To complement “Improve Vision Naturally: Declare Your Freedom from Glasses” in the April 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: With these seven exercises, you improve your vision, or keep declining vision from getting worse. 

You can protect—even improve—your vision with these simple self-care exercises

Vision Exercise 1: Sunning

Close your eyes as you point your face toward the sun. Move your head from side to side, chin to shoulder. Your pupils will expand and contract, allowing the pupillary capacity to adjust to light, which can lead to improved vision in very little light as well as in very bright light, without needing sunglasses.

Vision Exercise 2: Palming

Put your palms over your entire eye area and lean your elbows on a tabletop, putting no pressure on your cheekbones. Breathe deeply and visualize darkness. Do this for seven minutes at a time, three times a day. (Tibetan yogis have practiced this exercise for centuries.) 

Vision Exercise 3: Looking into the Distance

Look into the distance for 20 minutes a day, at 4- or 8-minute intervals. At the same time, wave your hands near both sides of your head so you can see your hands in your peripheral vision. Become aware of which eye sees faraway objects more clearly. 

Tape a small piece of paper—2 inches by 1.5 inches—onto the bridge of your nose, covering a third of the stronger eye’s visual field. Wave one hand to the side of the stronger eye, near your ear, seeing your hand in your periphery, as you look into the distance. Look at mountains, clouds or windows on a distant building. Remove the paper. Eighty percent of people will immediately see more clearly.

Vision Exercise 4: Alternating Print Sizes

Read a page in strong light—sunlight is best—and notice which eye sees the letters better. Take another piece of paper with a smaller print size, and note which eye sees those letters better. In 70 percent of cases, in my experience, the eye that can see better at a distance can also see more clearly up close; in 30 percent of cases one eye sees better up close, while the other sees better from far away. 

Take the same small piece of paper from exercise three and tape it to the bridge of your nose, this time obstructing the central vision of the eye that sees better up close. Wave your hand to the side of the obstructed eye and read the smaller-print page, with strong light shining on the paper. Close your eyes and visualize the contrast of the black letters against the white page. Open your eyes, wave and read again. After four or five minutes of doing this exercise, remove the paper from your nose. Eighty percent of people, in my experience, will see the letters more sharply.

Vision Exercise 5: Measured Straining

With the paper attached to the bridge of your nose, put your palm directly in front of your weaker eye, so close you can feel your eyelashes brush against your palm when you blink, and wave your other hand to the side. Follow the different lines on your palm. You’ll find yourself straining; this is a beneficial, measured strain. Continue to wave and keep your hand in front of your eye for about one minute. Then take the paper off and look again at the page with smaller print. You may now see it better.

Vision Exercise 6: More Measured Straining

Put the small piece of paper in front of your stronger eye. Use a page containing large print, with letters about a half-inch high, and read letter by letter with your eyelashes almost touching the page. You should see one letter at a time and need to move the paper to read the next letter. This is also a measured strain, like weightlifting for your eye muscles. Now take the paper off and look back at the large print. How does it look?

Vision Exercise 7: Tennis Ball Tossing

Make a strip of paper approximately two inches wide and eight inches long, and tape it onto your face, from your forehead to your chin. Throw a tennis ball from hand to hand above your head. Clap your hands before you catch the ball. This relaxes your eyes and helps create visual independence between them.

Tips for Success

  • Favor your weaker eye and use it more.
  • If your vision is only starting to weaken, postpone wearing glasses all you can. If you already wear glasses, wear them as little as possible, only when you need to, and take them off when it is not critical that you see sharply.
  • Read in the strong light of the sun. The contractility of your pupils compensates greatly for weakness of the eye muscles. Use your pupillary strength to read without your glasses, and do your exercises to strengthen your eye muscles.
  • Try to endure a lower prescription and allow your vision to improve to that prescription, instead of letting the prescription grow stronger and stronger.
  • Read printed books and avoid using e-books as much as possible.
  • Remove your glasses while giving massage unless you absolutely need them. After all, you feel what you are doing, and do not need to see specific places too well, unless a client has problems like sores or inflammation.

By doing these exercises regularly, you can make the lens of your eyes more flexible, and may even prevent what often happens after the lens stiffens: cataracts. In 98 percent of cataract surgery cases, the outcome is extremely good. But then there is the remaining 2 percent for whom the surgery leads to horrible results.

Save your lenses with these practices, and you could save your vision.

Meir Schneider, Ph.D., L.M.T.About the Author

Meir Schneider, Ph.D., L.M.T. (self-healing.org), developed a holistic approach for prevention and rehabilitation of degenerative health conditions. He is the founder of the nonprofit School for Self-Healing in San Francisco, California, and author of Vision for Life: Ten Steps to Natural Eyesight Improvement.