Palming:
Relaxation is in Your Hands

If you take the time to learn palming correctly, and make it a priority to incorporate it into your vision improvement routine, it will bring you great benefit and relaxation.

As I said before, this technique is a simple as covering your closed lids with your hands.  That’s it.

However, here are some things that may help you get the most out of your practice.

Look up and away. Breathe. Blink. Then come back!

Sit Still or Get Moving

Some people have great success immediately and others find that they strain more when they try to palm.  These suggestions will help you allow this activity to bring relaxation. 

First of all, this is a stationary activity, either sitting or lying down.  If you are having trouble staying put, then get up and move!

When I feel restless and don’t want to sit at the table in my chair just yet, then I like to get up and practice swinging for a while.  Then I am often able to relax while being still.

Create the Space

Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down where you can allow yourself to relax.  A place where you won’t be distracted by noises and activities.  Think meditation here.  You want to create a space that will be helpful for relaxation. 

Once you have settled into your spot, gently close your eyes and cover them with the palms of your hands.  I like to sit at the table and rest my elbows in such a way that my arms don’t get tired.  You can also prop your elbows up with pillows if you are laying down.  I suggest experimenting to find what is the most comfortable for you.

How it Looks

Maintain a nice posture that allows your body to stay relaxed and comfortable.

I like to cross my fingers on my forehead, or you can keep them apart from each other.  You simply want your hand to fit nicely over your closed eye so that no light is allowed in.

When you place your hand over your eye, you will notice that the high ridges of your palm fit nicely over the high ridges of the your eye socket.  It is almost as if they were made for each other.

In fact, they fit so well together, that you can pull a slight vacuum when you place them together just right. 

For the purpose of this activity you do not need to pull a vacuum on your eye, but if you could then you are in the right spot!

Also, you don’t want to put pressure on the eye at all.  Any pressure that occurs should be on those high ridges of the palm and the eye socket.  You should be able to make a blinking motion with your closed eyelids while in the correct position.

Ok, so there are some specifics about hand placement, body positioning, and environment, but I want to share what you can do, with your mind to gain even more benefit and relaxation.

Empowering the Process

It is enough to be in a comfortable position, cover your closed eyes with your palms, and relax--and what we do with our minds can make all the difference. 

Before we go too far I want to mention the importance of easy, natural breathing.  We know that breathing fully and easily, in a natural manner, helps with relaxation, and after all relaxation is the name of the game.  So remember to breathe.  Breathe deep, easily, and naturally.

Alright, back to the mind.  What can we do with our minds while palming to help us relax.

Imagine Black

Dr. Bates used the memory and imagination of black as an aide to relaxation.  

When we palm correctly there is no light and nothing to see.  When there is nothing to see and no light, then there is only black.  The blackest of black.

If you see colors and shapes when you close your eyes and palm, they are illusions created by strain.

Sometimes when I first close my eyes there will be an array of colors moving all about and I can feel the strain and tension in my eyes.  As I continue to palm and relax the colors disappear into a field of black.

Imagine, black and allow your mind to wander from one black object to the next.  A black shirt, a black cat, a black curtain, a black period, and it is even more helpful if you have a positive relationship with the black objects you remember or imagine.

When Black is a Strain

Sometimes people become painfully aware of the fact that when they close their eyes they do not see black.  In fact, they see all kinds of shapes and colors and become stressed that they don’t see black, can’t remember black, and can’t make all of those colors, that they now know are illusions, go away.

Again if what you are doing is creating a strain, then stop and do something else! 

When black becomes a strain, I like to thank those colors that I see.

I like to thank them as a reminder that I want to relax and I move my awareness away from black or the colors and allow my imagination to move further into my mind’s eye.   

Pleasant Scenes

Imagining or remembering something that is pleasing takes the strain out of trying to do something. Our imaginations are most effective when they are effortless, just like our physical eyesight.

Imagine yourself in a place that is pleasing to you and with people that you feel comfortable around. Remember places and times that bring you peace and joy.

Also, allow your imaginings to be in motion.  For instance, I like to picture in my mind’s eye my children running and laughing in the yard.  Maybe chasing a ball or playing a game of tag.  The idea is to picture scenes that are dynamic and full of movement.  Even imagine birds flying over head and the leaves gently rustling in the breeze.

How Much and How Often?

Palm as much and as often as you can, provided you are gaining relaxation from it!  If not, then stop and do something else. 

Some people like to practice for short periods of time frequently throughout the day and some find it more beneficial to practice for longer periods of time less frequently.

Experiment and pay attention to how you feel. 

For anyone who is serious about improving their eyesight I would place a minimum of twenty minutes a day, whether all at once or spread out in five minute increments.

The success of palming to help improve eyesight has a lot to do with consistency and whether or not one is able to relax and imagine effortlessly or not.

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