What an extraordinary Tuesday morning this is! Good morning and welcome to Episode 101 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!
Today Dr. Trayford shares tip number 101. Our eyes work so hard during the day, especially if we spend a lot of time on a computer. Giving our eyes 5 minutes of rest by providing darkness can be very soothing. Dr. Trayford tells us to let our cheek bones rest on the boney part of our hands. We are not trying to put pressure on our eyes, we are just trying to block out the light. Try this and you’ll be helping the greatest learning and sensory partner of your brain. Thanks for listening!
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.
This tip is about eye health. The eyes are an incredible window into brain function. Much of what the brain learns is through the eyes. So we need to take care of our eyes.
The concept of palming the eyes comes out of the Bates Method, which is an eye and vision improvement program. There are a lot of practitioners out there that use it with various eye stretches. It’s a great method for helping to improve eye health, to improve their conduit for learning about the world.
Palming the eyes is simple in that you’re basically putting the palms of your hands over your eyes to help them to relax. So what happens it that this can be done before or after activities. If you’re on a computer all day, it’s important to relax and readjust your eyes.
You want to sit in a nice comfortable place, where you can put your palms at eye level so they’re supported. Typically you want to be sitting at a desk or a table. Then you can place your palms over your eyes.
You want the butt of your hand or the bony part near your wrists to rest on the part of your cheek bones just below the eyes. It’s not that you’re jamming your palms into your eyes. You’re not putting any pressure on the eyes. The goal is to create absolute darkness for the eyes so they can relax and recharge.
You want the big part of your palm with all the lines over the eyes, then lace your fingers together in the middle to create complete darkness. The darker the room you’re performing this exercise in, the better. The goal is to make sure there’s no light coming in through your hands to your eyes.
You want to settle your eyes for a little bit. Then you want to relax your eyes and your entire body. The face, the jaw, the muscles in your forehead, everything else. You want to relax completely.
Some people will do this same exercise with eye masks, but your palms are really the best option, especially because you get the heat from your hands, which many people find soothing as well.
There’s something about this that does not happen throughout the course of the day. Our eyes are constantly fixating and using a large amount of energy, so they will benefit from a little down time to relax. Your eyes burn through a lot of glucose and oxygen in scanning the environment and feeding visual information to the brain.
Also the places that the eyes project to, which is out occipital lobe, the hippocampus where we start to form memories and other things. These parts of the brain benefit from a little rest as well. Particularly if you’re working with computer because you’re doing a lot of near-far focus, so we need to give the eyes time to readjust more quickly and burn energy more efficiently.
Some people focus on their breathing while they’re palming their eyes. There’s no magic duration of time that you need to do it. Most people benefit from around a minute of palming their eyes. You probably don’t need to do it more than five minutes. At that point you’d be getting some pretty significant relaxation of the eyes.
You can find more information on line or a practitioner who specializes in the Bates Method. The bottom line is that you want to respect the eyes because they’re the number one input from the nervous system.
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