopia, not your eyeball. An elongated eyeball (we’ll get to that later), is just a tiny tip-of-the-iceberg symptom.
Let me make 100% sure this is clear:
Not wearing your glasses for distance focus and living with blur offers no benefits. It is arguably preferable to wear a prescription that takes you to 20/40 for distance vision rather than wearing no glasses. There is a resolution atrophy principle at work where your brain will reduce the focal ideal over time. It’s not that difficult to correct but the point is you really do not benefit from eliminating the enjoyment of full resolution at distance focus.
There are a few caveats here. They primarily apply to wearing full corrective prescriptions (taking your vision to an artificial 20/20). We will discuss these later on.
We will cover a whole host of subjects to help you realize the effects of different practices – and some of the fallacies propagated by vision books and Internet forums.
Today, Let’s Look At Close-Up Strain
We’re taking a big step back from the whole visual cortex story for a while.
These first 30 or so sessions are mostly about the simple things, the things that create all that close-up strain. We’re dealing a lot with the eyeball in the first 30 sessions. Once we have the proper feedback mechanism re-established, your close-up glasses sorted out and strain under control, then we’ll get into more of the bigger picture things.
As I already mentioned in the e-mails, close-up is a problem.
Extended close-up focus is what primarily contributed to the whole myopia troubles in the first place. Truly, early myopia (-1.00 to -1.75 diopters) is just a stress symptom.
A rock falls on your foot and you feel pain. You remove the rock and the pain gradually disappears. But in the infinite wisdom of popular vision care, the rock remains on your foot and you are given painkillers instead. You need increasingly larger doses of painkiller. You are told that this is normal.
There is a circular focusing muscle in your eye which moves a flexible lens.
This creates clear focus; up-close and for distance. If you’re not familiar with this, visit this page.
Extensive close-up focus results in ciliary contraction beyond the system’s design, followed by ciliary spasms and focal range reduction.
If there wasn’t this unfortunate notion of ‘glasses are normal’, you (or your parents) may have recognized the symptom as stress.
Use your eyes excessively for a task they are not suited for and they will respond by temporarily reduced focal range.
Glasses mask the symptom, and unfortunately take things a step beyond this. They change the focal plane where light converges in your retina.
Now your eyeball begins changing shape, becoming elongated (it thinks it’s just aligning to the correct focal plane). The temporary symptom (ciliary muscle spasm) now becomes a physiological change which is more challenging to correct, although not impossible, as almost all ‘credible’ sources continue to claim.
There can be other factors, including genetics, diet and other types of vision stress. But the most common, tangible, simple cause of early myopia is just close-up strain.
And then there is another aggravating factor. Nobody tells you to remove your (first, low prescription) glasses on close-up focus. All initial prescriptions only correct for distance vision because you can see just fine up close.
Still, the glasses stay on.
Now we are combining acute ciliary stress, focal plane change and strain masking, leading to that downward spiral many of you have experienced.
So for today, we want to start working on eliminating this large ongoing stress you may be exposed to.
Action Items for Today
What we do here, depends on your current prescription.
Can you see your computer screen well without glasses?
If you have a -4.00 prescription, not wearing glasses for computer work is not an option. You will need a reduced prescription, which we’ll talk about soon.
If your prescription is less than -2.00, you can probably see your screen well enough. In that case, start a habit of never wearing your glasses for close-up. That’ll go a long way towards reducing that bad stimulus.
If you need your glasses for close-up, we’ll look at a reduced prescription in an upcoming session.
Second Thing: Stress Reduction
This is important, and our distance care rehab clients love to try to skip it, but no skipping, please! We need to limit the continued ciliary contraction that happens when you are focused up-close. Now and forever. It’s a new habit we need to form.
Find a countdown timer, either an egg timer or a program on your smartphone. Set it to 20 minutes. ANY time you are reading or working at the computer, start the countdown. Once it completes, STOP looking at the screen or page.
Take five minutes, get up, walk around and actively scan for something at a distance. Moving objects ideally; tree branches or birds, it doesn’t matter.
Your eyes are meant to follow moving objects at a distance. This relaxes your ciliary muscle and creates the most focus positive arrangement available to your eyes. You want to do this for every 20 minutes of close-up work.
This may sound intrusive but it’s just something to do for the first two weeks, as much as possible, to push the envelope of reasonable use of your eyes. Today you are simply “used to” the strain. You don’t feel it when your eyes are strained. Once you build in a good habit of breaks, you’ll start to notice when your eyes get tired.
This is a real early stage activity. In two weeks you can go to 45 minute breaks, and in two weeks more up to 1.5 hours. But you do want the breaks, to start building that awareness of strain.
You will also start becoming accustomed to taking breaks and it will not disrupt your flow nearly as much as it will seem during the first day or week.
You will begin to realize one of the very important strain feedback loops your body provides. If you do not stop after 20 minutes, you will experience some eye discomfort. A mechanism (one that has been silenced) that warns you about excessive strain will be functioning again, and you will actually feel you need that break.
That’s all for today. Simple, right?
I’m going to guide you along the easiest and most effective way to get your eyes on track.
We’re covering all the aspects, when they’re most relevant. There is no point changing prescriptions without awareness of your eyes. You want to be aware of the big picture. Close-up strain is the problem, exercises won’t fix that. I’m easing you into things and when you look back after you have completed all sessions, you’ll realize the beautiful synergy of the approach.
I’m saying this just so you might relax and enjoy the journey. You’re in good hands!
Next we’ll start getting into measuring that centimeter. You probably already experimented with this if you took part in my e-mail primer. Get ready to get a lot more out of that!
Questions about this session? Here is the forum link for Day Two.
Session: Audio Track
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Session: Video Stream
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