The Eyes Have It
Thursday, January 1, 1998

Section: Vision

Sabine Thompson does translation work on a freelance basis. She spends many hours in front of a word processor and feels the strain on her eyes. "I can start without my glasses but sometimes during the day, my eyes start to blur so I need to put them on." She has found Awareness Through Movement® lessons involving the eyes to be particularly useful.

One lesson Sabine learned from her teacher, Kira Charles, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitionercm, involves "spiraling the eyes." After several preparatory movements, the student is asked to move one eye in a circle clockwise a few times and then counter-clockwise. The student begins to feel how one direction seems to "tighten" the eye, while the other direction seems to "loosen" the eye. The student is then asked to move the eye in the loosening direction as if untwisting the lid of a jar. The student then does the same with the other eye. This lesson relaxes the optic nerve.

"I knew there was something different," Sabine later said, "and then I realized that I had worked the whole day without needing my glasses. Even when I was reading at home that night I didn't need them."

If you experience eye strain, try even this small piece of an exercise for starters, and let us know how it worked for you. Just remember that the more slowly and gently you move, the greater benefit you will receive. If you move too quickly or with too much force, you won't be able to sense the "tightening and loosening" effect.
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