Daily Routine

my daily routine

This is an ideal day for me and the purpose is just to show how it is possible to incorporate relaxation into normal daily activities.  I don’t think it’s good to focus on a set schedule of Bates techniques or anything, be creative.  Also, keep in mind that I didn’t do this from the beginning.  I gradually did more and more activities without glasses.  It also takes time to learn the Bates method as habits, so I think it’s important to take care learning each of his methods and to incorporate them one at a time into the daily routine.  This is a record of my experience, not advice.

am:  I wake up and am always excited to open my eyes and see.  It’s like pinching myself to remind myself that I’m alive.  I look around and am just so happy that I can see well.  Everyday it seems a bit sharper.

Of the first things I do, I almost always get a large glass of water and open all the windows.  Then I read the Snellen chart slowly from whatever distance I feel like, somewhere between 5 and 20 feet.   It is important not to ‘test’ the eyes.  This time with the chart is for practicing central fixation, shifting, memory, and imagination.  His book and magazines describe thousands of ways to practice.

I may practice swinging and swaying a bit.  Alternatively, I’ll do my yoga warm-up first.  I try to do the yoga warm -up (link to right) everyday.  A couple of times a week I’ll go running instead.  Or I mix up run – walking.  Sports activities without glasses are great because the movement, attention and breathing required are all supportive of Bates method practices.  My favourites are running, walking, cycling and rowing.

Breakfast:  I became lactose intolerant recently.  milk/cereal was hard to give up at first but now I don’t look back.  in fact, I think it would make me feel sick to eat it, cereal is so processed and full of sugar.  I eat natural yoghurt with muesli and fresh fruit if I have it.  No added sugar in the muesli or yoghurt.  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!  I just add a little spoon of honey to sweeten it and I love it.  Even my fiance eats it now which says a lot.  😉  That said, I don’t turn down waffles drowned in syrup.

I get ready for work and ride my bike to the lab.  I usually have my best vision just before breakfast, and then again while riding my bike without glasses.

It’s great, I see my best when on my bike.  I can read all traffic signs now without glasses.

I get to work and usually dread having to do work because that means putting on my glasses.  Recently I was able to change this negative association by putting up photos, plants, and other positive things that I can look at during the day.  I find that taking a short break now and then to swing my gaze and look at something familiar helps my vision.  These positive objects now remind me of better vision habits like the swing, central fixation, etc.  I did this by practicing some of the Bates methods on these objects during very short breaks during work.  I often write about how I do this in my blog posts.

When I used to wear glasses for computer work, I would first always sit at my computer without glasses and swing some of the letters and give myself time to improve my sight of the screen.  Each time it got a bit sharper.  After a while I could then even work for a bit wihtout glasses.  Then I was able to work longer and longer without glasses, now I almost never wear glasses at my desk.

I drink lots of water during the day, I try to remember to relax every 10 minutes, breathe deeply, blink, look out the window, do some of the stretches Meir Schneider suggests (link to right).  Every hour I go to the bathroom and palm for 5 minutes.  Sometimes I get creative and try visualizations that Huxley suggests (like the nose pencil) or I make up my own.  Twice a day (back when I wore them) I would remove contacts  or glasses and take a 15 minute walk WOG.  I don’t wear contacts anymore and rarely wear glasses for extended periods.  If the sun is shining all the better!  If a bench is free I’ll sit and move my head gently in the sun with my eyes closed, alternating with palming.  I don’t do that often though (lack of sun!) and find that walking outdoors and doing other sports outdoors are a natural substitute to sunning.  At lunch I usually go WOG home to do autogenics, eat, relax.  Sometimes I read from Bates’s magazines at lunch.

After work I try to do autogenics before dinner.  I don’t do the autogenics with the aim to complete it.  I just do it, mostly in phase one or two as described by the author of the site I reference to the right.  Don’t get too hung up on ‘finishing’ things when it comes to Bates method and eyesight improvement.  It’s about relaxing, not about finishing a method or training.  I find that I get deeper and deeper relaxation in my autogenics sessions just by doing it every day. If I miss a day or a week, it’s not like it’s a bad thing to start at the beginning again, or to start in the middle, the point is to just relax and do it.  I find the breathing exercize there invaluable.

