Vision for Life, page 1
Vision for Life
In *Vision for Life,* natural health pioneer Meir Schneider shares ten essential principles of healthy vision discovered in his forty-year personal and professional journey. Born blind, Schneider taught himself to see and developed an innovative program of healing and recovery that has helped thousands of people regain and improve their health.
The exercises in this book will help you to create a basic eye health routine that you can immediately incorporate into your life. This program is not only strengthening but also restorative and deeply relaxing. You will learn how to reverse developing issues before they cause damage and how to remedy existing problems including near- and far-sightedness and lazy eye as well as cataracts, glaucoma, optic neuritis, detached retinas and tears, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. *Vision for Life *is not only for people who see poorly and would like to improve their vision, but also for those with 20/20 vision...
Praise for the work of Meir Schneider
“As an ophthalmologist, I always search for the best way to treat my patients. Based on the Bates Method, Meir Schneider’s self-healing system has complemented my practice in those cases where our traditional medicine has its limitations. The best treatment is the one that is directed to the patient’s needs, and the best medicine is the one that uses all knowledge and not only a part of it. Traditional science and complementary medicine are tools that should be used together, focusing on a more holistic health concept.”
—Leonardo Verri Paulino, MD, ophthalmologist and anterior segment surgeon at ABC Medical School, Brazil
“Schneider’s method is effective as a complementary physical therapy for the eyes.”
—Emília Ritsuko Yasuoka Assad, MD, ophthalmologist and acupuncturist, São Paulo, Brazil
“Working with my patients has verified that many sight problems get better and heal by taking up the right habits. Meir Schneider presents us with a complete guide to doing so. He helps us to regain our trust in the power we have over our vision and our lives. As he says in the book, ‘We all can take the time. We just have to decide that we are worth the time and that the process is worth our while.’ ”
—Amelia Salvador, MD, ophthalmologist, Alicante, Spain
“It is wonderful how each new book by Meir Schneider provokes us to incorporate more and more of the self-healing principles into our lives.”
—Laercio Motoryn, MD, ophthalmologist and homeopath, São Paulo, Brazil
“The knowledge and application of the self-healing method was very important improving my practice as an ophthalmologist. The results attained by my patients and with my own vision are proof of the importance of the union of traditional medicine with complementary therapies. I thank Meir Schneider for being such a marvelous instrument for my personal and professional improvement.”
—Ana Cecilia Gois Franco, MD, ophthalmologist and anterior segment surgeon and naturopath, São Paulo, Brazil
“I had the pleasure to meet Meir Schneider and use his method when I was finishing my apprenticeship to become a Bachelor of Optometry in 2005. His holistic approach toward visual dysfunctions changed me forever as a professional. His concepts remain present in my appointments, therapies, and lens prescriptions. Schneider’s work invites us to naturally preserve our organism and to practice healthier visual habits in this very technological world.”
—Fernando Nassif, optometrist with specialization in orthoptics and visual therapy, São Paulo, Brazil
“There are many kinds of patients, but those who get actively involved with their own healing process can surely go further. When I met Meir Schneider years ago, I started to apply some of his techniques to my work and was impressed by the results. We must imprint our will and optimism into everything we do, so we can go beyond it. Congratulations, Meir, for one more book that brings us simple yet useful lessons.”
—Mauro Rabinovitch, MD, ophthalmologist, São Paulo, Brazil
Copyright © 2012 by Meir Schneider. All rights reserved. No portion of this book, except for brief review, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the written permission of the publisher. For information contact North Atlantic Books. Published by Cover photo @ istockphoto.com/cinoby North Atlantic Books Cover design by Suzanne Albertson P.O. Box 12327 Berkeley, California 94712
Eye charts and red drawings courtesy of Flavio Kauffmann
Vision for Life: Ten Steps to Natural Eyesight Improvement is sponsored by the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, a nonprofit educational corporation whose goals are to develop an educational and cross-cultural perspective linking various scientific, social, and artistic fields; to nurture a holistic view of arts, sciences, humanities, and healing; and to publish and distribute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature.
North Atlantic Books’ publications are available through most bookstores. For further information, visit our website at www.northatlanticbooks.com or call 800-733-3000.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The following information is intended for general information purposes only. Individuals should always see their health care provider before administering any suggestions made in this book. Any application of the material set forth in the following pages is at the reader’s discretion and is his or her sole responsibility.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Schneider, Meir, 1954
Vision for life : ten steps to natural eyesight improvement / Meir Schneider.
