Let go body, let go eyes

When I walk now, I have stunning vision.  And it lasts hours, the entire time I am outdoors walking, whereas before I would have random moments of clearer vision lasting 5-10 minutes.

Through massage, self massage, and bodywork that I learned at Meir’s course in San Francisco and practice since,  I have experienced something new in my body that is helping me to realize why I am experiencing something new with my eyes.

I have a bad habit of craning my neck forward and hunching my shoulders.  All previous attempts to correct this didn’t work.  I had always thought about good posture as hard work: holding myself up and pulling my shoulders back.  It always felt uncomfortable and didn’t last long.  I now realize the exact opposite approach is effective.

Good posture is about letting go, not holding up.

Here are the three bodywork practices that taught me to let go, not hold up:

1.  Massage allows the muscles to let go very easily.  It might be disappointing that the effect doesn’t last forever, but it teaches an important lesson if you are open to it.  When the muscles are relaxed, the body assumes a good posture with less effort.  Can’t afford a professional?  Exchange shoulder, face and hand massages with a friend.

2.  Self-massage can be used (albeit with some creativity and practice) to do the same more often and imprint the relaxed feeling in muscle memory again and again.  The brain learns through repetition.

3.  I am doing back exercises and full body stretches every day now as well to correct a kyphotic posture.  Kinesthetic awareness is gained when exercising muscles gently in new ways and expanding their range of motion.

As a result of the above bodywork practices, when this hunched forward posture happens, I kinesthetically feel it happen.  I notice that I’m actually pulling my shoulders forward, using tension to crane my neck forward, and feel that it is very uncomfortable.  Instead of using more strain to pull myself into a better posture, I tune in to my body and let it go, back to where it wants to be.  I am astounded to find that good posture is easy now and can even be maintained subconsciously.

The process of subconsciously maintaining better vision is similar

Through much face massage, sunning and palming, I have found a similar state of relaxation for my eyes as for my body.  My whole face feels more open and receptive.  My husband even remarked that my eyes look different.  He described them now as brighter and they look as if they know where they are looking, whereas before he said he could tell that I sometimes wasn’t focussing.

When I’m out walking, the movement of the world going by assists my already relaxed eyes in simply letting go.  As a result, I see more clearly, without effort.  I have always had depth perception but the view now is stunningly 3D.  I don’t consciously ask the eye to look in the distance or look for details (although those types of practices are still helpful as a formal practice to continue discovering new ways to improve).  My eyes seek detail on their own and then my brain becomes aware of the detail!  I spontaneously become aware of a beautiful pattern in brickwork or a flower petal without realizing I was looking for anything.  This is a new and wonderful experience for me.

It’s a subtle point, and the experience is probably unique for everyone.  For example, it would be difficult to describe how I feel the muscles in my forehead and scalp tensing up and impossible to explain how I let those muscles go.  This kinesthetic awareness also doesn’t happen overnight.  But with patience, it should be possible for others to take a similar path and have their own unique revelations.

Experience kinesthetic awareness through bodywork first.   This is easier and beneficial for the whole body including the vision.  Then find ways to deeply relax the visual system and be aware of the feeling of this relaxation.  Do this often as a formal practice and be aware of the improved vision at these times.  This is positive feedback for the visual system, and it will respond in this new way automatically more and more often.

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12 thoughts on “Let go body, let go eyes

  1. Very timely topic for me, Sorrisi. I’ve started to notice and have had some success in “letting go” of other tension around my face and visual system (with associated vision improvement). However I’m still stressing over posture in the way you described. It hadn’t occured to me that good posture also = letting go. I think I just heard a “truth bell” go ding. There’s a new doorway for me to pass through and explore.

    Will read more closely later (I’m at working now). Great job on your progress and thanks for taking the time to write this informative post.

    • hi Mitch, thank you so much for the feedback. Knowing I helped turn on the light bulb for someone makes it all worth it!

      best,
      Sorrisi

  2. Sorrisi, GREAT post, one of your best. I am also noticing the difference between allowing my body to relax and see clearly, and forcing it to do so. I was thinking about this just today when I was working out with weights, which also of course is more productive and enjoyable if I’m letting my body be as efficient as possible, instead of pushing it harshly like a disobedient child I’m annoyed with. My whole approach to vision improvement has changed from when I started and thought I had to make myself see clearly with vigorous vision exercises, that I had “weak eyes”. Anyway, thanks for this excellent post — keep up the great work, and keep telling us about it!
    Warmly,
    Nancy
    http://dreamersight.com/

