A window into the health of your eyes

The eyes provide us with the miraculous ability to see beauty, depth, tragedy and love. However, the ability to see is often taken for granted, as is the health of our eyes.

The eyes provide us with the miraculous ability to see beauty, depth, tragedy and love. However, the ability to see is often taken for granted, as is the health of our eyes.

by Annie Porter — 

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In Chinese medicine, the quality, clarity and brightness of the eyes reflect the health of your shen, which translates to mean your spirit, or the light inside you. If you have ever seen the eyes of a mentally disturbed or sick person, you will understand the reference.

The eyes provide us with the miraculous ability to see beauty, depth, tragedy and love. However, the ability to see is often taken for granted, as is the health of our eyes.

Properly working eyes accommodate seeing various distances within the close and far ranges. Unfortunately, we are a nation of too much technology. We spend a tremendous amount of up-close screen time on computers, smart phones, iPads, Xboxes, tablets and television. We were not meant to receive so much electronic input or to be up-close viewers of our world.

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, witnessing the dynamic world outside in nature. They used their vision in ways that strengthened the eyes. Today, our lifestyles weaken the eyes. Contributing to weakened eyes and eye disease is a poor diet high in refined sugars, starches, alcohol and polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Our eyes need to view nature at long distances, to feel sunshine and to be fed the nutrients that are essential to their health.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat the eye utilizing acupressure massage and acupuncture techniques that surround the eye, in addition to making nutrition recommendations and herbal formulas specifically designed to address the underlying imbalance that causes the eye disease and/or discomfort.

Here are some quick and easy tips that you can do to begin strengthening your eyes.

  • Practice distance seeing. When you are utilizing screen time, look up from the screen and out as far as you can every five minutes. If you can see out a window, follow a flying bird or plane with your eyes, or watch a car vanish into the distance. Try to focus on objects that are difficult for you to bring into focus. This exercises your eyes and keeps them flexible.
  • Enjoy the sunshine. Before 11 a.m. or after 3 p.m., take a walk outside, do some gardening, play sports or go for a hike.
  • Try a yang eye candle-gazing technique. At arm’s length from a burning candle, stare at the flame for five minutes. Rest your eyes by closing them every minute but try not to look away. Let the tears come and cleanse your eyes. Afterward, put your palms over your closed eyes and visualize black velvet to cool them off.
  • Do not drive wearing sunglasses. Unless you are headed directly into the sun or glare, refrain from wearing sunglasses, as they weaken the eyes. The pupils never get to adjust to light, which causes weakness. To strengthen them, allow your eyes to adjust to light.
  • Remember the importance of good nutrition. The following foods contain nutrients for eye health: Green tea contains anti-oxidants to reverse free radical damage; salmon or flax seeds contain Omega-3 essential fatty acids to keep inflammation in check; and kale, spinach and turnips lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

References: livestrong.com/article/339794 and librarising.com/health/yourvisionandhealth.html.

 

Annie Porter, L.Ac, Dipl. C.H., is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist at Spirit Tree Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz. She is also trained in acu-detox treatments. 480-359-7389.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 3, June/July 2013.

 

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