Tension, if left unchecked, can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, mental fatigue, lack of circulation and elevated stress levels. One of the simplest natural and holistic ways to quickly relax the eyes and decrease eyestrain is the gentle practice of palming.
A 2013 study by the Department of Health Rehabilitation Sciences through the College of Applied Medical Sciences at King Saud University, in Saudi Arabia, found that palming for six weeks contributed to a significant improvement in visual acuity for patients with myopia (nearsightedness).
To palm, sit comfortably with elbows resting on a table or desk. Rub both hands together briskly to create some heat through friction. Then, cup the palms and gently rest them over closed eyes with the fingers of one hand resting over the fingers of the other hand on the forehead. The center of each palm should be directly over the center of each eye. The hands are cupped so that there is no pressure on the eyes.
Take a few deep breaths, relax the shoulders and imagine the darkest shade of black possible. The darkness soothes the optic nerves and the warmth relaxes the muscles of the eyes to encourage increased blood circulation and lymph flow.
Begin to focus the mind on a pleasant, happy memory, like a beautiful place or joyful experience. Involve all five senses in this imagining to enhance and deepen the visualization. This process of mental relaxation replaces mental strain and enables the eyes to also relax.
The more time spent palming the better; we cannot palm for too long. It’s okay to do it upon waking and right before going to sleep. Take frequent palming breaks throughout the day to prevent the accumulation of visual strain and to maintain relaxed eyes and a focused mind.
Nathan Oxenfeld is a certified Bates Method teacher who offers individual coaching, group courses and online holistic vision programs for improving eyesight. For more information, call 910-859-1232 or visit IntegralEyesight.com.