Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nourish and Rest Your Eyes.

Your eyes are nourished by light, just as your body is nourished by food.  And the best nourishment for your eyes in sunlight.
T
o get this important nourishment spend at least 15 minutes a day outdoors – without glasses or contacts – so that your visual system can receive unfiltered sunlight. There has been a lot of concern lately about the depletion of the ozone layer and the harmful effects of sunlight. Though it might be wise to limit sunbathing or other extreme exposure to sunlight, it is still very important for the health of your eyes (and your body) to be exposed to natural sunlight at least a little bit each day. 

The kind of indoor lighting that you use is also important. Dr. John Ott, a pioneer in the field of photobiology, which is the study of how different kinds of light affect living organisms, developed an indoor light that is the most complete substitute for sunlight. It is called Vita-Lite and it easily replaces any standard fluorescent tube.  Studies have shown that using Vita-Lite increases see-ability, reduces glare and eyestrain and improves visual acuity.

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Your eyes are rested by total darkness. The best way to rest your eyes is to close them and place your cupped palms over your closed eyes. You can palm like this for as little as 30 or 40 seconds any time that your eyes feel tired or strained. 

When palming, visualize a pleasant scene in your imagination – you'll be surprised at how refreshed you feel when you are done.
By the way, if you see sparks of light or color when your palms are covering you eyes, that indicates visual stress. 

Seeing blackness, on the other hand, indicates visual relaxation.
Nourishing and resting your eyes can be done at the same time in a short exercise that I call the Sun Cycle.  It's done like this: Close your eyes and face the sun (never look at the sun with your eyes open!). Let the sunlight fall on your closed eyes for 5 to 10 seconds. 

Then palm over your closed eyes and shut out all the light for another 5 or 10 seconds. Repeat these two steps at least 10 times, for a total of 3 or 4 minutes.
The Sun Cycle helps to nourish your visual system, exercises the focusing muscles of your eyes and reduces sensitivity to glare.

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