Friday, October 15, 2010

Squish your Eyes - and Relax

A while ago over at iamgeekfit, i posted ten tips to destress - very much related to hormone responses and ph balance. Well, recently learned there's one more thing we can do to relax that's pretty durn neural: squish our eyes.  With little circles.

How do it? As eric cobb puts it, imagine you're picking up a grape (using all your fingers). Take that position to the eye and press/massage for about 30seconds.

Yes, closing eyes and massaging around the eye, pushing gently on the eyeball through the lid, will help calm us down based on something called the "oculocadiac reflex"

In other words, the eyes, via a big nerve group in the head/face (the trigeminal nerve) are connected to this great big vagus nerve; the vagus nerve goes through touching our heart, our lungs and importantly our guts.

Doing a little eye squishing massage will help trigger the calming wonder that is the provinence of the valgus nerve.

If you dig these kind of tips there's way more eyeball wonderfulness covered in the Complete Athlete Vol 1 DVD. Turns out our eyes are important for more than vision.

Doing eye squishing daily - may make more of a difference than just feeling relaxed. If you give it a go for two weeks, daily, please let me know what you notice changes in your well being/performance.



Sifter said...

Uh, pressing directly on the eye raises intra optic eye pressure, IOP, which is a primary factor in glaucoma. Since there's a boatload of people out there who don't even know they have symptomless glaucoma, I think it's inadvisable to recommend that anyone press directly on the eyes. Around 'em, sure, but not on them.

mc said...

that seems like a really interesting concern - what's your background in ophthalmology?

Let me say clearly that ANY movement or self massage work such as pressing on tissue assumes that one has been cleared by their doctor for physical activity.

1) good to note that glaucoma also manifests with NO change in intra optic pressure, so sadly that's not an easy assay for the disease.

2) likewise, applying gentle pressure onto the eyes (through closed eyes) is fairly standard practice - kids do this to themselves squishing their fists into their eyes.

It may also be worth noting that according to very recent research, eyeball massage was found to lower IOP

Previous work in glaucoma had shown that it hadn't made it worse

But if you don't feel like something's right for you, don't do it.

Also, there are tests you can request if you are concerned about glaucoma - a dilated eye exam being likely the main one.

Thanks again for taking the time to raise the concern.

as always - always check with a doc before starting any physical activity program.

ally said...

Thank you,you gave me some direction to my questions.


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