Dinner, chores, the usual.  Did I mention that I bike home without glasses and don’t wear glasses all evening and not at all over the weekend?  Before bed I practice with the chart again and might do more palming or swinging.  Or reading Bates.  or phoning my family…  so much to do, so little time 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Daily Routine

  1. Thank you for your blog. I’m trying to improve my -11 nearsightedness, and help my son too who is at -5. We do a 45 minute routine every day, of about 30 minutes palming and some swinging, near/far exercises, massage and eye rotations. I’ve gotten a little progress but my son continues to worsen. He’s a big reader, and tends to tense up when reading. I think that’s a problem. I’m getting him outdoors more, sunning and exercising. The autogenics you’re doing sounds interesting – not sure if my son will do it too.

    Thanks and best wishes for continued progress.

    • Hi June,
      Thanks so much for writing, it’s always nice to know that what I write motivates others to improve their sight as well!

      It sounds like you are off to a good start. The only thing I’m initially concerned about is eye rotations and near to far exercizes. Where did you get them from? They may be fine, but if your son isn’t showing signs of improvement, I expect they may be the culprit. Eye ‘exercizes’ are often mininterpretted ways of teaching shifting and centralization habits that can be (and should be) incorporated into the whole day. Where did you get the exercizes from? I would suggest reading Dr. Bates’s chapters in his book on shifting and central fixation, and comparing those exercizes to the spirit of what he is teaching. My book club posts on those chapters give some ideas for learning these ideas correctly.

      Temporary or permanent improvement after practicing better vision habits are both positive signs that you are doing the right thing. Don’t have your son do something if he notices that his sight is consitently worse afterwards, that is a sign that a technique is not helping his sight and should not be continued. Maybe later it will help him, but for now only practice methods that imprve his clarity. I recommend reading lots of books (Bates’s book is the original source, Janet Goodrich wrote a book about helping children, and Thomas Quackenbush wrote the most comprehensive up to date book I’ve found). Asking a teacher for help, even if by correspondence is a good idea. Of course, my eyesight hasn’t gotten steadily better, and I never expect after practicing to have a miracle of perfect sight, but if something makes my eyesight worse, I assume that either I’ve misunderstood the instructions, or it’s just not the right method for me. Be aware that not ever method works for every person. What makes your sight better might not help your son, for example.

      I recently read a comment from a parent on iblindness. He had managed to help one of his children improve their eyesight sufficiently not to need glasses, and has reduced his own prescription. He offered advice to parents that I found striking (unfortunately I can’t find it at the moment but I’ll write it from memory): 1. don’t set a deadline for improvement. Children pick up on expectations and will feel pressured to perform when reading the Snellen chart. Be sure that every time you have the child read the chart, that it is to practice good vision habits, not to test the sight. Later on you can write down in a notebook what the best they saw was and compare it to a reading at a later date. Read it from a comfortable distance where they can at least read half of it correctly. Then they can practice things like demonstrating that when they look at a letter on the top line, it is darker and clearer than a letter on a lower line. And when they look at a letter on a lower line it is darker and clearer than the letter above. (and so on until the distance they have to look away to notice this effect is much smaller). Vision activities should always be enjoyable and fun. Read lots of vision books to get more ideas. Creativity is the key to continued success and motivation. 2. Get a teacher to help you. It takes away the guesswork and will offer much needed experience. 3. Improve your own sight (I’m glad to see you’re doing this with your child, great job!) 4. Remember that vision fluctuates a lot. A worse reading one day doesn’t mean that the vision is worse that day. It is just indicative of that moment. I will often have my best eyesight after I have read very poorly on the Snellen chart.

      Do you also have a way to keep the routine changing every week? Dr. Bates’s magazines (free on central-fixation.com or in print edited by T. Quackenbush) are great, just read one article per day to get loads of new ideas for helping your son.

      Best wishes for success! I would love to hear more from you as you learn more about helping your son.

      Sorrisi

  2. Hi there. I’d like to recommend listening to an audiobook or podcast when doing eye exercises, as for me it does a good job entertaining and extends the length of time I spend training or just sitting outside looking into the distance.

    • hi George,

      thanks for the comment – I agree! It’s a great way to keep the imagination going and the attention tuned to something positive. (music works great as well)

      sorrisi

  3. Hi thanks for your blog! I am currently a glasses wearer and for the last few years I’ve been trying to get my eyesight to where I don’t need laser/glasses/contacts etc. What is the best and quickest way you would suggest being free to see? Thanks in advance!

  4. Great blog Sorrisi! I have just begun with diet so far as my retinas detached recently. I would like to begin exercises soon and especially to prevent cataracts. I have just started my own blog on natural living and beginning with the eyes. Best wishes Lisa

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