Summary: “Presents ten simple steps to relieve eye strain, correct vision problems, and improve eye health; includes a full range of restorative vision exercises”—Provided by publisher.
1. Vision disorders—Treatment. 2. Visual training. 3. Orthoptics. 4. Bates method of orthoptics. 5. Eye—Diseases—Treatment. 6. Blindness—Genetic aspects. I. Title.
Foreword by M. Fernanda Leite Ribeiro
List of Materials for Getting Started
Healing Myself of Blindness
Discovering the Bates Method
Seeing the Light
Ten Steps to Better Vision
Step 1: The Long Swing
How to Do the Long Swing
Step 2: Looking into the Distance
Looking into the Distance Can Help Prevent Cataracts!
Step 3: Exploring the Periphery
Periphery Exercise 1: Look at the Distance
Periphery Exercise 2: The Small Pieces of Paper
Step 4: Sunning and Skying
Step 5: Night Walking
Step 6: Palming
Preparing to Palm
How to Palm
How Long Should You Palm?
Visualization While Palming
Breathing While Palming
Relaxing the Ears
Benefits of Palming
Combining Palming with Other Exercises
Step 7: Shifting
Look at More Details
Read the Fine Print
The Ink Is Black and the Page Is White
Comprehension Problems with the Weaker Eye
Step 8: Blocking the Strong Eye
Look at Details One More
Step 9: Blink
Step 10: Vision and Body
Rest Your Eyes
The Power of Breath
Loosen Your Neck
Stretch Your Eye Muscles
Enjoy the View
Ready to Move On
Computer Use and Relieving Built-Up Fatigue
Improving and Correcting Errors of Refraction
Suggestions for Using This Part of the Book
Where Do Corrective Lenses Fit into These Exercises?
Correcting Myopia and Hyperopia
Exercise Program for Myopia
An Additional Note about Myopia
Exercise Program for Hyperopia: 90 Minutes a Day
Exercise Program for Presbyopia: 60–90 Minutes a Day
Extra Exercises for Presbyopia
Blinking One Eye
Reading in Dim Light
Look Near/Look Far
Headlines and Large and Small Print
Creating Controlled Stress on the Ciliary Muscle for Strength
Note for Astigmatic Readers
Exercise Program for Astigmatism
Extra Exercises for Astigmatism
Glow in the Dark
Overcoming Cross-Sightedness and Lazy Eye
Exercise Program for Cross-Sightedness: At Least 90 Minutes a Day
Extra Exercises for Cross-Sightedness
Rotate the Eyes; Look into the Darkness
The Melissa Exercise
Beads on a String
Two-Color Exercise (Beak Glasses)
Red and Green Glasses
Object and Line
Exercise Program for Cataracts
A Note about Cataract Surgery
Extra Exercise for Cataracts: Bounce and Catch
Exercise Program for Diabetes: 40 Minutes Daily
Extra Exercises for Diabetes
Patch the Strong Eye
A Note about Laser Treatments
Cataracts and Diabetes
Exercise Program for Glaucoma
Physical Exercises for Glaucoma
Special Instructions for Palming with Glaucoma
Exercises for Glaucoma
Correcting Optic Neuritis
Correcting Detached Retinas and Retinal Tears
Exercise Program for Retinal Detachment
Extra Exercise for Retinal Detachment: Darkness and Light
Correcting Vitreous Detachment
Correcting Macular Puckers and Holes
Exercise Program for Macular Puckers and Holes: 80 Minutes a Day
Extra Exercise for Macular Puckers and Holes: Pinhole Glasses
Correcting Retinitis Pigmentosa
Exercise Program for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Extra Exercises for Retinitis Pigmentosa
The Mask of Zorro
Waving Lights in the Dark
A Final Note about Peripheral Exercises
The Blind Spots of Conventional Wisdom
The Hidden Danger of Sunglasses
The Dangers of Corrective Lenses
Conclusion: The Real Cost of Vision Problems
About the Author
Whoever has had the privilege to attend a lecture given by Meir Schneider knows that one does not passively listen to his work. The audience members are immediately treated as students and invited to perform exercises right there in the conference room. According to Meir, more important than talking about his method is experiencing it; theory is only valuable when implemented. We are beings with an incredible adaptive capacity, and so is his teaching: simple, direct, and transformative. It goes beyond the barrier of predefined concepts and comes with the assurance that we can walk away from the passiveness of our routine actions and into the freshness of new ones.
