Palming Relaxation Technique Helps Your Eyes
You’ve probably done it without thinking … placed your hands over your eyes when you were excited, frustrated, fatigued, or had other strong feelings. It turns out that “palming” is one of the most relaxing things you can do for your eyes, and relaxation is a cornerstone of improving your vision naturally.
Try this simple version of palming:
- Rest your elbows comfortably on a table or desk.
- Cover your eyes with your cupped palms as shown. Add a pillow under your elbows if more height is needed to keep your back relaxed and straight.
- Breathe deeply while you palm for a few minutes.
Over 80 years ago, Ophthalmologist William H. Bates found ways to use relaxation, imagination, and other natural means to resolve nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and many other vision problems.
The technique of palming to rest the eyes from all light stimulation was an integral part of his approach. He concluded from his study and treatment of thousands of eyes that tight muscles actually contort the eyes and restrict circulation. He found that palming helps those muscles relax and let go.
Even Dr. Bates was surprised at what one man in his late 60’s accomplished with palming. This man had worn glasses for forty years for distance, and twenty years for reading. He was also developing cataracts. When he asked how long he could palm, Dr. Bates told him he could not overdo it.
At his next appointment the man reported “It was tedious, very tedious, but I did it.” He had palmed from 4:00 am to midnight, eating nothing and drinking lots of water. He could now see perfectly both in the distance and for reading, and his cataract had cleared up significantly. Two years later there was no relapse.
Palming Relaxes More Than Your Eyes
You may find that palming relaxes more than your eyes. Notice if your shoulders, neck, and other tight spots start to let go while you palm. This would be no surprise to Dr. Bates. He observed that eyestrain can go hand in hand with rigidity all through the body. Many yoga teachers also note this connection of eye strain with other body tensions.
You don’t need to compete with the man who palmed 20 hours in one sitting. Palming just a few minutes in the morning, at night, or while at work can be very restful. Many people report clearer vision and a reduction of symptoms such as headaches and dry eyes with regular palming.