Astigmatism exercises

Astigmatism theory

Astigmatism is a focal disorder that occurs due to changes in the surface of the cornea or lens, which causes blurring and distortion of perception. In most cases, astigmatism occurs along with one of the defects – shortsightedness or farsightedness.

More information on this defect can be found here

Contrary to the common belief, astigmatism can be corrected easily through relaxation. Astigmatism is also a very good example of how the eye training is helpful in this kind of defects. There were cases of successful correction of astigmatism defects (~1 diopters) by these exercises within one day. With larger defects, a several-week training was often enough. It is quite an achievement against, for example, the treatment of shortsightedness. It seems very likely that the cause of this defect lies in stress of the eye rectus muscles. Therefore, these exercises are designed mainly to improve the condition of rectus muscles, relax them and reduce their stress. Try to return once in a while to the “astigmatic mirror” checking your progress in practice. I hope you will come to the point where all the lines are straight and black.

Exercise A1. Relaxation of rectus muscles

This exercise is designed to gently relax the eye rectus muscles and should be used before the more straining exercises (such as the Tibetan circle). Its purpose is to relax the muscles, so if you feel an acute ache, take a break for short palming and refrain from more straining exercises.

  1. Pull out the thumb in front of you for about 10 cm at the height of the nose. You do not have to see it clearly as the aim of this exercise is to relax the muscles.
  2. Move the thumb slowly up (to 12 o’clock) to the height where you do not see it and stop there for a while (not more than for 2 seconds).
  3. You can feel the tension of muscles (a slight ache at times) in this position. Then return with the thumb to the initial position in the same pace. When moving back, you should feel your muscles relaxed. Continue to move to the outside, this time to 1 o’clock and back to the center, and then to 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12 o’clock, respectively.
  4. When moving your thumb breathe in the specified way. When moving from the center to the outside take a slow breath (tensing of muscles), and when moving to the center, breathe out (muscles relax).
  5. The exercise should be done beginning from 12 o’clock clockwise, and then after a full turn, start from 12 o’clock again but anticlockwise this time.
Duration: 2 minutes
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: R8, A3
Eye strain: medium
Exercise A2. Tibetan circle

It is the most important exercise in the treatment of astigmatism that causes deep relaxation and strengthening of the responsible muscles.

  1. Set the chart very close to the eyes (from about 2 to 10 cm) so that you can see its entire area and its center is at the height of the tip of your nose. Do not be concerned if you do not see the image sharply, as the aim is to relax the muscles.
  2. While taking a slow breath, begin to climb on the "steps” from the center dot to the outside big dot (left side of the arm).
  3. Stop for about 2 seconds and when breathing out move back through the right side of the arm, going down the “steps” presented on the image. When moving, try to feel the tension of muscles as you breathes in and their relaxation as you move back (breathe out).
  4. Then, make a similar move along the black line again from the center to the end of the line (breathe in), which makes your muscles more tense. Stop for about 2 seconds and move back breathing out and relaxing the muscles.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 moving clockwise, and after a full turn and several seconds of relaxation with the eyes closed, go through the whole exercise but anticlockwise.
  6. During this exercise, it is important not to strain the sight too much.
Duration: 2-3 minutes
Repetitions: 3-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: A1, R8
Eye strain: high
Exercise A3. Sphere visualization

With astigmatism, it is good to try this visualization exercise:

  1. Imagine that you are looking at a small, eye-size sphere made of, for instance, rubber, which is situated in the right eye or just above.
  2. Now, try to change the sphere with your imagination as if you were clenching it with the fingers of one hand on its right and left side. Imagine that the sphere changes slightly its shape into elliptic and oval, and that the fingers release the pressure and the sphere comes back to its perfectly spherical shape. Repeat this step 5-10 times.
  3. Now, imagine that you are clenching the sphere from up and down (again 5-10 times), and then from front and back (also 5-10 times).
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the left eye.
  5. During this exercise, you should have a feeling of slight activity of the rectus muscles in your eyes, which will largely release their tension and both the cornea and the whole eye should begin to assume the perfect spherical shape.
Duration: 1-2 minutes
Repetitions: 3-8 times per day
Alternative exercises: A4
Eye strain: low
Exercise A4. Eyeball massage

This exercise should be done preferably during the palming practice or right after the sphere visualization. It is very helpful especially for high astigmatism as it allows to restore the natural spherical shape of the lens.

  1. Place one or two fingers on the closed eyelids of both eyes
  2. The pressure should only be gentle and not cause any pain
  3. Make movements with the fingers from right to left, from up to down, circularly clockwise and anticlockwise, with each group of movements repeated 10 times. Make small-range, gentle movements that massage the eyeball
Duration: 1 minute
Repetitions: 2-4 times per day
Alternative exercises: A3
Eye strain: medium