This book is a mirror of his way of teaching. The interactive and dynamic contents express the author’s quality, moving us away from the apparent security of restrictive visual habits, to experience new possibilities. Since he considers that we all can improve our vision naturally, this book is not destined only for those who have diagnosed visual dysfunctions; this is for all of us. As Meir always says, routine is the ultimate degenerative disease.
I first met Meir Schneider in 1992, at a conference for six hundred people in São Paulo, Brazil. He made such an impression on the audience that it became the perfect time for the first training course in that country. I took part in it, although I had no previous experience in the health area. To be a health professional was not a prerequisite for Meir, however. He wanted to keep his teaching open to whoever was up to working on himself. This closer contact with the technique completely changed my way of relating to my body and my cognitive processes. Soon I started teaching others, thus complementing my learning experience. A few years later, already working as a fully trained therapist who specialized in visual education, I felt an urge to deepen my theoretical knowledge and went back to school to become an optometrist. This skill gave me better conditions under which to appreciate the grandeur of the method—Meir’s great ability to bring complex theory into something that speaks to us. After all, theory tries to explain what we are. And Meir translates it with rare intelligence and generosity. There is no hidden material in his teaching; it is all there, at the reach of minds willing to experience themselves.
This book is much more than a guide to exercises; it is an invitation to transformation. Good reading.
M. Fernanda Leite Ribeiro, optometrist and self-healing instructor, São Paulo, Brazil
The world may soon be faced with an epidemic of vision disorders, as hundreds of millions of humans who have been subjected to constant contact with computer screens, fluorescent lights, and excessively lit cities gradually enter old age. Tragically, although they seem adequately equipped to predict such a catastrophe, the existing medical establishment is not at all prepared to address this epidemic correctly. From my personal experience, I believe medical doctors often tend to suffer from their own form of myopia, a shortsighted attitude toward holistic approaches to body repair and maintenance.
In this generation we understand the importance in any successful endeavor of budgeting for repair and maintenance. If we intend to maintain the value and the beauty of any product or system throughout its life span, and to extend that life span for as long as possible, steps must be taken along the way to maintain the usefulness of all vital systems and to correct any defects that develop along the way due to misuse, neglect, or accidental damage. Human beings need even more attention than machines in this respect; we need nurturing.
I am happy that people are beginning to wake up to this notion, and that a preventive, protective attitude has already begun working its way into the human psyche. Every day, more people pay closer attention to the food and beverages they consume, to the environment in which they live, and to establishing general healthy habits like physical exercise. But we still do not spend enough time addressing the health and well-being of our eyes. That is the purpose of Vision for Life: to help people maintain and repair their vision as a way to increase the length and quality of their lives. It seems ironic to me that the scientific establishment might be to blame for the sorry condition in which we are finding ourselves. The success that optometry and ophthalmol
People often take it for granted that if something goes wrong with their vision, medical science will come to their rescue. And while this may be true in many cases, I am a firm believer that it is always better to prevent a disease in the first place rather than to simply wait for the system to break down in hopes that science will offer a solution. First of all, preventative medicine is cheaper! Compare twenty minutes a day of aerobic exercise, such as running along the beach or bicycling through the park, to the cost of a $100,000 surgical procedure to correct clogged arteries. Even factoring in the price of an expensive, luxury gym membership and regular massages, the preventative approach is still far less expensive.
We must commit right now to creating a health regimen for our eyes because the whole body is affected by eyestrain. The human eye was made to hunt, to scan the horizon, to look at birds, to look into the distance. It was designed to be engaged in a variety of circumstances, looking at different things at different distances and in different light. If we stare only at a computer screen all day under the same lighting, we lose the variation as well as the acuity. We lose the passion for looking and seeing the diversity of life around us. What then does this do to our bodies and to our energy levels?
So many people report that they feel exhausted in the middle of the day, that they need stimulants to revive them. We must remember that whatever we do with the eyes affects the whole body.
The habits that you will develop if you follow the exercises in Vision for Life can be the lifeline you need. You will reinvent your passion for life while protecting the vision you have and correcting the degenerative condition from which you suffer. Best of all, as with any kind of personal exercise regimen, these habits will impact your life in ways that transcend the utilitarian benefits of disease prevention.