Basic Exercises

Central fixation theory
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Contrary to the common unjustified beliefs, the section of image well seen at normal sight is particularly small. The studies have shown that from the distance of twenty feet, we are able to see with good acuity only the area with the diameter of 1.2 cm. This means that to see clearly the letter of the size of 5 cm from this distance, a healthy eye has to make several micromovements, which will lead to the generation of a few images that the brain integrates into one sharp image of the letter. At the same time, the eye with a defect tries to see the substantial section of its visual field to an equally good extent, by looking at this section, thus generating stress and refraction error.

The sharp vision of only the section of image is due to that the eye retina has a point of maximum sensitivity, and each of its other section located proportionally to the distance from this point is less and less sensitive. In the retinal center is a small circular elevation, called macula lutea, or yellow spot due to the coloring. In the center of this spot is the fovea, the so-called dimple of dark color. In the center of this dimple are no rods, and cones are lengthened and pressed very tightly.

When learning to see clearly the observed object, as a rule it is most helpful to think of the point not observed directly as a place observed less clearly. The section of the object may be seen clearly only when the mind agrees to see the major part of this object unclearly. With the deeper relaxation, the area of poorly seen image section gets larger until the moment when the sharpest seen section becomes only a point.

All the exercises relaxing the sight allow to bring back the normal strength of central fixation. It can be recovered also by the conscious practice and at times it is the fastest and easiest method to bring back the normal vision. The perfectly acute vision consists in the perfectly precise focusing or sharpening of light rays right in the center of the yellow spot. It is natural that when looking in this way we see only a very small area, but involuntary, rapid movement of the eye (up to 70 times per second) allow to generate in the mind an image of any area.

Exercise C1. Snellen chart exercise
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For this exercise you will need the snellen chart.

  1. When looking at the top end of the largest letter on the chart, the eye should see its bottom part worse than the top end. The patients having problems with vision are very rarely able to make such an observation.
  2. Look around the letter and find such a visual point from where you will see find that the top end of the largest letter is seen with the greatest acuity. Some achieve this by looking into one place and simultaneous turning of head. Others find that their central fixation point at a larger distance from the chart is several feet away!
  3. Upon identifying the point of greatest acuity, move your sight smoothly downwards and upwards the letter to the area seen the sharpest.
  4. Do this exercise six times and apply a 1-minute palming. Repeat this cycle until it is tiring for you.
Duration: 2-4 minutes
Repetitions: 1-2 times per day
Alternative exercises: C2
Eye strain: medium
Exercise C2. Dot Chart Exercise
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For this exercise you will need the dot font chart. The advantage is that the letters are drawn by dots, which allows to improve their reading dot by dot, so strengthen the central fixation.

  1. Begin the exercise from the larger font following the first letter with your eyes dot by dot.
  2. Then, look at the top of the letter and try to see less sharply its bottom. Now, look at the bottom of letter and at the top, but with blurred vision. You should observe the seeming movement of the letter in the opposite direction to the eye movement. Repeat this 6 times.
  3. Now, look at the right side of the letter seeing the other side blurry. And do the opposite, look at the left side of the letter seeing the right side blurry. You should see the seeming movement of the letter in the opposite direction to the eye movement. Repeat this 6 times.
  4. Move to the next letter and repeat the steps 2 and 3 for this one. Make such movements for several letters from the chart being careful not to strain your sight.
  5. Then, move to the row of smaller letters and make similar eye movement. Try to see the seeming motion of letters until you come to a state when you are able to read quickly consecutive letters seeing their seeming motion. At smaller font, the sight should move gently across the line of letters observing their seeming up to down movement.
  6. Try modifying this exercise, sometimes reading from the beginning of the line, and sometimes from its end moving to the 2. or 3. letter and so on. Try not to strain your sight but move it across the letters dot by dot.
Duration: 2-4 minutes
Repetitions: 1-2 times per day
Alternative exercises: C1
Eye strain: medium
Exercise C3. Domino chart exercise
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This exercise requires a domino chart.

  1. Place the chart in front of you in such a distance so that the cubes of a domino are visible not having to strain the sight.
  2. Move your eyes through the consecutive rows of cubes of a domino, from left to right, and then again to the left but a row below. Continue the practice until you reach the bottom row.
  3. Now, move your eyes through the vertical columns until you reach the last one.
  4. Then, practice oblique eye movement through vertical columns until you reach the last one.
  5. Now, practice oblique movement across a cube upwards and a cube downwards.
  6. You can modify the eye movement across the domino cubes as you like. This exercise is aimed to make the eyes move in as many different ways as possible. Do not try to see the domino dots but focus on the smooth eye movement.
Duration: 1-2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: A1,R8
Eye strain: medium
Vision techniques theory
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The desire to see and perceive something we are interested in causes stress both in the mind and organ of sight, which largely impairs the process of vision. It is easy to see here the analogy to the process of recalling facts or events. As long as we exert our mind and try to recall something, our efforts are futile. But when the effort of our mind is drawn away and we do not sweat our brows, suddenly after giving it up we remind ourselves the thing that we considered impossible to recall.

