Good morning and welcome to Episode 052 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!
In Episode 052, Dr. Trayford provides a brain-training tip called clock face eye stretches. This tip will help your vision and eye strength, which in turn, will have a positive effect on how you learn visually. He instructs you to stretch your eyes to look straight up, where the 12 is on a clock, for five full seconds, then proceed with each direction around the clock. Give it a try, and let us know your results.
If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.
There is movement growing in popularity, called eye yoga. In a certain light it’s not that new. There are people that been practicing eye exercises for a very long time. The clock face eye stretches exercise is just one of the elements in eye yoga that can help to relieve stress on the eyes, provide a feeling or relaxation and also improve your ability to take in what’s going on in the environment around you.
There is an absolute physiological or neurophysiological basis for these kinds of eye exercises. In our clinic we do a lot of eye movement activities. This includes slow eye movement, fast eye movement and how the eyes and head separate their movement. These tests tell us a lot about what is going on inside the brain, what state a person is in and how they perceive the world around them.
Stretching your eyes and maintaining eye health is especially important because a lot of your learning comes through the eyes. While people without sight are still be able to learn it happens a little differently in their brains.
For our purposes in this tip we’re talking about the average population and those with sight. These people their eyes weigh heavily into how their brain functions. It’s been estimated that 40% of brain input comes from the eyes. This means we can maximize our eyes to provide quality input for the brain.
Clock face eye stretches essentially promote relaxation and better range of motion for your eyes; so that your eyes can actually move further and take more in.
You can do the stretches with a clock that is across the room or at a reasonable distance. If you don’t have a clock with a face, try to imagine one on the wall. The exercise starts by holding your eyes in a neutral position, looking at the center of a clock face. Then adjust your focus from the center of the clock to look up to the number 12. You want to put a little bit of a stretch on the eyes and hold it for a paced five-count and then bring your gaze back to neutral in the center of the clock.
Then you simply repeat the same motion for one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, all the way until you get back to 12 o’clock again. What you’re doing is basically stretching every aspect of these muscles that move your eyes in all the various directions. This stretches every eye muscle you have. This gives your eyes a better range of motion for better input to the brain.
It also promotes relaxation that allows your eyes to focus easier. We have a certain muscle known as the ciliary muscle that helps to change the shape of our lens. Doing these stretches helps us to focus better so there’s better clarity to our visual input, so the brain is getting clear message.
Jason: I think I need more brain training on this. I try it at work and it’s never on five o’clock, I can’t get my eyes to see 5 o’clock when I’m at work.
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