Palming is the first thing Dr. Bates taught for vision improvement. I’ve compiled a summary here of the ‘how to’ basics that I’ve learned along the way.
how to palm
First, warm up a bit – do anything that will get circulation to your hands and deepen your breathing. I’ll go into this more in my next post.
position: lie down or sit. The palms of the hands lightly cover the closed eyes. The hands don’t touch the eyes, but softly close around the eyebrow and cheekbone. The elbows should be supported comfortably. Position the back and chest so that the breath is as free as possible. As you palm, make very small adjustments now and then with your fingers, hands and arms. This keeps the blood flowing and relaxes the muscles. In this way, palming is calm, but not rigid.
5 suggestions for palming
This week’s book club is the April 1927 Demonstrate: Palming article. this article is not on central-fixation.com. Clark Night offers a very low cost digital version of the Better Eyesight magazines. I will summarize the points of the article here, mixed in with my own suggestions:
1. When palming is successful the visual field is dark. After palming the vision is improved. If your vision is not improved after palming, then use some suggestions here to change the way you palm. If it still doesn’t work for you, then don’t do it. There are many more relaxation techniques that Dr. Bates taught, which I also discuss on my blog. After your vision has improved in other ways, then consider palming again.
2. Demonstrate that remembering something imperfectly while palming does NOT improve the vision.
3. The conclusion is then: If you use the memory of an image while palming, remember something that comes easily and can be remembered perfectly. Dr. Bates uses the example of a letter ‘O’, but you can use any pleasant memory – from any of your senses. You can always test if you did it correctly, because your vision will then be better after palming. If not, then you know you need to do something different.
4. Palming becomes successful by the things that are not done. This is an important statement! Don’t try, don’t strain to remember something, don’t try to imagine something difficult, don’t do anything! Just rest, let go.
5. Demonstrate the improvement you gain after palming for 2 minutes. Then palm for 5 minutes, then for 10 minutes, then for 15 minutes and so on. Everyone has a different ‘optimum’ amount of time. Discover what is best for you by trying out palming for different lengths of time, and at different times of day.
when to palm
In various articles, Dr. Bates wrote the following suggestions to guide his patients on how much to palm. Note! He never wrote all of these suggestions in one single article, I’ve simply compiled them here. Start with one option from the following list. Once that is a habit, add a second option. If palming improves your vision once, then consistent practice is a great way to make that benefit permanent:
5 minutes every hour
30 minutes before sleeping
30 minutes after practicing with the Snellen chart
before and after working
I go through phases when I’m more or less disciplined with palming. I’ll admit, my most disciplined palming phases only last a week (with fantastic results). So I should rather say: I usually only palm now and then. My goal is to make it a consistent habit, like my habit of reading the Snellen chart and going for walks every day. I’ll start with doing it consistently before and after work, that is the most realistic for me right now.