Lately I haven’t been using my Snellen chart as I feel that I’ve been using it wrong (or at least in a way that will not promote vision improvement). This is based upon two things. First, my readings have been the same for a long time. They generally go from 10/200 to 10/50 when I use some Bates technique. However, the starting number is never lower and the ending number is never really lower. While this was temporarily effective, my default visual acuity never changed. Therefore, it seems that I was using an effort to bring the number down within the practice sessions.
Second, I’ve been reading a lot of posts on the Outlook Insights (Effortless Vision) forums that seem to point out how I was using the Snellen chart the wrong way. Basically, I’ve been using the Snellen chart as a test instead of an indicator to when a Bates technique had reduced my mental strain. When I was trying to get a lower reading, I was concentrating too hard since I knew what the blurry letters should be. I believe now that the most effective way to use the Snellen chart is to regard the letters as shapes or designs and not a form of written communication that I need to figure out. This belief seems to be supported by the ideas I read from Bates, MacCracken, and Robert (from the Effortless Vision website). So, I think I will mostly use the chart in this way from now on and not record daily readings (testings 😦 ). However, I will occasionally do tests with the Snellen chart by just looking at it for a few seconds and noting what my default visual acuity is.
On to another topic, I tried the longer palming session while playing the fly game last week. I did this for about 20 minutes, and my vision was not improved afterword. While this at first upset me, I later used the experience as a learning tool. First, my shoulders were sore and tightened up by the end, so it is obvious that I hadn’t relaxed my mental strain (which always precedes the relaxation of physical strain). Second, I discovered that it was very difficult for me to sit in the same position for that long. Whenever I am sitting for the computer, a meal, or television, I change my sitting position every 5-10 minutes; I either move the arrangement of my legs, change my posture, or change how reclined I am. Based on this fact about my usual behavior, it’s obvious to me why I was not relaxed during or after the long palming session. What I’ve learned from that experience is that palming will only be beneficial to me if I do it in sessions of no more than 10 minutes and generally in the range of under 5 minutes.
Since the palming didn’t seem to help me relax, I started to read about swinging on the Outlook Insights forum (which I registered in today 🙂 ). This gave me many helpful ideas for long swings: lead the twisting movement with your hips, notice the motion blur and oppositional movement, the slower you can swing while still seeing the motion blur the more beneficial the activity is for your vision. Anyway, I’ve started using long swings more since I’m able to do them for longer periods of time (because of the involved movement as opposed to stillness).
Some final miscellaneous observations I’ve had recently are:
- If I breath deeply while focusing on filling up my ribcage, I feel a minor soreness or pain behind my arms (where my teres major and minor muscles are located). However, if I focus on filling up my abdominal area, there is no pain. This sort of changes my thinking that Quackenbush’s emphasis on abdominal breathing was not natural; it now seems that abdominal breathing is less stressful for me 😐 .
- I agree with Robert that Bates’ “shifting” is more natural than Quackenbush’s “sketching”. I’ve been using shifting instead of sketching when I’m aware of how I’m using my eyes.
- The goal of all vision improvement work should be to relax mental strain. Once this is accomplished, all the components of clear vision (shifting, central fixation, the universal swing, imagination, memory) will naturally take place.