    • Hi Nancy! we are often on the same wavelength! thank you so much for the feedback. This post was two weeks in the making, so I’m glad to hear it was worth it!

      best
      sorrisi

  3. I read about the body posture.but I didn’t realise why I should do that.this post make it clear for me.thanks you.

  4. Thank you so much for this post which is a timely reminder about the importance of posture and relaxation. I’m very round-shouldered, which I often blame on being tall and having to bend down all the time!
    I’ve just been experimenting with a foam roller, which I saw being used on Youtube as a form of self-massage. I’ve found it a bit painful so far as my neck and shoulders are so stiff and almost “fixed” but hopefully it will help with flexibility.
    On relaxation I noted one thing particularly today. When out walking without glasses I noticed that whenever I look into the distance, say at the outlines on the horizon for example, the muscles around my eyes get very tense, whereas they don’t when I look at something close to. This is in spite of being careful never to stare fixedly at anything, not “trying” to see, blinking often and trying to stay as relaxed as possible. It just seems that my eyes don’t know how to look into the distance without tensing up. I have tried the exercise of focussing on something close, then looking into the distance, but can’t see much progress. Maybe more sunning and palming is the answer?
    EffJay

    • Hi EffJay,

      Sunning and palming would be an interesting thing to try before your walk so that you start with relaxed vision. Try it out a few times and see if it helps. You could also look into the distance and massage your forehead and cheekbones as you look.

      The other thing is to pay attention to how you are looking. Are you interested in what you are seeing? Or are you thinking more about what you are doing with your eyes than the sensory information they are providing you?

      Make a game of it. For example, pick 6 points at various distances from you.

      Point 1 – something you are holding
      Point 2 – a nearby flower
      Point 3 – a car across the street
      Point 4 – some houses further in the distance
      Point 5 – some blocks away
      Point 6 – the horizon

      Find some details that are easy to see at each distance and alternate between looking at a few of theses details at each distance. Go consecutively from 1 to 6 and back again. This will help you to look with interest, and to gradually move away from your comfort zone.

      If you already find yourself tensing by point 4 or so, then just alternate from points 1 to 4 for most of the time, and just glance at details at the farther distances occationally. Choose as small of details that you can see easily.

      That’s 3 different things to try… give each one it’s own chance separately and see what works!
      All my best,
      Sorrisi

  5. What a lovely post. You and Nancy keep me inspired and thanks to you two I have had many AHA! moments. This post in particular made me aware how stiff my shoulders are. I catch myself tensing up every once in a while. Even my thighs get tense as I think or type (there is one right now).

    Here are some things I have been doing lately:
    Meditation – lots of it before sleep especially. I combine palming with a 30 minute guided mediation from you tube. (Kelly Howell has the best posts on you tube). Another great discovery is Christine Northrup “Women’s Health Women’s Wisdom” book. She is one of the best authors and promotes self healing which really stems from us LOVING ourselves. I am amazed how much all this ties together. Bates method, Jacob Lieberman, Tom Q’s book, Meir’s book and yoga for eyes, EFT and now Christine. One of my fears when deciding to read another eye improvement book was “what if there is a conflicting method” then I will not know what to practice. They all nicely tie together, and I feel there is so much more to gain than clear vision. Everything happens for a reason, and maybe our blur was the way our body tells us to “WAKE UP and balance out”.

    • Hi Robert and Manuel,

      Interesting discussion you’ve been having here. Sorry I’ve been absent – a lot of paperwork that I’ll probably elaborate on in my next post!

      I do enjoy barefoot walking, but usually opt for the minimal sole approach for walking/running as it’s just more practical in a city.

      I did read some about the work of F.M. Alexander and have a lot of respect for the Alexander technique. There was an interesting cluster in the 1920s of these guys: Bates, Price, Alexander, Feldenkrais. What they all have in common is that they approached medicine from the side of prevention, healing, and looking for the root cause of ailments. They developed methods cetnered around teaching people to develop new habits. They weren’t afraid to reject quick fixes for symptoms even though this limited their audience to people willing to make lifestyle changes to remedy the cause.

      best wishes,
      Sorrisi

    • Hi Vanessa, thank you for recommending some resources which work for you!! I’ll check them out, as I also find meditation and attitude make such a huge difference. These things do tie so well together, and seeing the commonalities always leads to more and more AHA! moments! Don’t be afraid to read more books, in fact, the more you read, and the better your map of how it all fits together will be. In my experience, where there is truth of results in healing, there is common ground as to the way it works.

      all my best,
      Sorrisi

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