I have come across a new and effective technique for your eye health
and it is known as “sunning”. This method helps to accustom your eyes to light and goes hand in hand with another technique known as “palming” which in turn accustoms your eyes to the dark.
Your eyes are natural light receptors which are constructed to respond to light but if you work indoors, and particularly in a windowless and artificially lit area, your eyes are almost certainly not receiving enough natural light. Some people make the situation even worse by working in extra dark environments to lessen the glare and increase the contrast on their computer screens.
The result is that your eyes can become extra sensitive to light, even affecting your vision.
So what can you do about this dilemma?
You can turn to sunning and palming as a possible solution, the former to accustom your eyes to light and the latter to darkness.
How to do sunning
A simple description of how to do sunning is that it should be done with the eyes closed...
Sit or stand in the sunlight with the face relaxed and turned up to the sun while letting the rays of the sun penetrate and ease the tension in your eyelids. If you have the time and opportunity (and of course the sunshine), this is a good way to start off the day. Just a few minutes will help.
To avoid any possible strain on your eyes, rotate your head slightly from side to side or move it as if you were using your nose to draw a circle around the sun. At the same time, breathe deeply and do not squint. You may see sunspots (a rosy or purple light) when sunning - especially if your eyes are not used to light - because visual purple is depleted by light and replenished by darkness.
Sunning should always be followed by palming to build up the ability of the eyes to replenish visual purple. So never sun without palming.
How to do palming
The easiest way is to imitate playing hide and seek
when you were a child when you would cover your eyes with your palms while you counted to the required number. So in the same way, cup your eyes up with your hands and observe the darkness in front of your face, making sure that you are not touching your eyelids with your palms and that no light is getting through your hands.
A more complicated way of palming is courtesy of snezha.com
- Warm up your hands - rub your palms against each other or hold them under comfortably hot running water.
- Prepare your palms like on the picture. The base of your right pinkie will be on the base of your left pinkie or if it is more comfortable, place your left palm on the top of your right palm making an upside down V with your palms.
- Cover up your eyes with the palms. The base of the pinkie fingers will be right on the bridge of your nose. Make sure you are able to breathe through your nose, otherwise adjust the location of your palms and fingers. Now leaving your eyes open, turn to any light source and check out the position of your palms. If you are able to see the light through any of the holes between your fingers, correct the placement of palms until you get a perfect cover that does not allow any light to get to your eyes.
- Now you are ready for the true eye rest - deep eye relaxation that will remove all eye strain. Do not concentrate on the eyes or area behind them. Breathe deeply. Focus on your breathing; it helps to calm down all of the senses. Feel the warmth coming from palms. Then imagine absolutely black space in front of your eyes which can be a difficult task to perform. The worse your vision, the more difficult it is to picture absolutely black space. You may need to find tricks to work with your mind such as imagining drawing different shapes with a black pencil before shading with the same black pencil or picturing a starry sky before removing stars one by one from the black clouds.
- The head and neck position during this relaxation eye exercise is important, with the back and head needing to create a straight line during palming. If you are doing it at work (in front of the computer) place your elbows on the desk before placing your head into prepared palms. If your head is bent down then move the chair out from the desk and bend in the waist until your back and neck create a straight line so that major blood vessels and the spinal cord are not curved. Remember to keep breathing.
In time, and as your eyes become less sensitive to light, you may find you need sunglasses less and less. You may have noticed that people who spend most of their time outdoors have less problems with the sun. They often don't need to wear sunglasses, they don't get sunburnt and they have less eye problems. The eyes
of our ancestors were conditioned to absorb sunlight without harm.
There are definite disadvantages to sunglasses
As mentioned, the eyes require light and dark contrasts to function properly but using sunglasses actually inhibits the operation of the eyes and their ability to replenish visual purple, keeping this valuable light away from the eyes.
However, if you have an existing eye condition that requires you to wear sunglasses to keep out ultraviolet light, look for the lightest tint you can find so your pupils do not dilate. At the same time, ensure the label states that the sunglasses block ultraviolet light.
So start your sunning and palming techniques with short sessions of five to ten minutes and build it up gradually.
Sunning and Palming