The situation is alike with the vision.

The techniques designed to convince the users of the seeming motion of the objects from the external world and feel the state of immobilization of the eye were named by Dr. Bates as “swinging”. They help to understand the nature of motion, which allows to relax the eyes and body. In this way, we rest and relax our mind allowing the eyes to look rather than see.

Exercise B1. Short swinging
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Choose two objects in the visual field, preferably some smaller (these can be, for example, a window frame, tree located away or part of a block of flats). One object should be located near, and the other far away.

  1. Stand in a wide stride about 1 m in front of a window, lower your arms and shoulders, relax the neck and begin to swing your body changing the balance rhythmically from one leg to another. The head stays still in relation to the arms and is engaged with them in a joint movement similar to a clock pendulum.
  2. We look straight ahead not trying to see clearly neither the near nor far object. We try to relax – to look but not see.
  3. Notice that when leaning right, the near object (frame) moves to the left against the distanced object (for example, a tree). In the case of a movement to the right it is the opposite – the near object seems to move to the right in relation to the distanced one.
  4. After about 10 leans, we close our eyes and imaging the seeming motion of objects, continue to swing the body. Then, we open the eyes and observe the motion of objects. After several leans, we close the eyes again and while swinging, observe the seeming motion of the near object through the eyes of imagination.
Duration: 2 minutes.
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: B2, B3
Eye strain: low
Exercise B2. Pencil swinging
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Pencil swinging is a type of short swinging that can be practiced in small rooms, for example, in the sitting position. In this swinging type, the near object may be, for example, a pencil or finger.

  1. Hold a pencil or finger in the vertical position about 15 cm before the nose.
  2. Looking at the far object, swing the head from one side to another, observing the seeming motion of a pencil on the background of the objects located farther (for example, a painting on the wall).
  3. Close the eyes periodically and continue the seeming movement in imagination. When opening the eyes you can look alternately at a pencil and the objects located farther, trying to observe each time the motion of a pencil.
Duration: 2 minutes.
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: B1, B3
Eye strain: low
Exercise B3. Long swinging
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  1. Stand in a small stride and keeping the hands on your hips, make full turns with your hips, trunk and head.
  2. When you turn left, the weight moves to the left foot, and the right heel is slightly raised with your right foot touching the ground with its front (feet).
  3. When you turn right, the weight moves to the right foot, and the left heel is slightly raised with your left foot touching the ground with its front (feet).
  4. You start the movement with your eyes, then continue with your trunk, hips and the whole body. As you begin to move, the sight remains still but the eyes can blink comfortably.
  5. You should not be concerned with any objects that are presenting to you in the visual field as it moves. The eyes should track the circle and let the images pass not attempting to see what is currently moving.
Duration: 2 minute.
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: B2, B3
Eye strain: low
Exercise B4. Flash practice
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The "flash" is a method to learn and use in practice the unconscious vision, as well as improve the sight activity. The recognition and whole analytic work of the mind during this exercise is largely limited and inactive, while the organ of vision is more aware than the recognizing mind. In the case of the acquired visual defect, a short and quick look with quick and free blinking in the state of dynamic sight relaxation, without the involvement of the recognizing mind, allows to identify and render the normally seen objects.

  1. The exercise requires several domino cubes or a pack of playing cards. We choose a random card or domino cube and look at it from the distance of pulled hand for less than a second blinking freely.
  2. Conceal the eyes and try to guess how many dots are on a domino cube (or what card was chosen).
  3. Repeat the steps for the next cubes (cards) mastering the flash technique.
Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: B5
Eye strain: low
Exercise B5. Analytic vision
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Without movement there is no vision. The immobilization of the eyeball and organ of sight entails goggling, carelessness, watery and dim sight, and inability to see normally. The proper process of vision consists of minimal and permanent eye movement. During a careful observation of an object, people with normal sight maintain the eyes in such a position that these are able to move constantly from one point of this object to another with minimum effort and unconsciously.

The analytic vision exercise presented below is designed for you to acquire the minimum and constant eye movement. At first, these will be conscious actions, but with time your sight will learn to use this skill automatically and unconsciously.

