My new tool– Imagination

Monday: 10/70 to 10/40 (acupressure)

I only have one measurement this week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on my eyesight!  I’ve been doing plenty of vision work, but it just hasn’t been in front of the Snellen chart.  I have a lot of things to discuss, so I’ll start writing about them now.

First off, I want to thank Nancy and Helena (and I’m sure others) for their concern about my plateau.  I do, however, have a plan to fix it which I will discuss shortly.

Next, I want to share what I’ve learned from Sorrisi’s post about imagination.  I read her post many times, read the original article (in Bates’ magazine) on Central-Fixation, and read a few other articles from the January issue.  The main idea that I took from these sources is that imagining with one’s eyes open is different (but should be the same) from imagining with one’s eyes closed.  Bates did not just have the patients imagine the letter while palming and then look at the chart; he had them imagine it while palming, then with their eyes open, then while palming, and so on.  This was continued until they could remember the letter with their eyes open as well as they could with their eyes closed.  At this point, that letter on the chart, and nearby letters, were seen clearer/clearly.  When I remember times that I have tried to imagine something, I realize that I pretty much always have closed my eyelids to do so.  As I tried Bate’s instructions (The Imagination Cure), I could not imagine a letter with my eyes open. 😦 With a little more practice I was able to remember the letter a little bit better with my eyes open (but still not as well as when my eyelids were closed).  I first tried it with the palming, but in later practices I just closed my eyelids.

Once, I was trying to imagine the M from the word March on my calendar.  After a while of doing the practice (without palming) I was able to see the letter well enough to recognize it. 🙂 Another time, I was looking at the letter S on a soap bottle in my house.  The letter is white and the background behind it was dark blue.  I did the same thing as with the calendar, and I also imagined a small white period on the letter.  Doing these things allowed me to clear up the letter and the rest of the word (Softsoap) enough that I could recognize the letters.  I was especially happy about this because the letters were white and not black like most letters I see, and I was still able to clear them up.  Other things I practiced using my imagination with were random textures and designs I saw on buildings at my school; I was also able to clear these things. :mrgreen: Another thing I noticed, is that when I get to the clear state, it lasts for a little while before disappearing.  For example, after I could read the soap bottle I was able to see the highlight in my eye in the mirror a few seconds later; I usually don’t see my eyes that clearly in the mirror.

Thirdly, I will explain my plan for climbing past my current plateau.  When someone reaches a plateau in their fitness training, it is usually because they are doing the same thing at each exercise session.  In order to fix this, it is usually recommended that they change one of the parameters of physical activity.  There are four main parameters, which are often described by the acronym FITT (frequency, intensity, time, type).  I think that my vision improvement practice could benefit from the same sort of change.  As far as frequency, I know that I should practice Bates methods more often throughout the day; I have been putting this into use as is proved by the many examples of imagination practice above.  In regard to intensity, I don’t think that is much of an issue since the goal of the Bates method is to relax the mind and eyes; *see the update below*.  Concerning time, I like the 5 minute practice sessions that I have been using lately and they seem very applicable to the daily use of my eyes, so I plan on keeping this the same for now.  As for type, I have changed this by starting to use my imagination as a tool, and this also has seemed to bring about an improvement.

The only other thing I can think of to mention is the psychological barrier I brought up in my last post.  I think this was solved by the new imagination practice because it showed me that imagining is an action that should always be taking place (especially when my eyes are open).

The last topic I will bring up is that my glasses, especially my distance pair, have been bothering my eyes more than usual lately.  It irritates and lightly hurts my eyes to wear them even for just one class period (which it did not do before as long as I took them off afterward).  I would like to order a weaker pair from Zenni Optical, but I don’t really want to spend the money since my budget is pretty strict right now.  I’ll just try to wear my glasses less often than I already do.

Ok, I’m finally done. 🙂

UPDATE:  Because of  a comment from Nancy, I am going to use the trait of awareness (as discussed by Jacob Liberman) for the application of the intensity category to vision improvement.  This term will refer to the awareness of one’s central vision, peripheral vision, eye movement (instead of staring), blinking, and full breathing.  I will increase the intensity of my vision improvement journey by being more aware of these things throughout the day.

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4 thoughts on “My new tool– Imagination

  1. helenacampbell says:

    I’ve never ordered a pair of glasses from Zenni (although I am considering doing it now). My way of doing it has always been to ask my friends, they had glasses which they no longer wore and gave them to me. The first pair I bought, but I bought from another person at my school for $10 (which I regard as the best $10 I ever spent).
    I know there is an issue with PD, but if you try to get close it shouldn’t be a problem. It is money-saving, not to mention, better for the environment since you’re not wasting resources to have glasses made 🙂
    Another thing: the glasses I got from my friend are so hideous on my face (obviously the style was picked to suit his face), that I never want towear them. That’s a good thing 🙂

  2. Nancy says:

    Mark,
    Hi — great post, which generated a couple of thoughts in me. First, I like your FITT approach, & I would probably translate “intensity” as focus or concentration, not ignore this component. I don’t mean straining or trying; of course as you said vision work is all about relaxation. I can’t come up with a good word to describe the focused state I’m referring to, which is really “being present” & ignoring any distractions (including mental ones). Maybe central fixation of the mind like TomQ wrote about. Does that make any sense?

    The other thing I want to say is Zenni eyeglasses were only $8 the last time I ordered some. I am also getting more & more uncomfortable with wearing glasses for even short periods of time, & am taking this as a sign that I should be wearing them even less, or wearing weaker ones, a healthy step in my progress, not as a sign that I should continue to suffer with glasses that strain my eyes. I encourage you to work on your healthy vision habits in class as well as around your house, & remember that this is a transitory state. Imagine looking back from some time in the future to now, & remembering how uncomfortable it was to “need” glasses to function.

    Finally, keep up the good work. You have made some great progress.
    Nancy

  3. mark825 says:

    Helena and Nancy: The glasses I have ordered from Zenni (all three were the same model) were in the $12.95 category, which came to about $15 with shipping and handling. I think this is a very inexpensive price for frames and lenses, but my budget is very restricted right now. This does not mean I will just suffer with my current pair; it just means that I will wait a while so that I can save up the money to buy them. I’m a patient person.

    Nancy: Good point about the Intensity parameter. I’m going to add an update to this post with “awareness” as the translation of intensity to vision improvement. Thank you for your discussion on this point. 🙂

  4. sorrisi says:

    Hey Mark,

    I hope your imagination practice is still going well! I really like your analogy with the FITT acronym!! Since you are seeing more detail already with these changes, I expect you’re already moving from your plateau, remember to keep going! I think that is one of my problems. I get very encouraged with new progress, but then start to neglect my practice afterwards. Reading this post was a great reminder for me of my own words. I’ve been busy lately so it had been some time since I caught up with your blog! I hope you are well and look forward to catching up after my wedding!

    Sorrisi

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