  1. When looking at, for example, a building, try to draw with your eyes the external contour of a building, across the gutter, roof and ground.
  2. Then, turn your sight to its windows, door, banister, roof. Try to “draw” with the sight the external edges of these elements. Choose such shapes that are abundant or, for example, are symmetrical, to arouse interest in your sight. Move quickly from one element to another, choosing different types and directions of eye movement. Do not try to see these parts of a building acutely.
  3. Blink freely to ensure that your eyes have proper moistening and temporary rest.
  4. When you finish the cycle of looking analytically at the parts of a building, try to look at a building as a whole. Does it seem clearer now to you?
  5. The analytic vision techniques should be used in any place to any objects, people, letters in a book. Try to reaccustom your eyes to the correct vision with no effort and stress. After some time, your eyes will use these techniques unconsciously making micro-movements when looking at the objects in the state of dynamic relaxation. This exercise is aimed to help your eyes learn to look freely and with no effort, instead of goggling still at the objects under permanent stress
Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: B4
Eye strain: low
Visualisation theory
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The work of imagination can have a large impact on our mind and body. Each visualization technique makes our visual system work and changes the eye accommodation. These techniques will help us not only to relax the eyes more, but also improve the power and acuity of sight. These exercises should be preferably performed during palming when our eyes are in the state of dynamic relaxation.

Below we present several examples of visualization, which you can use or create your own on their basis.

Exercise W1. Ship visualization
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  1. Sit comfortably in the armchair, relax, close your eyes.
  2. Imagine that you are standing on the landing pier of a port in front of the moored large passenger ship.

    On several decks you are seeing passengers talking, children running back and forth, tables laid in the bar. Some are standing looking at the land, while others stroll through the decks. Slowly, the large ship sets sail and you are seeing less and less details on the decks. The windows and human silhouettes are smaller and smaller. You can see that the ship is surrounded by more and more area covered by the sea. The sun is shining. The ship gradually moves further away. It is getting smaller and smaller and you can see only few details. Finally, the ship is so far away that becomes a small dot on the horizon.

  3. Now, try to reverse the course of events and let the ship sail slowly from far away towards you, becoming bigger and bigger. Little by little, you begin to see more and more details on the decks, recognize the people and different parts of the ship. Increase gradually the coming of the ship until it reaches the port you are standing next to.
  4. Go through the moving away and coming of the ship in your mind several times. Slowly make this process faster. Each time, the ship has to reach the horizon line and become a merely visible, small dot.
  5. Continuing to imagine the ship sailing away and coming nearer, try to observe how the visualization affects your eyes and their movement. This exercise, though done with the eyes closed, has an excellent effect on the muscles and refraction of the eyeball. It is also a very good form of relaxation.
Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: W2, W3
Eye strain: low
Exercise W2. Runners visualization
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  1. Sit comfortably in the armchair, relax, close your eyes.
  2. Imagine that you are standing at the start line of the race on the large ellipse-shaped track.

    In the race participate several athletes whom you can watch at the start/finish line. Try to look at them closely and see as much details in their outfit or behavior as possible. Now, imagine that the race begins and you are watching how the runners are running even further, moving away from you and across the elliptic track. As the runners are moving away, you can see less and less details and finally, they become merely small dots in the farthest location from you.

  3. Now, the athletes running on the track begin to gradually come nearer to the finish line and you. You can see more and more details of the runners, their outfits, miming, behavior. They slowly come nearer and nearer and finally reach the finish line you are standing next to.
  4. Go through the moving away and coming nearer of the runners in your mind several times. Slowly make this process faster. You can diversify the visualization by, for example, adding hurdles.
  5. During this exercise, try to watch how visualization affects your eyes and their movement. This exercise, though done with the eyes closed, has an excellent effect on the muscles and refraction of the eyeball. It is also a very good form of relaxation.
Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: W1, W3
Eye strain: low
Exercise W3. Flexible disc
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This exercise allows to get an idea how strong and continuous are the movements of muscles during the cycle of visualizing the motion of object. Though the eyes are closed and “do not see”, all their muscles responsible for refraction and accommodation function in a proper manner while staying in the state of dynamic relaxation.

  1. Imagine that you are holding a flexible rubber disc which can be bent so that when clenched, it easily adopts the shape of an ellipse, and returns to its former oval shape when we release the pressure.
  2. Visualize that you are pressing the sides of the disc with the index finger and thumb to form a vertically positioned ellipse. Look at this ellipse for a moment, release the hand and allow the disc to return to its former shape. Repeat the steps 5-10 times.
  3. Now, move the thumb and index finger from the sides of the disc to its top and bottom. Imagine that you are pressing the disc which changes its shape into a horizontally positioned ellipse. Repeat the steps 5-10 times.
  4. Imagine each time that your hand presses the disc (it is very important during the exercise).
Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: W1, W2
Eye strain: low
Exercise W4. Drawing mandala with your nose
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Excellent effects can be achieved by mental drawing of miscellaneous figures with your nose (preferably, the mandalas). It can be the figure of a violin key, sign of eternity or spiral. You can also use the figures of letters, words or your own signature. During the exercise, you can make gentle movements with your head trying to imagine your nose as a large pen that draws the selected figures.

Although this exercise may seem funny and childish, it is actually very effective in the method of reeducation of vision.

Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: W1, W2, W3
Eye strain: low